Furniture Move – Day 3, Part 1 – Paper

Yesterday morning after a big breakfast, and reviewing lists, multiple times, my DH and I set off on our individual paths. Staff at the AL community had the apartment emptied of their furniture with astonishing efficiency. I, with the help of the head housekeeper, emptied all the drawers, and then spent time going through the unending paper while waiting for the movers to arrive. In some ways it was akin to what had been going on on the Island, but with far, far less finiancial impact:

  • Mom has kept every envelope from every card and letter she’s received. My eldest daughter sends mom a card every week. Mom’s been in AL for over 18 months. That’s 78ish envelopes right there. She has lots of friends that write to her… Probably 125 envelopes hit the recycle bin. 
  • Also recycled were a few months of the community’s daily activity announcements, which are given to every resident every day. These pieces of paper are obsolete at the end of each day.
  • All incoming correspondence was placed either in a drawer, in her lovely 36-drawer oak chest, or in a basket on the kitchen counter.
  • All blank cards, including stationary I gave her for her birthday in 2017, are in the drawer above. You know, logical. Oh sorry…
  • The scatter of post-its (a mere dozen), along with anything that could be construed as office supplies are in another drawer.
  • There were endless tiny notebooks that had lists of family phone numbers, and the television channels written down on maybe 5-7 pages. When I realized they were confusing duplicates of each other (because she forgets she’s already made the lists) I saved one for her, and tossed the others. This also confirms for me that mom has forgotten our landline phone number. She calls when she manages to find it, or perhaps, comes across it.
  • I found two laminated TV channel guides… They are now prominently set out next to the couch along side the TV guide and the PBS guide.
  • Mom has been saving the tiny plastic cups that are used to pass her meds. They are mostly gone, along with 3 used paper coffee cups, and magazines older than June of this year (including some from spring of 2017).
  • I found a card addressed to me. It was for Mother’s Day of this year. We were together over that weekend… It was a sweet card.
  • There were medical notes from doc appointments. They’re all removed now.
  • What I did not find, interestingly enough, were the letters from the state saying her driver’s license has been revoked. She probably found them at some point, read them, and thought, “This is bullshit” and threw them away. The pissy 13-year old in me will reseed these letters at some point.
  • A whole lot of years ago, mom’s Honda attack vehicle had to have the battery changed. One must have the radio code to get the sound system working after such a repair. It’s a security measure to keep sound systems from being stolen. We could never find the code after the batttery replacement. We combed the car and the house looking for the darn code. I found the card with the code in the apartment. Go figure.
  • A very old and yellowed copy of my dad’s social security card was in the apartment. I have it now.
As I found at both of mom’s homes, since my father’s death, there was zero rhyme or reason to how anything made from paper was stored. There were letters and cards in a basket underneath a collection of seriously dead tennis balls. So dead that the cards had ‘rubber fuzz’ on them. My mom is collecting actively degrading tennis balls that have lost their electric yellow nap. Likely castoffs from dogs who have far more taste in tennis ball than my mama does. This is part of what yesterday was about. More soon.

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