How Do You Start Cleaning Away Fifty Years of Things?

Each day I have been chipping away of the items in my mother’s house in Woodhaven, Queens. She has lived in the house for fifty years, I grew-up here. She use to get this house spotless had the energy of ten people on a Saturday of cleaning, throwing things out and still cook dinner. It was rare if she took a nap and if she did the bell would ring and it would be my grandmother, who was lonely and wanted someone to talk too.

A lot has changed. Woodhaven has changed it’s not the tight neighborhood it use to be and you could do all your shopping on Jamaica Avenue rarely have too go to the Queens Center Mall. Everyone knew each other back then because they sat outside or played running up and down the street.

My mom is older now suffers with back problems which has slowed her down. It’s how the clutter in all corners of the house grew. I get black and blue marks from bumping into furniture and the bric-a-brac. I am amazed of what she saved, maybe forgotten in the basement, boxes of moldy school books and folders, my father’s tools, lots of mats many from my Grandmother’s apartment up the street. Rolls, and rolls of gift wrap and boxes for Christmas. I guess she started to lose that ball of energy years ago and it’s now I am realizing it.

I am a native New Yorker and everything is changing most of the articles are written are about the Renascence of Brooklyn, Queens areas I never dreamed that millionaires would want to move too. Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Queens have always been working class neighborhoods hard working people, raising their families. So I worry. The city I grew-up in is chasing pushing the middle class to the far parts of the city away from gentrification.

The house is too much for my mother seven rooms and two flights of stairs I worry she could fall down them. We have are fights because this place has always been our home and it gets emotional of the idea of cleaning it and selling but I can’t look the other way from the 800 pound gorilla. I have to get back to clean. If anyone is looking for a house check us out.

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