Monday, May 7, 2012

Vintage Memories

It was a huge week for me in Auckland last week, plenty of poignant moments. I offered to do my bit to help the family clear out the family home after Dad moved into a retirement village with care last week. More on that later though.

I flew over and stayed at the family home for two nights on my own, with no phone, no mobile (and I didn't take my charger to NZ of course!), no TV and no internet. A little bit scary at first.

I didn't think I could do it but I did. It was so eerily quiet and mess everywhere where sorting had already begun. How many things can you hoard in your kitchen Dad?  He had taken all that he needed with him, so I began the sorting process in the kitchen. I found the egg cups we used as kids, the retro green and brown flour sifter I always thought was pretty cool. Royal Albert retro china, Meakin plates and heavily tarnished silver spoons we had always used for special occasions throughout my childhood.

My job was to clear out all the cupboards, wardrobes and rooms and sort everything into piles in the garage. I found my self on a carousel of vivid family memories whichever way I turned. Mountains of photos, books and sewing patterns covered the sitting room floor as I ploughed my way through them, sorting them into family piles. Reminiscing.

I found even more solitude in the garden. So many memories...

I picked some of Dad's strawberries.

Took him in a bunch of his roses.

Then I found some of Mum's old linens in the linen press.

Some of her cherished china...

..and after a hugely emotional but cathartic week with my sister, brothers and Dad, I have brought home some special treasures to cherish.

Before I left, I looked in the garage and asked myself, 'is this what my life is going to come down to?' A heap of quality possessions hardly used in a big pile ready to be carted of to charity? I have learned a big lesson from all of this, just keep the things I really love, the things that matter to me and pass on the rest. Live more simply and just be happy.

That is what I am going to try and do.

Pam x


brismod said...

Oh. Sending you a huge hug. I dread the day when I will be doing the same for my parents. Simple is a good mantra. xx

Kylie said...

This is a lovely post and what you say is so true...I'm really working on the whole less is more thing for the very reason you mention. I'd rather give things away now, when I can see the happiness in the recipient's face, than leave it all for my kids to deal with down the track (hopefully many, many, MANY years away yet)
Take care x

polkadotpeticoat said...

I'm so sorry......what a hard weekend!

delia hornbook said...

aahh Pam this must have been so hard for you. Im glad you were able to take something positive from it. I bet your dad loved having his roses taken into him. Your mum had some beautiful things i can see your both the same there. Have a good week lovely, dee xx

Tiff said...

Oh Pam, what a trip down memory lane and such an emotional thing to do. Cherish those special things but mostly the memories! Big hugs from me. x

Apple Blossom Barn said...

What a difficult time it is for you and your family and how lovely to go down your childhood memory
Such beautiful roses too

Take care

Linda Lilly Cottage said...

Hi Gorgeous Pam, you had me in tears and I can't imagine what a rough week that would have been. Your idea to live more simply with only the things you love is how we should all live isn't I am going to do that too...I might need to sort out the things I actually LOVE though, it is a pretty big list! Your photos are stunning as usual.
Hopefully see you soon,
Kiss Noises Linda

Sarah B said...

Hi Pam, i am so slow to comment here. I can only imagine how difficult and emotional this must gave been.
It's so nice that you could bring home a few things.
Sending a big hug x

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Dear Pam

Oh that's such a hard job to do - but we all have to go though it at some tage of our lives..

You did well!
It's one thing to fly home for celebrations etc but a trip like this will live with you for a long time.

Take care
ps I'm off to France again soon for 2 months with my little family there - now 3 GD's!!!