MY BLOG WAS FORMERLY KNOWN AS, "STONEY HILL CABIN", BUT WE'VE MOVED TO THE COUNTRY AND I NO LONGER HAVE A BACKYARD CABIN. THIS WONDERFUL OLD HOUSE WAS BUILT IN 1919 AND I OFTEN WONDER ABOUT HOW THIS AREA LOOKED BACK THEN. WE'RE JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM THE SMALL TOWN OF LIBERTY AND SINCE WE HOPE THIS WILL BE THE FAMILY GATHERING PLACE, I DECIDED "LIBERTY HOMESTEAD" WOULD BE A FITTING NAME. OUR BIG RED BARN IS NOW A SAFE HAVEN FOR OUR RESCUED CATS AND THEY SEEM TO HAVE ADJUSTED WELL. NEIGHBORS WAVE AS THEY PASS AND WE LOVE WATCHING THE TRACTORS, PLOWS, AND COMBINES ON THE ROADS AND IN THE FIELDS AT PLANTING AND HARVEST TIMES. THIS FEELS LIKE HOME.

Friday, July 5, 2013

AS TIME GOES BY


The weeks since my mother passed seem to have flown by and my sisters and I have worked diligently on clearing out the family home. I’m continually amazed at how much Mom managed to tuck into that small house, but I have to remember we’re dealing with over 50 years of accumulation.  The things Mom “collected” were Cardinals (any item with a red Cardinal on it would do), dishes, magazines, church bulletins, and cards which people had sent her through the years. Strangely enough, her house looked fine and all the paper items and magazines had been neatly placed in bags, boxes, or dresser drawers, out of sight – and perhaps, out of mind. As I sifted through the greeting cards, I realized why she’d saved them. People had been very kind to her and always sent the most wonderful sentiments. I’m sure she read them over and over before safely putting them away. She had returned each to its original envelope and we looked through every one of them. We found family photos, handwritten letters from our aunts and uncles, most of whom have also passed, newspaper clippings, and recipes I’m sure Mom had intended to use at some time.
For whatever reason, Mom had subscriptions to 17 different magazines (at least those are the ones I counted) and she hated to part with any of the issues. After reading them, she’d pack them into plastic grocery bags and store them in her upstairs (so she could send them home with me after I’d visited her). I did take some to doctor’s offices and searched through others to see if there were any articles or recipes I wanted. The remainder went into the recycle bin. At one point in time, I cancelled all but a couple of them, at her request, but within a few months she was back to having 17 subscriptions again. She used to say she just loved receiving things in the mail. The reality is that magazine companies prey on people who cannot recall what magazines they receive or whether they’ve renewed or not so people (especially the elderly) may end up having way too many and some subscriptions go on for years. One of Mom’s magazines was paid up until 2016. We used to laugh when Mom would tell us, “You girls will sure have a mess to deal with when I’m gone”, but we’re no longer laughing. We’re still asking ourselves why Mom wasn’t more diligent in getting rid of unused things. She had many years in which she was healthier and could have been clearing out closets and drawers, but apparently she couldn’t deal with it all, or maybe didn’t want to. She was raised in the depression era, and that plays a part as well. So, yes, we do indeed have a mess but we’re making progress.
The sad thing about all of this, aside from our mother’s passing, is we have so much to do that we’ve had very little time to grieve for Mom or for the fact we’ll never again be able to gather at our family home once the house has been sold. That will seem odd after all these years. Our family moved there in 1957.  The house was (is) small – with a master bedroom for Mom and Dad, a small bedroom for my brother on the first floor, and the upstairs (called a dormer in those days) for us girls. We had one bathroom and no air conditioning, yet, we felt grateful to have a roof over our heads. The house has a full basement and we used to like to play downstairs on hot days since it was so much cooler down there.    
My sisters and I are learning valuable lessons as we clear out Mom’s house. We don’t want our offspring to “…have a mess to deal with…” so we’re being more mindful of what we’re adding to our own homes and vowing to (eventually) let go of things we no longer use or need. I hope we’ll remember that as time goes by.   
 MOM'S LIVING ROOM AS IT LOOKS TODAY - WE LOVED THE CLOSET DOOR SINCE THE WOOD PATTERN LOOKS JUST LIKE A HORSE HEAD  
 LIVING ROOM AND FRONT WINDOW
 MOM'S BEDROOM
 KITCHEN WINDOWN OVERLOOKS THE BACKYARD
 OTHER SIDE OF LIVING ROOM
 DINING AREA OF KITCHEN
 MY SISTER AND I SLEPT HERE - WE HAD TWIN BEDS 
 THIS WAS MY SISTER'S SIDE OF THE ROOM
 OUR YOUNGEST SISTER SLEPT TO THE LEFT OF STAIRWELL
OUR LITTLE FAMILY HOME - FOR SALE

4 comments:

Merilyn said...

What a lovely post Kady!! Yes, I do try and remember not to keep to much 'stuff' for others to clear out! I've had relatives whose homes took days and days to clear, so sad that this is what we have to show for a life at the end of the day (our memories really).....
It is certainly a small but cosy little home, very neat now, all the very best with the sale and just hope that the next owner will love and cherish it as much!!

Jill Cooper said...

I know you'll miss the old traditions but you'll just build new ones for your children and grandchildren to remember. That house could have been my mother-in-laws house - looks very similar except for the inside. It sounds like most of the hard work is done now. That's progress! Hugs!

Earlene Landis said...

So sorry for your loss. Your mom loved her things but she sure knew how to take care of them. Her house looks like it was well taken care of and spotless. You won't have trouble selling it.
Best Wishes

nancy huggins said...

It is kind of fun but also kind of sad to see what our parents left behind and that is one of the reasons I am downsizing now. Giving Granddaughters some of the things their Dad bought or made for me over the years. I will also be having a yard sale SOON and will llist some items on ebayso it won't be so much work when I am gone. I have realized that if I have enjoyed things then it might be good to let someone else enjoy them when I am gone. Kind of silly to just keep things in bins that I have no room for and the money from what I sell can pay for husband to go to dentist and will help with vet bills for 4 dogs and 3 cats :) We have decided to rent from now on and that makes 1 less burden for kids also. Good luck with all your sorting and just have good memories of your Mom no matter why she saved the things she did :)