This last weekend and next weekend I’ll be moving my grandparents to their new home in an assisted-living facility. This is a good change and we are really relieved to get them into a place they like and where they have friends. The challenge is whittling down their accumulated items to fit in the new apartment. Especially since the grandparents don’t understand why it won’t all just fit in. *sigh*
As I go through things for them, I was struck by what I was finding. Some of it funny, some of it interesting, some of it just baffling.
Every morning and evening, before and after heading out to the grandparents, I’m trying to move back into my home from the “camp” I have in my garage. The weather is starting to cool off and get wet so I was anxious to get my dining room table back in the house.
With all this going on, I can’t process everything that happened. In my memory, it is just a series of images and moments that I will share here with you:
Found a stash of S&H stamps (green stamps). Finding these in the current apartment means they moved with my grandparents out of their home 20 years ago which was still long after S&H stamps had any value.
Apparently this is a thing. My grandfather has a secret love of junk food. Since he has always been rail thin and quite healthy, I say go for it! It still made me laugh because I know he used this when he was driving and would take himself out for a special treat.
You can’t beat these. This thing will be good-to-go for 100 years. Not to mention is just looks beautiful in a steel, industrial, practical way.
My brother and I teased my grandparents that we weren’t finding stashes of money like you are supposed to find in these situations. Instead, I found things like this little bundle of sticks in a drawer. I’m not sure what he intended to do with them. It may have been for kindling but there is also a crafty side to Grandpa and he may have thought he would make something out of them.
We don’t even know what this is but it must be fantastic because it has an exclamation point! My grandparents have been very involved in Japanese culture for years. I always thought it might be my Grandpa’s way of making peace with his experience in WWII. He fought in the Pacific. Both my grandparents have been to Japan a number of times and have been very involved in Ikebana and Bonsai.
One of my challenges was convincing my Grandfather that some of the technology he was holding on to is obsolete. I had a heck of a time convincing him to give up his blank VHS tapes (they don’t have a player), the box of floppy disks (they don’t have a computer), the typewriter cartridges (he still had the typewriter but hasn’t typed anything in years), and reference books like this. My Grandfather has always liked to teach himself things.
Other funny moments included:
Finding a paper bag with 12 spent shells. My brother and I decided that our nerdy, academic Grandfather was probably an assassin. Or just doesn’t throw anything away.
Sneaking out the 15 (!) old phone books found under Grandpa’s bed. You cannot convince him these are not still a valuable resource. I think it is the academic in him. books=knowledge.
Throwing away cups, boxes, lids, and bowls full of pennies, rubber bands, lost buttons, nails, gold tees, fuses, etc. I have vowed to get rid of my junk drawer right away. That stuff accumulates on its own and is full of stuff that you keep because you don’t want to deal with them rather than ever intend to do anything with them.
Because this project is a family affair, I have several family members staying with me, including their dogs.
This makes a full, and hairy, household.