Your Greatest Legacy could be….

Attic 1
BobLee
January05/ 2017

Your Greatest Legacy could be…

On that great gettin’ up morning when St Peter checks his ledger to decide yours truly’s greatest contributions to humankind, two nominees will surely make his Short List…

(1) “A Sleeping Giant Football Program is only as strong as its 3rd string offensive line.”
(2) “Parents’ Greatest Legacy to their children should be….. AN EMPTY ATTIC”
…. Not necessarily in that order

Yes, I know many of you will vote for “PDEW” and/or “Chancellor Chihuahua” or “TGU – The Great Unpleasantness”. Who knows what will indeed grace my tombstone… but yesterday “Greatest Legacy” became a reality.

For all of you wondering What does an Internet Legend give his wife of 32 years for Christmas? I can now answer that one:

Anyone thinking “a heated toilet seat” or “a wall-mounted ironing board” YOU LOSE. Those came during the Years 10-15 Era… and quickly became a permanent part of Family Lore.  The toilet seat and ironing board gifts were akin to The Butcher hiring John “Who” Blake. They all seemed like good ideas at the time but turned out to be otherwise. I digress….

I gave Blondie, and eventually Kid, A (Almost) EMPTY ATTIC.

Blondie and I have both reached the Age of Non-Accumulation. If Life can be compared to eating pistachios or Pringles, you will reach that point you just don’t want another one be it nut, chip or …. wristwatch, sweater, crockpot, espresso machine, et al.  There is NOTHING at Crate & Barrel or Williams Sonoma that “sends tingles down your leg”.  The phrase “what do you want for Christmas?” draws a quizzical blank.  Hey, we had already dodged the Hillary bullet.  What could top THAT?  It should be noted that newly-wedded Kid has NOT reached that stage of her life. Nor can she fathom ever doing so.

Bucky BadgerOf the 28 packages under our tree this past Christmas… three had my name in the TO line. One was a very cool Wisconsin Badger sweatshirt. Who knew that “Bucky Badger” is the spitting image of “Tuffy The Strutting Wuff”. Not sure who copied who but it IS the same artwork which makes life easier for Russell Wilson. In addition, I received two St Louis Cardinals’ wearables and a box of Toffee. …. and the traditional 4-pak of Fruit-of-the-Looms and my annual McGyver keyring multi-tool.

Two expertly-wrapped envelopes were To: Blondie. A repeat of those two afore-mentioned “great gift ideas at the time” was immediately discounted. Which did not prevent Kid from shooting new son-in-law “Prince Danny” a nervous glance. Danny was preoccupied lacing up his new Official Millennial Hipster Red Wing Brogans to notice.

Expertly-wrapped envelope #1 was …. Taaa Daaa – a picture of an (almost) Empty Attic.

NOTE: Yo “Princess Leah” here comes that BIG INFOMMERCIAL I promised… Leah

I had contracted with Raleigh’s Premier Organizer / Declutterer Service – Raleigh Green Gables to assure our Greatest Legacy to Kid…. An (almost) Empty Attic.

As a bustling metro area The Triangle has oodles of Organizers …. and Ashley Christensen restaurants. If you can’t book “Princess Leah” Friedman’s Raleigh Green Gables and have to settle for a lesser service, I’m sure you’ll be fine but, alas, never know that you missed The Princess Leah Experience.

WHOA BobLee…. Star Wars’ “Princess Leia” is “Leia” not “Leah”. …. Yeah, So?

Carrie Fisher is dead. Mamma Debbie is dead. Who’s going to sue me for designating a new “Princess Leah”. Besides, this is the Internet where “facts” and correct spelling are the first casualties in any discussion.

WHOA BobLee #2…. Why does she call her Organizer/Declutter Service – Raleigh Green Gables? “Anne of Green Gables” is her all-time favorite book. If I started an organizer/declutter service it would be Raleigh Watership Down. Personally, I think it’s because she has soooo much business that such an ambiguous corporate name gives her enough free time to train for Ironman Triathalons.

Yesterday (Wed) AM, Leah and very able assistant Shannon, arrived three minutes early at 8:57. Yes Leah, I did notice. We used those three minutes for “get-to-know” chit chat before diminutive Leah scurried up the fold-down steps to begin her declutterization of our attic.

For the next 5.5 hours, Leah and Shannon were whirling dervishes transferring 29 years of accumulated family detritus from our attic to our driveway.

Being naturally curious and sensing boffo column fodder in-progress… I learned everything there is to know why two UVa graduates, married to successful Jewish lawyers, become organizer/ declutterers…. while living the ITB life and training for IronMans and Tough Mudders.  Who knew you can “raise chickens” within Raleigh’s fabled prestige enclave ??

I have offered a lot of “suggestions” to y’all over the past 2,000 incredibly insightful commentaries. This is NOT a suggestion. This is a Gotta Do.

If you are a Baby Boomer, especially an empty-nest BB; or if you ever anticipate being a Gen-X empty-nester…. You have GOT TO hire Team Green Gables…. or whoever is a distant #2 in the local Organizer/Declutterer Biz.

Among my recently accumulated fount of knowledge about “decrapitizing an attic” is the following:

You and/or your spouse ARE a latent “hoarder”. Your attic / basement / garage / expensive storage unit is where you hide your addiction from prying eyes. In our case it is / was Blondie.

In “declutterizing” the term Ok, what about this? is the make/break moment. Unlike buying/selling real estate, in decluttering the homeowner is present during the process.   Similar to prostate exams and root canals… you must be alert despite the uncomfortableness of the process.

Who Knew:  When being “decluttered” you – the designated declutteree – are given three “You Idiot” cards that say I don’t know why.  I just thought we might need it someday.  When you use up your three cards and say that a 4th time, Princess Leah zaps you with a tazer.  OUCH!  I only said it once so Blondie got to use my two left-over “You Idiot” cards plus her own three.  So we still have nine wreaths and a plastic trash can full of old gift wrapping paper.  FWIW:  I used mine to save a pistol and holster I wore when I played “Bret Maverick” at a Dallas-area Dude Ranch back in ’81…. “we might need it someday”.

For the first 30 minutes, Blondie was reluctant to say “Go” as each box came down the fold-down steps on its journey to the pile o’ crap growing in the driveway. She had to examine every piece of detritus. The pain was comparable to Kid’s first day of kindergarten and leaving Kid The Freshman at her dorm at Mizzou in 2006. But as with all rites of passage, given time the pain does go away.

By the 45 minute mark… Blondie was fully on board – Go Go Go – and portions of our attic floor could be seen for the first time in over a decade.   As you can see from the photos… Our Greatest Legacy has been achieved.

Blondie sent pics to Kid in far-away Madison WI. Kid is a veteran of having to clean-out my mother attic a dozen years ago so she was not naïve to the significance of what had taken place. The thought of her and Danny (and our future grandkids) someday coming “home” having just eulogized which ever Blondie or I is around the longest…. and facing The Attic Fulla Crap has not fully set-in, nor should it… but Kid is pretty sharp…. for a millennial hipster who listens to waaaaay too much NPR.

That said… for parents to be considerate enough to provide This Greatest Legacy is akin to investing in your child orthodonture. No child “likes” the braces stage…. but when they are middle-age adults and encounter peers whose parents did NOT invest in orthodonture (i.e. clean out their attic) the more astute among them are grateful. Kid is nothing if not astute.

The Junk Doctors arrived and carried off two truckloads o’ crap. As Princess Leah and Shannon drove off into the Wednesday sunset… Blondie and I sat reflectively at the top of the fold-down stairs surveying the 95% empty floor.


Blondie finally asked…. “Did this cost as much as her braces?”.

“Not even close” I laughed. “Nor nearly as much as the six years of college plus seminary…. or the wedding”.

Wednesday night we had dinner at The Angus Barn with Prince Albert and The Henderson Hottie. I pointed to The Porterhouse and a case of wine and whispered “about that much”.  Blondie gave me a funny look. After 32 years, I’m used to that.

###

OK… you’re wondering what was in expertly-wrapped envelope #2 TO: Blondie.Target

What EVERY WOMAN really want ….. A $200 gift certificate to the Triangle Shooting Academy.

Blondie gets to try out everything from a Glock to an AK-47. VERY COOL!

What can I say? Us Internet Legends are hopeless romantics.

###

Now Call & Book Princess Leah at Raleigh Green Gables …. (919) 623-1160 – RIGHT NOW!

###

Those other 2,000  Incredible Commentaries – CLICK!

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Paul Coder
Paul Coder
3 years ago

You are 100% correct, Bob. Although my half dozen boxes in the corner pale in comparison to their 45 years accumulation in that house, I need to address this on my next visit east.
Lately, I have been having thoughts of one last epic cross-country road trip. I have been fortunate to have been on three. This would surely be the last one, and although a U-Haul trailer doesn’t comport with a Jack Kerouac-like image of being on the road and fancy free, it would get the job done.

Paul Coder
Paul Coder
3 years ago

I can’t bring myself to comment on the game.
But, I found that de-cluttering is much easier when you are relocating from Maryland to California and realize how expensive it is to ship stuff.
I made lots of decisions about what to keep, what to donate and what to toss. And, for the stuff I couldn’t decide about, they are now in boxes in my sister’s attic back in Maryland.

Gene in Carrboro
Gene in Carrboro
3 years ago

Looked more like the Whimpering Wuffies … What a world-class beat-down!
Can’t wait to go to work tomorrow! I’m sure the Russians did it … LOL

NCSU68Grad
NCSU68Grad
3 years ago

Let the word go forth throughout the land. The record setting defeat of the Pack by the Rams was not caused by Bobby Lutz stealing the defense plan and sharing it with Roy Williams. That is about the only plausible reason….but it did not happen. However, it is rumored that when Bobby left, he took the security codes for the plan and the mystical playbook can not be read nor comprehended by any of the coaching staff. Surveillance video from the Dean Dome cameras verify that Coach Gottfried was allowed back on the bus and not told to UBER or… Read more »

Karlita Hess
Karlita Hess
3 years ago

BREAKING FAKE NEWS FLASH – CNN Chapel Hill   The ACC Commissioner, in a joint announcement with the North Carolina Governor’s Office, has decided to lift the ban on ACC official Karl Hess after her completion of successful gender reassignment surgery last week at UNC Hospital’s Stockholm Center for Gender Identity Outreach.  “Karlita Hess transcends the boundaries of North Carolina gender stereotypes and I am confident she will lead the charge for HB2 opponents and restoration of ESPN sporting events promoting the ideals embraced by our UNC flagship university”, stated the Governor.    The ACC Commissioner also announced that he had revoked the tickets… Read more »

NCSU68Grad
NCSU68Grad
3 years ago
Reply to  Karlita Hess

Creative. Very nice. Enjoyed it….about the only humorous event from Chapel Hill Closer to truth that fiction. I was the Engineering Manager for a local company and was called to the reception area as we had a NC “Regulatory Agency” inspector there for a surprise visit. Her name was Lois. She was about BobLee’s size with more of a B J Anya physique. I thought, this is the (fill in the blank) woman I have ever seen. We toured the plant and I pulled out documentation. Got a LOT of strange looks from the workers. One of the checklist items… Read more »

Ben in MO
Ben in MO
3 years ago

It seems like we spend the first half of our lives accumulating stuff and the second half getting rid of it. My biggest single problem is that I have stuff that I no longer want or need, but neither does anyone else. I have brand new skis that predate the parabolic design, but that means nobody wants them even if I give them away. I hate to just throw stuff away if there’s any way someone can use it, but…

Former96Heel
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

Non-oversized drivers, and a few wooden baseball bats in my case, but I am holding on to the old forged blade irons. They sure helped me learn to shape a shot when I had time to invest in playing. The wooden bats from Legion ballboy days belong in a museum. Not in good enough condition to be worth anything, but yet not ‘trash’ enough to go to the dump either. Great read BL, I may take the advise and go hard and fast. I think I am going to need the space for all the kids items as the outgrow… Read more »

OldWuf Vet
OldWuf Vet
3 years ago

Funny how our accumulations force us to face our aging and mortality. I saved all those class notes and references from the struggle of veterinary school I had so diligently compiled. Figured would be a good reference(pre-computer days). Blinked. Realized that nearly all those notes/texts were obsolete. Reminds me of the Buffett song, “He Went to Paris”. “And all of the answers and all of the questions he locked in his attic one day; ‘Cause he liked the quiet, clean country living, And twenty more years slipped away.” I hear ya on the attic cleaning. Got a pop that is… Read more »

Larry.M
Larry.M
3 years ago

“… played Bret Maverick at a Dallas-area dude ranch.” I’m going out on a limb to bet there “some stories” from those days. 🙂

MB.Balt
MB.Balt
3 years ago

Good article BL. I am taking the long slow approach. We plan on moving back to NC in two
Years so I am fixing up and moving out slowly. I hope to hit the mark when it comes time to
List the house.

BB.Derm
BB.Derm
3 years ago

Excellent Christmas gift to Blondie. The empty attic is, indeed, the best gift to give. In her movings, Mom has managed to do a lot of that! Bless her. I told my brother that I dread the day when we have to clean out the house to sell it. The emotional side of it will be very tough, and making it easier will only help the situation.

BC.PV
BC.PV
3 years ago

BobLee,
I have a “Blondie” named Ann. Ann has never thrown anything away and our attic looks like the first photo of yours. Green Gables doesn’t work in PV but you have certainly given me food for thought.

I know you must tire of me saying how much I enjoy your writing. But, you always hit at least a triple but in most cases a home run. Thanks for the years of entertainment and some education.

Happy New Year!

Doug
Doug
3 years ago

Very cool column. On our first wedding anniversary I gave Mamamel an iron from Wal-Mart. The thinking was it’s been a year and if she divorces me over the iron it would be the least expensive time for it to happen and since she is still today a true PDEW and I still couldn’t believe she would actually marry me or stay married to me in the first place. She got really annoyed at the gift so I doubled down and went back and got her an ironing board and apologized for being so unthoughtful for not getting the whole… Read more »

Doug
Doug
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

A side bar to the Red Wings Brogans. About a month ago one of the rotating ads on BLS was a Nordstrom ad for $100 off said boots. I bit and purchased. Although way past the millennial stage I’ve owned Wolverines and Red Wings long before trendy was trendy. So there is an example of BLS ad (no pop-up) revenue. Did Nordstrom send you a handwritten thank you note?

MaryAnne.93
MaryAnne.93
3 years ago

OK, you are, as usual, dead-on about “a clean attic”. Any adult child who has had to deal with a deceased parent’s “attic full of stuff” can understand. I did… I do.
.
But I REALLY want to know about this Shooting Academy !!! Get to fire AK-47s …. YIKES! Whats the deal?

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