Lain's Log

Treasures & Trash

July 15/14.

Time to purge? - (ya THINK)?????

                                               Sale of Mum's house back in 2011

It's been close to four years since our much-loved Mum, Jill Loring, passed away, and still, many of her belongings remain stashed in my sister, Carrie's garage - and in mine. When the man who bought her home, (whose name, believe it or not, is DANG), - requested the house closing date be moved UP by two months, we suddenly had to get cracking with the clean-out, but ran out of time and eventually had no option but to shove EVERYTHING outta the "hidey hole" (as we proclaimed it).

With the time frame dealt to us, we could only think of cramming what was left into our own garages.
We believed it would remain there for only a couple of weeks!

Little did we know, it would be stowed away all this time, rained and snowed on - (despite being covered in plastic), and that MUCH of it would be damaged or destroyed by devious, desperate, ruinous, ruthless, zany, zombie-eyed ravenous raccoons!

With all the many jobs Carrie has, she somehow managed to shoehorn in a day to come to my place to help sort through the stuff, ditch the trash and salvage the treasures. Naturally, we had to start with tea and a few goodies to fortify ourselves for a heavy workload of intensive hours.

My sweet son, Max agreed to help us, carting some of the bigger and heavier items to the front of the house to go out in the garbage - like this very old lawn mower and broken shutter.

Meanwhile, in the midst of the mess, we discovered an old silver box, given to our Grampa, Arthur Burridge, back when he worked as head of the physical education department at McMaster University in Hamilton. Inside the box were several items, including a sparkly turquoise vintage broach, which was one of Mum's favourites, - and - lo and behold, her wedding ring on a gold chain! For years, Mum insisted the ring had been stolen by a burglar while I took her shopping one afternoon. He kicked in her backdoor, rushed in, rifled through some of her things, then took off again when we happened to arrive home while the man was still inside. Nothing seemed to have been taken, but she couldn't locate the ring and was convinced the robber got it. Apparently not. I was in tears because I couldn't tell Mum, "It's HERE"!!

On the down side, we suffered some losses too. Mum was a beautiful writer who kept hundreds of notebooks and journals of thoughts, ideas, drawings, interesting quotes, dreams, scribblings, words of pride about us and her three grandchildren, diaries of the day's events, comments about movies, plus stories and poems she conjured up. Sadly, raccoons had gotten into some of the bags and cardboard boxes of her many years of writings. They chose THIS one to poop in. (Now THESE are tough critter critics who apparently believed her work was crap)! As you might expect - the precious journals (above) had to be tossed.

We were able to rescue tons of other notebooks, but many were damp and somewhat mouldy, so had to be dried out on shelves

and picked through one at a time from the floor, after being unloaded.

This one in particular was unsalvageable. Sheesh!

Mum suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. Among her belongings, we uncovered this note she wrote to herself to try and calm her fears. I wish I knew for sure what was scaring her, but I'm convinced it was thoughts she'd written in a notebook, hidden away in that dreaded drawer and did not want to remember ever again. So sad.

Couldn't help laughing at some of the photos of Carrie and me as kids. I never knew, but Carrie told me, "I always HATED playing the boy"!  On Halloween, Mum would make our costumes. This particular year, I was Cleopatra, but Carrie was stuck with portraying a cossack! (albeit a very cute and well-dressed one)!

At some point, Mum got it into her head that we could both be child models and coaxed us into posing for these black and white shots! Dig those crazy bangs on both of us! (as for me, it was the pre-blonde days, a very long time ago)! Needless to say, the photo agencies did NOT come banging on our door! (although later in life, we were BOTH selected as Sunshine Girls in The Toronto Sun on page 3)! So maybe she was a little bit right.

Also found this great Christmas shot of cousin Kevio (Kevan Staples - "Mr. Rough Trade") as a teenager along with his Auntie Jill - our Mum, at one of her prettiest stages in life. Kev was holding his family's little dog, Coco.

This was among my fave photos we found. I've often said, if I could have three days of my life to live over again, I'm 100 percent sure one of them would be a Christmas Day at our grandparents' home and antique shop (known as Century House). Here are the three musketeers (left to right), me, Kevio (our only first cousin whom we adored then, and still do now), and Carrie. - Christmas Eve in our pjs, our stockings hung up by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. Christmas Eve was pretty much always the most exciting night of the year. We couldn't sleep at all and always wanted to rush out to the living room at 6 a.m. to see what Santa had left us. Mum, (who was SO tired from staying up most of the night to help old St. Nick), insisted we stay in our makeshift rooms out in the workshop till 7. - (Kevan usually slept in till noon).

At one point, we began to wonder if this clean-out project would EVER be completed! In fact, we finally had to stop when the job was only about half done. We took the garbage out, went through hundreds of old slides, keeping the good ones and reluctantly parting with those completely ruined. NEXT time Carrie visits, we'll tackle the old paintings lovingly created by the talented artists in our family,

and figure out what to do with the old dollshouse - (an heirloom to US as it originally belonged to our lovely late cousin, Ellie, who passed away at the age of 19 of cancer). Somehow, we inherited the adorable little handmade house and mini furniture. How can we EVER part with it?

To celebrate and toast (at least a half-done job) well done, we took my daughter Kate with us, (Max was busy), to our neighbourhood hangout The Friendly Greek for dinner on the Danforth. It was nice enough to sit outside. OPA!! - Good work Cayr and thanks for inspiring the purge (at long last)! be continued.

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