Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Beginning of the End

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… or perhaps the other way round?

I never know quite where to start, I still don’t see The End (even if I think it’s getting closer) - and just like both the Edwards brothers (GB and CJ) said this week, all too often “I keep meaning to” … only to find myself doing something else instead…

Can someone tell me what happened to July, I see to my astonishment that we’re almost a week into August already, and no idea how that happened?! I still have things to blog about from the few ‘touristing’ daytrips my brother and I made a couple of weeks ago. Now he’s been and gone a second time and his holiday is over; and so is mine - if I count as holiday the five weeks summer break from going to the rehab pool on regular hours twice a week. (They open again tomorrow. I’ve no complaints about that, mind. Even if it makes my time less flexible, hopefully it will help to keep aching joints and muscles more flexible…)

Last week I spent two days out at the House on my own, emptying wardrobes and continuing my raids in the kitchen cupboards and various drawers etc.

As those were two of the most summery days we’ve had this summer, this may sound like a masochist way of spending them. But that’s really also the best kind of weather for me to be able to go out to the House on my own and get anything done. It can even feel like a good thing on such a day to get up early and take the bus out of town and away from the (presumed) heat of midday in town…

I had the back door to the garden open and kept to “downstairs” work so that I could easily pop outside for a break every now and then.

And I took a camping chair to the very back of the garden so that I could sit and enjoy a view no one has seen for years…. We asked our “gardener” to do an extra job for us this summer, before we sell:

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Makes us almost want to keep the place now! Winking smile

But even if there is some nostalgia involved, the dominant feeling when the day finally comes will probably be relief. Hopefully we’re talking months rather than years ahead now. (The house is not officially up for sale yet but we have a presumptive buyer with whom we’re keeping in touch, and if all goes well maybe we won’t have to look further.)

My brother came down again this past week, and if last time we did more touristing than work, this time it was more work than holiday. I lost count of how many sacks Per ended up driving to the recycling centre…

Did I tell you dad’s motto?

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(from dad’s notice board – as if he needed the reminder!)

Every time I’ve spent a day or two out there, I end up throwing away things at home as well when I get back. Partly to make room for things I take home with me (see the first photo) and partly as some kind of magic ritual perhaps. (“I shall not become my parents…”)

This week we continued with dad’s study upstairs and mum’s study/sewing room. Just as I was beginning to think that it seemed as though mum at least must have been a bit more radical about getting rid of old papers at some point in the past… oops, we found a big old box tucked in under a bed… full of old notebooks, diaries, letters… Bridges of Madison County, anyone?? 

The content in that box seemed to be from before mum started dating dad, though. Much to our relief (if also some bewilderment!), most of the notebooks also turned out to just be old schoolbooks. I saved one or two as samples, but felt no hesitation about throwing away the rest. But… there were also some diaries…

What does one do with one’s mother’s diaries?

My own teenage diaries (not that I ever kept one on a regular basis) I got rid of years ago. I had no idea that mum had kept hers – not sure I even ever knew she wrote them. Even less do I know if she would have wanted me to read them or not.

Hesitatingly, I took her teenage diaries home with me and ended up browsing through them yesterday afternoon. I decided to keep only the first one, written when she was 14 (1944). It has some some fun little doodles in it, references to family names I recognize, and lists of books she got for Christmas and her birthday, things like that. The later diaries proved less interesting from family history perspective, so I “let them go”.

In my hall stands a heavy moving-box full of mum’s photo albums from the mid 1970’s onward; i.e. from after I moved away from home. They’re the loose leaf kind so I’m hoping to eventually be able to reduce them to perhaps one binder to save/scan… (Optimistic?)

We also found more documents from dad’s side of the family this week, like the original deeds from when my grandfather first bought the piece of land upon which the house was built, back in 1930; and inventories of the estates after grandma’s half-siblings (those who wrote and collected the old postcards. I hope I’ll be able to devote more time to blog on about them and other family history after we’ve sold the house).

On top of all the “paperwork” we also made some (more) decisions about what we want to keep of china and glassware and such… And so, to make room for old coffee cups and tea cups and side plates, I’ve had to spend the rest of the weekend reorganizing my kitchen cupboards!

So if you haven’t seen me around in Blogland much, now you know why.

Sometimes I read a few blogs on my Android phone without leaving comments though; so I may not be quite as absent as I seem! ♥

7 comments:

  1. i wondered why you were not around as much as usual, don't fret about it, you have lots to do and it is all time consuming. the gardener did a fantastic job of the yard, it looks beautiful and i would want to keep it to. except you need to be in town where it is convenient to walk every where.

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    1. ou are right, it suits me much better to live in town, and I dont want a house and garden with all the work it requires.

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  2. It is such a major job, isn't it. Fortunately I have few regrets from what we saved and what we threw away of my parent's though GB and I were mentioning yesterday an old dictionary we wished we had kept to see what words were not in use in Mum's youth (like 'teenager').

    I love your Dad's cartoon - that is so ME!

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    1. A major job it certainly is. I may end up with a few minor regrets like that too I suppose, but if that's all I think one can count oneself lucky. On the whole it's probably a good thing that limited storage space forces me to choose what items to keep.

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  3. LOL - that truth of the day is so true.

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  4. I've had some very relevant experience of the cartoon in the last two years when I've been clearing out the loft. It's very frustrating.

    I'm glad that you are getting things sorted. It's good, though, that you have the time (ie there is no pressure to sell) to do things in a leisurely way.

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    1. Doesn't feel much like leisure ;) - but basically you are right, of course. If we'd had to clear out and sell the house straight away, we'd probably not only have ended up with more regret over hasty decisions but also less memories and knowledge of our ancestors.

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