Sunday, May 24, 2009

From almost the middle of nowhere.....

This posting is coming from small town Illinois. My Mom and I have come to finally go through my Dad’s childhood home and decide what goes with us, what goes to charity and what is a decision for another day. It was something my Dad wanted to do before he died, but he was just too ill in the end. So, here we are. So far, so good. My Mom adjusted the “goals” a bit, but that’s okay. My plan was to come, evaluate the furniture, get anything in it out of it, and get it ready for the movers. Basically, that’s what we have done. She, though, also made it a goal to go through some of the other stuff and “clean it out.” Ugh. There were many children in this family and many of them brought things to their Mother. They were stored out in a storage area. It’s strange. Going through the things here is not just going through my Dad’s life, but through almost every brother and sisters and his mother’s. We found an odd fur hat. Excellent condition. Makes me think of a lodge hat, but who knows. We found two Navy hats. Two of the boys were in the Navy. We wonder if they both belonged to one or if there is one per Uncle. We’ll probably never know. We found oodles of blankets, mismatched dishes (some China), an old fur (fake) coat, a couple of down comforters. Lots of little odds and ends. We could spend months here, but we can’t. So, we try and focus and know we’ll probably be back. Most of it is still good, but not really anything we want or need. This afternoon we took eight large trash bags, plus a couple of small boxes to the local Goodwill. It was quite a drive, but it was worth it. Hopefully, someone can make use of what we don’t need. The rest will head out with us.

The house here is pleasant, but not luxurious by any means. However, we have what we need. The biggest pain about coming is doing the bit of clean-up required after any house has been vacant. The worst is getting rid of the spider webs. I hate creepy crawlies, but I’ve gotten good with the vacuum’s wand attachment. Not every nook and cranny has seen me and the vacuum, but most of them have. The others I’m learning to deal with and really, for a three year gap between visits, it’s not that bad.

We hadn’t realized it had been three years. The last time, we left a day early. I think it was just too soon after my Dad’s death to come. Every visit before had, of course, included him. We did not come here without him. This time, we’re doing better. We’re laughing at the poor little refrigerator’s fan, which sounds like a motorcyclist diving through town. The A/C unit outside doesn’t sound much better, but at least it works. Earlier, we discovered we had a bad fuse. The weather’s been pleasant, but the humidity in the house was reaching some high levels. The range is old and if we could put new insulation in the oven we would. As it is, we can use the stove, but not the oven. The microwave could qualify as an antique, but it works and that’s what counts. All in all, believe it or not, it’s been pleasant and relaxing. Small towns are. This is technically a Village. I’m guessing some where between 500 and 1000 residents. It’s literally a bedroom community - all houses, one tavern, and a small post office.

How, you wonder, is this blog posting being done. Before I left for this trip, I got a laptop - a MacBook. I’ve never used a Mac before, but so far, I’m not having any problems. It’s also my first wireless PC. Before coming, I looked for wireless networks. Bless the McDonald’s in a near by town. They offer free wi-fi and that is how this entry is being posted -- Via McDonald’s free wi-fi. Go Mickey D’s.