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I’ve been a lazybones about posting lately. Some of that’s due to the fact that I don’t have large chunks of time and like to think about what I’m going to write before I write it. Other times it’s because I feel I don’t have anything important to say (but why does everything I say have to be important? hmmm). But for the benefit of all two of my subscribers, I’ll catch you up on what’s goin’ on.

The house sold, and though we’ve had to run back to Kinzers another time since then, we are now finished with that part of handling the estate. The next step is for me to copy bills and other financial information and send them to our estate guru, who will then file the appropriate forms, etc., and we can cut checks for the inheritance. It looks as if we’ll have enough money to pay off our house, which is a tremendous blessing. Kevin wants to buy a motorcycle with the remainder, and I’m okay with that. But there are many needs in our family and in the world, so we’ll see. That said, I’d give it all back just to have his dad walk through the door and say, “Hello, Pat!” (I can still hear him….).

It feels good to be done with that aspect of the estate, but we’ve got a lot of work to do here at home as a result. Despite our best intentions, we brought more home than we wanted to. You can’t just throw photo albums out, and what about this, and that, and, and…. All that sentimental stuff with little value that nobody wanted and I couldn’t bear to see being thrown into a dumpster is now located throughout my house. And speaking of my house, it’s a mess! There really was no place to go for more stuff (I was trying to get rid of stuff, not bring more in!!!). I have an artist friend who makes paintings/collages, and am thinking about taking some of it to her (when you run out of floor space you are left with few alternatives, lol).

There are other projects, too–a book I’m illustrating for a friend, the transfer of all those pictures to the computer, transferring my father-in-law’s scrapbook from his Navy years (which is literally falling apart) to a new one. Next month Kevin and are hoping to tackle the basement (get it organized, get rid of what we don’t need or use).

And then there’s the writing, that’s fallen by the wayside. It’s emaciated as I’ve only fed it scraps of time, and I’m feeling guilty about neglecting it. Perhaps one day I’ll turn to find it and discover it’s gone, moved on to find another home where it would be loved and cherished and fed on a regular basis. No, I haven’t been very faithful about my writing. I forget that it’s a gift, and that if I’m not faithful it could be taken away…. ~sigh~

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2 responses »

  1. Hi again Patti:

    This is such an appropos post—

    First of all, I can fully empathize with the loss you’re feeling. Reading your words took me back to when at the tender age of thirty– thirty-one years ago, I had to abandon my life as a poet in Minnesota and come back to Colorado; my father finally succumbed to emphysema and my mother was ill as well. It was overhwhelming to have to deal with the house and the chaff.

    I was especially moved by how you sequestered the things that you know were important to them. I was so very tired and overwhelmed that there were treasures I piled in the yard with little stickies with prices on them; gone are things that can never, ever be replaced. The experience of settling what family members leave behind is unsettling, to say the least.

    As my parents declined things went completely out of control. I opened the walk-in closet in their study and was bombarded with picture frames that my mother had intended to refinish. In the basement were entire archive boxes of letters between them that chronicled life in the U.S. during WWII as well as their passion for each other as young newlyweds separated by the war. These would be a treasure today. I had to clean up the place so that it could be put on the market and had nowhere to store things.

    My parents had a collection of very fine specimens of Southwestern pottery as well as a painstakingly acquired collection of first edition of rare books to do with the West and the Southwest. In my zeal, I called collectors in Santa Fe who flew in and bought the pottery, and the books, most of them, went into the garage sale.

    I kept a few things: the family bible, thank goodness, which has signatures from the early days of New Mexico territory when my great great grandparents on my mother’s side settled in Albuquerque. I also kept a book precious to me that was my mother’s– New Mexico Cooking by Erna Ferguson, wife of the writer Harvey Ferguson, with an inscription to my mother. Nearly 3/4 of a century ago, the same recipes for making red and green chile are in my repertoire. And, I have my father’s St. Augustine prayer book.

    I did have to put the reminders away for awhile, until some time had passed. Ironically, I live next door to the nursing home where my mother was until she had a heart attack. My most recent poem has to do with suddenly seeing her in my mind’s eye, sitting in a chair there, outside, waiting for me to pick her up to go to church. Perhaps I’ll send that to you.

    So many good-byes in life, but many hellos too, yes? Be sure to take care of you through all of this, and perhaps even let yourself blog in the a.m.’s with coffee, before doing anything else. xj

  2. I’m glad you kept the things you did, j. And even though I kept a lot there are still things I regret letting go. But my daughter-in-law’s words were echoing in my head, “Don’t do this to us!” My in-laws didn’t believe in throwing much out. In some ways that was good. I made some fascinating finds and yes, letters from his Navy years and from when they were courting. I’ve been putting them in notebooks and so far have gone through 300 sheet protectors! Oh how I wish I’d have read them when they were alive! I have so many questions….

    Yes, here’s to the hellos! I’ll try to be a more faithful blogger, though I guarantee you that my life is boring compared to yours! My husband’s life, on the other hand, was the quintessential American boyhood. I wish I could tell stories as you do, it would be a bestseller!

    Best,
    p

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