Creepy Uncle Albert and the Tables

27 April 2011
Creepy Uncle Albert and the Tables
I am sorry to have been away from my writing so long. 
On the last day of March, her birth month, my mother died. My sister and I drove out to California to deal with the house my parents’ retired to thirty-six years ago. Because I never figured out my father’s password, I couldn’t get my Mac on the house wifi. I was cut off from my e-world. Which I handled with great aplomb and a bottle of wine split with my sister each evening. 
My sister and I never lived in that house, only visited. But the house was full of home. After we sorted out the throw aways, and give aways, we divided up the ‘stuff,’ our memories, our home. 
From my dad I’d heard tales of relatives who after a death became enemies over dividing up ‘stuff’. By the grace of God, my sister and I decided being sisters was more important. And we stuck to it. Which was why the tears were few and the laughs were many.
After finding my nursery school report card, and the deficient marks I received in ‘cutting
with scissors,’ all scissor chores were delegated to my sister. Frankly I’ve never improved much.  
We thought we’d gone through all the carved antique Japanese chests, and divided the contents. (My sister taking my mother’s breathtaking wedding gown made of Japanese silk. After we returned to our homes, she sent me a photo of her oldest daughter in that gown. Stunning. Mother was beautiful, but I wish she had seen my sister’s daughter in her gown, the picture of ethereal beauty and grace.) 
Anyway, we double-checked my parents’ bedroom, and realized we’d not gone through this last chest. Expecting it to have more lovely textiles, we were surprised by the contents. Yearbooks and scrapbooks from our grandparents that we’d never seen. My mother’s mother’s dance card with our grandfather’s name penciled in almost every dance. 
We poured over the albums. Marveled at how young our ancient grandparents and parents once were. Found treasure in an ‘autograph’ book our grandmother had signed by family members. I have to research that custom. And, yes, we found the family skeleton, creepy Uncle Albert. I’ll be checking the family genealogy for him. 
The tables. Three shin-height Japanese tables. Small antiques. I have a small house, with really no room for them. But they are ‘home’. They were part of the precious tonnage the Marine Corps paid to move with each new duty station for our family. 
Each time a military brat unpacks, home fits into the new quarters. The ‘stuff’ you bring with you is your home. Is your nest. Your place in a constantly moving world. 
When my sister and I drove away from my parents’ house, we were a little sad, a little teary. But in her SUV and in the moving vans headed East, once again home was coming with us. 


  1. A wonderful post, Kath. Yes, 'home' can reside in any number of things. But why, oh why didn't you show us the picture of your niece in the wedding dress?

  2. How warm,Kathye. Really touched my heart. I'm glad you have your sister to share smiles and tears on that climb up the family tree, discovering blossoms from long ago. Enough time, and even skeletons make a fascinating rattle.


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