I mentioned earlier that we've been helping Mom and Dad clean out their house in preparation for their move to an apartment.
On Thursday, the movers came to pack and load the truck. The next day they moved everything to the apartment.
Halfway through the morning on Friday, one of the movers said, "I've got good news and bad news. The good news: the truck is half empty. The bad news: The remaining half is 15 feet high."
Oh yeah. There was a lot of stuff.
But now Mom's moved in, the furniture arranged, the pictures hung (all 52 of them), the boxes unpacked (all but just a few). It's really a lovely place, and the apartment looks great, very cozy and inviting and homelike.
My three brothers came armed with a laser leveler, hammer, nails, and ruler. They got the pictures hung up pretty quickly, considering they had to first get Mom to decide where she wanted everything.
While they did that, I worked with Mom to sort through huge boxes of linens. We separated into piles of "keep" and "give away", and now I have a new category: "fret over".
Why? Because we discovered linens made by my maternal great-grandmother in the cotton mills where she worked in the late 1800's, in Alsace-Lorraine (which was sometimes Germany, sometimes France, depending on who won the last war).
One of the pieces was a white cotton sheet with a large embroidered "O" (for her last name, Offner) in a lovely calligraphic style. The sheet is in mint condition (except for a tiny tear in the fine stitching between top hem and the body of the sheet, which I sadly fear I may have caused when taking it out of the bag; more reason to fret. Mom insists I didn't do it, but I'm not so sure.)
We also found a beautiful piece of cloth hemmed all around with several inches of hand-knit lace, according to a note written by my paternal Great-Aunt Catherine. The note also said, in her ultra-tiny yet perfectly legible handwriting, "Put this cloth on the table when receiving Communion at home."
These are treasures, no doubt.
But now what? Obviously we keep them, but should we do something to preserve them? Should we display them somehow? Or find archival tissue and boxes and pack them away with additional notes for future generations to find?
Or should we use the sheet (as Mom had been doing over the years when guests stayed over) and let it serve its purpose, till it's all used up? We could certainly use the Communion cloth, should anyone receive Communion at home.