Jane’s House

My eldest daughter was here for four nights during which she and I, with the help of professional mover, emptied Jane’s house. Sales papers were signed, and rapid and ruthless decisions were made. Being a generation removed, and having almost no emotional attachment to the contents of the house made it easier for my daughter to get through the job at hand. I followed directions, and offered input and context here and there. We both worked our tails off. Over 2/3rds of the house contents were either thrown out or sent to Goodwill. A very few things are being adopted by my kids, Jane’s step-son, and myself. The remainder is now in storage.

It was amazingly easy, yet very sad, to make these cuts. Jane will never, ever use these things again. My children don’t need/want household items that were mostly collected in the 70’s. Jane said to me over and over, “ALL of this needs to go to family. I don’t want any of it going to Goodwill.” The five SUV loads that went to Goodwill are going to help people affordably populate their own kitchens and linen cupboards. Jane’s anti-Goodwill stance was about social standing (something to this day, with fast-moving dementia, she still cares about).

As the movers were getting the dining room table ready to load, one of its chairs was turned upside down. On the bottom of the chair seat was a stamp that read, “Made in Denmark.” I flipped over another chair and found the same stamp. My daughter and I gave each other wide-eyed looks. The table was the same. Jane told me, over and over and over, that her husband made the table and chairs. And the bedroom furniture, bookcases, writing table, drafting board, and sideboard! I’m sure her husband made some of these items, but, as a study, I’m gonna take a closer look at the furniture items that are left. “Made in Denmark” is nothing to sneeze at, it’s just SO weird that Jane would tell me something (before dementia got ugly) that was so patently untrue!

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