Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hello/Goodbye Neighbor

We are close with a number of neighbors who now love Eleanor nearly as much as we do. The bookshelf in her room is decorated with things given to her from various neighbors. She has an antique stork figurine from one, a Japanese doll from another, and rainbow beads from her "uncles." She's so lucky to have them all in her life.

Recently our 94-year-old neighbor, Kathleen, moved to Vegas to live with her daughter. She told Eleanor how sad she was that she wouldn't get to see her grow. It broke my heart a little. Her family is selling her building, so Nathan, Sarah (our summer nanny), and I have been cleaning and cleaning and cleaning to take care of all the things her kids left (such as a refrigerator FULL of perishable food)!? Nathan's even pulling up the carpeting that's been there since the '60's at least.

Maybe a third of the jars she had stored in her cabinets.
This is a full size trash can.
Emptying the huge pantry, we've found some ancient canned goods, a nearly antique box of Club crackers (1986), and lots of really fun items that I will post about later. Kathleen was in the Japanese internment camps here during WWII, so she is very frugal and careful with her things as a result. She is the ultimate recycler, keeping everything to use again and again from the netting from her onions to toilet paper rolls and EVERY instant coffee glass jar she'd ever bought.

It certainly teaches me two lessons, one about how she was able to live happily with things that were decades old, not feeling the need for lots of material possessions (I'm not sure how long that lesson will stick though-sorry Nathan). And the other about weeding out your belongings periodically so you aren't one day pulling 15 bags of dried mushrooms so old they're nearly dust out of boxes in your pantry.

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