3.26.2010

Finally a Family Again!!

These old goofy, vintage cement bunnies are finally a family again! Actually, I never knew that the two my parents had for years, was ever missing a family member! When my parents moved to assistant living we took the bunnies with them. And after my folks died, I just couldn't leave the bunnies homeless, so they live in my garden! I'm one of those people that can't just throw away. My parents bought their house new. It was a small neighborhood in Long Beach that was expanding because of Douglas Aircraft nearby, around 1950. Johnny and Irene Dalhstrom were the last of that group of owners left. Johnny is 97 and sharp as a whip, and his wife, Irene, who is a little younger is doing pretty well for her age. About six months ago, their only daughter, Sherry, had come down to fly them up to Washington to put them in an assisted living near her. Recently she was down trying to list the house on the market and go through the house looking for "valuables". I never understand how easily the memories of the past, of your childhood, of your family are so easily tossed aside while in search for the mighty dollar. She gets what she wants, leaves some of the stuff she wants to be shipped and just leaves everything behind! Then a day later she calls Vinnie, Katie's husband, wanting to know if they will have a sale using the stuff she left behind. I mean she didn't even empty out the refrig, from six months ago when her parents lived there! First, there is nothing of real value there except the house itself. Secondly, she just bailed with no intention of doing anything with ALL the stuff she left behind. Katie, feeling sorry for her, told her she would go see if there was anything she (I couldn't stand Sherry when I was a kid, she being a few years older than me, I got in trouble once for throwing her sweater in a trash can on my way home from school, she's now an old spoiled brat and nothing has changed). All of this brought back a lot of memories for me. When my mom and dad bought their house, they planted a magnolia tree in the front yard. Yep, that's me standing there. As I think most know, after my parents died, Katie and Vinnie bought the house which really warms my heart. My kids, while growing up played under the magnolia tree as well. I still remember my parents, as they got older, sitting in lawn chairs under the big tree, sipping ice tea and watching my kids play! And now, I have that pleasure as well to watch Riley, and soon Morgan, and soon Riley's little brother play under that same tree while I sip a cold Corona occassionally! After work on Monday, Katie wanted me to stop by the house, and see if I thought there was anything of value that she could sell to help Sherry, you know Sherry the most selfish person in the world! For some reason, it just got to me. Sherry had no feelings for the life her parents had built in that home for not only themselves but for her as well. No sentimental value about anything that had no real monetary value. I saw the deck of cards above in the kitchen drawer. For years, while I was a kid, my mom and dad would play Pinnacle, with Johnny and Irene. Just seeing those cards brought back memories so quickly. I didn't want to take any STUFF, as I need nothing. Katie could see it bothered me in that I knew "why" Johnny & Irene kept those cards for all those years, yet their airhead daughter didn't have a clue. The cards came home with me.! I saw all of Irene's old cookbooks, and then a little file where some of her favorite recipes were stashed, stacked neatly on a little shelf. And again I wondered, didn't Sherry want "something" that had meant something to her mom all these years. So, yep, I took those home too! Vinnie was out in Johnny's garage. A single car garage, like my parents, where Johnny had so well organized his tools and things. In the middle of the garage, there was a stack of random stuff under blankets that were to be shipped to Sherry. A lot of the stuff was in totes. The kid in me wanted to open some of those totes and mess with her just like I did when I was a kid. At least the thought made me smile even though I thought it best not too. If only Katie wasn't there!! Actually, Vinnie helped me put together some tools that I could actually use even though old. As we all know, "my boy Bryce" takes everything I own so it was nice to put together a little toolbox made up of Johnnye's tools. And it's nice to know that at one time Johnnye used these. Johnnye who would always say, "hello Susie"! One time when Brande was in junior high, she got out of the car first. And as Johnny always did, he shouted, "hello Susie" followed by "wait, you're not Susie" after he saw me! I can still see Johnny with those old paint brushes, up on a ladder, touching up the trim on his house. I have a special place for the brushes now. ;0} Yesterday Riley and Morgan were playing in my family room. Justine and I were talking about stuff, like why some of us cherish memories so much more than others. Then I started telling her about all the sweaters my mom had knitted and crocheted my kids when they were small. And how I had saved them all. I pulled out the bag, and we put some on Riley and some on Morgan. I know that would make my mom happy that her great-granddaughters can now where those sweaters. I guess memories are what you make them. Not all of us need the "stuff" to remind us, but I have to say, some of my "stuff" really means a lot to me!

7 comments:

Deb said...

cute bunnies...adorable sweaters...

Malisa said...

I am SO touched by the sweet memories of your old neighborhood that you keep alive! You are a true advocate of aging parents who are neglected or used for monetary gain by their children. I love the things you took to remember this loving couple...the everyday things which were so much a part of their lives.

That photo of you is ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE! Yes, we were truly separated at birth!

Malaysia

Jacque said...

Sue we think a lot alike! I loved this post, being in this business of cherishing old things I see so much of the disregard for memories. I guess that can be good, that is how I get so many wonderful things! By the way I have one of the concrete bunnies, always thought he was a little silly, but he makes me smile~Jacque

Barntiques said...

I love your cement bunnies and the love they share with you. You are a special daughter to keep the memories alive.

ginny said...

very, very nice post.

My Vintage Treasures said...

You have a good heart to cherish the memories that she didn't care to take with her.

The bunnies are too cute :)

Teresa said...

I'm sentimental like that too. Your posts are always so heart warming. You always bring a smile to my face.

big hugs,
Teresa