Friday, September 5, 2008

Labor Day Family Adventures

Our old stomping grounds.

Keith and I haven't made the trek to Eugene recently. Part of that is due to the fact that I have been running back and forth to Montana to be with my dad during his ill health (he's doing much better) and Seattle for weddings. Part of it is that it IS a trek and you really need at least four days to do it. We have done it in less and it's painful.

Anyway, over the long Labor Day weekend we piled in the car and drove straight through. By Portland we were both getting fidgety so we passed the time by my reading out loud a new book by Craig Groeschel called "It". It's an excellent book about church life that has been filtering around the office. "It" helped pass the time quite nicely. Driving into Eugene always evokes a lot of memories as we both attended Northwest Christian College and that's where we met. We were happy to pile OUT of the car at Mom Cone's. We spent two days with her then drove up to Portland, had lunch with Keith's brother, David, and his wife, Rockie, then headed to Bob and Debbie Schmid's for dinner and to spend the night. Good times all around. Spending time with the Schmones (Schmid-Cone - we've officially adopted each other as family) always results in laughing till we cry and talking till wee hours of the night (except Keith who now has to go to bed no later than 9:00 as he is a senior citizen).

As our parents have begun to get older, I see a trend. Whenever you go to their houses, they try to give you things. I know that they are just wanting to "take care of business" so it will be easy on us kids later on. But it still feels awkward. I have expressed this to my parents and Mom Cone and promised them that there would be no fighting over "stuff" when they are gone. My mom and dad have become minimalists - they don't want a lot of stuff and have it pared down to pretty much the basics and a few photos and sentimental items. Mom Cone, on the other hand, seems to be waiting for the next depression and she admits that she can't throw anything away. Her house is FULL - every nook and cranny_ of items that she enjoys and has collected over the years. It's not a criticism; merely an observation. You can spend hours just cruising her house and yard looking at all the stuff and wondering about the story behind it. Every time we have visited she has encouraged us to "claim" our favorites. We have not been able to do that as it just seems morose somehow. But this time, Keith gave in and pointed out a couple things he wouldn't mind having. The funny part was, that though the house is FULL of stuff, every thing he picked out was already spoken for. He finally just said, "Mom, just give me what you want me to have." We laughed about it most of the way back to Portland. And we did come home with a carload of things she wanted us to have.

The reason I mention any of this is that now that I'm 50 and Keith 55, I'm already looking around my house and thinking, "We have too much stuff! We must purge NOW! Maybe we could just keep a chair or two to sit in front of the television. Surely someone who shops at Goodwill would be delighted with our cast offs. We could eat on paper plates! We could sleep on the floor! We could share towels and toothbrushes and......" Okay, that's where I draw the line. But I do think there are a few cupboards to clean out and a garage in desperate need of organization. I'm starting this weekend.....


At September 7, 2008 at 7:00 AM , Blogger chaff "4" said...

We are going thru the same thing with my grandma. Grandpa went to the Lord in march but somethings were not taken care of, there is ugly things going on with my moms brothers and sisters so, my mom is getting her affairs in order so we won't have to go thru the same thing.

As far as the cleaning and organizing. I started that last week, I am going to tackle the office this week.


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