I spent last weekend in Middletown, Ohio, where I grew up. My mother was recently moved to assisted living and after a huge amount of work by my sisters and brothers, we had an estate sale last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here are some of my observations about the event.
1. My mother had a lot of stuff. Here’s a photo of a table full of her stuff on the second day of the sale. There were other tables full of stuff throughout the house. We sold a lot of this stuff. There was twice as much as this there the day before.
In the end, almost all of this kind of stuff sold, but this didn’t sell.
I think that is a statement about how people live today. An almost flawless service for 12, this china was a bargain, but people just don’t entertain formally these days. Heck, I can’t remember ever eating off of these dishes so we weren’t so formal either. Or else my mother lived in fear that something might happen to them…no clue.
This didn't sell during the sale either.
I can’t tell you how many people came through and said what a nice piano this is. “It’s yours!” I’d say. “Nah,” they’d say. “Don’t have the space for it…can’t play anyhow… already have a keyboard.” But, lucky for us, I believe that it has been claimed at this point. Happy playing to whoever got it.
2. This is the house I grew up in. We moved there from upstate New York in 1956 when I was almost three so it is really the only house I remember as a child. I have three brothers and three sisters, but we managed to fit somehow. Well, my father added this room and that room as the family got bigger. There is a large great room on the back that is not visible from the street and at one time, the basement was fixed up and my sister Cindy and I had bedrooms down there. My nephew Neil is sprucing it up on the inside, then it is going on the market.
When we moved in, the house had no garage and very little landscaping. In fact, the yard was mostly mud. But over the years and with lots of work, the yard got nicer. That huge pine tree in the front yard was our Christmas tree that my father planted after the holidays were over. I don’t think he ever thought it would get that big or he would have planted it further away from the house.
3. One of the features of a ranch house is the hallway. For whatever reason, my father started taking pictures of us coming out of the doors in the hallway. Here are a few:
This one was probably taken in 1957. Left to right: That's me, Judy, Susan and Cindy.
Here we added my brother Mark to the mix. Left to right: Judy, Cindy, Mark, Susan and me looking kind of maniacal.
Daddy needed to focus a little better on this one or else we weren't being cooperative, but brother Rob was added to this one. Left to right standing: Judy, Cindy, Susan (sans head) and me. Mark is on the left on the floor and there's Rob.
This photo was taken in 2008 and is the only one that includes all of us. Any of you with large families know how hard it is to get everyone together in one spot. Left to right: Cindy, Susan, Rob, me, Jay and Judy. Mark is kneeling.
And we took one last one this past weekend in the almost empty house. Unfortunately, Jay was not around. Left to right: Cindy, Rob, me, Susan, Jude and Mark.
4. As a person who really cherishes my alone time, I spent the nights in a local hotel. It was nice to be able to get back there and collapse on the bed at the end of the day. But I did get the wonderful opportunity to see my friend Gloria, who dropped by the house and brought these from the BonBonerie Pastry Shop in Cincinnati so we could keep our energy levels up. As tempting as it was, I couldn't bite into that owl. My sister Judy had no such compunction.
Our friends Ruby and Mark brought us gourmet lunches each day giving us a nice, relaxing break.
And I got to see my friends Dona and Joanne who both married men named Bob. We got some pretty good laughs in.
Seeing my mother in her new place was not such a good time as she continues to be rather unsettled, but we did have a pleasant visit and I am glad she is in a nice, safe place.
5. And finally, because this has gone on way too long, we had fantastic weather the whole time and I had great weather to get home. The Accuweather app on my phone didn’t agree but I have proof. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. Someone suggested that I had accidentally keyed in some other Middletown, but I checked. Maybe Accuweather keyed in some other Middletown.