atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#5736: WHY DID MY PARENTS NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY

I just got finished with four hot hours in the attic over the garage, trying to make sense of it.

I barely made a dent.

I barely made a dent in the pile of useless garbage that's stashed in the friggin' attic!

I'm not kidding: I found some three or four boxes of Dad's old bills. One box was labeled "196?-1984". ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. Records that aren't less than thirty-three years old?

I found bags and bags of old clothing. I saved a very short stack of them for donation; the rest--all of the rest of the clothes--had been gotten at by rodentia, or else were torn, or stained, or ruined other ways. There was one box which was so old I couldn't move it without destroying it. There was some kind of feces in it--probably squirrel poop, very very old--and nothing was salvageable.

Several scrapbooks, my grandmother's possibly, but they were so mouse-eaten and rotten and ridden with mouse turds I could only save about a third of what had been put in the attic.

Result: two bins full of trash, two bags waiting their turn, some miscellanious junk also going out to the curb on Thursday night.

So far I found one thing that has any intrinsic value at all: an antique punch bowl set, probably lead crystal, with twelve cups. Mid-century, I think, as it was shipped to a Montgomery Ward's store and the box had the usual labeling for carton bursting strength etc. Roughly postwar, I think, probably not newer than 1950 or 1955. I'm not sure if it was my parents' or my grandparents'. I'm thinking the latter only because my parents' punchbowl was more modern-looking than this one is, and 90% of the shit I'm digging through came either from my maternal grandmother's house, or my paternal grandfather's house. A quick check on-line shows it to be worth something like $200-ish.

The rest of it--well, there's an old tricycle which may or may not be worth a couple shekels. The old red wagon is up there, its wheels coming apart and rusty as all get-out. Might make a nice yard decoration or something, but I doubt it's worth restoring. I don't believe it's a Radio Flyer. (Knowing my Dad, it's "Montgomery Ward's" brand. We got all kinds of things as gifts which were branded MW. All our clothes and shoes came from MW. Dad worked for MW, and was a loyal company man. Besides, he got an employee discount.)

What I really, really need for all this is a freaking dumpster, because nobody's going to want any of this junk. There are some things in that attic which will have value, but they are few and far between, and the distribution of junk to treasure obeys Sturgeon's Law to the letter.

I feel as if I should have worn a mask. Fortunately, the Fungal Vale is not in an area of the country where hantavirus is common, and it's so hot in the attic (even today, a pleasant day!) I would have soaked it with sweat and had to discard it anyway.

Tomorrow I'm going to shift gears and work on the area of the attic that's over the living area. We have two access points--one in the garage, one in the hall just off the bathroom--and the stuff nearest that one is primarily composed of things belonging to me and my wife. That one will probably be easier to clear out, so I'll head up there and see what sense I can make of that. But there's still going to be plenty of trash to be disposed of.

Plus side: today, while working in the attic over the garage, I found a few things of mine that I'd thought gone forever. For one thing, I found a box full of HO train track, and atop that track was the set of Tonka fire trucks I got when I was 9 or 10. I don't recall when it was exactly, but I got them just as I was beginning to learn how to take care of things. I used to store them in the styrofoam block they came in; I'd take them out of the styrofoam to play with them, then put them back in it and put them away. They stayed looking very nice for years; they're not in mint condition now, but considering they're roughly 40 years old they're in damned nice shape, even so. They even still have all their pieces!

I also found a box of books which has been missing for a while. Among other things it contained my copies of John Varley's Titan trilogy, the books in which all the female characters are lesbians. I'm going to try rereading them. I last read them when I was 16 or 17. We'll see if they're still worth reading, or if the only reason I read them then was heh lesbians having sex hehhehhehheh. It also had my copies of Brian Daley's "Han Solo Trilogy", the only Star Wars spinoff books I ever bothered to read. I'll enjoy reading them again, I think. About half the books went on the "donate" pile.

So after all that, I'm filthy and sweaty and desperately need a shower. My lovely, clean garage is a disaster area. And there's still so much shit up there. *sigh*
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