After 6 months of work cleaning out 63 years' worth of life's accumulation, Mama's farmhouse/garage/barns are finally empty.
Well, pretty much empty...we still have a couple of closets of personal papers/stuff to go through and my sister Maria still has items she needs to move to Florida. But considering where we began 6 months ago, I'm considering it EMPTY!
Many thanks to our cousin Jessica and her online auction business "Living Tributes" (I highly recommend her if you find yourselves in a similar situation), last week our online auction ended and the buyers came to pick things up.
Despite 6" of snow on the ground and frigid temperatures, those buyers were undaunted. It was craziness...I've never seen anything like it! At times folks were lined up on the county road, waiting their turn for a place in the driveway.
After everything sold had been claimed, a nearby Amish family came early the next morning with a big trailer and hauled away virtually every unsold item. They actually paid for the stuff...we would have gladly paid THEM to haul it away!
And then, it was empty. All the life was gone from my childhood home and now it's just a collection of empty and quiet rooms that needs a new family to love on it.
Up the steep narrow stairs...when I was a child, there was no carpet or handrail, just creaking wooden steps. No way could we sneak downstairs on Christmas morning without Mama and Dad hearing us!
My childhood bedroom....which became Mark's room after he was a toddler and I moved downstairs.
Barb and Maria's old bedroom....
Mama and Dad's old bedroom....
...complete with the register which we played with over the years, dropping strings through the holes to the room below.
Mama and Dad's closet...I've never, ever seen it cleaned out.
And it's the original "gorgeous" color from the day they bought it 63 years ago.
Yep...we still have a little work to do....
The attic was put in over the remodeled kitchen after I left home. Again...I never saw it empty. There's lots of storage space up there!
Down the stairs....
Mama and Dad moved into this downstairs bedroom in their later years, but this was my bedroom when I was a teenager.
We always referred to this as the dining room, although we never ate in there. And that unique built-in cabinet was the "buffet"...again, no food was ever spread across it. It held our telephone and was kind of their home office area.
Our living room with its unusual doorway into the dining room, with the kitchen door in the background. This was the heart of our home.
While I can't help but feel some twinges of sadness looking at these photos which bring back such fond memories, I am also excited for a new family to create wonderful memories here. It is a home that needs the busyness and laughter of children to bring it back to life. And it's still got plenty of life in it!
I stood at the dining room window and watched the last load of Mama and Dad's belongings leaving for new homes.
Bittersweet, for sure. But in many ways a huge relief for Mama and Barb and me!
Going, going, GONE!