Death’s Holding Tank – Part 1

AKA Port St. Lucie Florida, which is where I spent the first two weeks of February. I went with my parents to help take care of a family matter. My step father’s parents had a house there since the early 70’s. Jack’s step father passed away over a year ago and now his mother who is 96 is in a nursing home with advanced alzheimers. So it was left up to us to clean out their Florida home to get it ready for sale. We weren’t quite sure what we would be in for since it has taken over a year to clean out their 3 story farm house…they are still working on the out buildings waiting for the weather to break. Thank god they sold the place in Maine a few years ago!!!

We left ice laden Pennsylvania at 3am Friday Jan 30th and were relaxing in our beach front hotel in Daytona, FL by 6 that evening. Can you say Lead Foot! 🙂 This was the view from our room. We dined at Bubba Gump’s just a few blocks down A1A. All I have to say is Bourbon mahi mahi which was charbroiled cajun mahi mahi with bourbon sauce and shrimp served over mashed potatoes topped off with big beers made spending the day in the car so worth it! I LOVE food! The next morning we paid a visit to my grandmother, as an added bonus I got to see my Aunt and Uncle who lived in NY but now reside with my grandmother to help her with daily living. I haven’t seen my aunt and uncle since 92. I couldn’t believe how they have not changed a bit!

Shortly after noon we arrived at our destination. We cautiously entered the premises not sure what was going to be waiting for us on the other side. Man o man did we have some serious shit to tackle!!! First off we had to do some regular cleaning since the place had been sitting empty for a year. We also came to the conclusion that once you reach a certain age you just stop cleaning for one of two reasons. Either A. You are just so damn old you no longer care or have the physical ability or B. You are so damn old you just can’t see the dirt! Either way we started wiping cabinets, scrubbing counter tops, washing floors, vacuuming the shag carpets (once all the vacuum pieces were located, for some reason they were stashed throughout the house??) Then we started opening drawers and digging in closets…DAMN! You won’t even believe me if I told you what we were finding. Just imaging 40 years or serious pack ratting! I mean SERIOUS! They did not throw a single thing out! Living through the depression may have played a key roll but seriously! We are talking day planners from 1978, that is when I was born! Years of National Geographic magazines stacked on tables and on the floor. Anywhere you could stash, squeeze or wedge something, they did! Even burned out light bulbs were stuck back in the boxes and marked *No Good* then placed in the cabinet. WTF!?! Every time we found something that left us baffled, speechless and confused, like finding the emergency vegetarian meals stored under the bed, the only answer given was *burned out light bulbs*. It became our running joke…but honestly it really wasn’t that funny!

Sunday we took the day off and lounged poolside in the warm sunshine since Saturday was SO over whelming! 🙂 We spent the remainder of the week digging out and cleaning up. We took three Jam Packed car loads to goodwill! Friday was trash day, we ended up taking 37 bags of straight up trash out to the curb! No too bad considering that the farm had over 100!You can just see my mama’s head peaking out from behind the mound! Since we were in a 55 and over development most of the neighbors were in their mid 80’s on up…original home owners that purchased in the 1970’s. They have nothing better to do then watch ALL the activities of the neighborhood. If you sneeze they know! They would all comment and wonder where Libby and Dirk had all this stuff! They also mentioned how they would see us walking the loop everyday, wishing they still had that energy. The generation before my parents all had plans to move to Florida when they retired. It’s like they moved there to sit and wait to die…um yea, my parents are like no thanks!

Once we had the house out of the way it was time to play…and play we did! Sometimes it was a struggle to get out of the house since there were constantly accidents! Seriously we would hear sirens 6, 7 ,8 times a day, everyday! Old fuckers just running into each other left and right…it was like geriatric bumper cars! My step dad was worried we were going to get hit, especially since our neighbors, who were down from Canada (snow birds, aye) the husband was T-boned leaving the development…some old lady in an SUV ran a red light and plowed right into him! Thankfully he was OK, just minor injuries! Seriously every time we left to go somewhere, my mom drove and I was on Buick patrol…that is the white hair assault vehicle of choice, I shit you not!!! Thankfully we didn’t have an encounters!

A few highlights from our touristic adventures in Fort Pierce, which was the original home of the Navy Seals, also home to the Manatee Observation Center, the 7 Gables House and A.E.Backus Museum. This was a weather vein sculpture constructed out of recyclables/trash…it really worked too!These were the only manatees I observed up close…My mom and I also spent some time at Jensen beach where we both purchased some kick ass new pottery!!!I will continue the rest of my post tomorrow since I have lots more *interesting* things so share as well as a wildlife photo adventure! To give you a few hints as to what’s to come, just think alligators and cup cakes, tattletale mobile and lawn ornaments…that’s when I dish out the real good stuff! 🙂

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One response to “Death’s Holding Tank – Part 1

  1. I have to tell you that the broken lightbulbs marked “No Good” made me chuckle. That, and the fact that you were in constant danger of platinum-haired busybodies.My friend Lynda lives in Port St. Lucie and she taught at Jensen Beach High School. Really cool place. I’d love to visit again.

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