That's probably not even a word. But it's how I'm feeling, here at my mother's house, coming to the end of my stay here. I feel accomplished, even though the inventory is barely begun: there are no more hidden caches of anything, here, now. Accompanied by various siblings over my stay, we've excavated closets, chests, dressers, file cabinets, innumerable boxes and bags - and (just me) the attic, from where I heaved (many) bags and boxes of yarn, and books, and other unbreakables, feeling like the Grinch who had packed up the Who's Christmas quite thoroughly so he could heave it up the chimney.
It's quite a bit of work to excavate all that, but then another entirely to actually work through it all and dispose of it, sorting the good into piles and the recyclables one way and the trash another. I am very pleased that anyone walking into the house would have no idea that any of that went on, unless he or she happened to see the piles of bagged trash and boxes of recycling ready to go out. My timing there was lousy, although I did manage to get 9 bags of trash picked up this morning. That leaves 6 to go, plus the recycling. There's nothing I can do about that, so I just tucked it into one of the bedrooms where it's not in anyone's way. I concede that's it's far from lovely, but so be it.
I wonder if I am emotionally defective, though, because I'm not finding this in the least bit difficult. It is really surprisingly easy for me to throw things away, when they're my own things, and I'm not having any more difficulty here. I can scan something written, or take a photo, and then I know I'll be able to access the memory, and that's really all I need. (Never mind that I am bringing home an extra suitcase; that's mostly my mother's Nativity scene, which is a lot bigger than I remembered it being.) In this, I am very different from my sisters, who were with me here today as we slogged through an incredible amount of saved paper.
Mostly I feel as if I've done some good. Once everyone has claimed what they want, we can have an estate sale and get the house cleaned out. All this will make things so much easier when it's time to put the house on the market. I have a breathless, "Oh!" reaction to the idea of selling this house, letting the reality of never coming back here sink in, but then that moment passes. I'm busy. My kids are growing up, I have a lot going on, and my days of having 6-7 week vacations on Cape Cod are over. C'est la vie.