Sunday, September 14, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For - The Sequel

Hi, everybody -

Well, last Sunday, September 7, we had one "last hurrah" sale at the apartment I have been cleaning out. Believe it or not, it was still packed with stuff, despite having repeated sales, give-aways, and donations to charity. It was so sad to see the wreckage everywhere from our hard work. The kitchen was still full of things:

Although most of the pots and pans had gone as a give-away from an ad I placed in freecyclenyc, as had the dozens of plants!

"Murray's room" , which had been absolutely impassable when we first when it, was so crowded that I could only back up enough to take pictures of one wall:

After moving mountains of junk, it looked like this:

The antique Singer sewing machine in the foreground fell apart in my hands when my husband and I moved it to the bare bedroom, but we managed to get the antique desk out of the corner. It was donated to charity, and I gave away the huge, beautiful drafting table and chair that had partly blocked the window. The huge bookcase in the back of the photo remains, as far as I know.

Despite giving away a total of 38 black garbage bags of clothing, by the time we had to surrender the keys to the landlord, there were still more than fifteen bags:

As well as clothing still in the closets:

One bright spot, on that last, awful, sad day, was the help of a young girl who lived on the floor below. She found it all fascinating, so as a present, I let her take this large sculpture, which she had fallen in love with:

The piano, a wrought iron table and chairs, and mountains of other things were left behind...there was simply too much to dispose of. I packed the personal photos and mementoes for the brother who hired me into huge bins, which my husband carried down to his car. There were two walkers, one of which I gave to an elderly neighbor who lives upstairs.

One thing had puzzled me, though. The surviving brother would demand, "Did you find the silver?" (Yes) "Did you find the black and white pearls?" (Reluctantly, yes) "Did you find the money??" Over and over he asked me that question, but I had no idea what he was talking about. Other than loose change, there was no money to be found.

Then yesterday, I was riding uptown on the bus with another elderly neighbor who used to know the deceased and her husband. "Oh, yes," he said, "I used to go there for drinks, and Murray would brag about how he had this big stash of money hidden in a secret place, because you never knew when you would need cash fast."

I stared at him. "Where were you three weeks ago?" I asked.

"You know these old Jewish people, they hide their money in the plants," he said, chuckling. "Our old super used to go for the plants as soon as the tenant died, and he always found it!"

"I gave away all of the plants," I said, feeling my stomach clench. "Somebody got a bonanza. I just hope they found it."

Later that afternoon, I realized that it didn't make any difference that the money had actually existed, and that I never found it. Whoever finds it will probably need it. And my apartment is filled with the most spectacular, high-end vintage I have ever owned. And I made some money myself by selling so much stuff out of the apartment (the brother and I agreed to a 50/50 split), and by getting an Ebay Trading Assistant.

But DAMN! Where was he three weeks ago!

Oh well, it's only money. Isn't it?


1 comment:

Carol@Dandelion Vintage said...

Clean-outs are a nightmare, but so much fun. It's alot of work, but you're doing a good thing.