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  • Only yesterday did we work up the courage to sell a good amount of everything we've ever owned. It was a hard move, but the right one. Our tiny apartment was never intended to support a family with six pets for fifteen years; and it's done a good job. But of course, it's not like we didn't corupt the place with junk over the years. For as long as I can remember, mom has irritably complained about being choked inside our stuffy home. She has always wanted space. Always needed cleaness. She has lived through four generations of birds, three gerbils, and now two cats who don't exactly keep the place clean. mom was taught to use what you have, and keep on using it until you have nothing. I see her wince at every new purchase my dad comes home with. And I partially agree; we could live for years on the stuff floating around in the house. Mom has always done her best to keep our small living space in tip-top shape, and I admire her for that. She never got the dream house that she deserves so badly, with all the space and sparkle she could ever want. She has always made due with what she had. Always and always. Since the moment she was born. And so mom's stuck here in this little apartment with eight other beating hearts, and sometimes she can go the least bit crazy. She gets in a mood where she feels a bit more stuck then usual. So she does what she does best; she cleans. Scrubs everything in sight. Anything to reduce the clutter we live in. That is when you want to stay out of her way.
    At the same time, though, she takes care of us. She loves us and supports us and helps us while leading her own life at the same time. There was never a better mother. She has always deserved a reward. So, some time ago, we got the house painted. The sratched, chiped, dirty walls added nothing to our living space. They were just another thing to not look at and attend to at some point in time. And we got to that point in time, finally. The walls are refreshed and are pretty to look at. One step toward a cleaner house and lifestyle. of course, it didn't happen in a snap, no matter how much we thought it would. The painting droned on for a month. Room by room, day by day. Until finally, it was over, just like that. But it was hardy the end of our makeover. Mother has always liked getting things done, and next she got our butts off the ground and our hands moving. She ordered us to sort through our things. As you may have guessed, we have a good supply of things. too many things. Too many toys, too many books, too many socks, to many little gadgets. Over time, we worked our way back through our history, finding things we considered lost, and documents we never knew we had. That's the good thing about sorting through things. You never know what you'll find. Dad fount a copy of his grandfather's and great-grandfather's biographies by shuffling around the basement. I found a glass cat ornament I've been looking for for years. Some things were kept, other things we hauled down to the basement where all the things we didn't know what to do with were stored. Mom was beginning to feel better. Things were getting done. Space was opening up. And now that yardsale I talked about earlier was here. One day we were taping signs around in the freezing cold; the next, hauling bulging boxes from the dark basement onto the frost-bitten yard. As you can imagine, people can get attached to the things they own. I winced every time one of my old stuffed animals was taken in the arms of a child and taken off to an uncertain fate. But it would all turn out good in the end, I told myself, It will all turn out good in the end. That morning's traffic was busier then usual, everybody bustling to get to the pumkin fair at the Church just up the road. Just as we'd planned. Curious about our junk, people came one by one to examine our possessions.
    That morning was crisp. We brought out a large pot of warm apple cider sprinkled with cloves and cinnamon to draw in people from the street. A friend came in from down the street, asking if he could help and claiming he was a good salesmen. The sale lasted four hours. Sometimes there was a large group shuffling around our yard, sometimes not a being in sight for half an hour or so. And i'll tell you, it was the strangest feeling when someone walked away, disinterested in our stuff. It kind of hurt. like a Cheff who sees a person turn their nose up at his food. I felt like our possessions were not appreciated, not up to standards. But we got rid of a good amount of stuff that morning. A girl skipped away happily with the cat I had gotten in Turkey. A man went home with a good pair of binoculars. An Italian woman walked away with a Ravioli cooking pan, And a woman drove off with my old life-sized dog companion I named Walt in the front seat.
    Maybe mom's wish will come true after all.
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