I met Ernie at my parents' house after work last night. It was pouring rain and dark and it felt funny to pull up to the house and see lights on inside. Ernie had pulled all the boxes out of the basement except for all the boxes of paperwork from my father's law practice. Those will go straight into the dumpster I guess. Fortunately they took up more of the basement than I had thought. I say fortunately because at least we do not have to go through these boxes.
The rest of the stuff was not as bad as I thought. We poked through some of it but decided to wait until we had the dumpster at hand....and hopefully when it's not raining.
When I walked in the house I saw the stack Ernie had made of things to bring back home and I immediately started crying. I know, I know. They were happy tears though. He had found my fathers' navy uniform. A year or so ago we had all looked and looked for it and finally given up. My mom and I knew that Judi had had it at one point and thought maybe it had gone with all her stuff. It didn't make sense as I know her friends went through all that carefully but we just couldn't figure it out. Ernie found it though and it brought tears to my eyes. It will go to Owen.....as he is Owen Joseph, and the one who is so proud of my father being a veteran. Leo has the antique desk my father used in his law office so it all works out.
I remember wearing that sailor top sometimes when I was in high school. Man I must have been thin as a 17 year old Joseph was skinny, skinny, skinny. My mother said she wore it once when she was a room mother in one of my sister's elementary school Halloween parties...and when she got home she couldn't get it off as it was never designed for someone having curves. She had to wait until my father got home, sweating in the heavy woolen thing as of course it was one of those hot Halloween days! Somewhere I have the ribbons that were on it. I'll have to dig those out for Owen.
And this book.....from 1952, the year he married my mother and began practising law. I have never seen it before and I don't think he really used it but he kept it all these years. I bet it was a graduation present.
So it was not a bad evening, a little bittersweet, but I feel much better about getting everything done in time for the closing. This weekend will be the last sort and haul and trash....and my shoulders will feel lighter.