Packing, purging and tears…

I am finally taking a 5 minute breather and I decided to get you all updated!  I am actually really liking this blogging thing, I have always been a “writer” of sorts, not like in school, doing term papers or things like that (HA!), but informal letters to family and friends.  In more recent times that has become typing emails rather than snail mail, and I have done Christmas letters for years.  I know some people are probably like “Oh no – not another Christmas letter” but I have also received lots of nice comments and one year that I didn’t write one, I got cards or calls asking “why were we dropped from your list?”

Anyway…

My cousin, Cindy, arrived Tuesday and we got right to work!  She really helps me stay on task and is very organized, which is a BIG help!  The emotions I spoke about last time are still popping up, and a couple times they really got the best of me.  I was telling a couple of friends, my kids both took art classes in school, and I have a lot of art work from them that I display in the house.  My daughter has some painting/pastels she did that I have framed, and they will be stored in the container.  My son made me candlesticks in metal shop and I will not be parting with them.  What really got to me though was they both took this class where they made this silly paper mache “monsters”.  They are in my basement on a shelf on display

Michelle's monster
Michelle’s monster
Billy's iguana monster
Billy’s iguana monster

Well, Cindy wanted to know what I wanted to do with them, which is a very reasonable question right?  Well, I very quickly realized is that they really need to get thrown away.  I mean, what am I going to do with them?  Pack them?  Bring them?  I know the kids themselves are way over it, so that is not an option.  So, after a few tears, I finally decided to take the above pics and they will be loaded onto my digital frame and that way I can still see them sometimes.  Ok, first tear fest over and done.

The next one was the next day.  We were packing items in my china hutch.  I had already downsized what was in it a few months back, I have all my china packed into boxes, completely separated into 2 equal boxes, one for my daughter and one for my son.  I do believe it is their turn for hosting holidays, right? Well, they are working on it.  Getting back to the original idea here – I picked up this porcelain swan that one of our friends old girlfriends made me for our wedding.  She knew how much I loved Lenox china and took a class to make it for me.  It was almost exactly like a Lenox swan, except MUCH bigger.  I wish I had taken a pic of it before it wrapped and put in the box but I just didn’t think of it.  I found this pic online of the actual Lenox swan that is it most looks like:

lenox swan

I was telling Cindy the story of when it was given to Bill and I.  We had gotten married and after the reception we went back to where we were living (sharing a house with our friend) and all our friends were there, having a party in honor of our wedding.  Sadly, due to financial restraints, we could only invite our family and very closest of friends, our extended friend group was just too big, and you can’t invite everyone, right?  Anyway, Linda comes up to me with this huge box and says “Happy Wedding”.  I could not imagine what was in this box, so I open it up and it was this gorgeous swan!  I am welling up again right now thinking about it again.  I was stunned!  Now – I should tell you that I had been so good all day, no tears at all.  Never even felt like it.  I was fine all day long – just feeling happy and enjoying my day.  Well, I held that swan and she gently turned it over in my hand so I could see that on the bottom she had written “love Michael and Linda” and the date “September 14, 1985” Michael says “she made that for you!”  In case you can’t tell where this is going, I LOST it!  The tears just flowed uncontrollably – happy tears of course!  She got the biggest hug of the day! (on second thought – maybe the second biggest hug of the day – it was my wedding day after all!)  I was just so touched that she took a class just to make that for me, knowing how much I loved the Lenox swan!  Getting back to recent times, sitting in the swan in my hutch was my bouquet that I carried for my wedding, almost 29 years ago.  And, like with the monsters, what do I do with this now?  They are obviously silk flowers (which my Mom and I visited about 10 florists before I found ones that I felt didn’t look “fake”) and I have kept them all this time:

wedding flowers

So, I am trying to decide what to do with it.  I already packed up the swan – no need to think twice about it, but the flowers?  Still in the foam stuff?  Cindy said maybe just take the flowers out and if/when I have a house again, put them in a vase.  So far that is the best plan.  What I was actually just thinking, just now, is maybe my daughter could carry one of the white roses on her wedding day and my daughter-in-law-to-be could carry one when she marries my son.  Now – that’s an idea!

So, that’s been a brief look into my week, the emotional side anyways.

Today our appraisal was FINALLY done and my realtor was here to see to it, since Cindy and I went to deliver furniture my niece is taking for her first apartment.   Sue says we should hear by Tuesday, early Wednesday the latest.  She says she spoke the man and he felt the sell price was “in the range”, so I guess we will see what that means.  He also told her he would call her before filing the “official” report if it does come in low to ask her which comps she feels are appropriate and he will consider those before filing, which would hopefully save us time.

While we were in Keyport (where my brother lives), we stopped at our all time favorite sub shop, Mikes.  This place has been around for about 50 years, and was completely destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.  They completely rebuilt and still making the BEST subs ever.  My favorite is roast beef and turkey with L, T, O, salt, oregano, light oil and vinegar and mayo.  YUM!  Bill likes a #1 (ham, cheese and salami) and I just had them put the oil and vinegar in little “to go” containers so the bread wasn’t a complete sloppy soggy mess by the time he gets to eat it.

Old store front
Old store front
back of store after Sandy
back of store after Sandy
taking it down
taking it down
New and improved front
New and improved front

These are some views of the Raritan Bay from the Keyport waterfront.  I grew up nearby.

this is the view of Cliffwood Beach, the town I grew up in
this is the view of Cliffwood Beach, the town I grew up in
just another beautiful picture of "home"
just another beautiful picture of “home”
it's really hard to see, but if you zoom in you can see lower Manhattan and you USED to be able to see the Twin Towers, especially on a clear day like today
it’s really hard to see, but if you zoom in you can see lower Manhattan and you USED to be able to see the Twin Towers, especially on a clear day like today, also the Verrazano Bridge is visible.

So, I think that is enough for today.  My 5 minute breather has turned into about a 35 minute breather.  I’m exhausted.