In Biblical times, cities built walls to keep the enemy out. Take a look at Buck’s photos to get the idea of how strong the walls were and how they were used. The Bible has stories of the Israelites rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem upon their return to the city after being enslaved by Babylon. The Israelites worked on the walls day and night often with tools in one hand and a sword in the other. Walls were important for defense.
I’m not going to say that the move this weekend was easy. It went smoothly in the physical sense. My brothers and sister were great to work with. My cousin Patti, who was my best friend growing up and maid of honor in my wedding, came to help. We all worked hard and had lots of laughs. Yes, there were some tears. My sister, Kathy, broke down when she saw Dad’s shoe-shine kit. I understood perfectly - Dad used to shine his shoes and us kid’s shoes getting us ready for church or school. It was a kit he had made himself. There were some things Mom wanted to throw out, but we could not part with - like the rocker that is older than all us siblings. There were no serious fights over any of the stuff. I did tease Kathy (the baby) that she could not have anything that Mom and Dad acquired before she was born, and that they had not bought much after she was born. At one point Kathy and I were digging through a drawer with all sorts of junk and lots of loose dominoes. I found the boxes for the dominoes and told Kathy that we should check to see if there were full sets - if not, we should throw them out. I collected white dominoes while she collected black. I found all but one domino for my set. With double meaning she said, “Looks like you are one domino short of a full set.” We both laughed until we had tears. Then I pointed out that she was several dominoes short of a full box, and we laughed some more.
The “not so easy part” was the decision making - what was to be kept, what was to be thrown out, what went in the garage sale, etc. It was also hard on Mom to get going, she just couldn’t seem to get started and make decisions. Although she was excited about her new house, and knows this to be a good move, the whole job of moving, the getting started, was just overwhelming. She had been sick recently and was still not up to par. Being the donkey that I am, I just start working and keep at it until the job is done. My sister is much the same, and we dove in. We started packing things to be moved and stacking “garage sale” items in the living room. We threw out anything that we thought was just garbage. My brothers and Toby were great and just jumped in too. Toby pointed out that it was obvious that my Dad had put in lots of time on my brothers because they looked around for what needed to be done and they did it without lots of questions or standing around.
Sometimes Mom did not agree with our decisions - several times we “discussed” decisions - sometimes she dug in the trash for something we had thrown out. Sometimes her decisions seemed just stubborn and unreasonable. It got where no one wanted to ask her if they could have something or keep something or throw something out for fear of making her mad. Example: my brother wanted an old stove that had set outside for years. It had no sentimental value to us, but he said he had a friend named Buck (look closely at the photo) who restores old stoves and would love to have the stove. My brother was afraid to ask Mom for the stove because she had been so obstinate on some of her decisions. We had one of those “you ask her, no, you ask her” moments. Craig finally asked her and she said no, she wanted that stove. I pointed out the reasons why Craig wanted it and how someone could make this a nice, useful stove again. Her answer, “I painted that stove twice.” I kept my mouth shut, but my thoughts were, “What the hell does that mean?” which was pretty much the way I was feeling about most of her decisions. When I start cussing, it is a sure sign that my walls are crumbling.
Sunday afternoon my walls were pretty much down. We finished moving things from the old house and went through the store house. Then we headed to the new house. While we unpacking at the new house, Toby asked if I was hungry, did I want something to eat, and I nearly broke down. Was I hungry? Should I stop and go eat? Should I stay and help Mom put away things in the new house? It seemed every decision I was making was wrong and I was just making Mom mad. She seemed so needy and yet she seemed so angry. So I stopped and went to eat with Toby. I cussed and repented. Then I decided that it was time for me to go home and let Mom fix her own house for a while. I will go back next weekend for the garage sale and help again. We all need to rest. She needs to adjustment. And I need to rebuild my walls.