One of the highlights of our recent journey to Minnesota was time spent at my husband's childhood home north of the Twin Cities.
The lakefront property is absolutely gorgeous and our family, my mother-in-law, my sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, their children, and families all convened to help clean out the house, divide up family heirlooms and prepare to sell the property after the passing of my father-in-law this past Christmas.
My eyes water when I think about how grateful I am that our children, especially Ruby, got to come to this place, experience a little piece of my husband's childhood, run wild with her little cousins, and see it before it becomes a memory in pictures.
It was emotional for me as well, as I came to understand Scott just a little better, imagining him growing up here, and spending time with the family that shaped him into the person he is.
Privately, I also said goodbye to my father-in-law, who is present in every square inch of this place, right down to the coffee cans of hardware in the garage and home-made. . .well. . . everything.
He passed away just weeks before I gave birth to Huck, and as I was not able to attend the funeral, I experienced my delayed grief the moment we pulled into the driveway.
The "Cheetah" was our home away from home while we were here and it was peaceful and fun for the kids. My quote of the trip is "Aww man, now I want an RV." All in good time.
We cherished time with the "graunties," Scott's sisters who are my kids' aunts, but Grandma's themselves, who took Ruby fishing and held Huck for hours. As an only child, I marveled at what its like to have this kind of help. I couldn't wear a piece of clothing without turning around to find it washed and folded next to my suitcase, or eat off a plate, only to find it had been washed and put away by the time I wiped my face.
We divided up family possessions, and Scott and I stuffed our car full of his father's old tools, gadgets, and piles of photos until we looked like a clown car. I even snagged some amazing old jewelry to rework into some new pieces, and some to tuck away for Ruby. Strangely enough, no one fought me for the GIANT 70's ceramic lamps and orange velvet painting from the basement?? Some people just have no taste.
That's how goodbye's work, right?
All photos by me.