So the area has been a source of frustration for the last three years. First, everything got put into one half of the attic, while the other part was being insulated. Then my wife wanted to paint the insulated half; while I still find that step unnecessary, it does look better. Six weeks of being able to at least get to stuff.
Then the other half had to be insulated, so all the stuff was jammed into the painted half. This process was interrupted by the need to get the roof replaced, a legit issue. But then the room remained undone, month after month, while the contractor dealt with a series of other people’s needs, some of them emergencies. But once it hit a year, I got irritated and asked him if he wanted us to find someone else. (I hardly dealt with him; he was my wife’s contractor for a number of years, and I was loath to interfere.) Once he did return to the room, we discovered the floor needed to be reinforced, and that’s actually a nice addition.
Finally, a full attic, accessible! Well, if you call the narrowest steps around a bend I’ve ever experienced “accessible.” A project for the future.
I care to get to things upstairs because I have two bookcases up there with books. Couldn’t reach them for too long a time; now I can! And now I must put more books in the attic, since the shelving in the office is jam packed.
There are at least a half dozen boxes of file folders filled with something called “letters.” These are pieces of correspondence that people used to write with something called a “pen”, or occasionally written using a device known as a “typewriter.” Based on something I read a long time ago, there are even copies of a few letters I wrote back; I used “carbon paper” when I typed or, usually, hand printed, because my cursive tended to smear the copy.
I did discover some things I knew were up there but couldn’t get my hands on, such as a bunch of Beatles mono box CDs that got put in a box while painting; a bunch of FantaCo publications, helpful because I’m one of two guys indexing them; my stash of TV Guide season previews; the one box of comic magazines I inadvertently failed to sell when I dumped my collection in 1994, with Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, Rampaging Hulk, and Savage Sword of Conan; plus the comics I was buying, but had all but stopped reading in 1992 and 1993.
While I got rid of some old bank statements. I kept wedding and funeral programs and the like, because it’s the only way I can remember whether a particular event took place in 2005 or 2007.
Oh, and I’d give these away to people, even shipping them within the US (because that international postage has gotten outrageous): I have a cache of green and white buttons that have “Choose Peace” imprinted, vintage the period just before the Iraq war. I also have about five dozen copies of “And don’t call me a racist!” A treasury of quotes on the past, present, and future of the color line in America / Selected and arranged by Ella Mazel.
The process of sorting involved schlepping boxes downstairs, because the attic is too hot after about 10 a.m. One Sunday, I was carrying a particularly large box from the second to first floor when I dropped it. It broke open, sending a cascade of paper products down the stairs like a waterfall; it was, in the moment, actually quite impressive.