5.27.2008

Estate Sale

We were in Salt Lake over the Memorial Day weekend. We met as a family to have an estate sale of our home of 37 years. My Dad saved everything. We had to clean out file cabinets of saved Father's Day cards from the 1950's to the first minted Tupperware. The night before the sale we split up the items with value, but what I didn't realize is how much I would be affected by the non-value items. Nothing in my life was more surreal than watching smelly annoying people traipse through our home, pick up my parents belongings and ask prices for them. I was mostly too busy through out the day to process any of it, but there were moments that stopped me flat. Watching a woman handle my mother's bathrobe. Flashing across my memory was breakfast being made in that robe and being attended to during sickness, Christmas mornings and preparing the Sunday roast. Another moment was a man holding up my dad's white shirts asking me for a price. I saw mom ironing those shirts and dad wearing them everyday for work, asking me as he walked through the door "how is my Shell doll?" It all lasted around 6 hours, a life time of stuff was sold and negotiated for a price. As I sat in my hotel bathroom crying the next day, I realized that all that stuff was just exactly that, stuff. I can never sell the memories, like mom canning peaches in a hot kitchen or dad laying out 3 football fields worth of Christmas lights in the garage, painstakingly looking for the one defective bulb. Later, we met at dad's grave site, cried, and talked about what we loved about him. It was a fitting ending.
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3 comments:

Chris said...

Very well put. That whole day is just surreal to me.

I can't believe I probably won't step foot in the house I grew up in ever again.

Allicat said...

Oh, honey, I'm sorry... I had forgotten this was the weekend you were all making the pilgrimage to SLC and the old house in Jamestown. I'll can really imagine what an emotional and surreal day it must have been. Glad you were there together, and fitting that you did this over memorial day weekend.

I gather you were able to keep Donna away from the event? How is she adapting to life in her new home?

And Chris, it's an odd feeling to have sold a childhood home. I remember how surreal it was to drive by our home on Rodeo Lane whenever I'd come visit you guys there after my mom sold it. Especially when I saw them adding on to it.

One day I actually stopped and knocked on the door, told them who I was and the nice Iranaian family who live there now asked if they'd let me see their remodel :) They did... it was really interesting, and smelled of middle eastern spices. It truly felt like it was no longer my home after that and became just another house on the street.

Michelle said...

Yes, we brought mom over the previous night to let her decide what she was going to keep/give to us. The "sale" day flew by, and was very successful albeit, difficult. There was much more that happened that I would rather not put into print. Hopefully our good neighbor Linda will be purchasing the home, she was a good friend to my parents and loves them dearly.