Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Here At The End Of Some Things

It is a strange and awkward task to dismantle the home of some one still living. The nest and representation of half of my Oma's life has begun to be distributed between garbage bags and boxes.

The ever-present cluster of rubber bands on the kitchen door handle, the lifetime supply of dixie cups, the 27 tubes and plastic bottles of various hand creams (one dating back to the 1970's in the form of Jean Nate), the scraps and scraps and scraps of wrapping paper, they all went into garbage bags.

The stacks of Christmas tea towels, the 17 oven mitts (some with tags still attached), the pumpkin candles, the skeins and skeins and skeins of yarn, they all went into boxes.

The photographs that exploded out of drawers and nooks in every room were contained, in totes, in one area. The gallery-worthy hand knit tablecloths and embroidery were slung over hangers in another. A few of the garden gnomes, who lived for years in my Oma's backyard and of late found themselves suffocating  in  musty boxes, made their way into the back of my car and will resurrect their kitsch by my door.

It is strange and awkward here at the end of some things, the end of an era of an immigrant's life. There is much more to sort, there is much more to toss, there is much more to handle with love and regard as we unravel the nest left empty by a mind in need of more care.


  1. I once went to an estate sale for a woman I knew - she was alone, no children, never married, and had entered a nursing home. All her stuff up for sale to help with the cost. It killed me, but I had to go. Her rock collection (I bought a rock on which she'd written Mexico 1939), her books, her darkroom equipment. I tell you this story to tell you I understand - these things once so important now maybe not so important, or maybe more important.

    My heart is full of tenderness for you. Take care.


  2. Having just completed this same task for my mother over the past year culminating in the sale of her house last month, I know how this feels for you. It was an overwhelming task for me. So many decisions to make, and I had to make almost all of them all by myself. Hugs to you, Graciel.

  3. The things we accumulate tell their own story, and we don't see what it is until someone else looks at them.

    Jean Nate! My mom wore that when I was a little girl.

    Your descriptions painted a picture of Oma, I can see her, and the things you choose to keep will remind you of her always.

    Having said all that, I know this is hard. And I keep you in my thoughts. xoxo

  4. You will do well my dear. Your oma's house in such wonderful carring hands...Hope you find wonderful memories of hers.
    Good luck with it all.

  5. i'm with mrs. m...you've told such a vivid and loving story of oma just by taking us on a tour through the things she chose to live with. her life looks deep and well-lived. and she smells good (i love jean nate!). many hugs!


I always appreciate the time you take to comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by. Peace from my heart to yours. xo, Graciel