Tuesday, March 22, 2011

unexpected treasure

Maybe you have been there too. Maybe you will be in the future.

Thank goodness we had each other.

It was the saddest of a fall turning into winter after my mom had passed away. “Passed” I guess is the nice way to say it. Our father had gone about 5 years earlier so she had lived in the house on her own until the end. Four kids, four sad but knowing they had to get along for each other siblings.

We did get along with just a few very minor bits of tension.

I can’t remember now exactly when we got started on the house but we did and we did it together. Probably not exactly equal. One sister lived out-of-state so for her to show up was a bigger issue. But she did make it and she cleaned and painted along with us all. In the end, the house sold and we all turned a page in our own history books.

But before the house sold, I need to explain a slight problem we had to overcome. Our mother blamed the Great Depression years and there is certainly some logic to that reason. What ever the reason, she was a saver. A saver of scrap, junk, whatever. Today, she could have had her own reality TV show. I guess she was a trend setter in that area.

The clean up was a massive job. It took a few months.

At first it was sorta fun. Digging through your childhood.

Hey, look at this old report card!
What Christmas did I get this toy?

Now I don’t remember which one said it but we sure all took notice when the words - 
Hey look, I found a $100 bill!

Our mother was not rich at all. But did I mention she was a saver. Little did we know until then that she saved cash along with papers, scraps of cloth, magazines, dishes, etc..

Now there was more than just memories to look for in those piles of stuff. There was some treasure. Maybe she had planned this all along as a reward for our efforts. It's fun to think so.

I recall nearly $1000 was eventually found. We split it up.

My hiding money story came to mind because I recently heard a story of family that bought a used car. One day their daughter was reaching under the seat for some dropped item and pulled out a $100 bill. Later the dad went searching and came up with another $100 bill. Now he was asking people if they thought it would be worth taking the seats out of the car. I don’t know if he did.

Maybe the best treasure is one you didn’t go looking for in the first place.

another circus 


Jillsy Girl said...

I think we all dread that day to come when all we have left are siblings. My dad passed away almost 8 years ago and my mom still going strong. We hope it stays that way for awhile. We all live far away from her because she has no desire to move away from where she is.

secret agent woman said...

We had a similar sorting through to do when my Depression-era grandmother died. My mother was an only child, so four of her kids spent a week sorting through things. No cash, other than the coin collection, but a good time together as a family and remarkably conflict -free.

BearmanCartoons said...

My dad managed an estate of a woman that lived in a trashy house. We had to clean it out and go through everything as she had money everywhere. In bags, in boxes, in half eaten cereal. Think we came up with close to $5000

lisleman said...

Don't worry I didn't take your comment the wrong way. But just to be clear there were piles of stuff but no rotting food or rodent problems. The house was clean but some rooms were messy and cluttered. $5000 is an amazing amount that the woman probably didn't even have a clue she had.
thanks for sharing - oh and if you have any extra coin I could give you a paypal account.

lisleman said...

Your story is good to hear. I have heard stories of a families going to court to settle the fight. From reading your blog and comments here I do have the impression that you are a very calm no drama type woman which I mean in a good way. The sparks and excitement should be reserved for fun stuff.

lisleman said...

I hope you have plenty of good times ahead with your mom. It reminded me of the importance of good family relationships with one's siblings. Most people only think of orphans as unfortunate children but my brother, two sisters and I all became adult orphans.

oceangirl415 said...

Is not some of the old toys can worth a lot of money if they are collectible items?

lisleman said...

Yes that can be true. There were many items that were distributed between us. We also had an estate sale that cleared out stuff and brought in cash. I did get some money for an old school lunch box of mine. There wasn't too many toys. Collectible? That's an interesting subject because it's so subjective. Other than nostalgic value, things are only worth the price you sell them which you don't know until they sell. thanks

Jene said...

That's a sweet story. I imagine it must have been pretty amazing to relive your entire childhood along with your siblings, even under those circumstances. You're lucky to have each other.

lisleman said...

Thanks - siblings are special but I know not everyone has them so you are right about it being some extra luck. There are so many things to trigger a memory. Smells, taste, words, and of course objects can all do it. Thanks for browsing over here.

Barbara said...

Thanks for the idea! I'm a saver, too, and now I know how to get my kids to go through my stuff, rather than just hire a dumpster. I'm sure you're mom planned it. Very sweet of y'all to go through it so nicely, even though you didn't know you were going to be rewarded monetarily!

lisleman said...

You are welcomed. I never thought when I wrote this that someone would use it for an idea like yours. It's fun to think she planned it but I tend to think it was mostly accidentally. Saving some extra money for whatever and forgetting about where it was so well hidden. thanks.

unknownmami said...

I love finding money in my pockets that I forgot was there.

lisleman said...

Yes that's good but I know in my case pocket money is typically coins less than $1. thanks

Kristin_The_Goat said...

It's fairly common for those depression era folks to save money in the house. We didn't find a dime in my grandmother's house lol I guess it was a nice little payment for all of the work you had to do to get the place ready for a sale.

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