Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Treasury

We weren't even looking for it, you know; what we were trying to find last Friday was a little grey kitten who was late for her doctor's appointment. But when Tara removed a jumbled woodpile from the little hollow under the breezeway stairs and peered in, this is what she saw:

In Tara's* own words:

"At first I could see nothing, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the space within emerged slowly from the mist, strange shapes, metal, and rust—everywhere the glint of rust.

"For the moment—an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by—I was struck dumb with amazement, and when my sister, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, 'Yes, terrible things...'"

Yes, it was yet another jumbled pile of rusty hunks of rusty rust; this find, this treasure was made up of several metal drawers (quelle surprise) full to the brim with bolts (again, quelle surprise), with some copper and brass thrown in which we surmised had been left from when the pipes in the cellar got redone. Tara seemed to have a vague inkling of the stuff having been put there somewhere around 2003, though I didn't remember it; but given that that's just the kind of information I resent using up my precious brainspace, I can't say it particularly bothers me that I successfully repressed it.

And even though it didn't really look like a whole lot of stuff, it was really quite dense, and man, hauling that crap around on a hot day like today (though I hear tomorrow is supposed to be worse) sure worked up a sweat, oy. Here's the butt-end of Larry, per usual:

Doesn't look like all that much, does it?

All told though it came to a whopping 1180 pounds of scrap iron; with the brass, copper and aluminum bits added in, it weighed just over 1200 pounds. Poor Larry. He's a very good car, that Larry the Volvo station waggon.

So that was our thirty-sixth trip to the scrapyard; and our total of scrap iron removed from the property (since we've gotten receipts from the scrapyard, which isn't all of it, since we took numerous car loads before that just to the dump) now stands at 31,820 pounds, or 15.91 tons. And yes, of course, there is still more.

The little grey kitten, by the way, is healing quite well and is quite lively and vigorous. I've been bottle-feeding her and have begun weaning her (she's four weeks old even today). There is one thing, though—she may actually be a he. Hard to tell, still; s/he's just so teeny!

*Well, okay, maybe not Tara's words so much as Howard Carter's. Details.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

15.91 tons? You know what this means, don't you? Only .9 of a ton to go and you can sing your own personal version of Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons." A classic in so many ways!

Thalia said...

Wait. Is that a country song? Speaking of things on which I don't want to waste precious brainspace...

(Sorry, I hate hate hate country music. Well, okay, I got my brain around Mike Nesmith's solo stuff, but it took a LOT of work.)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Well, technically it's a folk song about life in the coal mines. It's usually performed in a folk, country, rock or blues style.

Tara said...

We could make the requisite Monty python 16 ton weight with it!

Anonymous said...

But what's the kitten's name? Or are you waiting to find out whether it's a he or a she?

Elaine said...

I hatehatehate country music, too, but I live in Arkansas now and I can't say that out loud (and live to tell about it). But I love to hear other people say they hate it. I even stopped shopping at the best grocery store around because they play it LOUDLY and didn't care when I complained. So, OK, I'll give someone else my money for groceries.

Anyway, I wanted to ask if your dad EVER used any of the rusty rust that he kept "just in case"?

My dad saved things, but not to an unacceptable extent, and he did use a lot of the things he saved (well, except for the old dried up paint).

Rosa said...

it looks so small and insignificant in the original picture, and so large and heavy once you hauled it out!

Anonymous said...

I cannot even begin to comprehend the sheer amount of volume and poundage you guys have hauled out of the yard--it's absolutely mind-boggling. My father and I have been reading your blog together and talking about it over coffee and emails--he is a HUGE VW enthusiast and is absolutely fascinated by your father's collection/hoard. Did your father utilize his cars/parts as a junkyard? My dad thinks he may have been there before. We live on the South Shore of Massachusetts and may have an idea as to where you are. Totally not trying to be creepy, btw.

Reen said...

Aw, when I saw the heading for this post, I was hoping that you'd found a cache of money or jewels or something. You certainly deserve to find some treasure after all you've been through!

Anonymous said...

I really hope that with every load of crap you take to the dump, you're able to unload a little bit more of the emotional baggage that your dad unfairly saddled you with.

You two have done, and are doing, an amazing job...both in removing all that physical and emotional garbage, and in writing this blog. Although my parents weren't hoarders (they liked hitting more than collecting junk...not sure which is worse, honestly), I'm a child abuse survivor, and it's uncanny how the same themes crop up on my side of the monitor.

Thank you for sharing this journey with complete strangers. You're helping people you've never THAT is a legacy.

Can I ask what, if anything, you're going to gift yourselves with the proceeds of the 16 tons of metal? I hope it's something amazing...your father owes you that, at least.

Swmbo said...

I don't post often but eagerly await each new post by you.

Just want to know how many pair of gloves you ladies have gone through in your quest for tidy? You sure put your tetanus shots to the test don't you?

Anonymous said...

Thalia, I know you posted this a while back, but I just loved the the parody of Howard Carter's words, describing how he felt when he first saw the contents of King Tut's tomb.

Rust.... everywhere the glint of rust. LOL
Can you see anything? Yes, Terrible things. Rotfl.