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Wood waits

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I’ve noted before that we’re preparing my mother-in-law’s house for sale following her move to an assisted-living center. Now, the family is divvying up furnishings, which is somehow both sad and pleasant at the same time.

I’ve been in Tennessee at Sally’s mom’s house since last week, helping to get the house cleaned and prepped for sale and packing up furnishings and belongings. The mood was downbeat, as you might imagine, but it’s pleasing to see so much of Sally’s parents’ lives finding new homes with family – which means that they’ll continue to live on in a way.

There are lots of linens, books, photos and the like, of course, but the real treasures are wood. My daughter went home with a cherry bed and dresser that were very old, plus a not-so-old grandfather’s clock, and the family piano that Sally’s mom had since she was in high school. We brought home a restored steamer trunk her folks bought years ago, back when her dad was still with us. We had helped them buy it and get it home, now it’s come home with us. An old oak barrister bookcase will take residence in my office. Our nieces, on an earlier visit, also took home furniture.

All of this is old, although some only a few decades so, but it’s all very good stuff, made from excellent-quality wood, and all of it made “the way they used to.” All of this great craftsmanship will continue to be enjoyed for years more to come. The reason for disbursing all these items isn’t a fun one, but I’m glad that it will all go to family members.

There are a lot of memories with these belongings, the kind of memories that evaporate in the hands of strangers because they don’t know any better. Keeping it in the family, that simply won’t happen.

Till next time,


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