Brittany & Travis's apartment took a few more days to dry...then the great belonging migration began. Brittany & Travis spent days wading through waist high water salvaging everything they could out of their house in bags and then hauling it upstairs at my house. Our upstairs was already pretty full of irreplaceable treasures & now would be filled to the brim with every single thing from their home that did not touch water. Things under water that were salvable formed a "need to be disinfected" pile, and other things like small appliances lined up on tables to be assessed later. Brittany said after days & days of this type of work "This makes me want to have nothing and live in a tiny house."
I dare to say that everyone affected by this flood was confronted with various levels of "hoarding."
My hubby went on the war path months ago declaring that 50% of the stuff in our house needed to go! Before the storm hit I had just begun a "purge" however, the reality of his declaration and my purge style has a gap as big as the Grand Canyon. He is an Englishman who grew up with small cars, small closets, small grocery stores, & very small refrigerators. I grew up in the wide open spaces of Texas with a mammoth size family station wagon, grocery stores the size of football fields, and "let's make a quadruple batch of snickerdoodle Sundays"
*(recipe to snickerdoodles just in case:):):)
Michael & I do not see eye to eye on what constitutes too much stuff...hahahaha
Anyway...back to the story. Brittany's belongings went to my upstairs, more of my stuff went upstairs where Michael & I are living. I was thrilled when they could begin to move their belongings to Nellie's Cottage which would be their new home. Thrilled! Until I realized that everything in Nellie's, Flossy's, & Kimberly's (all of my retreat spaces) would then need to be moved. 24 twin beds, 24 comforters & 24 sets of sheets, 24 fans, 24 folding tables & 24 lamps, 24 rolling chairs, 2 fully furnished kitchens & one kitchenette of dish & cookware, 4 furnished bathrooms, 3 embellished porches....oh my holy stuff!
Nellie's Cottage has been a fully furnished retreat venue for 7 years. Every wall & surface was decorated cottage shabby chic style and it all needed to go somewhere to make room for Brittany's household. Where you ask? Yep...it would all make the migration to my torn apart, piled up, trail through the house...home.
Belongings, glorious belongings. Oh! we have them all right. Some are necessary for sustaining life, others for comfort or celebrations, some because we DIY everything, and some "because we can't pass up the fluffy grey pillow at Marshall's because it will look like a dream on my new bed!"
Belongings become liabilities in disasters.
They are a burden to salvage, pack, shift, migrate, haul, unpack, & put away again. In our defense we are talking about belongings from 2 households and 3 retreat cottages and a small scrapbook store!
Will we change our ways?
Will we share what is packed in our closets & drawers with those who have lost everything?
I pledge to do just that.
Will you join me?
My new goal is to not end up on one of those horrific hoarder shows...and it begins now...well maybe right after one more trip to Marshalls...hahahaha!