I still have "my" 7-ton Bay State dumpster but it will go away tomorrow, packed to the top with paper and all the rusty, filthy, moldy, rotting, infested, or decrepit things that made one of us say "Eewww!" as we cleared out my relative's house.
I'm so fond of that dumpster. I never imagined I would fall in love with a giant, rusting container. I suppose I actually love what it represents: a relatively uncluttered, navigable house. The place now looks like the home of a slovenly, aged academic; before it looked like a human-sized hamster cage, piled deep with papers instead of shavings.
Today, a pair of gentleman trash haulers showed up and removed the big, heavy, toxic, and more disgusting things that we ordinary folk couldn't handle. It was marvelous to see it all go. They also took away the photocopier — my relatives saw the light. It will be donated to someone who needs it and I hope it doesn't cause similar problems for her. I also gave the haulers my bicycle, which I've had since high school —my most recent set of wheels. Farewell, my orange Royce Union. How I enjoyed absent-mindedly running into cars with you....
The team of five cleaners arrived at 8 and started working their magic. It's going slowly because everything is filthy. The exterminator came and showed us many places where the mice came in. He began rattling off the species of the various infestations he'd discovered, including "acrobat ants." But not bed bugs. I was glad about that, because I got bitten five times under my clothes. He suspects spiders. God, I hope not.
Then it was time to go shopping. In the past two days, I've bought a ton of new stuff for the house. A mattress and box spring, bath towels, shower curtains, wastebaskets, kitchen tools, a toaster oven, area rugs and pads, toilet seats and toilet brushes, mouse-proof canisters, a step-stool, bed pillows, throw pillows, bedsheets, drawer and shelf liners, doormats, etc., etc. I'm still stymied by the odd-sized curtains I need for four different rooms by Friday. The idea is to spiff up the house without making it seem too unfamiliar to our relative, and to replace things that were a disgrace. There's also a grocery list that should fill at least two shopping carts.
Cleaning and exterminating continue tomorrow. And I have the day off. I'll go back on Thursday and Friday to put away dry cleaning and laundry, make up beds, and generally primp the place. On Friday afternoon, I'll get some flowers, bake something yummy and aromatic in the kitchen, put on some Chopin, and wire one of our famous Garden Club bows onto an evergreen wreath for the front door.
And then all HELL will likely break loose when my relative returns and sees our handiwork....