Apple Pie, Anyone? by Maureen Locher

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Did you hear the collective sigh on the weekend as the clock struck 6:00 marking the end of the eight hour non-stop auction at my parents’ house? I don’t know when I’ve been as bone-weary tired. Every part of my body hurt. My mind was a jumble. The six-month ordeal is over. Let me say that again for emphasis: It is over. No more sorting, carrying, sweeping or worrying. What began in April when my dad fell backward on concrete landing him and my mom in assisted living has come to an end. The collections of a 90-year lifetime have either been lovingly taken home to family or sold to new owners.

How many times on Saturday did I hear family members say, “We finally have our lives back. Life can get back to normal.” But I’m not sure that I really want to go back. Back to what? What is “normal”? I want to go forward. I’m just not too sure where forward is. For the past six months I have known exactly where I needed to be and what I needed to do. First, it was daily visits to the hospital to see my dad while keeping an eye on my mom at home. Next, our entire family pulled together to make our parents’ transition to their new home as painless as possible. Then came the house auction and this past weekend the barn auction. The final step is the sale of the house itself, but that’s cake compared to what my family and I have already been through.

My own five men have certainly endured much with me in the past months. They have listened to my woes, carried seemingly endless loads of “stuff” back and forth; they have done without dinners, gotten used to Mother Hubbard cupboards, and have virtually given up on what used to look like their home as I brought in more and more of my parents’ things. Right now 15 bins sit in our living room filled with photos and treasures to sort for my siblings.

God personally penned my instruction manual since April. He showed me step-by-step just what needed to be done, and infused me with enough energy to accomplish it. So as October comes to an end, and my life’s possibilities are stretched out in front of me, what do I do? What do I choose? How do I choose wisely?

I think it’s time to take life a little more easy, make the atmosphere here calm (or as calm as it can be with five alpha dogs sharing the same space!) The holidays are fast approaching. Summer disappeared into oblivion this year. I want autumn to linger. Time to change the living room motif from musty mementos to black and orange spooky creatures. Time to bake pumpkin pies and roast turkeys. Time to write my Christmas list and check it twice remembering the many sacrifices which my family has made for me so that I could spend time doing whatever needed done for my parents. It’s time to give back.

Homemade apple pie just like Mom used to bake sounds like a fine start to me. Kitchen, here I come!

Copyright 2010 Maureen Locher

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