Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Clean House and Many Serendipity Moments

In less than one week from the day we received the keys to our mother's home we have emptied it and it is up for sale. As her personal representative it is satisfying to know that we are fulfilling her desires to have the house sold and begin the process of closing out the probate requirements. All the years of training and education in genealogy research have proven invaluable in navigating a very challenging path.

Our parents built their dream home in Carver in 1979 and enjoyed eight years together before our father passed away in 1988. She continued to live there after her second marriage until her death in 2013. It is a lovely home situated on almost five acres, where wildlife is plentiful. The birds, rabbits and deer brought her many moments of joy. The two bedrooms, two bath home was expanded in 2006, with another bedroom that was more like a large family room, where our family gathered for holidays and other events.

The home was custom built with beautiful cabinets in the kitchen, bathrooms and two large display cabinets in the living room. In the living room she displayed her china, many treasures and her books. We took out many boxes of books of all types as we cleaned. In the living room, dining room and the large bedroom are bay windows, which look out on the picturesque landscape surrounding the home.

She worked diligently to maintain the plants and vegetation. Among the views were countless bird feeders which attracted a wide variety of fowl. There were three ponds, one viewed from the window in the living room, another viewed from the kitchen window and the third in the orchard. These hold various types of fish, frogs and lily pads. Over the years she had chickens, ducks, geese, doves, pigeons, turkeys, rabbits, goats, dogs, cats, and a pony. The red barn in the orchard, with a weather vane on top, was a busy place.

The pole barn on the other end of the property was our father's pride and joy. At our home in Portland he had a very small shop at the back of our home. Now he had space to fill with every type of tool imaginable. He loved to refinish furniture and make new items for gifts to family members. His greatest enjoyment came from sharing the space with his children and grandchildren. It also held their boat and fishing equipment. Life was good for six years, until he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

One of the sweetest spots on the property is the bridge they built over the small creek that runs along the westerly border. It has been rebuilt several times and is now in need of repairs. Around the edges of the property in this area are the bounteous flower beds. Every kind of native plant and flowers can be found. Up behind the house and in the orchard are fruit trees, blueberry plants, strawberries beds and a grape arbor that provided the fall harvest which was used to make our annual grape juice supply. They maintained a garden for many years, but there was always competition from the wildlife, especially the deer. The deer would linger to enjoy the treats, providing hours of viewing enjoyment.

As we cleaned out the house cupboards, closets, and hiding spots, many items of sentimental value appeared. Things that brought back fond memories of the enjoyment they brought. During the process there were dreams with my mother directing me in the search. Her silverware chest, small knickknacks, items purchased by her father who passed away in 1956, Christmas treasures, etc. Each time the feeling that we had a deep connection permeated my spirit. The serendipity felt in the moments when these items were found can hardly be explained.

For a job that she knew would try me in patience and overwhelm me in scope, she has been my guiding light. There is peace in knowing that we, her four children, are working together to fulfill the final rights of her life brings so much solace. On Wednesday evening we were all there doing different things to clean up the home and property. In the past year our access to the property was limited and it had deteriorated. Bringing it back up to her level of care is a final tribute to her and our father. When the house sells we will all move on, but the wonderful memories will linger forever.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Sue... brought tears to my eyes and the fond memories back of your mom.... please involve me with any help you need to keep up the property until it's sold.... your mom was a great teacher to me when it came to gardening and the animals.... and love.... yes, love. I hope everything works out for you and the family.... Love, Betz