This house has an accumulation of things dating back to before 1957 when my parents bought it.  What's worse is that it has an accumulation of things from 4 generations and 6 households.  My mother's parents' things, my parents' things, my own things from when I lived alone, my brother's things from when he lived alone, and my husband's things from when he lived alone, and what we brought home from my father-in-law's after his death.  To be fair, the last two households don't account for much of the "stuff" around here.  More stuff seems to keep coming in. Not sure how with our reduced financial circumstances.

As long as my mother was alive, it was her house.  She had this vision of  the house as she and my father intended it.  Changing anything, getting rid of anything, was harder than getting  Sarah Palin to go away. My brother has now moved out, into his bride's house, which is about the size of a postage stamp.  They're building an addition, but ti's slow going.  Mostly because her own mother has moved here from Oklahoma, and my sister-in-law's time has been occupied by that instead of meeting with the architect, contractor, etc.  So most of his "stuff" is still here.

 If I look at the whole, it's overwhelming.  So I have adopted a "five minute burst" philosophy.  I spend five minutes doing what I can.  On good days, those bursts come close together.  On bad days, I might have as many as two bursts.  On the worst days, I have none.  I focus on the progress, not what remains to be done.  I realize most outsiders would walk into this house and see what has not been done. To the judgmental of those observers, I'd say "Spend five minutes HELPING rather than criticizing."  

The point of this little blog is this:  Is there an elderly, disabled, or both person in your life?  In your neighborhood?  Give them 5 minutes of help once a week. What a blessing it would be to me if just a handful of people gave me 5 minutes of help once a week.  A dozen people giving me 5 minutes a week is an hour of help.  It takes very little time to make a big impact in someone's life.  Look around.  Someone needs 5 minutes of your time.