It was about this time last year that we decided to rent the house. Yes, THAT one.
The house my grandparents built in 1942 … and which now, by some curious chance, has sheltered FIVE generations of the family.
What were the odds? If you’ve read OBJECTS OF OUR AFFECTION, you know the odds were supremely slim: This is a military family. And like many Americans, maybe most, we’re nomads. I counted once: Between the ages of 17 and 34, I personally moved 17 times.
But somehow we landed, and there we remained. Well, not really. More like, There we left our stuff. Five generations of it, ranging from my grandpa’s dress military uniform jacket and some evening garb of the grandmothers to my great-nephew’s discarded video games.
So it was June a year ago that we tackled the attic. See, we have this really small attic, and we had to empty as much as we could to make room for all the stuff that was actually occupying what you SEE of the house — we were renting it furnished, sort of, true. But there were lamps, books, clothes, bedding, dishes, oh my. You know. All the stuff you wouldn’t want someone else to have to cope with. Or break. Or lose. Or whatever.
It was a hell-bent-for-leather full month of eight-hour days in the heat. My sister and I sorted books, jewelry, stuffed animals, clothes, you name it. Oh, yeah, we didn’t just haul it out. SORT is the operative word. And that is why I am still here, updating this website. Because I know how many more people like us are out there. You can’t just throw it out. You have to sift through it.
And that, as I keep reminding us all, is because of the stories the stuff contains. Yep, folks, that’s it. That’s the heart of the problem. Until we’ve sifted the stories, the stuff remains.
The Internet, fortunately, is our new fireside. I mean, it is the place we gather around, sing our songs, tell our tales, listen to our shamans.
In the weeks ahead, I will be trying to recapture the heat, dust, sound and fury that accompanied our excavation of 1 Pendleton Place. Stay tuned … but please, if you have a moving/excavating/STUFF story of your own to tell, weigh in. Post a comment!