I got that message first thing this morning, so Daniel and I took off into town to deal with that. I crawled around inside the trailer and was relieved to find that nothing obvious was missing, but the latch itself was destroyed. I made the police report (not that I expect anything to come of it) and then one of the Scout dads and I ran all over town trying to find a new latch.
We couldn't find one, so we secured it as well as we could in order to form a plan, which will ultimately involve towing the trailer over here to put it in my garage so that I can go through it, clean it out, and inventory everything that is in there - a job that I've been meaning to do for months. And one of the Scout grandpas thinks that he can weld the latch to repair it for free - a huge bonus for our little pack of boys.
Of course, in order to get it over here to inventory the contents, there has to be room in my garage - which would not normally be a problem.
A month or so ago (maybe more) a friend of mine found out that a friend of hers was cleaning out a "hoarder house" - it was a house that was apparently stuffed full of fabric and craft goodies (the owner had passed away), and the person who was cleaning it out didn't want to throw all of the fabric in a dumpster. So I went over and spent a few hours going through floor-to-ceiling piles of fabric, batting, sewing supplies, partially completed quilt tops, spools of thread, and so much crap that it was unreal. I piled as much as I could into the van and brought it home.
However, it all stunk. It had that nasty musty stale animal old lady smell to it, so I piled it all in the garage until I could figure out what to do with it.
I had hoped that just leaving it in the garage would kill the smell, but it didn't. I started to worry that I wouldn't be able to get rid of the smell and I'd just have to toss the stuff after all.
With the latest development of the Scout trailer being moved in sometime in the next few days, I knew that I had to do something with the pile today, so I started going through it. I unrolled all of the batting and hung it out on the clothesline to air out, and I took the first pile of fabric and quilt squares and quilt tops and tossed them into the washer with lots of detergent, and hoped for the best.
When the first load was done and I opened the washer, I was greeted with no smell at all. Not willing to risk the odor coming back in the dryer, I hung it all out of the line to dry. Some of the tops started to pull apart, and some of the fabric basically disintegrated, but I think there is quite a bit that is salvageable with a lot of patience and a little bit of luck.
Some of it is remarkably hideous. Some of it is gorgeous. Some is hand stitched, some is done by machine. Most of it is polyester (ick) but some of it is cotton. There is absolutely no way to tell how old any of it is.
Now that I'm getting a chance to actually look at some of the stuff, I think I'm going to do what I can to finish as much of it as possible into quilts - some are going to be small lap-sized ones, some a little bigger, and some might actually be twin or full-sized by the time that they're done. And when they're done, they're going to be donated somewhere. I've seen a couple of programs over the years where foster care agencies look for quilts and blankets for kids that are in state custody, so that's where I'm going to start.
Busted up trailer. Dirty hoarder fabric. Cluttered garage.
Motivation to clean, organize, and inventory the trailer along with getting it fixed (hopefully) for free. Fabric that is coming clean with not much effort. Cleaner garage. Being able to take stuff that I have to turn into donations for someone who needs it.