pen rainbow

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday—Life Is Complicated Day #13: Home Sweet Home

My daily journal as trustee of my dad's estate


The first big pick-up

Home Sweet Home
It's an odd feeling to wake up and not recognize where you are.

I opened my eyes and tried to focus.  This wasn't my bedroom...Was I in Boulder City?  Nope.  The garden window that looks out onto the purple lantanas at my grandmother's condo was missing.  The Mission-style footboard and the yellow wool blanket at the end of my bed looked vaguely familiar.

I was in a house that was redefining itself.  My dad's cozy blue bathrobe was dangling from the inversion table that was set up in the guest room.  A pair of brand new slippers identical to the ones he always wore were next to the bed.  He had a habit of purchasing two of everything, and we found the slippers in the spare bedroom with the tags still on them.

The stuffed baby camel from my grandmother's condo sat at the end of my bed.  How it managed to make it from the condo in BC to her assisted living facility, then into a box on a shelf in my dad's bedroom closet and back to me was remarkable.  The little camel greeted me for five summers while I lived with my grandma and worked at the Boulder City pool. The room felt like my old bedroom, a mashup of hand-me-down furniture and a touch of my grandmother's style.  Comfortable.

I eased into my dad's bathrobe and carefully maneuvered down the steep staircase toward a pot of the most gawd-awful coffee you've ever had in your life.  Humongous blue can, unknown label, mystery fibers mixed in with the grounds...tastes slightly like chicory.  The night before, I'd managed to clean and set up a brand new Cuisinart grinder /coffee maker, so the coffee was a little better by virtue of the new machine.  I could see why my dad hadn't ever used the machine.  It would have been a little too gadgety for him.  Too many buttons, too many controls, too many things to set.

Before my second cup, I was cleaning out the bottom of the hutch and packing dishes for Goodwill.  It was a good day to dig deep and hit all of the places Heidi and I had missed the week before.  The house and I were becoming better acquainted.

By the end of the day, I had a new stack of donations, and the carpets had all been pretreated.  I'd retrieved three pendulum clocks from upstairs and set them up around the house.  One was chiming on the hour; one had been brought over from my grandma's condo to her assisted living facility; and, one was a retirement gift from my dad's company.

The weather warmed up in the afternoon, and I spent a couple of hours in the backyard sweeping off the patio and sidewalk.  I rearranged pots and picked the pomegranates from the lower branches.  I left the poms on the top branches for the birds and raked the green grass.

I tackled the kitchen and got rid of pantry items that expired last decade.  In the upstairs guest bathroom, I found a stash of new toothbrushes and dental floss from my dad's dental appointments.  I scrubbed baseboards, rearranged artwork throughout the house, and laundered the towels with fabric softener that I brought out from BC.  It was the least I could do for the house.    

By the time I was finished, there were eight new Hefty bags of trash on the curb.  As tired as I was from the first week, I was hitting my stride now and really moving the dial forward.  I was starting to feel like myself again.

Tomorrow would bring more discoveries about my dad's life and more happy endings.

Thanks for giving us a great house, Dad.