Tripping … Back to Texas

July 13, 2012 § 3 Comments

Let’s talk Texas! We’ve just returned from our bi-annual trip to old haunts and family rounds … 2,950 or so miles, 17 days, countless activities, and an average temp of 106!

We played golf with some friends –

Fossil Ceek Golf Club, Ft. Worth, TX – Hot day, but lots of shad!

We attended the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Annual Assembly in Fort Worth –

We visited with Tom’s brother and sister-in-law and my aunt and cousin –

We had the thermostat, radiator and AC fixed on the van –

But the rest of the trip … I’ll not say “highlight” … we spent in the central Texas town of Tom’s birth. Although he didn’t grow up there (he was about 6 months old when his parents moved), his mother did, and when she retired from teaching, she moved back. Now that she’s gone, it’s time to deal with family mementos, photos and ‘stuff’ and then sell her house. Not easy!

Central Texas – 106 degrees … I could see the asphalt melting!

My sister and I did this when our parents passed. I never knew that Mom kept all our letters! She also had shoeboxes filled with the front halves of greeting cards—she taught Sunday School and needed them!  (After Dad died, we found scads of toilet paper rolls under his sink—still saving them for Mom’s church work I guess … old habits are hard to break!)

In the middle of inventorying and sorting my mother-in-law’s clothes to donate to a local clothes closet, I began thinking about us. Tom and I don’t have children. Who will sort and donate and etc. for us when we are gone? No one. Yikes. We’d better start now if we are to do it ourselves.

Let’s see … I don’t teach voice any longer, so I can give my music away. Who would want a collection of art songs for high soprano, I wonder, or opera scores, with all those director’s notes scribbled in the margins? And does anyone these days even know what LPs are?

I have two dining room suites … one formal (Duncan Fife) and one informal (from Brazil). Do I really NEED two? Hmmm, would I do better selling the Duncan Fife on eBay, or donating it to a charity sales shop and taking the deduction?

Duncn Fife buffet – I inherited the suite from Mom. Do I want to sell it?

And if I get rid of the Duncan Fife, I’ll have to sell my good china and crystal. Hate to do that … it looks great in the hutch. But then, I’ve not actually used them in almost 25 years so I have no real sentimental attachment to them … wait that’s not true. The crystal was a wedding present from the Baptist missionaries where I worked in Recife, Brazil. Maybe if I don’t tell them though ….

What am I bid?

I think what I need to do is hire an estate sale’s team … but not for everything … at least not yet!

Which brings me back to my mother-in-law’s house. We only spent 5 days there this time, assessing what needs to be done and how much time we’ll need to do it. We are planning another trip back soon … for a month at least … to complete the job, hire the estate sales people and put the house on the market. I hope I’m up for this! I hope Tom is!

Then I think we’ll wait to do our own “clean out” until later. One house a year is enough!

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§ 3 Responses to Tripping … Back to Texas

  • Dorothy says:

    Fully understand. Have been going through the same questions myself with my own stuff. Started asking the grandkids what they wanted, since my own kids don’t seem to want any of it! And have been giving some things to groups that hold auctions for charity. But so far, it’s just a small dent in the piles of ‘collectibles’ on the closet floors. Oh, my! Hope I live long enough to get rid of things I know my kids won’t want to deal with. p.s. I have boxes of used cards and empty tubes from paper towels (for craft projects?), too! Yikes!

  • Even with kids, and grandkids, to go through your estate someday, it’s good to get a jumpstart on what you will leave behind. Am sending you good wishes on your project! My siblings and I did my mother’s estate, and we found some amazing and surprising things. Example: the cardboard box from my mom’s house that stated, in bold magic marker, “Christmas Cards to Get Rid Of.” The picture of my mom meticulously filing away old greeting cards first before getting rid of them tickled my funny bone. So I took it home with me at the end of our clean-out. My kids will likely think, when they discover it in my own cache, “Gosh, what was Mom thinking?” For all I know, the box I found in Mom’s back bedroom originated with her own mother…a legacy of sorts.

  • We are just now, five years after his death, giving away my Dad’s clothes. I still feel sad doing it.

    Ray has also been going through my mother’s manuscripts and scrap books. She left a wealth of novels–and family history carefully pasted in notebooks. We will not part with any of that stuff. Things of sentimental value seem to be a special case. When no one remembers, then, perhaps, they become throw-aways. Or perhaps in some cases, history.

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