On Friday we drove to Bismarck for one last assault on cleaning out my mother-in-law’s apartment. She’s now in assisted living, six blocks away from her old place. It’s reassuring to see her there, getting the care and attention she needs, three square meals a day, and a resident cat in the room next to her. She’ll do fine there.
Thanks to my cousin JC and my childhood friend we’ll call The Railroad Man, we managed to move her couch down four flights of stairs, onto a pickup, and into her new place. It was a bitch for three guys whose backs are all over the age of fifty five but we got it done. Say what you want about middle-aged men, we get the job done. The couch is in place, my wife hung pictures and arranged things, and MiL’s new digs look presentable.
Her former place was a mess. I would estimate that in a day and a half we must have tossed at least fifteen bags of what my MiL couldn’t part with but my wife considered trash. The Family Truckster is stuffed with what we didn’t move into the assisted living place ranging from an old hard hat to family photos to TV trays and on and on. It was exhausting to deal with all of this in a short period of time but we managed to do a satisfactory job. The church my friend and my cousin go to have been helping people who move here for the oil boom with just the clothes on their backs. They’ll take the bed and dresser to give to someone that doesn’t have one. Last week my cousin delivered an old love seat to a family that did not have a single thing to sit on in the living room of their apartment. So that bed will go to good use. We left the apartment in a mess but MiL assured us that Maintenance in her senior complex will deal with it. It left a bad taste in our mouths but we had no choice.
We left Bismarck well after supper time last night and pulled into our driveway a little after eleven pm. My wife went to bed. I unloaded only the essentials from the Truckster. This afternoon my wife is taking a nap with cats and I’m at my laptop. My arms and shoulders are tight but at least my back is OK. The left foot is swollen and just got back to a normal color. It’ll be a few days before I attempt getting on the treadmill.
I look out my living room window and the wind is strong, blowing around the snow we got a couple hours ago. I don’t regret driving home last night. My body will recover. My wife’s spirit will recover. But I think I’ll be a vigilant watchdog in making sure I don’t collect a ton of crap that my nephew has to deal with when I’m gone. He’ll thank me later.