Dear Lindsay and Anne,
Someone has stolen your father and replaced him with a man who GETS RID OF THINGS. Here’s what happened:
Last week I suggested we purge the reading room bookshelves. He agreed. Wholeheartedly. This was my first clue that something was up.
Then, later in the week, as we were preparing for the trip to Chicago and Milwaukee to attend the 70th bday party of Auntie M, I found him polishing some of the old musical instruments — i.e., the cello (no, I’m not kidding), a trombone (not yours), several violins missing bridges and strings (not yours), THE TOP HAT, a large jar of old keys, etc. You get the picture. Bits and pieces of “The collection.”
I eyed him skeptically, and — yes, considered taking his temperature. What exactly, did he have in mind, I asked?
“I’m giving some things away.”
Now, you know, after 30 years of living with this man, not much surprises me. EXCEPT…his voluntary willingness to part with favorite pieces of his family collection. Apparently, he has decided to gradually gift these items to deserving family members. As he puts it, “it’s time.” Apparently, the occasion of ‘Auntie M’s 70th birthday seemed like the ideal time to do the “final reading of the will.”
His explanation is that these were items he and Grandma had agreed to dispense amongst the descendants. Actually, I think he made that up, but it made for a good show. Hence, the “reading of the will”.
You know what? Your older cousins were ecstatic. Their kids weren’t quite so sure about the reasoning behind this. In fact, most of them are now even more convinced that their beloved Uncle Fred has lost it.
I, on the other hand, am sure that over Christmas vacation, the two of you slipped something into your dad’s sherry. Whatever it was…thanks. The house feels lighter already.
Love and hugs,