Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Bye Bye, House

Last night I returned from 4 days in Georgia. Saturday was spent at Flint Hill, the Lipscomb's Farm. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were spent going through approximately 150 boxes in the basement of the house in which I grew up. These were boxes of stuff gathered from all around the house that had been put into storage units during the time the house was on the market. These boxes contained antique cameras, pictures, birth certificates, moldy old clothes, actual trash, albums, jewelry, appliances, etc. Priceless antiques were in boxes with moldy old shoes.

I made the mistake of writing "Crap" on the top of several boxes, which was apparently offputting to the estate sale ladies. My mother is currently in a bit of a quandry regarding the estate sale, as this company is the only one that will do estate sales when there isn't a lot of furniture, and they have no dates available before the house closing on August 18th. I don't know what will happen now, but I'm sure it will all work itself out somehow.

My parents bought our house in 1980. My mother is a pack rat. My father is a bit of a slob. I have a little of both of those qualities in me, too. So the sorting wasn't easy. 150 boxes, four thousand square feet, two and a half days, and 25 years of detritus. My mother and I had quite a time of it. We found fascinating letters, photographs, and items. I heard a story about every piece of furniture, every painting, every item. I want to remember them all, but I think the only way I can manage that is if I get my mother to start writing now!

I am taking 15 boxes when I move next month. I'm also getting some library bookcases, a lovely sofa and chair, a hall tree, an Oriental rug, a copper coal bucket, a bedside table, mostly antiques. My mother and father talked me into taking more than I wanted, but I think they were actually right in doing that. It's hard to imagine me with a family in a house right now, but if that ever does happen, I do think there are some things that I will want. So to that end, some other items of furniture are being put into a storage facility for me. The most important of these items are my great-grandmother's upright piano (or was it great great grandmother?!), a 1922 roll top desk, and several brass rubbings done by my parents when we lived in England in the very early 70s.

After all of that sorting, I think that I will have a much easier time getting rid of things in my own apartment! I kept feeling like each item I took with me was an encumberment that would keep me from being able to move freely through my apartment and freely through my life.