This morning Ralph and I met Steph at Lou's. Sherry, who is another long time friend of Sam's, met us there with husband Tony and nephew Brandon. Brandon is 17 and wants a car, so he's been hiring himself out to Sam all year doing yardwork. Sherry manages an animal rescue charity, and was getting ceramic greenware and bisque from the basement to sell for the charity.
I haven't had the nerve to go into the basement. For years Sam had a ceramic business, and the basement was for storage. Things got damp from the last big rain, and it smells musty big time. Sherry and Tony made about a million trips up and down the steps. Ralph alternated between helping them and working in the yard with Brandon.
Steph tackled the kitchen. The cabinets were packed, as was the countertops, stove, and table. I don't think anyone has eaten at the table in at least 20 years. Steph went thru and bagged duplicates of pots and pans and glassware to go to Goodwill- she filled two boxes. Stale cereal will go to the birds, and fresh cereal, which Lou doesn't eat, was taken by Brandon.
I tackled the bedroom. Lou could barely get in to go to bed, and I'm so afraid of him falling when he's alone. He's given us carte blanche to clean and get rid of things. There's very little of Lou in the house, it's all Sam, with a touch of her mom. There were piles of clothes on the floor, in boxes, and on a hanging rack. Lou said they haven't used the closet in years. I boxed up all the usuable clothes for Goodwill, and tossed the worn or stained. I ended up with about 8 big bags for Goodwill, and at least that many trashbags! We cleaned out the closet and hung Lou's clothes in in, and the extra rack can be taken down. He had all his socks, tees and underwear crammed into one drawer of the 3 drawer bureau, now he can use all three.
We took a pizza break, then everyone got back to work. When we stopped at 4 PM, all the leaves that have fallen so far have been put out to the curb for the boro to pick up. Steph and I made a Goodwill run, and every trash can if packed, and there's probably 10 trash bags filled. When we left, Sherry was still in the basement sorting.
Lou was, as he said, staying out of the way, but checking on the progress each of us made. He was amazed by the fact that there is a floor in his room! And he can walk from the living room to the bedroom without turning sideways!
Last night Ralph and I hung out with Eddie and Julianna for the time between when Heather left for work and Ed got home. Whenever a toy commercial came on, Julie wanted the toy. Eddie's a little pickier about what he wants. He was leaning against me and I was rubbing his back- it's just so wonderful to have them back in NJ.
Ralph is already sleeping, and I'm about to go to bed. We ain't 21 anymore, we ain't even 41 anymore!