HEIRLOOM SPARKLERS!!
February 16, 2009

My Moms Austrian crystal earrings....

My Mom's Austrian crystal earrings....

You know, I never properly thanked all of you who wrote when I was in Birmingham, helping my sisters move my Mom into assisted living, so let me do it now….thanks for all the kind thoughts and stories of your own…I enjoyed all of them .

Her move meant yet another downsizing…a big one….which also means finding  new homes for lots and lots of stuff. Including the earrings in the picture. Both my sisters urged them on me, saying, “You take them….you wear jewelry a lot and we don’t!!”….that’s not really true, but anyway,  I ended up with them. And a necklace that goes with them. I made a point to call my Mom this morning to let her know I was wearing them today….she had confided to my sister the other day, “I just don’t know what happened to all my things…”and maybe we were wrong not to do it all in front of her, but we were trying to protect her from the dismantling of her life’s possessions…but perhaps she should have been witness, so she did know where things ended up. But that moment is gone now.

So I did call this morning and let her know I had them on…she said, “Oh, I’m so glad! I remember your Father and I were in Chattanooga Tennessee, and we passed by this shop with Austrian crystal jewelry on sale. I got a necklace and earring set for me and one for Katie Mae  (my paternal grandmother). I don’t know what happened to her earrings, she did wear them sometimes. But I remember buying those…”  And there is a matching necklace, which Mom always liked wearing with a black dress, as it set off the sparkle nicely. I haven’t had a chance to wear it yet, but I will. And my mother knows where at least one more thing is…and perhaps you can see them sparkle on the air tonight at five, and now you know where they come from….see you then!

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Back from ‘bama….tales of junk and romance….
January 26, 2009

See anything you want??

See anything you want??

I’m not gonna lie….it was 3 and half days of  somewhat grueling labor, physically and emotionally…moving my Mom to a single room in  “assisted living”. That said…it needed to be done…. my sisters were there to help and make it fun, we had a lot of laughs and a few tears, and bottom line, Momma is now where she needs to be.  Some of the larger pieces of furniture went into storage, temporarily, we promise ourselves, a few she’s using, and lots of others we gave away. But all the bric-a-brac, china, pots and pans, drawers full of old watches, thousands of pens, check stubs from 1995, old magazines, just …..the flotsam and jetsam of life….arrrrgh!!! Thursday night was the worst…my sister Jan and I standing in the apartment after getting Mom settled in her place, surrounded by mountains of stuff. Where to even begin….overwhelming.

Drawers full of keys to nothing, old watches, matches.....

Drawers full of keys, old watches, matches.....

 But we just started separating it..definite keeps, maybe keeps, and definite giveaway or Goodwill, and definite trash. And little by little by little, it all got done. I flew home mid day yesterday, and my sisters finished the rest of it yesterday…called last night giddy with relief, saying “It was the last load…we gave the keys back and it’s finished!”  It was so hard, truly it made me think about all the stuff in my house. If we were to die suddenly, I seriously don’t know what my kids would do….probably throw up their hands in disgust and walk away, or set a match to it all. Just kidding, but do you know what I mean?  It makes you think. At one point, My sister yelled over the phone to my husband, “There’s a lot of junk headed your way!!” She was laughing but she wasn’t kidding.

But, good news of romance blossoming ‘bama. My dear Father-in-law, who lost his wife(and the best Mother-in-law ever) several years ago, seems to have found love again, at the age of 80! I went out for lunch with him and his new sweetheart…he actually called her that…it was kinda odd, but lovely. And I do take a little ownership in this new relationship….he and I have talked about him one day, meeting someone he liked…even if it was just someone to go to dinner with or see a movie…companionship, you know. Anything else is just gravy. He told me about this woman who was taller than him, but they had spent time together as seat mates on a a church bus trip. And he wanted to see her but was unsure how to proceed. I advised him(advice for the lovelorn) to just casually ask if she wanted to meet at a restaurant for lunch one day…not a big date with a pickup…just lunch. And then meet for a movie one day. Very casual. And that was something he thought he could handle. And look where we are. He told me privately, “I think I’m falling in love..” with real wonder in his voice. And she told me, “I can’t believe out of all the women in the church, he picked me!” Isn’t it lovely to think that even at 80, life can hold surprises..good surprises…for us. Gives one hope for the future, doesn’t it?