There comes a time, when faced with a large and daunting job with a limited timetable that one alternately faces despair and satisfaction. First, it's when you show up the day after 90% of the apartment is cleared out -- all the big pieces and hundreds of pounds of clothes, dishes, books, etc. -- and you can't quite figure out what needs to be sorted, what someone was going to take, what's to be disposed of, and just how much of the stuff you've assigned yourself to take is actually going to fit in the Bravada. You can't quite stuff it to the gills because you still have the suitcase and gear at the hotel to load up when you leave in a day or two.
And you're alone. The kind volunteers who are going to help you -- or rather help their friend one last time -- haven't arrived. And you don't know where to start.
But then the help arrives and things are being moved. And the rooms are cleared one by one. And the Bravada is loaded and it will fit. And maybe. just maybe this is going to work.
And out of the blue someone shows up, but it isn't the person you just met the other night who was going to help clean, but an old friend and roommate of Wendy's. And who just found about out Wendy today and still came over to help clean the place. Without having found an address book, I know there are people in Wendy's life who don't know she's died. And I was so glad this person came.
Sometimes getting that second or even third wind is hard. But then you suddenly discover that there is nothing left to do. That it's all done. And you managed to get the rooms done that didn't have lamps done before the daylight left. And you can turn out the lights and close the door. And use the key for one last time.
Any house or apartment begins to look sad as it is emptied out. Just as there's a magic point in moving in where an empty space suddenly becomes a home. Or at least looks habitable. Late in the afternoon a U-Haul truck showed up and some young guy began moving into an apartment downstairs. He was an entrepreneur who decided to leave his fancy trendy apartment and pay a lower rent to save money to buy something. His crew were organized and he had plenty of help. There was a symmetry to this and the moving in raised the energy level in the neighborhood and people passed carrying things in opposite directions, chatting and, for some, sharing smokes.
We had three of the four guys from yesterday working today for a number of hours. We'd given them the cans and dried goods from the kitchen yesterday -- today they were going to take the unopened food from the refrigerator. But it got forgotten.
So we invited the new neighbor to come upstairs and load up on whatever he wanted. Actually there was a chilled bottle of Riesling which we sent downstairs as sort of a housewarming present first. Yes there was a lot of stuff we ultimately threw away, but so much stuff which found or will find a new home.
A job well done.