Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm In

I am sitting at a desk space eked out of wall-to-wall boxes, furniture and leftover debris. It's overwhelming. Were it not for the giant piano parked in the dining room I might have at least one room in which to start organizing.

The piano was Tommie's mother's, a solid-built Weber with a solid sound. I wish I could keep it, but there's no room. I agreed to sell it for the heirs and have the proceeds go toward the cost of a family headstone. Craigslist was a bust, and eBay seems unrealistic. Tomorrow I will start calling the churches.

Tommie Fields spent three days on the floor after a fall, unable to help herself and with no one to check on her. Supposedly there was a caretaker-- but not a professional, only a friend, and seemed unavailable for long periods. The only family she had was a cousin in South Carolina, the woman from whom I bought the house. Mamie is a treasure.

My friends and I have spent hours pouring over the belongings left behind, sitting in the very spot (or so we surmise) where dark stains ruin the beautiful wood floors. Max saw the spot and immediately said, "That looks like the outline of a body." So we both decided that is where she lay.

Then there is the car. Mamie says one of the daughters will come and take it within two weeks. I can't justify my angst at having it parked out front, dingy and idle. At least it's not in the driveway any more. It's just a car; like Tommie it has seen better days. Does it represent the lingering Mrs. Fields? I welcome her spirit, yet it seems we both know my ownership will dominate soon. I've been through her papers, her belongings, her atmosphere. She is a blithe spirit, if one. I think she is proud of what little work I have done.

Brynan came over to help get the kitchen into shape. Bryn found the Green Stamps and had a moment, same as I did. We each experienced the conjuring of visions I like to think exclusive to southerners, of grandma shopping the Piggly Wiggly or Jitney Jungle and collecting those Green Stamps, carefully saving for the day they would be enough to buy wonderful objects from the catalog.

Bryn is South-Georgia-Southern through and through, but majored in French, traveled extensively and married a Belgian. They live in a great neighborhood that I covet, support liberal causes and know more about recycling than I can immediately learn in my intown infancy.

Bryn brought her beer fridge for my use until I get one. Then she organized the kitchen. I don't know what she did but suddenly it actually looks and feels like a kitchen! Her organizing powers are amazing.

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