If you were only given 18 months left to live how would you live it? Sell your house, and move to the beach so you could spend your days relaxing, walking, writing some music perhaps, or working on some of your writing projects? That's exactly the prognosis my mom was given at her last Dr. visit and this is exactly what she plans on doing about it. In selling the house she will have the financial freedom to live her dreams, and I think that breathing in that ocean breeze will give her a few extra good years.
The house you see pictured is the house I grew up in. My parents (that's my mom in the photo there, doing the "goodbye dance") lived in it for 50 or so years and raised 6 children here. At one time or another it has been home to several foreign exchange students, a few grandchildren, multiple cousins, an uncle, various people my mom found on the street and probably a few people I don't know about. Both my grandparents died in this house. And if it weren't already packed to the gills at any given time, my mom would add always squeeze a few more in for Sunday dinners or holidays. Thank goodness it was surrounded by a huge yard. That's where I found refuge. We (the grandkids, the internationals and I) played soccer, football, and volleyball out in the front yard, basketball in the back. The yard was host to a few family reunions every year for potlucks and races, and the annual neighborhood Easter egg hunt. We jumped from the garage attic window onto the trampoline and slept on it in the summer nights. We built forts under the trees and miniature cities in the sandbox, with some flash flooding from the hose.
This is the last time I'll see the house like this. It has been sold and will follow the neighborhood trend of being demolished to make way for a new McMansion.
I spent a couple of days at the house, helping my mom prepare for the big move. We unloaded closets, organizing things into piles --and that's when I wished the house could just spontaneously combust---while we were out to lunch, of course. What to do with all that STUFF?!! That is the question.
If there are a few lessons I've learned from this literal CLEANING HOUSE experience they are:
1. THROW EVERYTHING AWAY, CONSTANTLY.
2. LABEL EVERY PHOTO, or just throw them away.
3. DON'T LEAVE IT TO THE NEXT GENERATION TO WRITE YOUR FAMILY HISTORY. DO IT NOW! KEEP IT CURRENT! cuz no one wants to get stuck with boxes of un-labeled photos and untold stories. Comprende?!
It's why I like this whole blog thing. I can write a post once a week or so and after awhile publish it into book form and VIOLA!-- Family journal, history, with photos complete and concise.
My kids will thank me some day, if they ever find out what could have been :)