Monday, June 07, 2010

Wonder Questions & Wonder Years

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Blogger deleted this post so I am rewriting it. #@@%&**.
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I have spent the last three days at my parents' house, again sorting and emptying so that my brother and I can rent or sell it.
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In a small bookcase in the corner of the living room all my life there have been the only educational books my Mother ever bought: a series called The Books of Knowledge, written from 1946 through 1949..
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Today I couldn't stop looking at the illustrations and a section called "Wonder Questions": How do fireworks get their colors? Why do I dream? Why does a falling object turn around?
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I will be showing and telling more about the Book of Knowledge in the weeks to come.
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This was my clubhouse..

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No ventilation.
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Too many cobwebs.
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But, still.....
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My Father had his own room down cellar. I expected to find money hidden there, but so far, nothing. I'm cleaning your room out, Dad: I have too. Please don't mind. Dad, have you met my friend, Renee yet? Please look for her. She is very special. .
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And After all...
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I'm finding I am still the child I was.
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Love
kj

30 comments:

  1. I should have made you give me a tour - it's a fascinating house - and the good vibes in the walls just resonate. glad you found the clubhouse....

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  2. I'm sorry KJ - did I miss something ... not sure if you still have your mother with you or not? My thoughts are with you as you sensitively sort through all that stuff - must be heartbreaking, revelatory, healing and sad all at the same time ... I can only imagine ...

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  3. Oh, that magnificent old stone hearth and the old artwork on the walls. I tried to enlarge the photo but couldn't.
    This is a trip down memory lane for sure. I know it's doing your heart good, dusting off a few cobwebs there as well deep in the chambers where old memories get awakened.
    I recognized the artwork from the second page with the rhymes :)
    I must have checked it out of the library because I never had books of my own as a kid.
    I think it's fitting that you changed your header to the heart your dad left for you ;)

    Tough weekend girlfriend. You all did an amazing job! I'm glad you had time to slip in dinner with your good friend Mim :)

    xoxoxo
    Lo♥

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  4. mim, you know one of the very best-est parts of my weekend? you know, the part having incredible food on a beautiful patio with a good friend? you know how wonderful it is to have a friend you could talk to all night without a trace of anything but loving it all? YOU know!! i'm so glad you saw the house, mim. and HAHAHAHAHA who moved the clubhouse ten feet?!!!


    chief, you are so sweet. no, my Mother is still alive and actually very well and happy at 94. but the house has been empty for almost three years so it is time. what a project! it's physical and emotional and time-demanding all at once. this weekend i threw away my Father's eyeglasses and before that his wallet. those are the parts that are the hardest. xoxo

    good morning dear friend! i have a few goodies for you from those old memory chambers!-- actually from the old bookcase. oh! and i have a certain bedspread i think will find its way to you quite happily. i can't wait to give it to you just before i remind you i am the most physically affectionate among us heeheeHAHAHA. xoxo

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  5. I remember clearing out my parents house after they both died; it was an unbelievable job, as there were about three generations of *things* to sort through.
    I finally had to rsort to an auctioneers team coming in, and they let me pick out the keepers after it was done.
    Brother....it was something else...

    XXOO!!
    Anne

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  6. anne, thanks for the acknowledgement. it's a HUGE undertaking. the furniture may have to have to go into storage until i can even deal with how and where to sell it. my aunt sophie would pull me by the ear if i didn't get a good value for the dining room set she willed to my Mother. and pulling me by the ear from up above is no minor matter!

    gee, i am writing long responses to these comments.

    it must be because of how much i totally adore certain people named mim, kay, lolo, and anne. and what's NOT to adore?!!!

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  7. Oh boy. Been there, done that. You're not kidding, it is HUGE. I often thought the physical issues of just dealing with THINGS was exhausting. But then you find something like those books and life goes on, in a different way.

    And the best memories and treasured pieces live with you now. For you to share with Ryan and Drew.

    Brad will be 40 this year. He still comes here and sees pieces and remembers, as I do. He will touch this or that and smile and tell his children about it. Nothing really changes except the location, does it?

    You have a big heart, kj. Room to tuck a little more in here and there for safekeeping.

    xoxo
    Linda

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  8. This post made me all emotional and teary. I love the house and I love that book, and your dad's room and the yard and your clubhouse. This has to be very hard for you, and also good.
    Sending lots of hugs and love.
    xoxo

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  9. linda, i read your comment and i thought to myself: everybody should have a friend like you. thank you so much, always, for your words and support. you hit the bullseye. xoxo

    annie, yes, hard and good at the same time. WAIT til you see what i've pulled out of those books of knowledge. unbelievable illustrations and information about the world back then. really i can't wait to do some posts about that! how is spike, annie? and how does your show look? take pictures? xoxox

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  10. KJ, memories can be sad and painful - BUT - as you are discovering with those treasured books, can also awaken joy and love and strengthen your resolve in life. I cannot wait to hear more about what you discovered.

    The home is lovely and as Mim said, good vibes still resonate.
    Were the Raccons still there atop the chimney?

    Luckly lady to have time with Mim! I know it did you both a world of good to meet and talk....

    Love, Love,

    ♥ Robin ♥

    p.s. The clubhouse is wonderful...

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  11. a beautiful house you grew up in, KJ. YOur Dad's room is just precious, with the stones and the photos on the wall. You know, I still havent finished w/Mom and Dad's stuff. I just left the furniture as it was, and of course I am living here with it right now.

    It is good you are taking your time to sort through these things, and I didnt realize you had a bro to help you, that's good.

    Good too to sift through the memories and look at things saved from childhood. I think this was a popular encyclopaedia, but Dad bought the Britannica for us so that's the one that holds memories.

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  12. Yeah, not easy. I found myself wanting to keep everything,,,just because.

    Oh! That clubhouse,,,how we'd have loved having that! Why, we could have smoked our grapevines in there!
    Oh,,,no ventilation,,,we probably wouldn't have cared though.

    All the best to you in this project.

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  13. Kj, Can't wait to see more of the book.
    Spike is good and as for the show, Dave the owner wanted to hang it, so I have not seen it yet, but will this week and will attempt a photo :-).Love.
    xoxo

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  14. I'm sure we had the "Children's Wonderbooks" when we were young although what happened to them I'll never know. Sweet little house but it must be bittersweet clearing everything out. I've kept some of the weirdest things left by my parents but they are comforting. And how wonderful that you and Mim are so close that you can talk into the small hours. I'd love that.

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  15. I remember that second page - we must have had it.

    When my grandmother died my sibs and I sorted through her house with my mother. It was a house we'd lived in with my grandparents after my parents' divorce and one I knew as well as my own. Lots of bittersweet finds, lots of stories. It was one of the really important experiences of my life.

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  16. Oh thats a tough job to do, and you have written about it so sweetly! Happy week to you.

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  17. I am holding your heart!
    Hugging it tightly.
    This must be so cleansing and yet so emotion stirring all at the same time.
    If I had money, I would so buy that house, it "feels" good.
    It is lovely and so are you!

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  18. dear dear marion, yes, so many memories. my daughter jess is still too young to understand how important some of those silly 'things' are infused with love and movie reels. i feel so close to my parents from doing this; not just as who i am today but also who i've always been. ps. i love you, marion. you are a precious friend. tsup!

    wrobin, (heehee) the raccoons are definitely there. the babies sound like they are in the livingroom when they squeal, probably waiting for their Mother to come back. the realtor says they HAVE to be gone by mid july. hmmm.. and robin, what fun with mim!!! she is terrific in every way. and knowing how she and her ms em are venturing forth: it makes me giddy for her. xoxo

    suki, my brother can't help much, but he and i have made a loving peace with one another, after many years of being so different and apart. the house has been vacant for almost three years. it's time. i actually feel good that it is getting done. and the photos i took will become a kind of memory for me. ♥ suki

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  19. annie, i wish i were there for coffee with you! :)

    babs, i knew i would feel suffocated if i kept everything. i know when i simplify i am better off. but letting go of my Father's glasses and wallet just about killed me. and my Mother's beany babies all over the back of the couch.... xoxo

    cs, bittersweet. bittersweet. the word keeps reminding. i know what you mean about its importance. memories from love and being known have got to have their own magic. i believe that. i'm feeling more grounded from doing this. thank god for that! xoxo

    thank you sag. i didn't write about it THAT well because i had to write it THREE times! blogger kept gobbling it up. :)

    marie, i know my heart is in safe hands when you hold it. the house is actually 'just' a classic six room cape: very old and in need of fix ups. the camera viewed it kindly. and i think that is very fitting. glad you are back, marie. xoxo

    hells, bittersweet, yes. and yes it is great that mim and i live within driving distance of one another. and lolo too. and i wish you too. i have made some life long friends from the blogs. i am sure of that. how fucking wonderful. ♥

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  20. Oh my kj, what a beautiful life, home and memories you have. It is bittersweet, like you've said. I love how much thought and care you've taken with your parents things, your family things.
    i wish there were any easy way to handle this, but i guess the only way to do it is to go through it.
    xoxo lori

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  21. what a journey back to childhood... to the house that will be part of your psyche forever...

    really loved this post... and the way you ended it was so impressive... you are a great writer...

    and it is really a lovely house!

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  22. Awesome. I like your style.

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  23. I too, remember the clearing of the house - my parents moved a lot so there was 'only' 20 years worth of stuff to sort! Spent hours pouring over boxes of stuff I'd totally forgotten about, just as you are, no doubt! Love those books and your clubhouse - what a trip down memory lane for you, kj!

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  24. I loved the photos KJ, a club house!!! Oooh yes, a hidey hole to get away from the grown ups.

    It's funny that in some ways we never really feel like a "proper" grown up until we start having to do things for our parents, and this is never more true than sorting through stuff after they're gone.

    And even if the memories are good ones, it's still hard, and exhausting, and sad ... but hopefully a bit happy too. xx Jos

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  25. Oh wow, my heart took a jolt when I saw those photos of the books. We had the 'Wonder Book of Whay and What' and the typeface and layout were just the same. I think my sister kept them. It's amazing how things like that transport you right back to your childhood.

    I hope the sorting isn't too arduous and is mixed with pleasure at your happy childhood. I was lucky enough to have had the same. I also had a 'den', well it was my father's shed right at the bottom of our garden but he let me and a friend paint it and we called it 'Woodlands'. Memories.

    Hugs to you kj.

    PS Can I buy the house?

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  26. Oh my goodness, I've just seen the stone in your header. We are connected you know. I found one when I was making my new rockery the other day and placed it carefully in the rockery. Great minds across the seas.

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  27. what a sad thing to do. and i feel so sad thinking of renee.big big kisses for you dear one.

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  28. lori, several days afterwards, i'm finding that the treasures and the memories are precious. the pictures i took look better than the actual house, but those pictures will add a glow to my memories. i know you understand, dear friend.

    hb, here on my own blog i can tell you how much i love you. you are my sister. you are always in my thoughts and prayers: you and your daughter, that the crow can fly anywhere. your compliments leave me so happy, hb. ♥

    hello attilla, welcome and thank you very much.

    caroline, ah, so you know exactly...i found some intimate letters to my brother from a woman in singapore. he must have met her while on leave from viet nam. he never went back for her: it is a story i don't know, i left the box for him and i know it will bring something--some kind of love and maybe loss--to the forefront. ♥

    jos, a hidey hole for sure! thinking back, i wish my DAD had helped me VENTLATE the little place. i couldn't stay in there for long! and there were spiders too! memories: i'm wondering these days if good ones that become bad ones can turn into good ones again...xoxo

    bt, "we are connected, you know"
    i can't quite convey how much this meant to me, bt. i believe it. amazing. i will be on the future lookout. i really like to think of where you live--how beautiful it is. let's save our rocks and be stone warm soul sisters.

    soul, i miss renee every day. and i look for her everywhere. in some ways she is directing me to SEE, miracles included. i am sending you an email. ♥

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  29. kj you are very blessed to have this wealth of memory.

    I understand the process of packing a parents home firsthand and it is a big task.

    best wishes with it all and thanks for sharing this love of your family.

    robyn xx

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  30. So many memories, dear kj, and such a bittersweet post. The fireplace in your father's room in the cellar is gorgeous!

    Your last line really touched me. Isn't it something? I've been noticing it more and more, myself, too. I'm still the child I was, too, and it's comforting in a way to come to terms with that.

    I hope you're having a good week!

    Love and hugs,
    xoxoxo
    Angela

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