Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Estate of Mr. & Mrs. C.

  I ventured off the farm early this morning to run a few errands for the hubby. While I was out and about, I saw an Estate Sale sign pointing into a beautiful, old neighborhood. So how do yall feel about going to Estate Sales? I love a good yard sale, a good rummage sale, a junky garage sale and a good bake sale. I'll haunt Antique shops every chance I get, but I generally steer clear of Estate Sales. 
  It was a beautiful morning, so I thought I would stop and just see if I could find any of my missing china pieces or an old sewing machine, a jar of buttons or just a fun piece of something that I didn't even know I wanted. The neighborhood was gorgeous with large 1970's era brick homes with azaleas and dogwoods blooming. Fresh mown lawns. The picture of Spring. 
  I ambled the old farm truck through this pristine neighborhood following the "Sale this way" signs and  throwing my hand up at everyone that seemed to stop what they were doing to stare at me in hubby's old dented and dirty truck loaded down with a pallet of seed. I think they thought I was looking for yard work. It is a rather hilly area and I was beginning to wonder if I would start going backwards at any moment with my large load of seed dragging me back down the hill. I finally rounded the corner and spotted the house up ahead. I could tell it was "the house" without all of the neon red signs pointing the way because of all the vehicles parked at the bottom of a very steep, long white cement , and roped off,  driveway. 
  I sat for a few minutes and looked at the beautiful home before me. Perfectly manicured. Azaleas and dogwoods blooming. Holly and boxwoods trimmed nice and neat. Oakleaf hydrangeas just putting out new leaves. Beautiful brick with tall windows that looked over the city toward the mountain and toward our little farm. I watched people coming and going up and down the long drive. 
 I decided I would not find any missing china pieces sitting in the truck so I gathered my bag and started the climb. I saw the bird bath dry and empty with an orange neon price sticker on it under one of the dogwood trees. The huge"See Rock City" birdhouse sitting atop a pole had a "Sold" sticker on it. The green tractor " Corn Cob" Squirrel feeder had a young squirrel looking at the empty nail head. I guess he was wondering why Mr. or Mrs. C. hadn't put him out a new ear of corn. 
  The sidewalk leading to the front door was roped off. The driveway led around to the side of the house towards the garage. There were people and Mr. & Mrs C's belongings scattered everywhere. The first items I came upon were 2 wheelchairs, several different types of walkers and canes. A shower chair and a bedside commode chair. With that blunt reminder of why I hate Estate Sales, I almost went back to the truck and probably would have if the crowd hadn't ushered me along though the open garage doors. 
 There were 3 women and a man in the garage all taking money and helping "Customers". One of the women started explaining how Mr. & Mrs. C's items were priced and I was told "Let me know if you need help carrying any of this stuff out".  I stepped back a few feet to gather my wits and found myself in the kitchen. Some of Mrs. C's dishes were laid out on the "kitchen" table in front of the sliding glass doors that looked out onto a brick patio surrounded by azaleas. I saw a Silver Anniversary Charger. I turned to find my way back out and saw two red neon signs indicating the washer,dryer and freezer were "SOLD" . I walked past the mismatched pots and pans into the "Den" area. The built in bookcases revealed that Mr. C loved autobiographies and Mrs C loved gardening and popular novels. I picked up a well worn copy of "Organic Gardening" with a $1.00 sticker. How many times has Mrs C thumbed through and referred to this book?  I eased my way thru the formal Living room, past crystal lamps and christmas ornaments. The front door was locked. I turned and saw the basement stairs and headed down. Mr C's golf bag, clubs, and golf hats were laid on a pool table . There was a very nice sofa and loveseat with an $850.00 price tag still on it. It was cream colored. There were 2 sets of suitcases. One floral and one black. The basement door was locked. 
 I went back upstairs and couldn't go back the way I came for a suge of people, so I went to the right. Big mistake.I found myself in Mr. C's bedroom. There were hospital type homemade gowns and large adult bibs. Waterproof mattress pads and robes. Mr. C's heavily starched Nautica and  L.L. Bean shirts. Polo pull over golf shirts and well worn shoes. I scrambled out of that room through a Jack and Jill bathroom with a hairbrush, comb and shave kit laying on the counter and found myself in Mrs. C's bedroom. All white. Even the iron bedstead that had an orange neon sold sticker on it was a beautiful soft white. There was a solid white cotton Chenille bedspread folded up with a $125.00 price tag glaring out stuck to it. 
  Laid out on the bed were several very small,well worn flannel nightgowns and 2 pair of well worn house slippers. I glanced up and saw myself in a white framed , smudged mirror. I stood there wondering why the mirror was so smudged when everything else in their beautiful home was so pristine. I realized it wasn't the mirror that was fogged up when one of the women that was "helping" dispose of Mr. & Mrs. C's belongings asked me if I was ok. I must have given her a satisfactory answer because she took Mrs C's "Organic Gardening" book from my hands and said she would hold it outside until I was ready to "Check out". I ran my hand along Mrs. C's dustless dresser and walked from the room. I headed for the door but found myself in the formal Living room again. This time I was the only person in the room. I glanced around at the beautiful paintings, mirrors and crystal sconces with their long, white, never been lit tapered candles. I looked down at 2 plump and worn matching chairs and ottomans. On the wall opposite the chairs were 2 paintings with a large mirror between them. One of the paintings was of a Golf Course in Lancaster Pennsylvania. The other painting was a soft water color in a white frame with a white mat. I walked over when I saw the neon orange $5.00 price tag and lifted it off the wall. 
  I heard raucous laughter coming from the open kitchen door off the garage and headed out to find Mrs. C's book. A man told me that there was more stuff and tools in the shed around back. I responded with a No Thank you and asked what did I owe. I paid them the 6 dollars and headed down the drive. Back past the walkers and wheelchairs and canes. Back past the dry and empty bird bath, Back down the steep hill to our dented and dirty farm truck. I pulled out my cell phone and called the hubby. He was fine , just busy and wanted to know what was taking me so long. I told him I was on my way and headed back toward the mountain and our little farm. 

 It's been a long and quite day. I sat looking through Mrs C's book while the hubby worked on the tractor. I love Mrs. C's book and her little painting. Seems the painting is a signed Christian "Xtian" Newswanger watercolour from Lancaster Pennsylvania. I guess I know where those suitcases carried them. I should have bought the Golf print and kept them together. 
Hug your loved ones.
xo Jan


  1. Estate sales...lives that are gone or changed forever...I feel that same desolation at different times...old houses, old neighbors, old memories...

  2. I love going to Estate Sales because sometimes you can find some beautiful and rare pieces that you may not have seen around for a while. But it really is hard to look around if you think of the reason you are there in the first place.

  3. My family and I went to an Estate Auction. I thought of you. There weren't the kind of pieces for sale that you came across, this was auctioning off a gentlemen farmer's tools and equipment. I had to push the sad to the background.

  4. I work in a historic area with big grand homes - nothing like where I live farther down the river. I see lots of estate sales around here as the old residents die or they have to be moved to assisted living and their beautiful homes and possessions downsized and sold. I could feel your pain in your accounting of the visit. Sad that we collect all our lives - gathering and honing our prized possessions and then if we have presence of mind - we start downsizing and off loading them all and if we don't see it coming - then someone else is in charge of that task. It's very sad indeed. Yesterday I just sat in my room with a huge bin of gorgeous yarn and just loved and hugged each and every skein. Hugs to you as well - Mel

  5. I went to an estate sale, my last one on my own. The only thing left was an overpriced bookcase and a priceless, mostly handwritten, broken binding cookbook. Newspaper recipes, can label and mom recipes. Altogether the most priceless item in my kitchen. I paid 10 cents for it. Now that I'm getting up in years it's pretty evident I need to find homes for my treasures. And that priceless cookbook, to one of my granddaughters. Hugs, Elaine


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