When A Pitcher Lives With Hoarders


So close to the lake no leafy trees yet.

So close to the lake no leafy trees yet.

I’m not quite willing to say winter has truly decided to leave us and spring has arrived. But maybe it’s happening. I hope. At least I’m more optimistic than I’ve been though we did have some cold days and nights early last week.

It could have been worse. Areas of Wisconsin got over a foot of heavy snow, so much schools closed down for at least a day. When I heard that I was thankful for the dreary skies and sleety rain.

However, what has happened in the past few days allowed my hope to spring forth. Thus you have the photos of the few plants that have filled out and/or bloomed in the past day and a half. Aren’t they lovely? I had to take photos of them and post.

But to keep this in perspective our trees are being stubborn as you can see from these other photos. Sure the evergreens are green but they don’t count. We still have BARE LIMBS visible. We’ll need more than a few days of warmer temps and sunshine to have these trees leaf out.

But they're trying...

But they’re trying…

A few miles further inland the trees are now in leaf. In fact the magnolias are blooming. Ours has barely budded. I checked on my walk around.

What I also noticed which I guess is a sign of spring is the dandelions are out in full bloom and spreading fast. So are the weeds which are abundant. Why is it those nuisancey, nasty bits of vegetation manage to survive the worst of weather? (Okay, I’ll admit it…the only dandelions I ever loved were the ones my sons picked and gave to me before they learned how much work it was to get rid of them in the lawn.)

Yes, even in the plant world the forces of the “Evil Empire” rule far too often. 😦

Upon opening my garage door this morning...

Upon opening my garage door this morning…

While I’m on a rant of sorts, this past week made me face the fact I’ve been trying to avoid. Both my husband and our disabled son are hoarders. I finally bit the bullet and cleaned out the refrigerator. It took all day—mostly because my husband hoards leftovers in there and then he forgets about them. So a found many disgusting life forms gelatinous or furry and of varying putrid colors. I’d have to take breaks just from being on a sensory overload of horrid derivation. I lectured. He smiled and ignored all I said, I’m sure.

But that task did prepare me for dealing with my son’s living area.

As a vent dependent quadriplegic, my son is able only to move his head. Which means his caregivers and family must do everything for him. So if he hoards, that means we all contribute to it. So I guess I must count myself among them.

However, I’ve been on a rant about that. And it’s not easy to be on a rant against someone in his condition. Here’s the backstory. His living area needed new flooring. That meant I spent the whole week cleaning up, packing up, and finding places to put his “stuff.” (Think in my roomy living space because I’m not a hoarder).

For example, I uncovered 5 keyboards—none of them in use. Pieces of electronic equipment he doesn’t even know what he used to use them for—once upon a time. 1000s of CDs, DVDs, video tapes, cords, power cords, things I can’t put a name to because I don’t know what they are or what they might belong to. Neither does Steven.

In my garden. Just buds yesterday.

In my garden. Just buds yesterday.

Can I get rid of them? At least the duplicates and/or triplicates?

“No,” he answered.

Think broken stuff, unused clothing and old tennis shoes. Old magazines, file folders, cards. Just piled up.

So I asked again, “Can I get rid of this stuff?” and got the same answer. (Sorry, it’s going…and that will be another long and sullen day together.)

I know this is a control issue since he has no control over his body or his life. But still. From the dust on most of what I’ve moved around and carried upstairs, and eventually now to the dumpsters, he’s never looked at this stuff. In years. I mean major dust bunnies. Most of them as frightening as those alien life forms I found in the fridge.

Coral Bells made it through winter...

Coral Bells made it through winter…

I also know he’s inherited it from his father. So you understand this is a constant battle I fight.

Also you know what I’ll be doing next week. It will likely take me that long. I’d much prefer writing the beginning chapter/s of my next book where my main characters won’t have this flaw, though maybe a secondary one might. I’ve certainly got a lot of material to work with now.

Hope you have a great week.

I''m thinking spring and planting next...

I”m thinking spring and planting next…

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10 Comments on “When A Pitcher Lives With Hoarders”


  1. What lovely flowers have popped up, Casey. It IS coming. It’s just taking a bit more time that you’d like. I understand what you mean about family members who hoard and that would be all four of us! I save all the stuff my kids ever gave me, cards drawings, etc. Well, all that has to have a place and that’s in the house. AACK! And it seems everyone else around here is the same way. And I have a lot of knickyknackies and such. But it’s not like you can’t walk around. You can. We have a large house. But if it was all to disappear tomorrow I wouldn’t notice it was gone.
    Patti


  2. Casey, I think nature balances all in its domain. A pitcher should always live with a hoarder. They balance each other. My dad was a pitcher. If my mom didn’t keep him in check she believed he would throw one of us in the trash. And if he didn’t get in everyone’s hair over dust bunnies and clutter, we would have gladly lived like slobs.

    And so in vegetation. In an open field in Dutchess County there was a farmer who kept one open field to plant his corn. My uncle, the nut who rode a bike with a large basket until he was in his eighties … rolled out each spring to pick all the dandelions and take them back to his basement to make dandelion wine. One year the farmer was a week early and my uncle sulked all season about his wine. See, even weeds are good for something 🙂 And BTW in open woods and fields in mountains, “weeds” are actually wild flowers.

  3. Edie Ramer Says:

    It was beautiful out today. I have tons of cords and I have no idea what they belong to. I hate to throw them out because I have no idea when I might need them. It’s pathetic.


  4. Patti,

    Yes, spring is coming and I’m loving it. Tomorrow is predicted to be warmer.

    With storage space a premium in our home and two packrats in residence, I’ve been forced to be the one who pitches. Each year I get better.

    Have a great week. And thanks for stopping by.


  5. Florence,

    I agree a pitcher should live with a hoarder for the balance. But two takes things out of balance, right? So I have to be worth 2…at least that’s my reason and I’m sticking to it. 😉

    And yes about the wild flowers being weeds and also helpful. But I really don’t like dandelions just as I don’t like certain flowers. That’s me take. Dandelions can be other places but not in my garden or planters because they take over.

    Loved your story about the dandelion wine. Gee, you must be a storyteller, right? 😉

    Have a great week!


  6. Edie,

    And tomorrow is promised to be even better. How great is that after all this time. Sigh.

    I swear electronic paraphernalia like cords multiply faster than rabbits. Today my husband went through them and threw most of them out as unusable. Brave man, and not his usual habit so they really, really weren’t useful.

    Have a great and productive week.


  7. I admire your ability to move from one book to the next. Do you have an agent that does all the promoting stuff for you?

    I can’t find the energy to promote my book and work on my new one.

    As for the hoarder thing…my ex was one and I am not. I would constantly either throw or give away stuff, then fret whenever he would watch The Antiques Road Show. I lived in fear that he would say, “Hey, we’ve got one of those!” and I would have just gotten rid of it. 😉

    If you are going to have a hoarder in your next book and want to use that scene–feel free!


  8. Hi Lorna,

    No agent. I’ve had two but they were never able to sell my work so after a while we parted ways. Whatever promo gets done, I do. Of course, I could pay to have others do it but their fees are heftier than I’m willing to pay at the moment.

    Maybe someday.

    Don’t know if I’ll have a hoarder character in my next book but I don’t think so. A character like that doesn’t fit what I’m developing and by developing I don’t mean chapters or even pages. Just jottings on a legal pad but that’s how I start a project.

    Have a great week.

  9. Anne Parent Says:

    As we are cleaning out the house in preparation of a move, I’ve had to face the music that I’m a hoarder, too. But all of that is now changing since we are downsizing. I want to move into my new home with space, empty space. And hopefully I will have changed my bad habits to keep it from filling up.


  10. Anne,

    What I find amazing is the fact that with each year that passes, “things” are so much less important to me and I find it much easier to discard. I think the fact that I have no one really interested in inheriting treasures I was handed from previous generations and carefully maintained and treasured is part of the reason.


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