For the last couple of Mondays I went to my grandfathers house. My dad sort of lives in the house now and Mum comes and visits every now and then to help with clearing and cleaning. Every other Monday I go and return home with a carload full of things. As you may have guessed my grandfather died, the house is to be sold and needs to be emptied.
This makes me wonder about what is left when someone dies. Apart from the great memories, the material things remain. And they have the story of their last owner clinging to them.
Yesterday I got home with a carload full. My husband and the children helped unpack the car and we shared the things that I took home. What was in the boxes and bags of yesterday?
One brown summer hat, one black hat from London, a French-farmer style hat, 3 pair of gloves to wear driving a car. My grandfather was a gentleman. He always wore a handmade three-piece suit, necktie or bow-tie and a hat. And of course all the other accessories like the cuff-link, a pocket square, golden pocket watch on a chain (until it broke one day). Wikipedia helped me out here with the terminology. Can you imagine that living in the the year 2007? He was nothing like an ornament however. It was natural on him and he was raised like that. I have never seen him wear anything else but a suit. Not even in very hot summers. The birds would faint in their trees and he would only take of his jacket.
When he arrived somewhere he made his entrance and I took his coat and his shawl and his hat. He also used gloves in the car but those were tucked in his pockets. So the hats and gloves will be great for playing or dressing up for the kids. My daughter put all three hats on her head. She looked swell. A head for hats!
My grandmothers shawls, gloves, and a small handbag to go to the theater, along with small binoculars and a hand mirror. She had long thin fingers like I have. I also found a binocular to look on stage. She had white, cream, shiny, brown and dark-brown ones. Some reach my elbow. They look great on me, now the occasion to use them will have to arise.
– 3 pillows and 10 blankets. White, orange, yellow, blue and green. My grandparents often had visitors and so they needed lots of linen and blankets. Even though that was no longer the case, my grandfather kept the blankets in a special wooden blanket case. He was not good at discarding old stuff, so that is what we are doing now. I will keep four of the blankets to replace the old ones. I already put one on my bed. It looks good.
– Christmas things: a set of lamps, decoration tape, candles in all sizes and colors, a ring to make Christmas door decoration. My grandparents were always celebrating Christmas with all of us. On the door was a green ring full of little red Santa Claus dolls, or red peppers or berries. A big tree full of balls and ornaments, sweets and chocolate, and we all got a sugar heart. The taste I still remember, so sweet.
– Anti-slippery devices. My grandparents had dogs, most of the time more than one. Not so much my grandfathers choice, but anyway they had to walk the dogs. When winter and snow were around they used special devices to put on their shoes. They are made of metal and prevent slipping. He also had a new pair, can you believe that things like this get patented?
About 200 botanical crocus-bulbs in white, light and dark violets and yellow. In the garden are so many bulbs that now in spring time they are all over. My dad and I began digging and took lots and lots of bulbs out. There are just too many and they start to grow in between the other plants.
When I got home I took all the bulbs, clay pots and a bag of earth. Within seconds the children saw what I was doing and joined in. We covered a whole table and even more bulbs did not even fit on the table.