This had been our parents' home for the last decade plus of their lives, but they left behind the trappings of 67 years of marriage. They had moved to the mountains over 20 years ago, shortly after my husband and I did, and through the years, my sister and husband contemplated retiring up here. So when Mom, our surviving parent passed, we agreed that, rather than sell the house, Sister would inherit.
Married during the Great Depression, the folks’ frugal mentality and work ethic of the era remained for life. Thus, Mom seems to have saved every glass jar and plastic container anything ever came in, every set of dishes, the pots and pans they received as wedding gifts, the envelopes from every piece of mail and all financial documents, no matter their age. Mom used the backs of envelopes for notes and financial calculations and other records, so each had to be inspected rather than simply tossed.
Sister found many nightgowns and towel sets she'd bought for Mom over the years, unused, since the old ones still served. Mom kept all the "nice" shoes she'd ever acquired and kept her accumulated wardrobe sorted and stored by season.
Despite being a lady in her nineties, Mom's tastes in furnishings were still Modern although many cabinets were conversions of old radio and TV cabinets of theirs, and even of her mother's, all of which she'd adapted to a more traditionally appointed house. Her knickknacks and mementos are paintings and small artistic objects rather than clutter and kitsch.
Dad was a saver, too, but, except for his clothing, his manly items, art and stained glass supplies, golf clubs, and tools for yard and repair were not inside the house, so didn't have to be moved. Pop was not a person who hired something done. He just did it.
My brother-in-law retired awhile ago and has been doing fix-up of the in-town home in preparation for eventual sale. Now my sister's retirement approaches and they've been pressing hard on the Mountain House. They've done a lot of culling out on a regular basis. Still, they'd entertained here for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so things remained intact for that, but the floor installation crunch is now on and my sister did a backbreaking job moving everything to the garage and to high shelves for the duration of the installation. Wow!
But the real prize among the papers, she found Mom and Dad's love letters!
Dad never wanted to leave Mom behind, but he couldn't control that he died five years before her in the end. Theirs was a true romance.
Hats off to my sister's hard work this weekend.
See you tomorrow.