Travel over the mountains can be miserable. I’m not going to categorize my recent trip that way, because the sun was shining and the sky was blue, however, the roads were snow-packed and icy half the time, slushy the other half. I bet I went through a gallon of windshield wiper fluid. I’ve driven worse in my forty plus years of crossing the continental divide in winter, but I’m just so over the challenge.
Coming to my mother’s house is difficult for me these days. My sister lives here, caring for my 97 year old mother, which I appreciate very much. The hard part, for me, is that my sister is a hoarder. There is no other way to describe this. It’s as if there is a fear of open space. A clear countertop must be a clear and present danger. I don’t know. Somewhere under all this stuff is the beautiful home I grew up in.
There were signs when we were growing up. I would throw away a toy after I outgrew it or parts were broken or missing. She would go to the trash and rescue it. Some of the things I threw away as a child, she mailed to me decades later for my children to play with.
I collected colanders once, then I realized my brain was becoming a sort of sieve, letting too much pass on through, so I thought better of it, afraid of becoming what I collected. My sister has no such qualms. If everything piled up here was good stuff, and there are some good things underneath all this trash, I would feel differently. If she would let me help her sort out and throw away the trash, I would feel differently. There in lies the problem. She can’t lose control by letting me help. After refusing at first, but then rethinking it, she finally let me clean out the dishwasher so she could reload it. I was also allowed to take apart the vacuum and fix it – so I could vacuum for her. Then I messed up by not using her method to get the empty pop cans from the kitchen to the garage. I’m not kidding. It was a long day.