Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Sentimental Staging

When it was time this past August to prepare my parents house to be photographed and put on the market to
sell,I first had to connect what I was feeling with what needed to be done.
They are both gone now and as of November of last year, my brother and I are navigating how that feels.

I didn’t want to be at the point where this needed to be done
and regardless of  how old I am,
in my heart I am still a young girl, twirling my baton out in the yard at the ranch, leading some imaginary band somewhere.

In that memory, mother is inside cooking supper and Daddy is pulling up in the driveway
after making a round on the ranch.
My little brother is playing with his trucks on the patio or ‘working in his barn’.
But this house - this house in town- is just down the street from our house, and it is where
they lived later in life after moving into town.
My memories of this house are just as important.

It is in this house that I really saw my mother’s design ability in action, and what I watched her do clicked within me. 
It is in this house ,that I really learned about design.
I learned about the beauty of Saltillo tile, and blue and white, and books, and flea
market treasures , and plants, and the comfort of chintz fabric on a couch (there is no softer couch).
I learned about white and white spray paint and white milk glass and white wicker
and white bedding.
So for this day of photos in my parents’ vacant, last house I did everything I could to make it right.

 This is what I did.

*I hired two yard men , and we worked hard.
The kind of hard that I watched my mother do in her yard with a smile on her face.
The kind of hard that happens when you are working as hard as the wonderful people who are helping you.
She taught me that too.
My father's roses were trimmed and the lawn was mowed.
We pulled up the last of his zinnias, and I put them in the back of Hauler 2 to take home to my garden once again.
I brought my wrought iron bench and some of my potted plants to place around their yard to fill in those empty spaces.

*I hired my father’s housekeeper who helped me so much when he was ill,
and we worked hard.
My mother’s beloved Saltillo tile floors were spotless and shining.

* With my husband and daughter’s help, I loaded Hauler 2 with things
that remind me of my mother:
blue and white, flowers, books, white wicker, blue and white pillows, brass trays, and fresh flowers.

*I did exactly what she taught me. I used what I had -to do what was needed.

And lastly, right before the photographer arrived, I sprayed her favorite perfume in every room of the
house:  Clinique Aromatics Elixer.

And then I knew I was done.


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Janet Martin said...

Such touching tribute. Beautiful. Thank-you.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Beautiful, Laura! Good luck with the house sale.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

You described the feeling of selling our homes-the one we grew up in, the one where our hearts where tended to and the one where our dearest parents made a house a home.
This was beautiful and so touching...

Stacey said...

Laura, I can imagine you there making that house beautiful for your mom and dad. They must have been really special people. Parents who teach their kids to work hard, appreciate the simple things, cook good food, love on others....those are wonderful parents.

You are a writer!!

Stacey said...

And I wish you lived closer!

Pat said...

A beautiful tribute to your family memories, dear friend!
I, too, inherited 'my MoMa's' decorating "bug"!
Now that both our parents are gone, my Sister and I jokingly
refer to what each of us inherited from our parents and
how we apply that within our personal lives.
The home was beautifully staged for $ale!

Lisa said...

Your parents home is so lovely and you made it even more so. How wonderful that you had them so near you in their latter years. What a blessing.

Simply LKJ said...

What a beautiful post.
*I did exactly what she taught me. I used what I had -to do what was needed. Really resonated with me.
And the added touch of spraying you mother's favorite perfume brought tears to my eyes.
What a lovey tribute to she and your dad.

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Laura, what a sweet, sentimental post. I'm sure your parents are smiling down from heaven at all your work! Have a good weekend.

Creations By Cindy said...

Dear Laura, my heart has been so moved by this wonderful post. Praying for your sweet spirit. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh dear Laura, what a heartfelt post filled with love and emotion. I felt your mom's presence in all the sweet thoughts you shared about her. What a sweet post about your parents, they were so special! Precious memories...oh how they linger...
Love to you my sweet friend.

quakerhillfarm said...

Laura, what a lovely post! I can see your mother smiling at you! Thanks for sharing this very personal note, it truly was touching.

Rita C at Panoply said...

Oh gosh, Laura, this touches me. I bet the house sells quickly for all you've done and the reasons behind your actions.
I went to the post office the other day to mail a package - the same post office my mother would get dressed to the nines for each day, just to go pick up her mail (she's been gone for almost 10 years). As I opened the door of the lobby, I swear I caught a whiff of my mother's perfume. A welcome aroma, just in that fleeting moment. I caught myself quietly saying, 'hi mom'. I hope you'll have many similar experiences.
Rita C at Panoply

Laurie said...

Awww, I have a big lump in my throat. This is a lovely post, Laura. Your mother had excellent taste. Love her Saltillo tile floors!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

This is such a sweet post...and I love the photo of your parents...xoxo

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Thank you for sharing an intimate part of your life - your upbringing and your sweet parents.

susan said...

Oh Laura what a wonderful story. Your parents were smiling. It's so hard to lose our parents. Thinking of you Laura.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I lost my father when I was 14 and my mother when I was in my 30's. Most people don't realie having parents is a gift. My thoughts are with you; your parents will always be in your heart. God bless.

trash talk said...

Your parents taught you so much by their actions and you being their straight A child, retained all that they had lived. You have faithfully kept the 5th commandment and through it all, down to the last detail and perhaps while saying goodbye for the last time, you ~kept a tight rein~. I can only pray my children love me in such a way.
My heart to yours.

Jeanie said...

This post touches me in a very deep, to the core kind of way. There is such connection to the spaces where we lived and then, later, to the places in which our parents lived. Places where, as you so gracefully and eloquently pointed out, we learn wonderful lessons -- whether they are of design or of life. I love that you gave your parents' home the love that they would -- not simply because "it will sell better that way" but because that is what they would demand, respect and ultimately, deserve. I'm glad you kept wonderful treasures of your mom and especially the plants. I hope that those who finally purchase it will love it and care for it so much as you.

Cecilia said...

Oh Laura, this is such a dear, sweet post...a lovely tribute to your parents. Selling our childhood home was one of the hardest things we ever had to do. So many memories and the loss to deal with. You gave your parents respect and honor by staying true to what they taught you. Hugs,

Linda said...

Your Mother and your Father have a beautiful and loving daughter. How I wish there were more people like all of you in this world.

Quita said...

So beautiful. Gave my goose bumps remembering the time I spent in that house with my mother and your mother. Seems like a lifetime ago. She was such an amazing woman. As are you!

Scribbler said...

Beautifully written, and you have certainly touched many hearts with this post. I love the photo of your parents young and happy. My mother had her signature fragrance, too, Cinnabar by Estee Lauder, and I keep a bottle just to remind me of her. Sometimes I wear it, and it makes me feel close to her.

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

I have this job ahead of me for a house that my parents had since 1962. You did a beautiful job and that energy of love will be visible for all who come to look at it. Doing a difficult and emotionally charged job such as this is heart-breaking, but best handled the way you did it with respect and pride.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Lovely post Laura, so many loving memories. Your parents would have been so proud. You thought of everything, even your Mom's favorite fragrance. Life's teachings are so very important. This post touches one's heart.


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