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Another Round of House Cleaning

My mother-in-law turned 89 years old this week. She lives in assisted living in another state. We took a long weekend to visit her.

Our trip had two purposes. Of course, we wanted to celebrate her birthday, but we also have the issue of the family home to face.

My father-in-law built that house himself in the 1950’s. It holds tremendous sentimental value for his children and grandchildren. We all had so many good times there. Two summers ago, nearly forty of us gathered in the yard to view a total eclipse of the sun.

Yet even though we all have such fond memories, no one wants to live there. The family must sell.

Local relatives have spent many hours sifting through their mom’s belongings, deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to discard. They work to make repairs to the home and yard to ready the property for sale. We try to lend a hand whenever we visit.

We put in several hours’ work on this project during our recent trip. My husband/tech advisor and his brother stood in the sun behind the shed sorting their father’s spare lumber and metal. Indoors, I located and organized family papers and photographs. I also weeded out the cookbooks and sewing boxes. My sister-in-law cleaned out the food and scrubbed cupboards. A third sibling will tend to the furniture during her next visit.

We, the genealogists, boxed up the documents and photos and brought them home. We will scan them to make copies for everyone.

Despite the hours we put in over the weekend, much remains to be done, especially in the outbuildings. Next time we visit, we will go out there again to see how we can help.

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