the new awesome

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Monday, October 15, 2007

To Grandmother's House We Go is the new awesome

I was in Southern California last week helping to clean out my Grandmother's house - the house that she has lived in and that has remained unchanged for the past 40+ years, and that I have been visiting since I was born. It was a move to an assisted living home rather than a funeral that obliged the task, so it wasn't as somber as cleaning out a house could be, but there was certainly still a sense of mourning as I had to go through all the things that my Grammy has collected and loved and treasured for her whole life, and in the space of three days decide what got to be thrown out and what we had room to keep.

However, as you might imagine, there were all sorts of things behind cabinets and other closed doors that a Granddaughter wouldn't usually have reason to find under normal circumstances.

The obligatory handgun in the sash drawer:


The secret stash of booze in the wrapping paper closet:

And the book called Boners on the top shelf of a bunch of old books (actually printed in 1931 and illustrated by Dr.Seuss)


Best of all, though, were the personal items. The love letters that my Grandfather had written her. Old highschool yearbooks. Family portraits. Look at some of these gems:

My Grammy and my Grandpa, back when they were first married. (Check out how good my grandfather looks in a uniform!)
Zowie.
This one of my mother as a little girl making a happy face really killed me. You would be amazed at how many photos she was scowling in. Or maybe you wouldn't. My mom never has much liked getting her photo taken.

See?

My mom might kill me for putting this one up:

But I can make it up to her by putting up one of my own. Looks like nerdy glasses are hereditary.

My parent's wedding:

And of course, lots of baby photos:




I know it was hard for my Grammy to know that we were going through her possessions, and that the way that she has been accustomed to living independently for the past 96 years was changing rather dramatically. But I think it made her happy to know that we found things in her house to remind us of her, and that so many of the things that she had loved were going to stay with people that had loved her and appreciated her beautiful things.

Don't worry, Grammy. This is what I had to take my portion home in (and I could have used a bigger one to hold all the memories):

22 Comments:

  • At 5:06 PM, Blogger f*bomb. said…

    umm...If I recall- YOU make that scowly face in pictures!
    It must be hereditary...

     
  • At 8:08 PM, Blogger MLE said…

    So sweet. I love this post.

    We found similar treasures in my grandma's house. Turns out that kids don't need glasses to look like nerds. I accomplished the nerd look with my hip hair-styles and tee-shirts tucked into jeans.

     
  • At 8:30 PM, Blogger bets said…

    Um, can we talk about how rad the nerdy glasses photos are?

     
  • At 10:12 PM, Blogger adriane said…

    awww...this brought back so many memories for me...of five months ago. we did the same thing at my g-ma's house...only we couldn't take much home with us on account of the 3,000 miles between our house and hers (i did a blog then, too!).

    the photos and memories were the best part, though. especially the nerdy ones of my dad in high school. and pre-braces. and with gangly limbs. and in an awesome spaceman outfit one christmas...ah, the list goes on...

     
  • At 11:22 PM, Blogger emily said…

    a UHAUL? A UHAUL?!!! when you drove back did you just sing "i've got a golden ticket" the whole time? Because pretty much that's what a truck full of grandmother treasures is. Man. I'm jealous, but in the happy for you way, really.

     
  • At 1:29 AM, Blogger Erica said…

    definitely your mother's daughter. girl, glad that grammy's was not only a gold mine of old pics and memories...but you filled your uhaul w/ even more treasures!

     
  • At 9:54 AM, Blogger ThomCarter said…

    Did you take the gun and/or the booze?

     
  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger bex said…

    Not the gun or the booze. But the book about Boners? Yes.

     
  • At 7:39 PM, Blogger Corinne said…

    i loved this post and i love the new awesome. just wanted to say that.

     
  • At 8:13 PM, Blogger Tannerama said…

    That gun is awesome.

     
  • At 10:26 PM, Blogger ZanzibarAnnie said…

    Wow. I am so excited that my grandmother wasn't the only person who kept her handgun handy and easy to access.

     
  • At 7:00 AM, Blogger plainoldsarah said…

    am i the only one who teared up over that post? thank you! hooray for good memories and good people in our lives. and good glasses.

     
  • At 9:36 AM, Blogger MF said…

    Forgive me, Bex, for I have sinned. It has been about 3 months since my last look at thenewawesome. What an adventure for you and your family on so many levels.
    two things. the sweet sweep across with extra flow haircut...nice. the booze closet. classy. that almost sounds like a new restaurant/lounge.
    Grammy's Booze Closet.
    Anyway, good to be with you again.

     
  • At 9:43 AM, Blogger Cindy said…

    I love grandma treasures. Emily's comment pretty much sums up what my comment would be. A whole Uhaul?!?!?!?!? Lucky!

     
  • At 12:20 AM, Blogger bex said…

    aw, thanks guys.

    and mikef? you are forgiven, but only if your repentance is sincere and you visit TNA every day for the rest of your life.

     
  • At 7:51 AM, Blogger MF said…

    done and done.

     
  • At 4:42 PM, Blogger mandarin said…

    is that seuss book for real?! someone told me he did some "questionable" work before the fabulous "where the sidewalk ends" and others. i wish i had such a treasure.

     
  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger dävid said…

    reba - glasses only a mother, and sally jessy raphael, could love.

     
  • At 10:22 PM, Blogger The UnMighty said…

    I can only assume that the saddest day of any granddaughters life is the day she discovers her Grammy was addicted to violence, alcohol, and porn. Stay close to her as she will be needing you in these desparate times.

     
  • At 12:32 PM, Blogger MF said…

    hate to be the one who drops this, but dr suess did not write "where the sidewalk ends." try again.

     
  • At 9:00 AM, Blogger bex said…

    true, mike. it was shel silverstein. and he really did used to write kind of racy stuff under the name shelly silverstein, before he dropped that girlie sounding ly.

     
  • At 9:48 AM, Blogger John said…

    Well, your FATHER"S mother's stash never included a handgun. The booze cabinet, the "Boners" book, perhaps. But she gave up handguns when she got out of the FBI. Good stuff.

     

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