We don’t have ghosts in our house – in fact, I WISH I just had ghosts in my house because I would have some open spaces in my basement! When we moved into our new house, we had this huge unfinished basement. My hubby, who claims he isn’t a hoarder but has stuff that no one can identify – promised that we wouldn’t bring junk into the house just because someone was giving it away for ‘free’. This is a dangerous word for Pat – when he hears ‘free’ it’s like catnip to him. He has to have it, he can’t turn it down – and will move heaven and earth to get it – and of course, store it in our basement.
What was once an open range basement has now turned into an obstacle course of the remnants of people’s lives. I have found if you pair the word ‘free’ with ‘dead loved one or friend’ – I’m going to have it in my basement. It doesn’t matter if the stuff is usable or even in working order. It comes from someone Pat once loved – and it’s ‘free’.
So, right now in my basement we have the ‘remains’ of friends and family. Stuff that no one else wanted but Pat couldn’t bear to part with because the stuff was ‘free’ and belonged to his mother, his father and a friend. To be fair – we do have a couple of things from my mother – and I do mean a couple of things – two pictures which belonged to her, one of which is a picture of our wedding.
I wrote a blog some years ago about our garage at our old house and described all of the things in it – most of which stayed there when we moved because my daughter is renting the house from us. I should have known that a man who still has a 1948 Willy’s Jeep which has not run in 40 years, along with every swing set ever used by his children and every bicycle (final count was 14) our four children rode over the years – was not going to give up that easily when it came to an empty basement.
So, now instead of a dead jeep, four lawnmowers in various stages of disrepair and a toilet – I am the proud custodian of memorials to our parents and friends – an air organ that hasn’t worked in 40 years and has no legs, five Christmas tree stands, forty-year old chairs and furniture that can’t support the weight of a toddler, five television sets which may or may not work, bobble-heads of the Three Stooges (which are very, very creepy), outdoor Christmas lights which work intermittently, other assorted furnishings and I’m sure somewhere hidden in this ‘free’ stuff is a dead partridge in a pear tree.
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