Friday, July 19, 2013

Stains, Nail Holes, and Steamer Trunks

One of the suggestions the realtor made when she looked at Mama's house in the mountains was to pull up some of the carpet to see if there were hardwood floors beneath. Sure enough, when my brother pulled up a corner in a closet - there they were - hardwood floors as pretty as you please. Her next suggestion was to pull up all the carpet in the den to reveal the hardwood floors but leave it down everywhere else.

There was a large stain on the carpet in the den, strategically placed in the middle of the room (naturally). Our concern was that whatever had damaged the carpet had possibly soaked through and also stained the hardwood floors beneath it. If we pulled the carpet up in the den and there was a stain, it would be virtually impossible to put it back down. Weighing our odds, and knowing the house was going to be sold furnished, we rolled the dice and  pulled up the carpet. Our back-up plan being the den furniture "could" be arranged such that the coffee table just happened to be placed strategically directly over near the area of the stain, keeping in mind the house was being sold "as is".

My brother called me a few days later, "Well, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there is hard wood throughout the den and there is no stain or damage. The bad news is that only three fourths of the kitchen has vinyl flooring. The rest is bare sub flooring." So we discussed getting someone in to re-floor the kitchen and one of the baths, while he was at it.

My brother and nephew power washed the deck and much to our relief, the paint did not come off. He was able to replace the numerous missing knobs to various drawers and cabinet doors in the kitchen. The stains in the ceiling were painted over and a lady was hired to do a thorough cleaning of the house. The 100's (I kid you not) off nail holes in the walls needed to be spackled. My mother never met a picture she didn't want to hang on a wall. 

The realtor had suggested we not paint the inside of the house, her reason being the buyer would want to paint the house and choose their colors. I didn't see this logic. Having all the walls covered with a neutral shade of fresh paint would make a big difference. And the smell of new paint, to me, is akin to that of a new car. It has that "Come hither" quality. But, I'm not a realtor, perhaps that would be too much 'Lipstick'.

In one of his phone calls my brother asked me if I wanted the long harvest table in the kitchen. My reply was, "I don't have room for that, do you?" "No," he laughed, "not many people I know do." "Is the church pew there also?" "No, somewhere that got lost along the way." "Have you gone through everything up there?" "Well, we still have the storage closet she had off the carport to tackle." "Oh, the treasures that still may await us." "Yeah, I can't wait".  "Well, she had to put the church pew somewhere. And, you remember, she was always fond of that Buckboard Stanbury bought Dad", I said in jest. Then I added, "Oh, and then there are the steamer trunks." 

"If we get in there, and it is filled with any more of her "treasures", they are going with the house." "Easy now, there is always the possibility that she hid her will somewhere in there." (We are still searching for her elusive Last Will and Testament.) "Dear Jesus." "I'm just saying." "Oh, that would be just like her to leave her Will in the bottom of an old steamer trunk in the storage closet off the carport of her vacation home." "Trust me, you know with her, stranger things have happened."


Sue Olson said...

I am really enjoying hearing about your mother and past houses. The story sounds like fiction, but I know it isn't - nobody could make up all these details and sound so authentic. I hope sharing these memories also helps you be at peace with the loss of your mother. Maybe the will IS in the steamer trunk!

Ann Currie said...

First, thank you so much for reading the blog. Often I feel like I am just talking to myself when I do not get any feed back. No, I am not creative enough to make this stuff up. There is so much about my mother, God rest her soul, that I have wanted to write about for years, but could not while she was alive. Our luck would be finding the will in the trunk given the estate is about closed. Knowing her, she would have made a bizarre list of distribution and we would have to start all over again. I'm not sure what to wish for?