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Wow! In one week's time I have a solid contract on my house! 25 years of our life is being packaged up and delivered to the settlement table in less than a month. I want to take the new owner on a tour of the house and share the memories created here - do you think she would care? I sense that I am handing over the torch and have a responsibility to tell her each of every story that rests here. While there is a recognized need and desire to leave, a very dear part of my life is wrapped up in these walls. Very many growing-up happy memories far outweigh the unworkable relationships and the sad goodbyes to a dear BeBob who spent cherished time with us here.
Focus ! Focus ! You need to find a home - you are hopping on a plane tonight destined for Nashville! Focus ! Get packed and let yourself float along this unbelievable journey. Check the box - one more mission accomplished - don't count the ones still left. Take a breath and go with the flow!
We have started a little tradition recently, my eldest granddaughter and I. We dust off the antique china, decorate the table, put on our best Victorian manners, and slip back into the 18th century of proper Tea Parties. It was actually her idea and I hesitated at first....eight years old handling this fine china? I laugh when I think of my youth and how I stared at these same pieces of beauty imprisoned behind the glass of the china closet. There were serious rules prohibiting anything beyond a passing view - except of course a repeated request for the history of each item. That information was given freely and with sentiment - eventually to be written down for posterity.
Many of these mementos from my mother's family were given to me upon my Grandmother's passing and it is somewhat odd to think that I never performed this tea party ritual (or even thought to!) with my own three daughters. I don't recall that any of us thought about it. The china continued to remain imprisoned.
But with my granddaughter the spark is back! Last night we bravely invited the five year old sister to join us and the event was transformed to a higher, magical level! Not without caution, however. We have a separate child's china tea set which she was perfectly content to use - I will need a few more years before this one handles the real stuff! A white cloth was placed on table and we decorated the place settings with pretty napkins, dishes and silverware. We looked over the assortment of dishes and a chose a pink floral cookie dish to display our recently purchased girl scout cookies (What is Tea without cookies?). Now for the story line. I was the Queen Mother and each of my granddaughters chose Princess names and identities to match. One chose to be a good princess - the other tried but seemed to gravitate toward being a very bad princess. They each were seeking special powers and much time was spent on how these powers were to be used. Not to worry - the powers only lasted for an evening!
I leave my fairytale weekend and jump head first into the craziness of my life. After only one week 'on the block' and realtors descending on my house in surprising numbers, rumor has it that I am reviewing contracts tomorrow night! Whoa! Slow down life! This process doesn't need to go so fast!! I need to add 2 days to each week and 5 more hours to each day - how can that be arranged - where are those girls with their super powers when I need them!
Do you start out each day planning what you want to accomplish? Before I even leave the bed in the morning I lay there in constructive thought assessing the ever evolving list of jobs and choosing the more 'immediate need' projects. Then I assign start and finish times with often quite creative overlaps! (After all I AM a woman) I differ from my husband (a bit awkward yet for me to use the word 'former' although quite appropriate)who would pile three times the number of projects on his plate - as he would sermonize me each Saturday. (Some people serenade - he sermonized!) And he would feel despondent at the end of the day because he was only able to master 2 or 3 out of the 10 he listed.
I like the number 3 and try to shape my life around this lucky numeral. I had 3 siblings, 3 daughters (one of these days 3 grandchildren - come on you guys!!) I don't know - it's just a reasonable number. I have personal tasks and business tasks and use this philosophy on each. At the end of the day, if I can say that I met my #3 goals I can easily discount or accept the failures and not so happy experiences of the day. Today my 3 personal tasks were (1) make that doctor's appointment to get your allergy meds or you are going to be darn sorry very soon (2) check in with the car dealership for the next tuneup - got a 2 week reprieve! (3) take your diplomas whose frames are rotting off the wall and have them all reframed.
Now these are not major accomplishments but certainly nagging issues for longer than I'd like to admit. Check them off the list! Yikes 10 more moved up the list.
Tomorrow and Sunday are Total Vacation days!! I must leave my house as the vulture realtors will descend so I am meeting my sweet granddaughters for fun and adventure at the movies and then back home to giggling, tea parties, games and eventually exhaustion (mine!). Sunday brings a special live performance of Beauty and the Beast at a local dinner theater. I'm anxious to watch their expressions as the cast will be so close to them. Priceless, wonderful time.
I like the idea of blogging because I can detail everyday happenings and those special life changing events before my memory quits on me. When DO you know whether it's just stress and too much going on OR the dreaded Alzheimer’s setting in?
Tomorrow is a day of festivities, joy and 'passage'. We welcome the newborn son of my niece and her husband. Cousins, aunts, grandmother, brother and assorted animals (!) will all be on hand to cuddle and caress our very newest family member. We'll prepare a crazy concuction of food to appeal to all the palettes - making sure to compliment, cook and serve the grandmother's donation according to her specified directions. And there is always that family member who procrastinates committing to come and may or may not show up, family in tow, at the last minute. So be it. We welcome all!
So much is happening! Last night I took the giant step of placing my house & home of 25 years on the market. The birdies have all flown the nest (three swans and a duck!) - it is time to find a smaller, easier to maintain, home. 25 years of memories - mostly good! But memories are 'mobile' - they will move with me to my new home. It's a momentous but exciting process! Calling all daughters to help your mama pack!! Hopefully the 'For Sale' sign will be up tomorrow as the family contingents arrive!
My mother is thinking more these days about her passing and is very concerned that we, her children, understand the value and history behind all the special items in her home. She has quite a collection of jewelry, china, silver, antique furniture and decorative items from abroad - many of them gifts from a military husband who knew how to please her in his absence.
Over 25 years ago, when my father was still with us, my parents decided to designate their personal belongings to their four children in what we remember as a very uncomfortable lottery system. They had just reached thier early 60s and we all had little ones who adored their grandparents. No one wanted to dwell on this awful prospect of death. But we were asked, one by one, to go through their house and select items for which we had a particular fondness. My parents looked over our respective lists and then bartered with those who may have chosen the same item. I remember the French desk was a particular favorite and they devised some system for eventually willing it to my younger brother.
Years have passed and I'll be darned if I can remember what was on the original list! There are also so many stories behind Mom's antique collection that I suggested I spend the afternoon with her and journal the sentiments attached to each and every item. I also knew how much she enjoyed retelling the stories of her jewelry and china acquisitions.
She was in an especially good mood when I arrived and had laid out the folder which contained the 'lists'. There was some interesting comments written on the front of the folder:
"Very Important!" "To be opened upon my death! Mom" I kidded with her that I couldn't go any further!
So my task that I have agreed to undertake will involve typing up a property dispostion statement that will include a list of items designated to each family member complete with Mom's memory of the 'when and where'. I also managed to capture some candid comments as well. I believe she thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and I learned about wonderful sentimental attachments that I can pass to my family and they can, in turn, pass on!
We consumated the pleasurable afternoon by cooking lobster for dinner!
As a parting gift my mother gave me a china floral broach - a bridal gift to her from her girlfriend, my namesake.
I called Mom tonight to let her know I received kudo compliments at work and I could feel her smiling!
I'm a sixties' child and I pride myself that I am among the generation that rose above bigotry, bias and racism. But I also admit that I was raised and indoctrinated into a very sheltered, Irish/German culture that was rich in ethnic bigotry and class struggle. I look at all people I encounter as unique individuals and form my relationship to them based on that uniqueness, not the color of their skin, their religious or ethnic background or financial status. But there are times when judgments 'pop' into my head without logic or forethought. Are these remnants of the formative years?
Take today (please take it!). Every city has it's deathtrap highway and I was driving on ours. Cruising along in the right lane I spotted debris about 300 feet in the road ahead - with a car and driver on the shoulder next to the item. A man was waving cars away from what I now could make out to be a mattress. Great! The fool was carrying a mattress on top of his car - we see loosely secured mattresses flopping dangerously everyday on highways with the driver holding on to the mattress with one arm and trying to drive with the other. Now I needed to quickly move into the next lane. I immediately looked in my left lane AND behind me and was not pleased! Cars and trucks everywhere! With my blinker signaling I pleaded for space to the left but two cars made it their mission to keep me from moving over. It's that split second decision time as I'm pumping my brakes - do I chance it and move left anyway (call their bluff) or drive over the mattress at a slow speed and hope to keep control of the car?
I chose the mattress! I kept control of the car and dragged the mangled mattress behind me as I moved onto the shoulder out of traffic. The man who had been waving traffic away from the scene came up to my window and, in broken, thickly accented English, suggested I roll the car back and forth and he would try and pull the mattress out. I was furious and shaking but decided to hold my wrath until after the car was freed. Stupid idiot! Does he think he can drive the Beltway like he rides his camel back home? I rocked back a forth a few times and am able to free the back tires of the mattress stuffing. I eye the wife who has exited the vehicle and is looking sheepishly at me. The man comes back to the car window and tells me that all is clear and I can go now. "That's great, I say. How do I know if I haven't done any damage to the underside of my car? I want to know your insurance information in case there is damage." His entire demeanor changed. He backed away from the window and I could see he was losing his composure. "What are you talking about? I saw the mattress in the road and I pulled over so I could warn cars that it was here. I was not carrying it" I was stunned! That had not occurred to me! I gave him a guilty half-smile/wave as I drove off - heavy with guilt as to my
assumption of HIS guilt but very grateful that the car was operating ok.
Thoughts were racing through my mind and I suddenly came to the frank conclusion that maybe I was just 'had'. Who in the United States of America pulls over on a busy highway to warn their fellow man that there is debris in the road?
So what do you think? Was I culpable or gullible?
Seems as if life is a series of 'passing friendships'. They slide in and out of our daily routines almost unnoticed until you step away and look back at the history. Each has a meaning and an important role in your development. Some were there through specific periods of your life and faded as you moved to new surroundings or new job. Others appear and then disappear for indefinite periods of time only to reappear as if time froze (what special ones these are!)
I hate it when you come to a crossroads of a friendship when you know it's going to end. We said goodbye to a very dear co-worker today, a sweet giving person. Sure, "we'll keep in touch, we'll write". I've witnessed too many of these exits to know that nothing can compare to the day to day loving interaction of a good friend. This particular woman gave 23 years of herself to this job - came in at 18 straight from highschool. We will all miss her. I will grieve her passing.
Ironically, in 3 weeks we move our office (all 12 of us) across town and become 'wrapped in the arms' of a new office filled with 60 new friendships! Isn't life sweet and exciting! I am ready for the adventure!
The beginning and the end has occurred. Tonight I have received the long awaited documents that signify an end to a relationship and herald the beginning of Act Four!
All stops are out (as we musicans say) - the gun has fired and the race has begun!
Tomorrow I contact the realtor and get moving on movin!!