Family Matters…

As a result of the clean up and out of my parents items in their home for up to 61 years, to prepare for its sale, I made a specific promise/decision to myself and my children. That decision: not to leave my family with such a task when I go home to be with Our Maker. My brothers, husband, and one son, devoted two months to making only minor repairs and fix ups. But, the tasks and processes involved were both emotional and tedious. I am just so very happy that our son, Jeff, was unusually talented and skilled in countless areas of repair, replacement, painting, tiling, installing doors and hardware, buffing floors–whatever the task, his skills filled the bill and we followed his lead.

I am happy to report that our family home went on the market a week ago. There’s been much interest and the market seems to be thriving despite so many other areas of our family’s lives in 2020 that have been interrupted because of the global COVID 19 pandemic and the United States 2020 campaigning and election aftermath improprieties.

It’s now day three of me “walking my talk” to discard, organize, and simplify the material things that are now cluttering my home and life. If there’s one thing I learned about the “get rid of” mode during mom and dad’s clean up and clear out, it’s that estate yard sales are not going to give most people the return on the investment in time to prepare for them, and definitely not the values of vintage/antique possessions. Pennies on the original cost or sentimental value would even be an overstatement of what we netted. Then, there’s also the emotional drain of just watching non family members rifle through our loved ones prized possessions and raise their eyebrows at the prices we’re asking. I definitely don’t want my family to have to experience anything close to this. In fact, we ended up taking many of the items we exhibited at the yard sale to the landfill because COVID has caused second-hand shops to remain closed. Bottom line, and adding insult to injury, after the estate yard sale and a couple of online purchases we added just $400 to the estate account and we still had to pay the landfill $68 to accept what remained of my parents lives here on earth.

So, it’s been about two weeks since I started writing this post. I am continuing to merge/purge many of my material items. If I’m aware that someone has an interest in an item, I check with them before purging. I have cleaned and reorganized a six foot bookshelf and my home office closet. At one point in my life I was into scrapbooking and/or making custom and crafty gifts. My millennial nieces still are into this so they readily took the supplies from my closet that had only been collecting dust. One of my son’s watches history documentaries, especially related to past wars, and especially the civil war. He gladly accepted a 4-volume set of the civil war in pictures–pictures that had been taken by American Photographer, Mathew Brady, the father of photojournalism for his documentation of the Civil War. In the tiny spare room downstairs (that has done nothing but collect odds and ends for the past two decades), we stripped the floor, the walls, and the double-sized closet–most of these items were just taking up space and worthy only of discarding them! I even got my husband Bob to go through clothes that he packed away as seasonal, only to find that what he had packed away was in better condition than some of things he had been wearing on a daily basis. I now see him in an almost new wardrobe and we tossed four big 55-gallon trash bags of very used and sometimes abused clothing. And, as time allows, we’re still plugging away. My brother and his wife came over last week and asked us what had happened, that our small living room seems so much more spacious. (YAY!!!)

An update on the family home. There have been two dozen or so showings. All positive comments, but no qualified takers yet. I guess we’ll have to be more patient on this front.

With today being December 1, we are rapidly approaching the end of 2020. (Hallelujah!) I can only rely on my faith, hope, and love that life in 2021 will improve so that all families can safely reunite for special occasions. Meanwhile, a thought from our church pastor in Huntingtown, MD, as Chesapeake begins its new teaching series: “Love Revolution;”

Be Revolutionary: Paul begins his charge to the church by urging us to live a life worthy of the calling we have received; to be completely humble, gentle and patient with one another. In a world that perpetuates division, when we make every effort to live in the unity of Christ, that’s being revolutionary.

Pastor Robert P. Hahn, November 24, 2020 (From Ephesians 4:)

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