October 24th, 2012

findus

PARTS & PIECES

I'm down to the last few things to do with the diminished boxes of Lego left on the dining room table, but I have to admit I've been a little obsessed fascinated with trying to figure out what sets the pieces we have left might belong to. Several of our pieces are really old, from the 60s and 70s and a few are only inventoried in a couple of esoteric sets that neither Anders nor I remember having had, so we can't figure out where they came from to begin with.

Martin picked up at least 3 or 4 bags of miscellaneous pieces at various Lego stores and Legolands in the early 2000s, several of which don't belong to any set we ever had (Fabuland, Belville, etc.). I suspect he chose the pieces simply BECAUSE they were unusual shapes or colors. I've been having a fun time playing Lego detective. There are a couple of incredibly helpful sites on the Internet for any level of Lego collector. The best one by far is Bricklink, though peeron.com and lugnet.com were both useful as well. Lego.com, surprisingly, was not much help at all, though I did print a lot of instruction books from it.

The majority of the pieces left are either really unusual or completely mundane building blocks, which makes it harder to figure out if they belong to a kit. I was thrilled to figure out not 1, not 2, but THREE complete accessory kits that my mom probably gifted Martin with: a pack of red roof tiles, a pack of red roof ridges and a set of wheel assembly pieces. There has been a fierce satisfaction each time I’ve discovered the set a piece belongs to.

I haven't even begun to research how much we could potentially sell anything for, especially since so many of the kits we do have are missing pieces. Of the 3 giant boxes we started with, one is full to the brim with complete kits, 2 are full to the brim with incomplete kits and there is a small amount of unbagged Lego leftover. Even if I just manage to get rid of all the Bionicles kits, both complete and incomplete, I’ll consider this project well worth it, and bag up the rest of the Lego happily for grandkids or posterity to play with. It was the idea of selling the Bionicles that started this whole thing, to begin with.

***

The light is failing fast these days and this weekend we set the clocks back. Even though that gains us an hour, it still means it will be completely dark when I leave the office each weekday, a prospect that is more than mildly depressing. I have to say, that after 16.5 years in Sweden, the darkness is the hardest thing to deal with. I look forward fiercely to the winter solstice simply because it means the light will begin increasing again.

***

We’re dog-sitting for my friend Angie next week. Both she and her husband will be in the hospital; he was already admitted a week ago, and she goes in on Monday: she’s donating one of her kidneys to him and the transplant is scheduled for next week. He has been on bag dialysis for about a year because of a degenerative kidney disease that was accelerated by 2 kinds of cancer he was diagnosed with (and successfully treated for) 6 years ago. His doctors recommended against a transplant because of the cancer history, because the procedure would mean being on immune-suppressant drugs for the rest of his life to keep his body from rejecting the kidney, and that means that IF the cancer came back there would be nothing to stop it and no way to treat it. But he was facing machine dialysis within a couple of months and his quality of life was suffering so much that he and Angie decided it was worth it to push on despite the risks. Apparently, with a transplant like this, you don’t need an exact match, but however it works, she’s giving one up to him.

I confess to being boggled by the whole situation. I can’t imagine having to make those kinds of decisions, though I would certainly be willing to give a kidney to my husband or children if they needed one. Because they will be in the hospital together for at least a week, they have farmed out both their children to friends and we get the dog. The cat and fish will be at home, fed by friends. I don’t know exactly how long the recovery period is, but I hope it all goes smoothly.