Living in Paradise

Turnkey Trash

Turnkey Trash

To such current popular phrases as “woke” and “dope” and “critical race theory,” I’m adding my new favorite, “turnkey.”

In real estate terms, turnkey is supposed to mean a move-in ready, fully furnished home that doesn’t require any major repairs or improvements before it is livable. In real life, turnkey means: “You just bought my house, and I’m leaving all my s–t behind for you to get rid of.”

The true meaning of the word hit me full force the other day – again I might add – as I was cleaning out the condo my man just bought for our “future use.” His definition of future use is the state we arrive in when we can no longer tolerate the steps and the property taxes that go with our three-story island home.

“This is the last time I clean out a little old lady’s house,” I told my man as I bagged another stack of chipped plates, unmatched glasses and artificial flowers for the recycling bin. “Didn’t she ever throw anything away?”

The answer is no. Some people just can’t bring themselves to part with their stuff. My mother was one of those. Not a hoarder; you could walk through her residence.  But when I cleaned out her apartment after her passing at age 94, I found the temporary driving permit I got when I was 15 ½.

I had to shake my head. Why did she have it in the first place – and why did she keep it?

The permit was the least of it. There were at least 100 library books shoved under the bed and the couch. She had been a big library volunteer at one time, maybe even a member of the board. I guess that’s why she felt no need to return the books after she finished with them.

She also had her share of chipped plates and unmatched glasses. Not as many as the lady who owned the condo we just bought, but a goodly amount nonetheless.

I remember that when my brother and sister-in-law visited my mother from California, they were aghast at what they found in her refrigerator. Little scraps of aluminum foil covering something that looked other worldly. Paper plates with half-eaten sandwiches. Ice cream with an inch of ice on top of the cream.

“Is this milk any good,” my sister-in-law asked after noticing a sour smell coming from the cardboard container?

My mother grabbed a glass, poured some into it and took a sip. “It’s fine,” she responded sweetly.

My sister-in-law swore it had chunks in it.

The refrigerator in the new condo was spotless, I’m happy to say. But the small grill I found on the top cabinet had definitely been used and not washed. Why oh why? The pots and pans might have been run through the dishwasher but remnants of food remained. In fairness, she had been renting the place for the last couple of years.

Still, there were at least 10 sippy cups at the back of one cabinet. If your grandchild is now old enough to enter the local bar, it’s time to dump the baby dishes.

The cleaning ladies had done their best when the tenants left last month. They made the beds and folded the towels, hanging them with little shells in pockets they created. I have no clue how they did that. But I also don’t know who would want to put those dingy, dirty-looking towels next to their bodies.

Pillows? Your pillow, with its yellow and brown stains, is never going to become my pillow, no matter how much I spent on your condo.

Every year our church has a charity event that includes a rummage sale. It’s a great outlet for those people who have finally come to realize that their “stuff” must go. Blessed are those who don’t leave their trash behind for other people to clean up.

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