While the well-known historical version of D-Day is just around the corner, we have thirty days to our own personal twist of that get-it-done occasion. Perhaps ours should be called E-Day. There will be no invasion; we're evacuating...Wayne's dad's apartment, that is. And while there is an acknowledgement that his physical condition will prevent him from returning to it, the real impetus is financial. The plan is to have the apartment empty by the end of the month.
Like any good military operation, we did a little recon while we were there. It's a tiny little apartment really as the entire building was designed for senior living. Just four rooms, one of which is a bathroom. Don't let that fool you though; Wayne's mom was a pack rat...and I say that with love in my heart. She was a master at tucking stuff into drawers and closets and cabinets and shelves. Stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. It was never cluttering the living areas but still it will all have to be sorted and divided.
We brought home four moving boxes of scrapbooks, photos and family history-related paperwork. And a portable file box. And a giant storage binder of more scrapbook pages, photos and paperwork. The idea is to divide the scrapbook pages so each of the four boys' families get back the ones that relate to them, and that's mostly been done. Well, at least for the scrapbooks we brought home. There's probably six or eight more books stored in the cedar chest that we simply didn't have room for in the car.
There are, of course, a lot of scrapbook pages that might relate to two or more families or have photos of grandparents or other subjects that are near and dear to everyone's heart. There's an answer for that: A scanner. We'll be able to put scrapbook pages in the hands of their new owners by the end of the month; the scanning of photos and such, however, will take much longer.
So while I might have shook my head at the saving of what surely must have been 1,000 safety pins with the little ones all neatly pinned onto the larger ones, I'm loving her pack rat tendencies when it comes to photos, memorabilia and family history. We've found some real treasures. Like a photo of Wayne's grandfather and five of his brothers taken in 1917 we'd not seen before. And the paperwork where his other grandfather sold one of his patented inventions to Skelly Oil for $100 in 1944. Heck, she even had a photo of my 1990 Mazda Miata. I've always lamented the fact that somehow I never got a picture of that fun little red convertible. Now I have one along with a whole lot of other pictures and papers unique to the people and events of our lives and those who went before us.
Separating it all and getting it in a form that can be shared with everyone is going to be a task of epic proportion. My dining room looks a little like a war zone as we divide photos/family history memorabilia among the brothers, organize what goes back with us on the next trip to Kansas and separate what will need to be scanned. At this point I don't know if we're climbing the mountain of paperwork or being buried under the avalanche of it all. Right now just having a battle plan is enough.