I’ve been down with a cold / flu for the last 8 days. Today was the first day that I felt human. Of course, I couldn’t just take it easy for another day, since work is piling up and we’re 2 months to the day when the movers will be here to load the truck. I have stuff to set aside in this house for a yard sale, and mom and dad’s house next door to finish clearing for that sale. So, this afternoon, after a quick nap, I grabbed the camera, tripod and my phone, and trudged next door.
It still feels strange walking into mom and dad’s place unannounced, and then to go through all their stuff – I really feel like I’m snooping and invading their privacy. Silly isn’t it? Mom has been gone for almost 3 years and Dad will be gone a year next month. But I still open that door and the smell that was “them” rushes to greet me. I didn’t grow up in this house. It was a camp that we held our graduation from high school party – complete with underage drinking for some. That was back in the days when parents allowed it because they knew where their kids were and that they were not going to be driving. All in all, we were a pretty tame group. I digress. What I was getting at is that this place doesn’t hold the same memories for me as our family home. My parents moved into this place in 1999. But the furniture that is there is stuff that i remember using as a child. Some of it heralds from the days of my grandparents! So, going through the house today, I notified hubby which pieces were coming with us. The ladies dressing table from the alcove in mom and dad’s bedroom. It belonged to my memere. I remember it being in her bedroom and I was always playing there pretending to be a princess. Just pieces of furniture – but linked inextricably in my memories. And I’m not willing to let those go.
Another silly thing – I love photography. But I don’t have many pictures of family strewn about my home. I have a collage of pictures of my granddaughter and niece held to the side of the fridge with magnets. I have some small pictures of my son and daughter-in-law tucked into the decor, and a beautiful family photo that they gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago hanging on the wall in the hall – but that’s it. Am I strange? I go to other places and people have all kinds of photos of friends and family everywhere. And I think maybe I should do that too. But the thought is gone before I get home. Hmm, maybe I’ll do that in the new house.
Anyway, back to the investigation of mom and dad’s… One of the things that comes about when one has to do this sort of thing, is that we learn a bit more about who they were as people, and not just as mom as dad. For instance, dad was once an avid photographer. I come by it honestly I guess. He didn’t identify anyone in his pictures though so I have no idea who or where they were taken. That made me realize that I should start properly documenting the people and places in the photos of my portfolio, so that when I pass and someone is going though my stuff they will know who is who and what is what. I discovered that mom was a worry wart. She had an amazingly morbid imagination and would come to the worst possible outcome in any scenario and then go into a spin and start shaking. She and dad had some pretty harrowing adventures and I can just imagine the state she would be in. But other than that, mom didn’t appear to have any passions. She was not an easy woman to know. Very private. I read her journal entries from the years that she and dad went to their camp in the woods. Invariable, she would report on the weather, animal sightings, food and health. Very little that was of a personal nature. I wish that I had known her better. Ah well, we can’t change the past. We can only learn from it and hopefully, try to be better going forward.
Anywho – that was pretty much my first day of feeling better after the cold from hell. I hope that I didn’t do too much and that tomorrow I will better still. And because words are sometimes not enough, here’s a photo of one of the things that mom loved – her antiques.
She would watch every Antiques show on TV, and she had stacks of books and magazines on the subject. But, they didn’t have a lot of them. I’m not sure where they went or if they even had that many to start. Still, I’m happy to know that she had a hobby that kept her happy. And that makes me happy.