Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Rise of BOGOYOLO

      Okay, suffice it to say this is more of a satirical post, written to wring empathy from any male I can.  Of course part of the process of helping Mom straighten up, clean up, and reduce the amount of clutter accumulated over the oh so many years of living in our home would be the inevitable 'Garage Sale'.  Barb and I have visited literally hundreds of these over the years, but in all honesty have never held one ourselves.  Yeah, amazing isn't it?  22 years in the Air Force, 20 more teaching, moving all over the planet and we've never 'been there, done that'. 
      We've been at Mom's for about 11 weeks now and all the 'prep' has been done.  Thanks solely to my wife Barb all the closets, spare bedrooms, workshop, garage, and storage building have been cleaned out.  The years of old documents/tax returns have been shredded, and load upon load of trash and Dad's old paint/chemicals hauled to the dump.  I watched as the pile of 'stuff' grew weekly in Dad's workshop area, spreading into 2 rooms, hoping it would eventually be the resultant end of some plan.  Little did I know that my bride was very much in her element here.........Dr. Jekyl nurturing Mr. Hyde right before my eyes.  The beast began to stir.....
      Admittedly this has been a bit hard on Mom.  Her home for so many years, yet no less so on me.......yeah, you know what I'm saying.  Even my cooking doesn't cure everything.  Barb is the best woman any man could hope for.  We are also very fortunate to have a dear friend from high school that helped us with much of this to include dump trailers, tables, pricing, setup, and general support.  Mom's friend and neighbor, Rosalie, volunteered to contribute/help out too.  For a day my faith in humanity was saved. 
     Setup occurred several days before the sale, including table setup, pricing, advertising via Craig's List, yard signs, and newspaper ads.  Rosalie and Wilma's experience and pricing skills proved invaluable.  I really appreciated her husband John who was a tremendous help loading out the rest of the stuff plus helping me price tools and 'man stuff'.  It was a little sad watching Mom walk around browsing stuff she hadn't seen for so many years.  Barb, Wilma, and Rosalie were of great comfort to her.  The beast, however, was now fully awake. It was looking for Tokyo.
In order to keep the beast somewhat under control I had even made a pretty thorough flow chart and list as what needed to be done or obtained and when.  However, since women are normally the 'Great Organizers' when it comes to lists........they didn't need mine. Uh oh.....
      We had tables spread throughout mom's patio, yard, and the garage as well.  Not that I mind, but my role throughout most of this has been 'Gofer'.  You know the drill.  I did have one pretty innovative idea about a 'full wet bar' for the shoppers, but that seemed to get shot down as quickly as a Naked Pig Roast in the Middle East.  Heck, I didn't even know a permit might be needed for this silly event.  Good thing we didn't.  When the day of the sale arrived I don't know what anyone else expected, but against all testosterone driven odds the sun did come up.  The beast, however, had already arrived......

The Three Amigos
      Well, at least for now this beast has been slain.  The damage to my man card was minimal and the screams have subsided.  Tokyo is safe.  We'll have a small service and then haul the rest of the carcass to the dump in a couple of days.  No Evergreen College protestors or Spotted Owls were harmed during this and no Safe Zones violated.                           
      In all seriousness it was a very well planned and executed sale.  I certainly did appreciate the efforts of my entire crew.  In fact Wilma's husband, John returned to help me with tool management.  That boy could sell ice to an eskimo.  Under such stressful situations my leadership skills astound me, but seem to escape the ladies.  Seriously, once again my wife continues to amaze me.  Her warm spirit and selfless heart have really risen to the top this summer.  I salute my friends for pitching in and making Mom's day less stressful and even a little more fun.  I love you all.  The weather was beautiful, in fact it was a warm summer weekend with most of the Department of Tool Sales Management (me) seeking shade and ice tea.  In the end we cleared just short of $12,174,804.  We did set our sights on making a significant impact on the National Debt, but after Mom's 99% profit margin we'll donate the remainder to our favorite charity.......Helping Rich Hilts Age a Bit More Gracefully while hauling more loads to the dump.  The Summer of Altruism continues........Joie de Vivre. 

"Anytime women come together with a collective intention, it's a powerful thing.  Whether it's sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book,  around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens."                                                                                  
       Phylicia Rashad
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

And the Oscar for BEST MOTHER goes to.......

      How can I be home for an entire summer and not celebrate the woman I love the most on her special day?  One of the best, yet most unexpected parts of my own growing older is the onslaught of memories I would begin to experience as my mother grew older.  This summer has been a personal enigma all it's own.  I have experienced the gamut of emotions throughout this visit and I DO MEAN the gamut.  This is not to infer anything selfish because I am sure this is the same gamut Mom has used when describing dealing with me her entire life.  Ok, I have used the word 'gamut' enough.  Moving on.  I have always thought my Mom was stunningly beautiful at a young age.  The older black and white photography really brings out the best in people.  Over the many years later wisdom has made her just perfect. 
     We have spent so much time this summer downsizing Mom and ferrying her to the numerous medical appointments it was time for a celebration.  Barb had an idea for the meal so when my sister Deb decided she would come up from Oregon the party just kind of took on a life of it's own.  In fact we got a 'late surprise' when my youngest sister, Mary, traveled all the way from Iowa for the celebration as well.  This would be the first time all of us have been together for many, many years.  I had high hopes yet fingers crossed.   
      Barb has been wanting to make her famous lasagna and this met with hearty approval from the rest of us.  She wanted to make enough to feed all of us and plenty of leftovers for Mom's freezer as well.  In case the garrisoned troops at Fort Lewis showed up we still might not be hurting.  I'm not posting the recipe for the lasagna as it is already the topic of a blog entry on January 12, 2014.  Nor will it take a DeLorean or Marty McFly to get there, just address the Blog Contents Bar on the right side. 
      This year Mom turns an indiscriminate chronological age that if I post......well ok, I won't.  Let's just say she has more accumulated knowledge and experience than the rest of us at the table combined, probably due to dealing with the rest of us at the table.  Mom didn't want a big cake with SO MANY candles flaming;  just a table full of family and friends celebrating.  Mom did decide on two smaller cakes which we had made for us.  I realize that Barb has made this dish many times before, but forgot that the grocery shopping alone is a saga in itself.  Just the right Kielbasa, Pepperoni, Smoked Sausage, Burger, Roll Sausage, Tomato Sauce and Paste, Swiss, Cottage, Mozzarella, and Cheddar Cheeses, and of course.......fresh lasagna noodles (not the dry ready to bake crap as the chef herself states).  Yes, this is Meat Lovers Lasagna.  Barb made two large dishes (and one small one for Mom to freeze) of lasagna.  Plenty to eat and plenty of leftovers as well. 
It was a wonderful dinner on quite a warm day.  Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Salad, friends, and family.  Is there anything better?  The summer of altruism continues.  Joie de Vivre 

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in
life to celebrate"                                                                              
       Oprah Winfrey

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