60+ years of memories

Yesterday my dad’s garage, storage area and his yard was cleaned out.

A little bit about my dad. He is 91 years old and has been living alone since my mom passed in 2018. He is the last of his generation, having survived all his family including in-laws. Someone has to the first and someone has to be the last, that is my father.

He moved to his current and only home in 1957. We had 63 years of clean-out yesterday.

63 years of memories for us where placed into a large junk receptacle and carted away.

He was ready. Surprisingly, I was not.

I worried how he would handle the process and he did marvelously. He was ready to let go of 63 years of possessions. As a child of the depression often does, he saved everything he thought could be useful. “Someone can use this” he would say when past attempts to help him clean-out failed.

Gone was a beach umbrella from the 1960s. I remembered its weight and the energy expended by him when imbedding it into the sand at the beach. Memories of beach vacations and day trips flooded my brain. I could actually smell the ocean.

Gone was the large screen house that my dad would install every year on our deck. Many a meal we had in the summer sheltered from sun and rain by the screen house.

Gone are every lawn and beach chair my parents purchased. I remember helping my mom replace the webbing on the metal folding chairs after years of use caused the webbing to shred and tear.

Gone are scrap wood and boards from the many projects my dad had over 63 years. I remember spending hours with him as a little girl in his workshop. I can remember the smell of the wood chips and dust as he sawed and sanded.

But we left a few possessions that we are not ready to eliminate.

I had the haulers leave a tall handmade ladder. It was the first item my dad made when he bought this house. He may not have been able to afford such a ladder. He certainly did not have a vehicle that could have transported it home if he did have the funds. By today’s standards it is very unsafe and it was long ago replaced by an aluminum ladder. They are stored side by side on the rafters of the garage. A garage that my father built himself using that homemade ladder.

As a testament to his practicality, ingenuity and hard work those two ladders will remain until the home is one day transferred to a new family.

I am honored to be providing help and caregiving to my dad at this stage of his life. Yes, the clean-out process was difficult but I will cherish the memories that have flooded back.

HartFelt wishes that your clean-outs no matter how difficult provide you some wonderful memories.

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