Friday, October 30, 2009


I am buying my grandmother’s home to keep it in the family. With her mounting nursing home expenses she can no longer afford the maintenance and taxes and between trying to qualify her for Medicaid and satisfying the nursing home's asset requirements, selling it is the only logical answer. Since I’m still living in it, it was the most reasonable option that I buy it to take some of the pressure off of my old people.

I have always loved older homes. This one is no exception. My father has done much upgrading over the past few years including a new roof and new vinyl siding. It has a wonderful front porch, great yard space and sits on a relatively nice, dead-end street, just minutes from Duke University. The interior however is a whole other beast.

Over the years I have attempted to convince my grandmother to change things around, paint and redecorate but she wasn’t having it. The walls in every room are wood paneling. The carpet needs to be pulled up and thrown away. I’m praying there are real hardwood floors beneath that 1950’s tri-colored shag. However, I won’t know until I can get the mess and clutter cleared out.

My grandmother never threw anything away and she horded the damndest things. I have found mail addressed to her late sisters and those women have been dead for decades now. The pantry was most challenging. Forty-six boxes of macaroni didn’t begin to touch the food stuffs she had stored away. Canned tomatoes and toilet tissue were also high on her list. For the life of me I don’t understand why everything she possessed needed to be tied up into a plastic garbage bag and stored in the drawers and closets. Three bags and nineteen tubes of Fix-A-Dent and I was too through!

Some of the furniture dates back to the 18th century and most of it is broken and no longer viable. But it amazes me that those women were able to tape-up, fix-up, tie-down, and put it together so that no one really noticed until, of course, you pulled back the chair covers and table cloths and went to move something from one side of the room to the other.

I have been inundated for weeks now and haven’t begun to make a dent in the stuff. But I’m also having mixed feelings because the wealth of it embodies my granny and her spirit and she is still here, still kicking up a fuss and definitely not ready to let any of it go at all!

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