Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I went over to my mother's house to pick up another load of stuff from Grandpa's house.
She thinks she is done.
She looked done, having cleaned out sixty-six years worth of stuff out of a house over the course of a few weeks.
Cleaning out and cleaning.
The house wasn't dirty, but it was old and old houses have a lot of nooks and crannies where dust builds up.
The basement, was pretty shopworn.
I horrified my cousin a couple weeks ago by not only going into the basement alone, but opening the door to the fruitroom, which is a sort of subbasement room where my grandparents kept their canned goods and dry goods.  It is something straight out of central casting for "scary, horrible room of serial killers", or "perfect for home canners, circa 'Little house on the prairie' ",  it is all a matter of point of view.
I was on a mission to collect the old jars that still had glass lids and wire casings, and I found several that were to my liking.  I also found some pickled beets that I might have eaten had Kim not forbidden it.   
"You ARE NOT EATING THOSE! They could be from the 70's!"
I would have taken my chances for my grandmother's pickled beets, but Kim is a nurse, and she gets all bossy and nursey, despite being exactly five years younger, having spoiled my 5th birthday party by being born.
Mom really chose well; the pile of stuff she had for me was really perfect, and the very best part was that it was the kind of stuff that no one else would even want.  
Cast iron skillets, tempered with years of grease, dresser-scarves with garish peacocks and flowers, hats from the 40's with feathers and flowers, embroidery floss and iron transfers, deep dish pie plates from the 70's with groovy graphics, a little white owl that always sat on my grandmother's dresser.  
All right up mine alley.  She had Grandpa's Stetson and cowboy boots put aside for Maxwell, but alas he has my big head and feet.  My uncle had taken all the country records, which was fine.  
I would have taken them, but I am glad they are safe with somebody.
I will use every single thing that I picked up today.  
Use it and love it.  
Everyone else will set their stuff on a shelf.  
They are all a lot more classy than I am and not nearly as sentimental.  
I am the oldest grandchild, but my role in the family is of the wilting violet and peacemaker.  
They all have some ax to grind, but when I walked into the funeral everyone was at my elbow walking me to my place in the pew like I might just float away.  
No one is allowed to fight around me, that is one of those unspoken rules.   
My favorite cousin, said "now I can sit down, I was just waiting for you to come." and I think all his anger around some ancient hurt melted away for the time we sat in that church and listened to people say nice things about our grandfather. It's not a bad role at all to play if you have to pick. 

Cousins 1977

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