We are starting to work on a very difficult task, cleaning and fixing things that need to be fixed in my mom and dad’s summer cottage in Michigan. Our parents need to sell their home in Illinois and in Michigan to be able to afford an independent/assisted living situation. It is time. My folks are having a great deal of difficulty navigating their large two-story home.
Their little house in Michigan has been a blessing for all of our families. My mom inherited the house from her aunt when our kids were in grade school. Part of our summers were spent here and part of our summer camping and hiking out west. It was the best of both worlds…the mountains and the beach; campfires in both places, of course.
Another part of the lore has been this… my great grandparents came over from Sweden and settled in this small town named Whitehall. My mother and her brother spent their whole summers staying with her grandma and grandpa and having fun with her mom’s youngest sister, her sweet Aunt Emeline. Emeline was the only family member to stay here in Michigan. Everyone of this very large family. scattered to Chicago and beyond. My aunt taught kindergarten in town for years and shared her love for teaching and learning with me. She gave us each an old school desk, set us up with old basal texts and we would play for hours.
So here we are cleaning and tossing…bittersweet for me especially.
Both of my children went to college in Michigan and for many years I hoped we would end up here. My thinking was this… my kids would meet someone in college and probably get jobs here and raise their families in this wonderful state. In this instance God did have some very different plans for our family. Emily married a John, on a raft trip in the Tetons. and moved to the mountains of Ecuador. Jeff found his way out quickly to Denver for grad school and suddenly there was never a hope that he would really come back to the flat-land either.
So this week we are cleaning out the basement first…putting things in three piles. Stuff to keep, stuff to sell, stuff to trash.
I know it is only a house, but this sorting and sifting is hard. Memories and laughter sings from the still frozen lake. That is what we take with us I remind myself. I repeatedly remind myself as I bag.
Tears form. Dave hugs, He always gets me. Thank God for this man of mine. xo