Dismantling a life

Last weekend Mark and I left early on Friday morning to head up to Massena to try to make some headway in finishing the clean out of my parents' house. It's getting down to the wire now with "stuff" remaining, and I guess any hopes of getting it on the market in spring have gone down the tubes as we enter the dog days of summer. Not that it will sell quickly anyway - it needs so much work and is one of five other houses on the market on their block alone...all the same two bedroom cape cods in various states of disrepair.

Mark and I got right down to business and made great progress in our cleaning. By the time we left, every room was cleared out, with boxes stacked in the dining room, ready to be donated. There is still a little work to be done in the basement, and we will most likely be heading up again soon to finish that. Then, the house will need a GOOD cleaning. A really good cleaning.

This time around, packing stuff up, I spent a bit of time just looking around, remembering. What great memories of friends and family in that house! Small as it was, just 1,000 feet, it never seemed small. As my mother grew older she collected so much junk (I threw out untold amounts of restaurant napkins, salt-and-pepper shakers, and toothpicks), but some gems shone through. There were things I came across that I remembered vividly, and little by little special items have made their way back to our house. A lot has gone up into the attic since I really don't have room for everything, but maybe we or the kids may use that stuff someday.

We are hoping a potential buyer will see something special about the house. Maybe it will be the two car garage, maybe it will be the partially finished basement that offers extra living space and glorious coolness in the summer. I'm hoping they see the "good bones" and the family-friendly street. Unfortunately, I know they will see the woefully outdated kitchen or the mish-mash-quickly-added bathroom facilities in the downstairs bedroom, not to mention the way-out-of-date paneling. Oh well, we can only hope for the best.


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