Sunday, September 5, 2010

Well and truly sandwiched

I am feeling well and truly sandwiched this week, hemmed in by children on one side and my mother on the other, with me as some sort of middle-aged spread in-between. Probably a vegemite-flavoured, peanut-buttery jam, with lots of lumps and bumps and other annoying wobbly bits. All rapidly approaching their use-by date. Ho hum.

What's making it a little more sandwichy than usual is that my mother has just sold her house, aka our family home, and bought a villa (not a unit, a villa) in a retirement village nearby. Which means that fifty-three years worth of life-in-the-one-place must now be sorted through. With each possession leeching nostalgia, and memories, and anecdotes. Then there's the house itself, where our family wrote life not just within the walls, but on them as well. From some scribbled writing across the bricks, which reads I. EVANS 1976 (see left), to the doorframe that charts the height of each of the grandchildren, this house - this home - quite literally framed our lives.

As for offspring, well one is planning a move from Canberra to Wollongong, while still trying to organise the collection of his car from Hobart, while another needs to have all her worldly goods collected from student accommodation by the end of today and stored until she sorts out new living arrangements. Oh, and she doesn't have a car. The third, currently enojoying a much-needed (her words, not mine) sleep-in (she started work last week - 2 x 3 hour shifts at McDonalds - must be exhausting), is about to head off to camp tomorrow so needs to be packed and organised at some stage. And did I mention that I'm taking my mother to the airport today as she's heading off to Europe for a month? Returning just two weeks before settlement? Who doesn't organise an overseas jaunt at the same time as putting their house on the market?

So yep, I'm well and truly sandwiched. And being spread fairly thinly at that (unfortunately the use of the word 'thin' is purely rhetorical). Mind you, I did find time to draw the little cartoon to the right (and also the one up above), which perfectly sums up how I feel. But now I'd better get moving, otherwise I'll be toast...