Monday, April 21, 2008

Clearing Out

We have started the daunting task of cleaning out Mom's house. The house has been in the family over 75 years. My Dad took care of his Dad, and inherited the house and contents in return. My parents were children of the Depression. Nothing that might be useful was ever thrown away. You know what that means.

It is going to take forever to get through everything. It took us about 7 hours to go through one closet. One closet! We found tax returns from the 1950's, along with an absolutely scathing and defiant letter written to the IRS after an audit. Dad obviously hadn't agreed with the auditor!

We found an old wallet containing years worth of union cards. Knowing Dad, we looked through the wallet, and sure enough, found his hidden stash of $2.00 bills from 1976. We each kept one.

I brought home a bag of sewing notions. Zippers, elastic, ric rac, seam binding, that type of thing. I was looking through the bag yesterday, trying to organize it a little. Some of them were never used, but many of the zippers were carefully removed from worn out clothing. See the red zipper in a little bundle with a rubber band around it? I remember Mom's windbreaker that came from.

Then I found this. It made me cry a little, but then kind of laugh too.

It is a strip of cloth from a work shirt my Dad wore very often. Mom had cut it out for the buttons. They knew something about reduce, reuse, recycle before it became popular.

I also brought home some garlic chives from Mom's yard, and planted them in my herb garden. The girls have been laying full force again, so I just might have to snip some chives over an omelette tonight for supper.


Cindy said...

I recognize the buttons on the placket and the zippers. We still have a button box from my Grandma and Mum. Cherished possessions. As for the garlic chives? Just so long as the cows don't get them. Makes the milk taste off:)

rilera said...

This must be such a difficult task for you. Mom was not into clutter but Dad on the other hand, was. Lucky for me Mom took care of Dad's clutter soon after his death but I was able to grab some keepsakes and mementos for myself. Mom was definitely into the reduce, reuse and recycle thing as a depression child, too. What we could all learn from them.

Robin said...

I admire your strength, I know how hard it was to clean out my Granny's house. I couldn't do it...
One thing my Granny taught me was not to waste anything, not only do I have her notion collection but I find myself removing buttons & zippers before throwing out old clothes.
Waste not...want not (but I'm running out of room for it all!)