Monday, October 16, 2017

The Trailer

I am sorry I have disappeared off the face of the Earth like that.

Like most trailers that have been parked (as this one is in a trailer park) there's an addition built on to the side of the trailer proper. This one has three rooms, shotgun style. This is the first one, the entry.

I have been so busy I can barely breathe.

This is the second. We call this the bonus room. It is wired for a television cable. The junction box identifies it as the den. I have since painted the ceiling.

It started in mid-July with my Mom getting pneumonia--for the third time in the last twelve months. When she was released from hospital she was highly motivated to declutter and clear out her house. The doctors had also prescribed quite a high dose of prednisone to keep her lungs clear--and she used the energy and clear headedness it gave her to make the million and one decisions necessary. She asked me to help.

This is the third room, the "back bedroom." My sister's three year old son had this room. There was a lot of marker on the walls, the door and trim. I've painted the room, and door since this photo was taken.

I jumped.

Back at the entry, looking into the kitchen. 

We made excellent progress. It was all quite exciting and wonderful (we decluttered the living room and threw out masses of dvds and cds and I painted the room. We turned to the upstairs bathroom and tossed mountains of bath products and towels and I painted the room and the vanity and we reorganized closets (and I painted them, of course) and put up cupboards and shelves and painted some more....when suddenly, we had to stop.

The kitchen and the living room/dining room are essentially one big room. That's not"wallpaper" in the kitchen. Those are pre-printed wall panels. 

As the prednisone dose was being lowered to wean my Mom's body off of it--my sister broke up with her husband and left the house trailer she'd been living in with her two small children. They had been three months behind in rent to my Mom. They left a lot behind. I didn't understand the extent of it and welcomed a few weeks to myself as I let Mom sort things out.

Living/Dining from the kitchen

Living/Dining from the Living room window. It is not your imagination.The walls are different. 

But I was alarmed at the amount of things coming from the trailer into my mother's house every single day. And then as the leaves on the trees were turning, I realised Mom could not handle it herself. Breathing became more and more difficult. She started moving more slowly. She needed naps.

The hallway to the rest of the trailer. The walls are different, here too. 

So, I jumped.

This is the "first" bedroom. I have since repainted it. The door leads to the bathroom.

I have spent every single spare moment I have over there packing things up, sorting things into piles of garbage, recyclables, and donations. On my journey home (it's a half hour each way) I've been delivering an entire jeep stuffed full of things to Value Village. Today, I realized we've been cleaning up after my sister (and her family) for six solid weeks. I've painted two rooms and a door. Tomorrow, I paint a ceiling. We've replaced light fixtures, we've had to purchase curtain rods and blinds (my sister took those) and I still need to install them.

The bathroom has been updated by previous owners: but the layout is odd. The tub is opposite the toilet. The entry from the hallway is opposite the vanity at the foot of the tub.

We skipped Thanksgiving this year, too, so we could clean out the shed.

The laundry room is in the hallway outside the bathroom (the tub is right behind the machines) and main bedroom. Yes, they left a small load laundry in the hamper.

These pictures were taken when we had it almost ready for the cleaners at the beginning of October. Our plan is to rent it out for a while, at least a year, and then use those funds to spiff it up and sell it. Meanwhile, I have a lot to learn about how house trailers are constructed and how we can install an Ikea kitchen.

The main bedroom. It was renovated, (The ceiling is drywall and not the usual drop panel affair. There is no door.) The bed was left behind with no way to take it down. We're hoping the good folks at Ikea can advise us and give us the appropriate allen keys. 

Looking back down the hallway to the kitchen/dining room. The door on the right goes outside to a nice little deck.


Anonymous said...

If (when) sister/daughter comes back, would it be too much to ask for a very hefty cleaning fee and 3 months rent to be deposited up front---for your Mom's protection. However, family is dear to our mothers' hearts! So if that doesn't happen, I hope you and your Mom will take care of yourselves, and cut your losses where needed for your own health. Just my two cents worth. Wishing you and your Mom all the best. Linda

Unknown said...

Wow!You are the daughter we all want - at the ready to pitch in when needed. I am In my comfy chair aghast at your sister's behavior. You need a plan of action for future encounters with her.

Unknown said...

On a separate note your basement posts have inspired me.I am going thru stuff I haven't seen in years and mostly tossing and a bit recycling. 5 boxes/totes have gone. Much more to do as the basement is a 24 foot square of stash and dash and left over estate items. The garage will be the next big challenge.

Alana in Canada said...

Linda, Bonnie, thanks for your comments. The relationship my mother and sister have has always been rather one sided. My sister has been allowed to mistreat my mother for most of her life. But Mom has let her. For reasons I'd rather not discuss here, my mother has always been somewhat incapable of setting boundaries and sticking to them when it comes to my sister. I am doing my best to extricate my mother from other financial entanglements with her.

It's helpful and reassuring to hear your reactions. Sometimes the frog (that'd be me) can become unsure of just how hot the water really is when he's caught up in it all.

Good to hear about your basement Bonnie! And good luck with the garage.

t said...

Alana, No wonder you haven't been posting. Hopefully the renewed spaces in your home bring you some solace after having to deal with these stressful situations. Love from Connecticut!

Lisa @ Lisa Moves said...

oh, that sucks when a family member takes advantage. Your mom is lucky to have you to help her. Fingers crossed she feels better soon.

MMarie said...

Alana, your mum is VERY blessed to have you. You are a shining star for helping her so often and so much.

I somewhat feel your pain. When my parents passed away, I spent 29 14-hour days over the span of a summer to clean out their home of 49 years, basement, and 3 sheds. My older sister, a teacher, was off for the summer but helped very very little. I had to hire people to help, arranged some remodeling, used all my vacation hours, and lost time at work. I also had to travel by plane several states away to do all of this. My parents had left a note in their estate plan that I could have a small amount of money for the work I did. My sister had the gall to ask me not to pay my self so she could get more money from the house sale! (Then she worked out a plan that was "totally fair" where I would get about $5 an hour for my work!). My sister and I get along now but man was that a challenging time in our relationship!

So nice to read your updates, and receive your note :)


Alana in Canada said...

Thank you t, Lisa and Marie. Marie, your comment has inspired Mom to clear out even more from her home.She said to me, "I don't want you tohave to go through that and leave you with all this!" So thanks for that. It must have been very difficult.

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