goodbye Bredestraat 3, looking back once more, moving forward
papier-mâché house angel made by papa
the attic where we used to roller-skate, play ping-pong and paint the walls; it being a town house the garden was a lot smaller than the one we were used to in the U.K.
unbeknownst to us, our mother felt guilty for years for depriving us of outdoor space, we never minded the move, and were especially grateful during highschool when we started going out and partying as friends came to stay with us, or we would gather here and start off on our nights out!
mouldy wall-paper-reveal behind less than completely painted wall in downstairs loo, where we removed a mirror
view from kitchen window, north facing
despite being the smallest room in the house, we spent most of our time there
we moved into the house June 1971, my parents had the 70ies kitchen installed and nothing changed
view from my very romantic bedroom in the small garden (play)house, upon arrival we named it The White House; it was my room during my last year in highschool
it had become a very full house over the course of 50 years: art on the walls, books everywhere! collections of so many items, if it had been work my mother would have become professional a hoarder;-)
a reflection of me in the kitchen mirror, some things like the mantle piece and the mirror with fabric wall covering belongs to the house and was here when we moved in
three of papa's earlier ceramics, I took those with me
once he stopped working, he gave up everything relating to his former professional life and dedicated himself to everything he most enjoyed: painting, ceramics, gardening both in their town house as well as in their 'second home' a Summer house in Denmark, my mama's birth country, visiting museums, travelling and most importantly entertaining
our parents were both big on entertaining
garden in Summer
glimpses of what it looked like when furnished, I had already started sorting....
sitting room above, below a bathroom wall
above sitting room, below mama's study
I set out at the beginning of last year January 2021 to clear out the house, just after our mama had died, 12 November 2020 and once we realised our papa could not stay alone in the house, even with care provided
He died soon after her, three months after to the day on 12 February 2021
I decided I wanted to get the job done within a year as I felt the energy to keep at it would fail me eventually and I'ld get fed up; fortunately my siblings agreed and we embarked upon our adventure
Mid December the house was sold and we determined the transfer would take place 3 January 2022
We spent Sunday there together and slept in our old beds for the last time....
2022 promises to be a fresh start
Since my parents only had daughters, my sister and I stepped into the past, while holding onto the future and sometimes they collided...memories of all colors and emotions went along with the clearing of our family home as I am sure it did for you dear Saskia and your siblings. My sister lived in another state so it was not as easy for her to come and help so it was pretty much left up to me.
In how we tell of these times, is how we honor our parents and this is a telling, real and of the heart and filled with so much...a goal accomplished, a place forever tucked into your heart. Thank you for your words, your photos, your honoring of your parents, your telling Saskia.
my folks passed away in 2008 and 2012 ... my brother is still sorting through their stuff, most likely because he is under no deadline to get it done (as well as being a collector in his own right)
we have moved every ten years or so, which has prompted us to cull our holdings ... but I don't envy our daughters having to make sense of it all someday
so done is done ... and well done at that ... I hope you find much to make you happy with your newly reclaimed time ...
May 2022 be filled with the things you like to do, including influences from your folks. xo
fijn dat je dat met ons deelde ( terwijl had ik mijn eigen visuêle herinneringen toen wij dat deden )
YOU to place you in/from...
i have looked several times and will look again....a Life of a
Home...it's a lot
love and thankyou
despite (and because of?!) Everything....
we are going to add a large room to our small house, basically to be able to house this painting
I'm sure your daughters will enjoy the process, although they might at times let loose a curse or two, as my brother and I did from time to time, our sister being much more level-headed and too dignified to let rip
the bittersweet melancholy I'm now experiencing after the action-packed-year summed up in your words 'time passing and lives lived'
already feeling lighter;-)
en de schok als 't dan zover is, en tegelijk hoe we 't accepteren
although typing this I know that's not the whole truth, as showing EveryThing is impossible and who would have the time and inclination to look at all of me or me at all of you?