I am home again. The garden is a mess, my desk is a disaster, the house - well, we're way beyond needing a little straightening or sprucing up. Think gutted bathrooms and a dumpster to collect what I am determined to toss out. Not heirlooms or family documents. But endless, endless stuff. If it was ugly when it was in my great-grandfather's house why is it in my basement? How did I end up with five sets of dishes and evening gowns I will never wear? Why do I have two drawers full of my mother's old purses?
Because of me. I maintain I am the least sentimental person I know. I routinely ignore or forget birthdays and anniversaries, my own included. Never kept baby books or locks of hair. No wedding pictures on display - though I may make an exception for the latest bride and groom. I am cynical and acerbic.
And, I am delusional. I'm a family historian, for heaven's sake! It is virtually impossible to let go of what belonged to my family - especially Mother. If she loved it it is here (unless I got lucky and my sister took it). These aren't things of any value - no Chanel purses or bone china. They were simply hers - or things she kept of those she loved.
Funny story about Mother - and me. She read. I read. We read. Vision problems have severely restricted my reading and I have managed over the years since she died to give away hundreds, if not thousands, of books. Yet every shelf and many other surfaces are still piled high with books - including a two volume edition of Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past.