We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, August 10. 2013
Funny thing about my parents. They never owned many clothes, but they always looked perfectly appropriate, and modestly-elegantly-attired, whether for weddings, beach club parties, dinner parties, fancy cruises, country clubs, hiking in Europe, opera, funerals, yard work, etc. I don't know how they did that. Mrs. BD opined that they did it by owning a very few perfect and very fine things, and were careful to never over-dress. They were not shoppers but seemed to have excellent Yankee taste. They had very little clothing for Good Will to take away.
Their dining room table is now against a wall in our living room, for the moment, where the piano mover guys were kind enough to lug away our old upright that my kids learned on. We might want to keep that Danish slate-topped table and use it as our kitchen dining table, as the wonderful one we use is quite large. Huge. Or save it for a kid. Mom's jewels - the few which I obtained thus far - are stashed in my safe.
After I do some clean-up, I'll post some pictures of it all. Life in Yankeeland goes on. An empty family house is eery, and left me feeling troubled and disoriented. I was already away at boarding school when they built it, but it became home even though I never really lived there. Somebody prosperous will love it, paint it, and raise some fine batch of kids there (it has 6 bedrooms). It's a lovely dwelling. Or maybe they will decide to do a demolition and start fresh. We are gone now.
Clean and wax the floors, wash the walls, then an open house asap. It's a short walk to the Congo church on the hill. It's only worth around a million, for the land. The lovely, large, but 1960s-era home itself does not seem to factor in its value at all. Small bathrooms, lots of big windows with no thermopane. People expect more comforts, nowadays, even though it is entirely sufficient and functional, modestly elegant and comfortable.
My parents were not interested in modern conveniences. Instead of a/c, they just planted trees to shade the house. No sound systems. Radio with WQXR.
Dad, I believe, was proud to have designed and built it for his big family of five kids. A place to read and talk, entertain, eat, and sleep. Never a TV until all the kids left, and always dogs until they got too old to take good care of them. Springers.
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I raise a toast to the house and the memories that fill it and that are taken with you.
Another life transition to learn from.
Look forward in spite of the pain.
Dear BD: Pour yourself a very nice glass of something wonderful (single malt, or port, or??) take one of those fine cigars and your glass and go out in the garden this evening. Sit quietly, feel their hands on your shoulders, and see them smiling. Stay calm. Stay quiet and rest your mind--they left you in good shape--stay that way!
This takes the Gwynnie Gold Medal as the Comment of the Year. Truly beautiful AP -- thanks so much!
Looks like a lovely place for a new beginning. Some family will enjoy it.
Why don't you leave them a note. My children, long ago, wrote inside a closet I used to hide gifts and protect fragile, seasonable items: "If you are reading this, you don't belong here." Those kids now are long grown, but when I had the whole house repainted a last year, including the insides of closets, that note was painted around. It still warns the next occupant.
I miss my Mom, too. When you wrote those words a while back, they felt like a knife in my heart.
Contrary to popular belief, Time has not healed her absence. I miss her more every year.
I sincerely hope you do not go through the same thing. The only thing worse than grief is regret.
I wish you the best. At least you had an angel come visit. I didn't. Maybe it would have made things easier for me. In that, you are a lucky guy.
Big of you to share all this, BD, it very much hits close to home. In my case it was sudden and unexpected, the loss. I'd have given anything for a last minute or two. Which is why, lesson learned, it never does to wait; express everyday, as you never know which will be the last.
A tough time for you and siblings, hope for you all the best.
I hope you will soon take a well-deserved break- if you haven't already started.
My Dad passed away 26 years ago, Mom 20. I still miss them terribly. However, I feel that their spirit is still with me. I hope that you are able to make the transition to the rest of your life.
Looks like a great house. Please post a link to the realtor site. I'm stuck in Tulsa, but, who knows, might know someone who knows someone that would be a perfect owner for this place.
"Or maybe they will decide to do a demolition and start fresh."
I hope not! The pictures you've shared make it look like a real home. Let's hope another family finds it a great home too.
Both sets of my grandparents have long been gone; and both of their homes have been "taken over" by new families and fixed up. They are both very beautiful homes today - well-loved and well-lived in. I know that all four are looking down and smiling to see the fine familes that eventually ended up in their old places. I hope your parents get the same satifaction.
Lost Dad several years back, Mom just turned 92. We broke up the house about 2 years back. Son is a philosophy major at small liberal arts school in New Haven. Dad worked for the railroad in that town for a while, Grandfather for 50 years. Anyhow, I just found Maggie's Farm and this was the first post I read.
BD, I have to agree with AP above... A glass of port and a cigar taken from your dad's humidor is in order. I never smoked until I lost a brother this Christmas... and brought home my dad's and his dad's humidor from his house. Somehow the act of pulling a Connecticut shade wrapper cigar from that very box and watching the smoke curl up to heaven invokes a prayerful connection for me. Grampa, Dad, John and I are all together for that time, in those spirals drifting away in the night.
No censor smells as sweet, or lifts a prayer as high as those moments on the deck, alone, with my kin.
Looking forward to being a regular reader. SK