Friday, July 15, 2005

well, we did it

We got Grandma's house somewhat cleaned out. I came home with three boxes of stuff, including some things I'll actually use and others that are purely sentimental.

I think my favorite thing is the horseshoe that's been hanging above the door for as long as I can remember. It is now hanging above my door. Watching my dad get it down, I could visualize my grandpa as a young man hanging it in his brand new house. I think he would be glad that somebody was using it now.

A horseshoe is supposed to bring good luck to the house. I hope that is true. My grandparents weren't wealthy, but they made a good living, raised a family which isn't perfect but is mostly made up of nice people, and they had an ease and comfort with each other that very few couples can match.

They would sit and play Scrabble every evening and argue endlessly about the validity of words. There was a small dictionary which resided in the box with the game and it was constantly being consulted. "That's not a word!" Then the other person would frantically ruffle the pages trying to prove that it was indeed a word. The arguments were fierce but loving.

Of course, if I played I could put whatever word I wanted and neither of them would challenge me. Such is the privilege of the grandchild.

My grandparents were packrats and kept everything. We found endless caches of letters and birthday cards. We found old recipes. We found yellowed newspaper clippings with addresses to send away for embroidery patterns, dated 1965. I think it's safe to throw those out now.

One poignant find was a box of floral arrangements which were received over 50 years ago after a stillborn child.

There were no fights over who was to have what. There were only seven people there out of a possible 30 who could have been involved, so that probably helped.

I am to have an old bureau which is supposed to have come west with my great-great-grandparents and is about 150 years old.

In other news, we went to Drumheller for a few days. We went to Reptile World and this time I let them drape Brittany the boa constrictor over my shoulders, more to prove to my kids that I would do it than anything else. It was surprisingly heavy, but felt cool and smooth. I had one hand under its head and one under its tail. I could feel the reptilian pulse on my back and in each hand. That was kind of neat.