As we countdown to retirement and continue downsizing, we have told the kids and grandkids about our plans. Nearly everyone has basically said, they’ve been expecting it. I guess we are not mysterious at all. Of course our house has a definite beachy theme going on and we take our vacations there, so maybe it isn’t so far-fetched that we would one day plan to move there.
Our daughter Michele is the only one who was at all surprised. I actually thought she was mad when we told her and her husband Chad. He wasn’t surprised at all. She asked him how he knew…of course he didn’t know, he just wasn’t surprised. He told her to think about it and after a couple of minutes she calmed down and began to at least listen to our plans.
We told each of the kids they needed to let us know if there was something they wanted from our house. A piece of furniture, picture or something because we were going to be downsizing and selling, donating or otherwise ridding ourselves of our worldly possessions. Well, that’s a little dramatic, but we really are going to get rid of almost everything. Our goal is to leave town with one truckload. The truck size has not been determined yet.
Of course none of the kids wanted to come in like vultures, but we assured them that if we couldn’t give a particular item to them we would let them know. I was surprised by their choices. Michele wanted an antique vanity that I use as a make up table. It surprised me because she’s never really been into antiques and it doesn’t seem her style. But, she used to come into my room in the mornings and sit at my desk (it was a different one than I’m using now) to do her hair and makeup. I think it’s the memories of that, that make her choose the vanity. If not, I’m going with that because it makes me feel happy thinking that’s what it is. Her husband, Chad is all about Bob’s horns and hunting stuff. He’s got a room, man cave if you will that is all about Seahawks and hunting. That was no surprise.
My daughter-in-law said, “I want that whole wall”. Referring to a wall in our kitchen that has old antique and rusty enamel ware. Most of it was found across the road from us at an old homestead up the hill. It has bullet holes and rust, it’s misshapen and I love it. It makes me happy that she wants it for her home. Our son wasn’t surprised by our decision to move, he just doesn’t believe his dad will ever retire, therefore we won’t be moving. So we’ve just suggested to him some things he might want. Dad’s bobcat that he shot years and years ago that’s always hung somewhere in the house. Some of the gifts that he’s made us over the years. “You still have this?” “I can’t believe you kept this!” … Yes my darling, I have kept nearly everything you ever made me.
Joey and the twins, 3 of our grandkids, were here so much when they were young that everything here is a memory to them. This is home to them. Not that they didn’t have a great home, they were just here a lot with us when they were young. Joey is engaged and living with a sweet wonderful girl, Bre and he was so close to my mom before she passed that he will gladly take anything that was hers. So, he gets her dishes that I have…on one condition…they have to use them. They can’t just stick them in a box. I did because i was so afraid of breaking them, and now it’s time to give them away and I really never got to enjoy them. They aren’t china, they’re just dishes. They need to be used.
Aaron has yet to name anything, although i’m sure he’ll think of something. Oh he’s asked for practical things, dish cloths, bathroom rugs, a desk, nothing sentimental yet. Caleb said, “Oh Grama, I know exactly what I want. Remember when we were using the metal detector in the field and we found that part of an old toy? That’s what I want!” I had to think about this for a while, but finally remembered, we found an old cast iron tractor toy. Actually just a part of it and yes, I still have it. Now that’s what I mean, everything is a memory.
I’m so excited about the things they’ve chosen. There will be more as we get closer, dig deeper purge more. But these things are my memories that will keep me close to my kids and grandkids. They are my heart and I think they’ve got good memories to hold on to too. I’m sure they’ll have lots of stories to tell their kids and grandkids someday too, and with any luck, I can tell them a few of my own as we play on the beach together.
I have a vitamin deficiency, I am in need of vitamin sea.