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!

BobLee
  • Paul Coder Reply
    3 months 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.

    • BobLee Reply
      3 months ago

      On a Harley or a mid 60s Corvette ragtop or an MG roadster are other alternatives. 😳

  • Paul Coder Reply
    4 months 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.

    • BobLee Reply
      4 months ago

      “The game” … you mean the record-breaking SLAUGHTER In Dean’s Dome… or The Epic In Tampa?
      .
      “in your sister’s attic” … that is known in hoarder circles as the Sibling Solution. SHAME SHAME SHAME! 🙂

  • Gene in Carrboro Reply
    4 months 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

    • BobLee Reply
      4 months ago

      Lordy it was a beat-down. Has Frau Yow given Gott “the dreaded vote of confidence” yet?

    • NCSU68Grad Reply
      4 months 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 LYFT back to Raleigh. In addition, Dean Dome maintenance workers have inspected the corridors and the opponents locker room areas and Dennis Smith did not punch a hole in a wall or defile a door with his cranium.
      We got beat…that is all you can say. Even Les, Herb and Sydney tweeted….”And you thought we couldn’t coach…”. No word on AD Yow’s response to that tweet. Jimmy Fallon had a few one liners about it, but when the teleprompter broke he was forced to be his unassisted glib self and dipped into his tried and true one liners about Trump….and then blamed Putin for hacking the software…
      For the Record….I did NOT write, conspire or assist Karlita. That was funny….

      • BobLee Reply
        4 months ago

        FWIW… the coincidence of the postponement putting the game against an NFL Playoff game meant 95% of America did not see it. Whoever is getting the blame by WuffLoyalists be it Swofford, Gott, Bubba, Greg Fishel, Roy, “the Refs”, Frau or Rasheed Wallace… The World Outside a 50-mile Tobacco Road Bubble doesn’t care. Given the either/or of (A) Winning the FB game in Nov OR (B) Winning yesterday … which do you opt for?

  • Karlita Hess Reply
    4 months 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 of former NCSU basketball greats Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta to tonight’s contest.  Neither former player could be reached for comment.  UNC Coach Roy Williams said he was pleased with the decision and cautioned tonight’s officials to be vigilant in their officiating to diminish what he describes as, “the very scary, high-flying, shot-blocking, rim-hanging, and monster-dunking Wolfpack”.  Williams also complained to the ACC Commissioner that an independent investigation needed to be opened to determine just how N.C. State could assemble such talent and manage to keep them all eligible. 
     
    The ACC Commissioner’s Office stated that they would look into the rogue Wolfpack program prior to the rematch in Raleigh scheduled for February 15th.  As a show of good faith, the ACC Commissioner announced a new maximum height restriction of 83 inches in honor of the last N.C. State National Championship and effectively requiring N.C. State freshman Omer Yurtseven to play barefoot for tonight’s game.  N.C. State Coach Mark Gottfried immediately protested the height restriction decision, but was denied an appeal.  When interviewed in the pre-game presser, NCSU center Omer Yurtseven was quoted as saying “Barefoot or not I will play for the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack. I will play like the wolf with my pack!”   

    • NCSU68Grad Reply
      4 months ago

      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 was training records. When we walked into HR, the admin assistant looked up and said…”Lou, er Lois, is that you?”. They chatted and caught up on old times. The admin assistant had worked for many years in the NC Agency. After Lois left, she confided in me that Lois was actually Lou, a long time employee. He TG’ed and had surgery at, you guessed it….UNC, and afterwards, HER lawyer negotiated re-employment after the medical LOA. His-to-Her surgery was also covered by the NC Medical plan. That was in 1985 or so. I can’t recall if Lois used our potty….
      Absolutely TRUE….no embellisment…..NONE NEEDED.
      Lois was professional and very intelligent and knowledgeable. Can’t ever tell if KH will reappear. If he said that part of his “emotional outbursts” were caused by the anxiety of his TG suppressed personality and switched, I WOULD bet that Swofford would reinstate him….maybe promote him…
      I have watched a LOT of videos of Roy Cooper’s speeches and rallies and such. Lois, a face that I will never forget, does not appear to be in a “prime seat”.

  • Ben in MO Reply
    4 months 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…

    • BobLee Reply
      4 months ago

      An attic full of buggy whips & floppy disks ??

      • Former96Heel Reply
        4 months ago

        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 toys and clothes.

        • BobLee Reply
          4 months ago

          I had a similar situation with golf clubs. Leah did say ours was the first attic she had “done” without a single piece of “exercise equipment”. Attic declutterer HATE old treadmills and Exer bikes. I admitted we did have an old rowing machine up there at one point. … I strongly encourage the Blitz Approach versus the “Over Time” bit-by-bit method.

  • OldWuf Vet Reply
    4 months 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 a collectibles/antique guy and a F-I-L that has a basement and 3-car shed full (even saved old toilets). Both in extra innings

    • BobLee Reply
      4 months ago

      It’s whatever works for each family. In both my case and our daughter, its an only child situation so no sibling transfer of responsibility re: who gets to clean out the attic. It DEFINITELY is “facing one’s aging and mortality” and discarding the detritus reduces the size of one’s physical footprint on Earth. Lots of subconscious symbolism involved.

  • Larry.M Reply
    4 months 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. 🙂

    • BobLee Reply
      4 months ago

      Well … there was this time that Radio Shack (HQ in Ft Worth) booked the entire ranch for a national managers meeting and brought in The Beach Boys for a private concert. They wanted all “the characters” in costume mingling with the Shack people. Can’t recall if I was “Maverick”that night or if I “a wrangler” but I was wearing my Colt. Who knew that “gunslingers packing heat” were (are?) chick magnets but THEY ARE. Nothing “happened” but there were suggestions proposed throughout the evening. I did a lot of “thank you ma’m” and hat tipping to the risque compliments. Can’t hear a BB song to this day without recalling that night. I think the whole shebang went bust a few months later but I had moved to Las Hadas Mexico by then… more stories.

  • MB.Balt Reply
    4 months 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.

    • BobLee Reply
      4 months ago

      “Slow and gradual” versus “the declutter blitz” as we did are the two primary options. I can debate either side. But “waiting until ….” is the killer. “Until” usually arriving very inconveniently.

  • BB.Derm Reply
    4 months 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.

    • BobLee Reply
      4 months ago

      Everyone’s situation is a little bit different. Moving aged parents to Assisted Living (as we recently did with Blondie’s mom) offers a unique opportunity to get the declutter over with prior to formally losing the parent. When children are scattered and the spade work as to be done by “the local sibling” can get dicey. Decluttering is not a fun way to spend a day. After about an hour, you’ve had it for the day.

  • BC.PV Reply
    4 months 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!

    • BobLee Reply
      4 months ago

      It is not worth an intervention in 99% of cases. “Leave it to the kids to deal with” is most people strategy either consciously or subconsciously. Leah has a Cardinal Rule about “storage units” … it’s like quitting smoking by changing from cigarettes to cigars or a pipe. You just move the program with no solution.
      .
      Any extra base hit is a winner. Triples are fine any time. Hoping to work more in “this direction” as “stoopid sports crap” is too “stoopid”.

  • Doug Reply
    4 months 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 kit from the start. 😎 This time she actually thought it was funny and that even a dumb ass like me could be occasionally charming. I thought about tripling down and offering to take her to McDonalds for our anniversary dinner but did not, opting instead for the local version of The Angus Barn where I wined and dined her on Filet Mignon and Cold Duck. Remember Cold Duck? It was trendy in the late 70’s, early 80’s. Anyway, she still thinks I’m still occasionally OK going on 36 years after that first test gift.

    Hardly a month goes by without me telling someone that the best gift for your kids is an empty attic. Both my parents were Great Depression era kids. Everything was saved. Took me over a week to empty the attic and the two shops my dad built. I’d tell them that those 7 old Christmas wreaths would not feed anyone if the big bang or another depression hit but still they saved. Dad was the worst. Mom would try to get rid of stuff. She’d enlist me and tell me to put on my ruthless hat and throw it out. Turns out I was too ruthless for her tastes when it came to tossing so she’d enlist my sister to help despite the fact she was/is a far worse than dad ever was. My attic has nothing in it going on 5 years and will remain so as long as I draw a breath. Gotta run. Cricket is on NBCSHD. The Sydney Thunder Vs Melbourne Stars. Apparently grocery stores are selling a a lot on milk and bread today. I never have figured THAT one out. ❄︎❄︎❄︎☃️

    • BobLee Reply
      4 months ago

      The Empty Attic cult can become as obnoxious as AmWay and Cross-Fit cultists. Not as bad as Vegans though. We feel compelled to get EVERY Attic Empty. Empty Atticers and Hoarders don’t belong together AT ALL.

      • Doug Reply
        4 months ago

        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?

        • BobLee Reply
          4 months ago

          Actually I got those thru Amazon. Red Wing is HQed in Madison WI – Who Knew – and the pair we got him are the Cadillac of the line. Danny is a 6’5″ Jock/Hipster combo and, now, sporting THE Primo Brogans. They come with a Lifetime Warranty !!

  • MaryAnne.93 Reply
    4 months 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?

    • BobLee Reply
      4 months ago

      It is a new operation that opened a month or so ago out near Brier Creek and 540. The Triangle Shooting Academy. Think Big Luxurious Health Club for Gun Nuts !! You can “join” but its also open to the public. There is an indoor range where you can bring your own and simply rent time and target shoot or rent a pistol / attack gun / et al … pretty much anything Mitch Rapp or James Bond or Jack Bauer etc might carry. Very nice facility with a dining area, complete retail center, classrooms for CCP ….. Check It Out!

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