3D Tetris

We spent the weekend cleaning out WiseMan's parent's home. It was quite an emotional weekend, as quite a lot of stuff had to be thrown out. WiseKid and WiseGirlfriend pitched in quite a lot, with WiseKid enjoying mowing the lawn on the riding mower first, followed by breaking down all the crumbling shelving coming in a close second.

WiseGirlfriend was very hesitant at first - they need stuff for their new household, but she didn't know my mother-in-law, and it felt strange to be digging through people's stuff. I told her that I understood, and there were exactly two things you could do with each piece you picked up: either decide to keep it for yourself or chuck it. Preferably sorted, so that the trash can be taken out with a minimum of cost. She asked over and over if she could have something until she finally learned: keep it for yourself or trash it.

We did have some exciting discoveries - and she was quick enough to see that this kind of stuff was important. Letters from father-in-law to mother-in-law from before they were married, underneath a ton of stockings; silver spoons in with the plastic ones; an old ID card of my mother-in-law from after the war was over (end of 45) that has a stamp on it that still carried a swastika.

Man, there was a lot of stuff to trash. I even approved trashing my 10 year's collection of "die tagesszeitung" that had spent the past 20+ years in the attic. I did keep the ones from when the Wall came down, though. But as came through in a conversation I had with a friend who was helping out: you have to let go at some point. And we really, really needed newspaper to pack glasses in and the used newspaper collection was just through the neighborhood Thursday. WiseKids will have the fanciest glassware on the block for people their age, but it was either take it or chuck it.

This morning then we had the game of 3D Tetris in the pouring rain. I had already decided that everyone else would have to take the train back so I could have the back seat folded down. WiseMan fretted all day yesterday that the stuff wouldn't fit in the car, I calmed him down, especially when the WiseKids decided not to take the mattresses with them that we had pitched (i.e. taken to the in-laws "just in case") 20 years ago.

I actually like this game - how much stuff can I get into the car and still be able to drive it? I have a netting I can put up so that I fill it to the roof. I also have two side mirrors to help me drive the thing. I was very proud of myself today: 6 crates, 2 boxes of crystal and china, a "Grandma-Porsche", our food box, a vacuum cleaner, the picture I bought in Sweden, a suitcase filled with china, our Sweden suitcase and my backpack, 2 coats and 2 down comforters (they squish nicely) plus assorted small stuff. At least in this Tetris game I have all the pieces in full view before I start.

The hard part was getting out WiseKids' stuff at their apartment without wrecking anything. But it worked. Now we have to unpack all the stuff here.... and maybe throw out our old, broken vacuum cleaner.

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