29 August 2011

Shifting sands

Summer is on the wane. I can sense it in the chill of the evenings (not to mention the chill of the wet days) and the mist I wipe from my car windows each early morning as I ride out with the dog to the park. The weeks are whizzing past and in less than three weeks I take Kay back north to start her third year at uni. It seems like yesterday she took her A-levels but so much has passed since - including Greg. These past two years have been like shifting sands with nothing staying constant for long.

First, my one and only chick left the nest and so did my husband all in a flash, leaving me to adjust to living in a large house on my own. True, I filled the long days with hectic activity, decorating everything in sight, partly because it badly needed doing after many years of drunken neglect (in fact far too many to contemplate) and partly to distract my solitude. Interspersed with that have been the drives to my mother's house some two hours away to do the same for her. Every day has had a schedule of things to do, so that I wake early and suddenly find it's bedtime again, with no chance to rest or or do me-things inbetween. Like a hamster on a wheel, I have pushed myself to do more and even more until there is nothing left to do for the day. There have been minor changes in all the rooms - mostly achievable with paint or the removal or introduction of a piece of furniture. Enough to make it different. And nicotine-clean for the first time in ages.

There is still loads to do in those weeks before Kay returns to uni... a lot involving her help in clearing the cellar. The height of the cellar is only about three feet, so you have to crawl on hands and knees and the area is about the size of our garage which is situated directly above it. This cellar is full from ceiling to roof with old toys, 20-year old cans of paint, boxes of newspapers and magazines, cat boxes, garden chairs, rusty electric heaters, and no doubt Lord Lucan and Shergar. Once I have fought my way (on hands and knees, remember) through the veils of cobwebs harbouring a thousand different spiders and have thrown out the relics of our past twenty years, I can make room for some of the stuff I have been clearing from other rooms but not wanted to part with, such as an old dolls house and all its furniture which my father made himself for Kay. Sentimentality still rules over ruthlessness at the end of the day but I try to be "out with the old, in with the new", whenever possible. As I say, it all a bit like shifting sands and it takes a bit of getting used to. Where I am heading now, I don't know. I just take a day at a time and let myself be washed around like a cork bobbing about in a great wide ocean.



Picture from familytraits.co.uk

12 comments:

Lydia said...

Excellent post; meaningful blog. I admire your whir of productive activity, while acknowledging that you need to slow down for some me-time. My reaction after losing my mother in 2000 was much more a paralysis, and I am still in the (slow) process of clearing the clutter/memories/things I now own but do not want.

Retiredandcrazy said...

I see you're on a mission too Addy. Ever thought of doing a car boot sale? :)

Kelloggsville said...

I could never crawl into something with such a low ceiling. I am also rubbish at getting rid of stuff. Hope you do bettervthan I would and you enjoy the memories you find.

Working Mum said...

Yes, I can feel that autumnal air as well. I've also been doing some clearing out; maybe it's the change of season that does it?

PS Can't believe it's Kay's third year at uni, I could have sworn she'd only done one!

Nora said...

It must be tough to clear out such a low cellar. I'm sure it's not a labor of love. Filling it with your own treasures will be though. Where do you get the energy?

foto-sh said...

love to read your words .. best to you .. not alway willing to comment ..it take s so much time by many blogs .. so please understand ..love fotosh

Flowerpot said...

What a beautiful picture and although I have no children I can empathise with how you are feeling. We all deal with losing our loved ones so differently which is a great thing I think. I go out a lot and have done so many different things but also need quiet time to myself. But I've found that life has come up with some amazing surprises since Pip died. Some good some not so good. But yes we have to take the days as they come. I try and enjoy them or at least learn from them. Take care Addy x

Kit Courteney said...

Ewww... that cellar sounds scary to me. I absolutely could not venture into unknown cobweb territory.

As above: 3rd year? I was convinced she'd only been away one year. See? My memory is crepe :O

Eliza said...

Wow, I don't know where you get your energy from! I can't believe how time has passed, 3rd year at Uni, they say time speeds up the older you get.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Keeping busy seems to be good therapy for many reasons and suddenly you are 2 years down the line! De-cluttering is also good (I don't envy you the cellar task though). You certainly seem to be coping but how are you now Addy. A x

Ellen said...

Being busy and de-cluttering can be very theraputic. I am sure you will be carried safely through these unknown waters and that a safe harbour with warm lights lies waiting for you not too far away.

Enjoy the last few weeks of the holidays with Kay and make sure you don't lose her in that cellar;)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

That's a beautiful picture. I don't think I could crawl in that cellar but they are fabulous places to store stuff.

Time has gone quickly these past two years.

CJ xx