Tuesday, August 03, 2010

An ending and a beginning

July2010 052

While little Lux, latest addition to the family tree, was settling on her twig, and while the Little Red Hen was recovering from 44 hours of labour – actually, while we were ALL recovering from her 44 hours of labour – I was doing a final sweep of Ma’s house with my big sister, Kath.

We have a buyer, we think it will go through, and this was our final weekend. Jen was there the weekend before, taking down curtains and dispatching remnant furniture to a sale, and she’d left us three mugs (one each, and one for Jonty, when he called), two dishes, a kettle and a pan. We had garden chairs and a card table, and we slept on a mattress on the floor.

July2010 061

It didn’t feel as awful, or as raw as it did last time. I don’t know why.

Jonty was there on Saturday afternoon helping us, when a cousin and his wife rolled up. They live 100 miles away, but happened to be driving through the dales, and thus Ma’s village, on their way to a holiday cottage, and Janey thought they should make a quick detour down the lane to say goodbye to Ma’s house.

“And there were three cousins standing in the road!” she said.

We sat on the lawn, with three of the party drinking tea (remember – only three mugs), and we remarked on how pleased Ma would be to see us there together in the sunshine on that last historic visit.

July2010 063

On Sunday, Kath and I locked up for our last time. There was nothing left of Ma, except a vase on the windowsill (for Jonty)

July2010 064

and a photograph of Ma, aged 90, sitting in the garden talking to some local children. Kath hid it in a quiet corner for the new owners to find.

July2010 067

Helen Willis

No comments: