16. Shredding and coffee

Stella hired an industrial sized shredder.

She e-mailed me before I came, to say:

‘My sister will be here. I've invited her along to use the shredder for her paper and to check the inherited stuff to see if there's anything she wants. I also want to show her what we've done.’

It had been more than 2 years since her sister had been in the house.

I arrived at my usual 9:00. Stella told me that her sister would get there at 10:30 or so. In the end it was closer to 11:30.

Stella said, ‘I've bought 'real' coffee for us all in honor of the occasion. You've said that you don't drink instant.’

‘Wow! I e-mailed Beverly to tell her that your sister was coming and that this rates as a formal dinner party for 8. What do you want me to do?’

‘The more paper you can find that needs shredding, the better. I want to get my money's worth from this thing’

I planted myself in a corner on the floor and started sorting paper. The great thing was that Stella could have a final check of everything before she fed it into the shredder. While we waited for her sister, Stella told me what she'd done since our last visit:

‘I've moved all the clothes I still want to keep onto the new rack and I've used the old one for the ‘maybe’ items that I'm still thinking about.’

‘That's a change,’ I said, ‘When I first came, you couldn’t even touch your old clothes, then you could only touch them when I was here. Progress is definitely happening.’

It’s difficult when someone else is around to do paper, because everyone has confidential bits. We agreed that I would physically sit on some of the piles so they would be protected from casual glances.

Her sister arrived with bags of personal papers and started feeding them into the shredder. Coffee was drunk and then we all went to lunch together. In the flurry of hand washing before we left, I moved the papers I'd been sitting on into their file drawers upstairs.

After lunch, Stella and her sister went into the dining room and started going through inherited bits while I carried on sorting paper. We all talked about what Stella and I had done in the house, laughing and saying to her sister:

‘We should have taken some 'before' pictures so you could see the progress.’

I stayed an extra hour, making sure that Stella was confident about carrying on. Very quietly, and subtly she asked me for ‘a number’ I answered equally quietly, the cheque got written without trumpeting the sum.

No comments:

Post a Comment