It’s Not Personal, It’s Strictly Business…

Such an exciting time ahead of me.  Okay, maybe a tad stressful as well but I’d rather focus on the good parts, if you know what I mean.  A perfect time to analyze my “stuff” and see what really means something to me and must stay and what can be let go.  Or, a time where everything gets shoved in boxes to be dealt with later!  How about a mix of both… that way I won’t spend too much time with the preparations.

The agent has been met, the price established and, before the ‘For Sale’ sign can be hammered into the newly exposed, spring-stink grass, the ‘home stager” must be met.  I consider myself lucky that part of the commission I shall be paying to sell this behemoth includes the services of said stager.  If not, I had contemplated, maybe, in investing in the services of one.  Because, you know, a different set of eyes and all that.

Well damn.   The doorbell rings and there stands Nathalie,  standing at five foot-nothing, wearing jeans and boots – “no, no, please”, I insist, “keep them on.  I didn’t wash the floor and I have a dog.  Would much rather you not end up with slippers for socks.”  She goes back to her car – very nice car, so business must be good – and gets her sneakers.  Hands me her coat and with a handshake that would make a 6’2″ man proud got down to business.

Not a stroll around the house to see what’s to be dealt with, first, oh no.  Immediately, she tells me to get a pad and pen so I can take notes.  Notes?  I ain’t got time to take notes!  My 5’9″ legs are practically having trouble keeping up with her!  She has walked into the dining room, after having passed through the living room.  Immediatelly told me to take down the two paintings (sorry, Richard, apparently Mick and I have no taste so your lovely works of art don’t belong there).  She made me take one from the dining room to placed in the living room.  Told me to remove the hooks and nails we were not using and kept on going.   And so it went.  “Remove this, store that.  Do you really need to keep that there?  Try to find an extension cord so you can move your water fountain.  Do you really need to plug it in?  Seriously room-temp water is better for you.  OK.  Remove all pictures of your family.  OK.. Take that picture and put it here.  Don’t forget to remove the nails.”  Takes notes?  I think not.

“Yes.  OK. That’s good.  No, this will NOT do.  I really don’t like those curtains.  Do you really need them?”

“Well, yes, I do, when the sun shines, I can’t see my computer screen.”

“Well, speaking of that.  Can you get rid of that other desk and move this one over there?  Can we move some of this stuff downstairs? It is so important to have access to the windows.  They must be free of stuff.  No?  Then remove this.  And put this over there.”

Fuck no!  Jesus… I am officially spinning.

“Let’s go upstairs, shall we?  Ok.  Let’s move this bureau and bring that plant over here.”  OK… this one, I gotta admit, I really like.  “And make sure you remove all that stuff from your nightstands.  And get a lamp for that one.  It’s too dark.  Move that picture over to centre it.  Why is it like that?  And make sure you clean up that bookcase.”

“Since I sold my son’s bed, I figured we should move his desk into the guest bedroom and bring that bed in here.  What do you think?”

“Yes, good idea.”

Woot!  I had a good idea….

And then we enter the eldest’s room.  “Ummm…”

“Don’t worry.  He knows all the stuff has to come down from the walls.  And he has to clean up the space.  It will be done.”

“Does he really need that desk?”

“I can’t say.  Will work on him for that one.”

Let’s go down into the basement, shall we?”

Huffing and puffing, I follow.

She comes down the stairs, looks at the new vinyl flooring on the one side.  “Before you even think of it. No.  That was a bitch to remove.  We are NOT removing this side.  I had it cleaned.  I know it still looks ‘meh’ but it will remain.  By the way, I figure we should bring this couch  back over and that table.”

“You don’t want to bring the TV back here?”

“No.  I don’t trust the kids to make another mess.”

She looks at me disapprovingly.  “I sill think….”

“No.”

“OK.  But still, remove those posters and maybe move that one over there.”

“OK.  I still find it odd that people want to see a house that appears totally unlived in.  That there isn’t a family here.  To me, it makes no sense that there wouldn’t be at lease one family picture.”

“Statistics have shown that, that’s what works.  So, Madame, my work here is done.  Good luck on the sale of your house.”

Another crushing handshake and she is gone.

Whew!  I sid down and try to get my bearings.  I am now tripping over my antique chairs that I bought to go with my antique table that I must now hide.  I am supposed to make my kitchen look like I never use it.  I must store all my artwork that was not considered “fitting” and box all family pictures, no matter how cute.

I’m hoping, that with all this work, my house will be attractive to potential buyers.  Till then, I’m to roll up my sleeves and do what needs to be done.  There is some selling, re-organizing, moving, shifting, clearing, sorting, schlepping… I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

 

 

Tell Me a Story, Mémère – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday-Friday Fictioneers Day, my Peeps!  This lovely photo by Fatima Fakir Deria brought to mind my beloved late grandmother, Noëlla, who also happened to be my godmother.  She was definitely my hero and how she managed to do what she did always amazed me.  So many stories told, and quite matter-of-factly.  She just did what she had to do.  I am very proud to say I inherited that from her.

How about you join in this week in telling a 100-word story based on this photo?  Rochelle will be more than happy to accept any newcomer!  She’s welcoming like that.  Click on the blue frog and add your link!

Click here to get the link for your blog

Tell Me a Story, Mémère

It was a perfect day to accompany her grandmother outside  for a stroll.

“How about we sit here in the shade, Mémère?”

“Looks like the perfect spot, Suzie.”

“Please, tell me some of your stories of how you managed to survive with six kids, living in the woods, with barely nothing.”

“Aren’t you tired of hearing them?”

“Not even close.  I want to record you so I can write them into a book.  Would you like that?”

“Silly girl, I’m just ordinary.”

“Au contraire, Mémère.  You are my hero.  You were way ahead of your time.”

“Hmmm… Where to start….”

***

Sadly, I never got around to recording her stories.  She died in 2009, at age 92, three months’ shy of her 93rd birthday

Ringmaster to Her Circus

Finally.  After suggesting this prompt, I am the last to join in.  Go figure.  Karen over at TableFor1 already posted hers and so did Marc over at Sorryless  Funny how these prompts came about through simple comments back and forth.  It has been a fabulous journey playing with these two.  They sure push me to do better.

The stage was set:  bathtub filled with hot, sudsy water; candles lit, strategically placed all around;  lights dimmed; iPad propped to watch something on Netflix – if the inspiration hit; current book; journal; pen.  All at the ready for whatever inspired her.  Or didn’t.  There were no rules for the next hour or so.  Don’t forget the bathmat or the towel.  Perfection.  She disrobed and slowly sank into the hot bubbles, sliding down until the water covered her shoulders.  Ahhhh.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the two-man tub that permitted both boobs and knees to be covered in hot water.  Not possible in a standard tub when you are almost 5’9″.  One must appreciate what one has.

She closed her eyes and felt all her daily stresses slip away and for a few moments, all thoughts were silenced.  Not a sound.  It was bliss.  It didn’t last long.  Fucking hamster has to show up here too?  Couldn’t he wait for his usual 3:00 a.m. appearance?  Was there no other way besides drugs to obliterate that pesky rassembleur of thoughts and to-do lists?

And so it starts.

**********************************

The house.  So much has to be done to make it ready for sale.  It’s too big to keep.  I don’t need all this space.  I hate housecleaning.  I need to downsize.   The boys are not much help.  Well, that’s not true.  When I blow a gasket, start yelling like a banshee, they then pitch in.  Well one of them does.  He’s been pretty darn good.  The other is going through anxiety at turning 20.  20.  Seriously, Dude?  Fuckssakes.  On top of that, he is “his own man and doesn’t like to be told what to do”.  Oh excuse me.  Sucks to be you.   Guess what?  In real life, sometimes you have to follow orders.  And, it’s not like I even ordered you.  I have asked you.  Repeatedly.  So very glad you can’t wait to get out of this house but don’t want to lift a bloody finger to make it ready. Oh, you want to help but not when we want you to help.  And yet, I know if I don’t nag, eventually you will do what needs to be done.  You just don’t understand – or want to –  how each piece needs to be put in place for the next one to be taken care of.

The mother-in-law, Jean.  Ah hell.  It’s become a full-time job trying to juggle all her shit.  Her landlord – he wants his 3-months’ rent.  The pharmacy at the home want to stop giving her her meds because the bill is up to $500.  The home is owed 4 months rent.  I can’t do anything because the friggen co-mandatory won’t sign the document resigning her part in the mandate. And now blocks my calls.  Bitch.  No access to her funds – and I sure as hell cannot afford to cover her expenses.  Cannot have her mail redirected to me.  Must keep driving out the 40-minute drive to her appartment to pick up her mail.  Can’t sign her Income Tax Papers.  Get phonecalls from Jean where she gives me hell for putting her in that god-forsaken place.  Reassure her I had nothing to do with it.  Promise to visit her.  Put it off.  Get the boys to come with me to visit her for her 83rd birthday on Sunday.  She is getting worse.  Never could tell them apart.  Repeats that she loves A’s hair.  Repeats she loves I’s sweater.  Lists off the birthdays and for the first time, she gets them all wrong.  Definitely getting worse.  Remembers she asked me for her “papers”.  I ask her which ones.  She says the ones regarding her funeral arrangements.  Oh, no worries, I assure her, I have those.  Asks me if I brought her her papers.  Sigh.  One-and-a-half hours later, I am done.  The boys are done.  Promises are made to go back and visit.

The finances.  Seems every time I turn around, it’s costing me another $300 here $400 there, etc.  The damages caused by water leakages and impatient kids and bad quality items needing replacement, and appliances failing needing repair, etc. are making my head spin.  I know I’ll be able to recuperate all once this house is sold but till then… gulp!  I try not to focus on stuff – you know, the Universe is listening so I don’t want it to think I want more things to break!

The boyfriend.  I hate to admit his going away for two weeks to lie on a beach sans me still bugs the shit out of me.  I barely missed him – probably too angry to.  Mind you, I kept myself busy with friends and house stuff but should I not have felt a small twinge? Was I feeding the situation with unnecessary negativity?  Or was my gut telling me something?   It doesn’t help when I am asked where’s the boyfriend?  And I answer gone on vacation and I get the response, without you?  Then it all starts roiling again.  So confused about this one.  Will have to let it play out when he gets back.

The mother.  I worry about her heart, her health.  Taking care of her husband, who had a stroke two years ago and is paralyzed on the left side, is exhausting her.  My sisters do a lot for her and I try to do my share as well but we still worry.  It is not an easy situation.  We sometimes worry she will kick the bucket before he does simply by burning herself out.  It scares me.

**********************************

These thoughts criss-crossed her mind, one colliding after another, balling up inside her belly and turning her shoulders into knots.   Enough was enough and time to shut down that hamster wheel so she turned on the iPad to listen to some Arvo Pärt – Spiegel im Spiegel and whatever else followed.  YouTube was good for keeping one in the mood.   Ahhh… eyes closed, each tensed muscle began to relax, her mind once again emptying itself.

An hour later, sufficiently pruned, she started to shiver, the water no longer comfortably warm.  Time to get out.

As she was towelling off, her mind started up again.  The boyfriend liked to call her the Captain of her ship and her boys, her sailors.  He said she was in charge of the household and responsible for its functioning and for keeping her sailors on point.  She didn’t like that analogy.  Did not fancy the idea of being the one who went down with the ship should it sink.  Nope.  Another title was in order.

How about Ringmaster of a crazy five-ring (or was it six?) circus.  So many things to juggle, so many acts going on at the same time, not all with the same intensity, but each requiring her attention.  Yeah, that was more like it.  Ringmaster.  Had more pizzazz than Captain.  This was definitely her circus and maybe some, but not all, were her monkeys.

 

Idyll – What Pegman Saw

Good evening (or morning, depending on where on the globe you be) my Readers.   Pegman leaders Karen and Josh were busy basking in the sun last week and left us to our own devices for a week but are now back with a new challenge.  Thank you both for your efforts.

This week Pegman takes us to Yellowstone National Park in the US. You’ll find both streetview and photo spheres to inspire you. Choose any place within Yellowstone and write 150 words inspired by it. Once your piece is polished, you can share it with others at the link up below:

Idyll

Giselle felt the warmth of the sun through the roof of the tent.  She smiled dreamily as she reminisced on the previous night’s passions.

“You’re so beautiful when you smile like that, Gi.”

“You know, Dany, you saved me and gave me back my smile.”

“And I’ll make sure you never lose it again.  Wasn’t last night’s concert great?  The drum of the falls, the pop and fizz of the geysers…”

“Oh you!  Everything turns to music with you.”

“True dat!   I am a musician, after all.  Check this out…”  He slid the zipper of the tent.  Tzzzzzzzzip.

They laughed and together opened the tent flap, quickly falling silent as they saw the deer grazing right in front of them.

“Could this trip get any better?” whispered Giselle.

“It sure can.”  He nuzzled her neck, pulling her back inside.  “How about we take up where we left off last night?”

Back Tracking – A Friday Fictioneer Special

Good Friday morning, my Peeps!

A little surprise for you this morning.  Kelvin Knight asked me if I would be interested in trying to write a Friday Fictioneer with him:  One sentence by him, one by me.  And, as I’m always willing to try something new, I was up for the challenge.  The first sentence is his and so on… with little tweaks here and there, the end result is the following little story.  Of course, we are an ocean apart so it took some time for the whole back and forth – besides life, like jobs, getting in the way 😉

©Björn Rudberg

BACK TRACKING

A Special FF by

Dale Rogerson and Kelvin M. Knight

This track was going to break her. It was an unending struggle just to remain upright. If only she could rekindle that spark which used to ignite her anger. Because at least anger was a feeling – much better than this emotional void.

‘This trek won’t be character building,’ he said. ‘It will be character revealing! And it just might build the necessary character to get off this path once and for all.’

‘Off?’ she fumed. ‘You said we were on this track to the bitter end!’

‘Well, sue me.’

She, like his non-verbal stop sign, bristled like a porcupine.

World Down’s Syndrome Day

I never, ever, ever, ever post three times in one day.  Just not my thing.

However, this is a special day.  For all my friends blessed with children born with an extra chromosome, I share this beautiful video.  Share the love.

 

 

Signs, Schmigns – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning, my Readers.  Hope you are enjoying sunshine in your necks of the woods.  It is shining here but has not understood the principle of generating heat.  Flipping cold, is what it is!  Oh well, as long as we have our little group here to warm us up with stories of frights, sights and heights, we’re good!

Come join in on the fun!  Write a story of 100-words or less, never more, (but not including the title, because we’re not that mean…) inspired by Bjorn Rudberg‘s fabulous photo below.  Rochelle, our dear hostess, welcomes everyone who plays nice!  All you have to do is click on the blue frog and add your link.  Easy-peasy!

To add the frog to your blog

Signs, Schmigns

Jack and Jill continued to climb the mountain, following the extremely primitive road.

“Bummer.  Looks like we have to stop here.”

“Why?”

“Really, Jack?  Do you not see the sign?”

“Signs Schmigns.  Signs, like rules, are meant to be challenged.  I say we keep going.  Besides, look.  The road appears to still be in use.  Let’s use it!”

Jill reluctantly agreed and off they went, not knowing what was waiting for them around the bend.

Four men holding machine guns pointed at their chests.  That’s what was waiting for them around the bend.

“Stop!  Did you not see the sign?”