We all laughed.
Sitting around the family table that’s tagged for sale, we all ate Shirley’s chicken and dumplings recipe that had been altered by my wife to fit our son’s lack of vegetable intake as a child. My wife had added carrots and celery for him to get some veggies and it just stuck. HERE is that recipe
In between people leaving with things that we all recalled that we either bought for them or they bought/collected and amongst the white plastic meeting tables full of 2 lives’ memories that were priced, we shared stories throughout the day. And it was a good day.
I recalled when we first got married and we were eating breakfast at my new in-law’s house. And like a religious sect ceremony, all at once everyone simultaneously tipped their hot coffee into a saucer, they picked up the saucers, pinkies out all proper-like and they all began to slurp their coffee like kittens.
I felt my eyes widen and my mouth drop open.
This 21-year-old newlywed man sat there totally mortified and wondered what had he gotten himself into. And was it too late to get out. Turns out it’s a family thing that cooled the instant coffee off so that they could drink it quicker. Apparently, a lot of families practiced this feline coffee-cooling hack and I was unaware.
Another memory that someone brought up yesterday, not related to the Bailey’s home, but nonetheless still one of the funniest stories in our marriage was confusion over the Body In The Potty which I did in a podcast 2 years ago HERE if you want to listen to it. (And my southern twang).
The memories and laughs wafted like the smell of cooking bacon around the family house with the ‘For Sale’ sign out front.
As we all moved around the house and the yard, the recollections were sweet to recall. It wasn’t all perfect and good. Nothing is.
They have both passed on now and it’s time to get things in order and sell their home. And that’s ok. That home has served its purpose and like a hermit crab that sheds it’s shell and moves into a new shell, they both have moved into new shells above.
In the end, my in-laws had a long and prosperous marriage. On a personal note, in my 36 years of marriage to their daughter, I never had ONE disagreement or bad words between myself and them. They ALWAYS treated me with nothing but love. And for that, I am personally thankful.
The best find of the day is this picture. It was written by Shirley on the back of a very VERY nice China cabinet that Junior made for her. She would proudly tell people about it when they came in.
Our daughter now has that beautiful cabinet with her grandmother’s writing on it in her home.
He did a lot of jobs, mostly trucking. But he also had a wood shop and did some very nice work. I did some small projects in there with him, myself.
You know, it doesn’t seem that long ago that wood shop was busy with sawdust flying around and things being made. But the truth is, he was the age that I am right now when he started working in that little wood shop and made that China cabinet.
Time is like that.
As we were rummaging around in a shed they had outside, my nephew Kyle opened up a can of catfish fishing bait. He smiled and said he remembered going on untold fishing trips when he was a little boy with his grandfather and another man ‘down the road’. I reflected that memory itself was worth more to him than all of the stuff on that hill. He agreed.
A few tears were shed that day we sold their stuff. But in the end, I believe that it was as they would have had it played out: all of the family, gathered around their table laughing and sharing the GOOD memories. The family has taken what they want into our homes and then the rest of their things are going to new and faraway places to make new memories in someone else’s homes, lives and families.
Indeed, time is like that.
That’s the best that I can tell about it,