Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Sorting it out.

Yesterday, Dad convinced me to go out to the farm and go through the wreckage to see if there was anything I wanted to keep. I bundled up, then walked in through the missing front door. Things crunched under my feet. The stairway looked just the same, but the rooms upstairs certainly didn't.

We went in J.B.'s room first, where I found a blue glass perfume bottle that belonged to my great grandmother.

Then we went to my room. In one place, the wall was cracked, and my curtains had gotten sucked off the window and through the wall (see photo at left).

My books were strewn everywhere (see photo below). Then I found my greatgrandmother's jewelry box. It's gold and plays "Sunrise, Sunset." I know it's not valuable, but I love it a lot. Inside was my ruby necklace. Then I picked up a few favorite books and some photographs.

In the attic, I found a box of my clothes. I sort of wanted to keep all of them, but in the end I just took my favorite jeans from high school (at some point, I'd already pinned a note on them that read "Please keep."), my brother's football uniform, a 4-H t-shirt and a Woodward-Granger (my high school) t-shirt. Then I salvaged a couple toys: a metal top that still worked, and a green, wooden grasshopper on wheels, with legs that moved up and down as you pushed it on the floor. Then I resigned myself to leave everything else behind to be destroyed with the demolition.

It was the possibility that was hard...the possibility that something I loved might still be intact, but hidden. But I made myself let go and walked away. Then Dad and I exited through the entirely-missing wall of their bedroom. I couldn't believe how much smaller it looked. It was like at funerals, when the person in the casket looks so much smaller than they did when they were alive.

My favorite tree survived, but I got a bit crabby when Dad told me they might tear it down, it and my second-favorite tree. I told him I was cold, and he said "Okay," but soon got caught up in showing me where the new house would go and pacing out the footprint.

"Daddy," I eventually interrupted, "I'm really cold!"

"But we're visuallizing!" he exclaimed. "Well, I guess I'm visuallizing you as a popsicle, and I'm not having to work very hard."

We realized I wasn't wearing a hat, so he put one on me, then we transfered my salvaged stuff to the semi-trailer they rented to hold our stuff. After that, I helped him load gates into the truck. (In all fairness, I had volunteered to do so the day before, but I hadn't been shivering and damp then). "Oh, sheesh," Dad said, "I better get you inside before I end up giving you pneumonia from this whole deal."

Then we drove over to Unkie and Helen's house.I believe that I've already mentioned on this site that Unkie and Helen and their daughters were like my second family growing up. Unkie is watching Dad's flock for him, and one of the ewes lambed early. Unkie is pretty generous, but he warned my dad that his sows farrowing and dad's ewes lambing would be too much. I imagine Helen's cancer doesn't make it any easier. So dad and I built a small pen for the ewe and her lamb, and Dad's looking for someone else to take on the ewes who are about to give birth. When we saw it was a Dorset ewe that had just had a lamb, Dad and I both chuckled that we (and Unkie) needn't have worried. Dorsets are wonderful mothers.

While I was there, I joked with Unkie, played with his Border Collie puppy, Callie, and arranged with Helen for me to come spend the night on Thursday.

That night, I fell asleep on the couch at 8, Mom and Dad sent me to bed at 9 and I slept until 7 a.m. this morning. Then I chatted with Mom, had breakfast while watching "You've Got Mail," walked the dog and took a three-hour nap. I must really be sick, because I am not a napper (as anyone who ever took care of me as a child can attest!) I wanted to go with my parents and some kids who are friends of the family to see Jolly Holliday Lights in Des Moines this evening, but I had a headache so I decided to rest some more in the hopes of finally kicking this bug.

Wish me luck.

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