Sunday, December 19, 2010



've mentioned before that Mom is a hoarder.

When I moved back in last spring, the front door (which we rarely use) was completely blocked with boxes of stuff. Papers from two years ago, unmatched socks by the bag, boxes and bags from previously started and unfinished sorting attempts, and an empty video cabinet--while all the DVDs and VHS tapes are scattered around the room.

Once, the screen door locked as Mom and I were going outside to look at something, and we couldn't get back in. Dad was sleeping in the back, and my husband was sleeping in the basement. I went around to the front door and tried to open it. Push. Push. Push. Not enough movement to even get my head through the door.

I had my cell phone, so I tried calling my husband. He didn't answer. So, I called the house phone. Dad didn't answer. I rang the doorbell. Still no knight came to our rescue.

Finally, I pushed hard enough I could get my head through the door, and I hollered, "Dad!!!" He answered, and I told him we needed help. And at the same time, my husband came up the stairs. Finally, we were back in!

So, a few months later, I spent a lot of time emptying that corner, along with the rest of the room. Wow, did that feel nice! Being able to walk through the room and into the hallway rather than walking around through the kitchen. Not having boxes tumble down when their precarious position was perturbed.

Shortly after that, Mom wanted to move furniture around. I'm not sure why, but she decided she wanted the table moved from the dining area side of the kitchen into the back half of the living room. It's no further from the stove to the table, and I figured it would, if nothing else, keep Dad's oxygen hose from tripping us while we're cooking. So, I strapped on my weight belt and got cracking.

As we were trying to figure out where to place all the furniture, I mentioned that since we never use the front door, maybe we could put a piece of furniture in front of it.

"Heavens no! We use that door sometimes," Mom replied, indignantly.

I didn't mention the years the door was blocked before I cleared it out a few weeks prior.

"Oh really? When?" I asked, innocently.

"Well, sometimes people come up to that door and ring the doorbell."

"Huh. I don't know why they would, when the sidewalk comes up to the back door."

"Well, one time the {former, long-retired} newspaper editor's daughter and her boyfriend ran off the road, and they came up to our house to get help. She rang that doorbell."

"She did," Dad interjected. "And I pulled their car out with the old Chevy truck, and she always was real nice to me after that."

I did some mental processing of that information. The year the Chevy truck was traded for the Ford truck flashed through my mind. Then I processed the name of the woman who rang the bell.

She graduated when I was six.

And that was the last time the front doorbell was rung. Well, until I tried to get in when I was locked out the back door.

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