Day Three at the corner of the Microtel and Hell. Craig often tells me this blog makes my life seem much more glamorous than reality. Well this is reality.
We are cleaning out sixty plus years of accumulation from my parents' home to prepare for its sale. Actually, it's more like 100 plus years of stuff since my parents became the keeper of their family histories when their parents died.
I feel some obsessive responsibility to carry on the tradition and move the ancestral scraps into storage at my house. All the little glimpses into lives that passed so quickly. A temporary teaching license issued to my grandfather so he could feed his family by teaching second grade during the depression. Birth, marriage and death announcements of great-grandparents. Little snippets from my own childhood in the form of report cards, graduation and baptism announcements, letters from camp, etc... Engineering texts and school yearbooks of my father's. Recipes from my mother written in shorthand. And the boxes of old photos.
A certain degree of guilt bubbles up when I realize I can't pack the car with another set of my mother's china and my grandmother's crystal to sit unused with the other three sets of ancestors' Sunday dishes already harbored in my kitchen cabinets. The antique rocker, caned bench, and desk won't fit in the CRV. The cute vintage garden cart must be left behind, and the nineteenth century collar box crammed with saved bits of brittle newspaper clippings detailing family griefs and triumphs may well end up at the town dump.
It's not that I don't care. It's just that I'm not prepared to transport the family historical museum to the closets of my house to create the same nightmare for my son someday. And if you think I'm kidding about the museum, my great uncle Willard actually housed his own in the basement of his Craftsmen bungalow. I took the free tour several times in childhood. So tomorrow will be about sorting and tossing.
Tonight I begged my sister-in-law to mount the mechanical pony in the lobby at Walmart so I'd have a photo for this blog post, but she declined to humiliate herself. She could have ended up featured in the People of Walmart.
At the local bar tonight, we were tempted to make an announcement that we'd left all the doors unlocked at our ancestral home. Come and get it! After all, it might make our job a lot quicker! (You know I jest?)
See. Life's not always a beach! In fact, it's a giant case of insomnia from chugging too much Diet Pepsi and not getting enough exercise.
Update -- We're still the keeper of almost all of it, but I'll figure it out in the near future so my son doesn't have to go through the same. Grandma's wedding dress from the early 1900's is riding in the back of the CRV. Scoot over Saby.