Thursday, January 23, 2014

cleaning up my grandmother's place

Everyone experiences the death of a family member at some point in their lives.

Most people hold onto the good memories, treasure those tender moments when they shared a laugh with loved ones or just felt loved… 
Nobody ever talks very much about the process of taking care of the business of the dead. By that I mean, what do you do with all the STUFF they accumulated during their days on Earth? The richer folk call it settling the estate. Hold your pinkie out while you sip your tea and say that.

Well… my family got together last Saturday to do just that – to do a bit of clean up.

Back in October my 91 year old grandmother passed away peacefully. the passing of my grandmother 
At the time she was living in a nursing home and had been for a few months. My oldest brother had the unfortunate duty of cleaning out her room at the home. He said it was hard. So many emotions. So many memories. But somebody’s gotta do that stuff.

So anyway, last Saturday we went to MaMa’s house. It sits on 1 acre in the rural part of the town I grew up in.

My dad remembers when they moved in. It was in 1965. All the walls had a fresh coat of paint. Everything brand new. If you’ve ever built a house, you know the smells of N E W. It’s kinda awesome.

Nearly 50 years later, MaMa’s house has some nicks and scrapes. Some different colors on the wall. It’s not all fresh and sparkling any more.

But it holds a bunch of memories. Lots of laughs. Of course there were some hard times, too. It’s the house my mom and dad lived in when they first got married. It’s the only house I ever knew my grandparents lived in.

But after all, it’s just a house. The Bible talks about the stuff we have here on Earth…

Matthew 6 says - 
     Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

MaMa is in Heaven now and she doesn’t need that little white house on that acre of land. Not a bit.

So it’s time to sell it.

{{ heavy sigh }}

So. . . like I said, we headed out there to get rid of some stuff and keep the important { sentimental } stuff.

I should mention that it was in the 20s when we started this little project. BRR But once you started moving around and working, your body temp heated up.

pictured here: my oldest bro, my dad, nephew Kerby (the Haitian kid) and my niece's hub... strikin' some sort of pose

Notice my brother (and his artificial knee) are in the air on the side of the dumpster

Observe my dad (with his TWO artificial knees and surgery-ed back) hauling a bathtub insert 
Oh and yeah, Phil is IN the dumpster #crazy 

Meanwhile in the kitchen…

Oh and of course there was a fire.

… which made Phil happy { our family pyromaniac } 

I learned Kerby isn’t far behind him in his love for the flame. 

We just need to teach the Haitian kid that certain things don’t burn. Like wires. And things that are metal. Um…

In the kitchen we found a ton of Mason jars. Mom's washing them all. Not sure what we’re gonna do with em but once they’re clean I may take pics of em. Might save a couple for myself. Just because.

These marbles were just cool.

Not sure why they had beans in em. 
Dad says MaMa was really good at shooting marbles. Taught him how to.

Somewhere outside there was a tin (like you see popcorn in at Christmas) and they were gonna toss it til they figured out what was inside…
A gazillion B U T T O N S

This made my niece happy because she’s gotten into crocheting in a big way and those cutesie little hats she makes call for a button or two!

This cassette tape recorder/player was still in the box. 

And this sewing machine still works!

My dad remembers when MaMa bought it – thinks it was probably in the 60s.

So anyway…

Hopefully someone will come along and buy the little white house and fix it up cute. Make some memories of their own.

But when I drive by, I’m gonna remember it as my grandparents’ place. 

And I’ll smile.

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