Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Trouble with Procrastination

I've always been a firm believer in never putting off until tomorrow what one can put off until the day after. Unfortunately, like so much of my life, it doesn't work. So that's why, with a new blog due for tomorrow (with luck, the one you're reading now) I am sitting in Norm's rapidly-being-emptied-out condo, watching his thirty-nine years of possessions and memories and treasures being carted off to be put up for sale in a thrift shop--albeit a very worthy thrift shop. I knew full well I was going to be spending the better part of my day here, and should have gotten a nice, crisp new blog done yesterday. But yesterday I was very, very busy doing...uh...let's see...oh, yes...other things...instead.

There are still enough things left at the moment of my writing to be able to still see Norm here...his favorite chair, his dining room set, a Japanese wall screen I was unable to take off the wall because I couldn't lift my head high enough to see what I was doing. (And I'll bet you thought you were going to get through one blog without hearing me bewail my cruel fate, didn't you? Wrong.)

Anyway, when I talked to the people at the Brown Elephant, a subsidiary of Howard Brown Hospital, I told them they would need at least a 24 foot trailer to get it all. They showed up with a 14 foot trailer, which is the biggest they have. Oh, well, not my problem.

I've been rather surprised, considering that I'm--or rather, Norm is, by proxy--giving them more than $10,000 dollars in furniture, artwork, etc., that there are things they will not take: mattresses and pillows, which I sort of expected, but any...that's any...medical supplies, including walkers and never-once-used shower and bathtub chairs with the price tags still affixed? Or two perfectly good dehumidifiers ("microbes, you know")? Or any actual medications though they are in unopened boxes exactly as received from the pharmacies that were supplying him? And people are dying in third world countries because they do not have these things available to them.

I was truly surprised to learn they would not accept filing cabinets...the one in Norm's bedroom is practically brand new...on the basis that "filing cabinets don't sell." Excuse me? That rather ticked me off. If I'm giving you thousands of dollars worth of things, you'd think you could make an exception.

They also would not take a perfectly good, large 7-drawer dresser because the finish on the top was marred by Norm's having kept plants and sometimes spilled water on it. It isn't warped...just bleached in spots. Has no one heard of the word "Refinish?" Anybody willing to do it could do it easily. But no.

I now, when they have gone, will need to find someone else to come in and haul away what they refused to take.

I'd always heard that beggars can't be choosers, but since these people aren't exactly beggars (just beneficiaries of someone else's kindness) I guess they're exempt from the rule.

But shortly, within another couple of hours, if that, the condo will be all but empty and all traces of Norm's existence here will be gone. Then comes the selling of the condo, and the final financial accounting of all the money that's come in since Norm's death is balanced against the outstanding bills. (He was in and out of a nursing home several times during his last year, and when he would be taken from the nursing home to the hospital, his bills there would continue. When he left the last time, in early January, the nursing home billed him for "holding a room" for him, though they removed all his belongings and put them in plastic bags in a storage room. Yet they billed him just under $5,000 for "holding a room." The lawyer for the estate is having a little talk with them on that one.

But it will all be over at some point, and I will have written the blog you are reading now and many more. Though I would hope I might be able to write one or two of them in advance of when I have to have them. (I'm not holding my breath.)

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