Thursday, August 11

Like the Grandpa I Never Had

There was so much STUFF in the house, the attic, the basement, the garage, the carport storage area that our (fabulous) real estate agent was really worried about how clean it would be on closing day. Even at inspection, which was about halfway between our offer being accepted and settlement, there was just piles and piles...and worse, areas that didn't seem to have been touched. Like the car on blocks in the garage. Nohow was that going to be easy to move. But the tenants promised us, our agent promised us that it would be clean and empty. So we went along with this charade, but half expected that our first "house renovation" task would be dragging large quantities of junk and trash out. I thought maybe we would rival the collections of House in Progress.

And it's good that didn't happen, because we're already having a saga disposing of the old carpets, underlayment, and tack strips. We're only allowed three bags of garbage and "one large item" a week. At this point, we haven't stooped to sneaking our bags into the nearby dumpsters - but we have considered it!

In the end, there were few leave-behinds, but our inheritance from The Teacher is odd and paints a strange picture of the previous owner I think of as Grandpa.

Some of the items are cool:

- A classic Queene Anne in a strange fabric. Chair

- Vintage hooked rugs in floral patterns. RugRug2

I actually think these belonged to the Teacher's inlaws, who lived downstairs in the 1950s, because we found a paint that matched the pale green in these rugs throughout the living and dining rooms. Green
I've sent these out to be cleaned, even though we don't know where we'll put them right now.

- A large, pull-down map of Our State, circa 1940s.

- A suite of six cast-iron pans in various sizes that need to be seasoned again...and I was just thinking I wanted a (as in one, single) cast iron pan. Pans

- Two nifty old hanging scales. The larger one says: "Chatillon's Improved Spring Balance - New York - Pat'd Jan.6.1891 Jan.26.1892" I'm not planning to weigh 25 lbs. of anything in the near future, but I just dig Old Things. Scales

Some are just befuddling:

- Four brooms and three dustpans. I had never heard of the saying, "Never bring an old broom into a new house," but we wouldn't have had to if we knew that these beauties were waiting for us. Brooms

- A large number of smoke alarms. I guess Grandpa had a fear of losing his house to fire, and boy can I understand that. These were actually on the walls of each downstairs room at about five feet from the floor, which is not a recommended placement. Fire

- A gazillion keys, some of which may work on our house and some of which are clearly for cars and padlocks that we do not own. A couple are cool old skeleton keys that actually fit our doors and lock the old bolts from the 1920s! The sellers told us that Grandpa collected keys, and , on our inspection day, we noticed a HUGE pile of really rusted keys, probably worth hundreds or thousands of dollars to the right people. Keys

- And I've already mentioned the stockpile of wood.

Today and tomorrow, we're mainly preparing to move upstairs and host D's parents. As he wrote, their bringing his inheritance from his real grandparents, that rare and precious commodity: furniture. It's pretty stressful to have houseguests when you're still packed and amidst renovation projects. But maybe we can put them to work!


At 10:04 AM, Blogger amanda said...

Our POs left us some cool stuff (extra cabinets, the original claw foot tub, nice quality shelving units from the Container Store) and a TON of junk. We've thrown so much stuff out! Fortunately, Frederick City isn't too picky about trash. If you can fit it in a large garbage back (and sometimes if you can't) they'll take it. We've disposed of tons of carpet by cutting it up and putting it in black garbage bags, and we did the same thing for the rotten basement walls! I should give you my address so you can add to our trash night collection!

At 10:56 AM, Blogger kate said...

My favorites things the Grandpa type who sold us our house left us when he moved:

-an emergency candle stuck into a soup can.
-a larger can with a piece of tape across it that read "prevent fire! put emergency candle in this can!" thus provided a double-canned barrier around the single, 6" taper.
-a metal clothes hanger bent into a stick, with a rubber tip on the end, and a note attached that said "use this to reset the smoke alarms"

He also had the habit of writing the date that he had appliances installed on the appliances itself so that we know when to celebrate their birthdays.


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