Breaking up is hard to do

Published 8:57 am Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Ponder children have spent the past few weeks preparing for my mother’s move to Atlanta. Today, the big house is now empty. Moving from a 5,000-square-foot house to an urban apartment requires downsizing of monumental proportions.

It isn’t just that there are fewer rooms and less storage space. The size of the rooms dictates smaller furniture. You don’t need enough china and silver to feed your entire family. I now know what many of you already knew; breaking up a house is hard to do.

It isn’t like this is the first move for my mother. She and my dad distributed a lot of things when they moved from my boyhood home to the beach. Later they moved from the beach to a new house at Compass Lake. Finally, my mother built this home and moved back to the beach.

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Along the way, favorite mementos and pieces of furniture were given to loved ones. There really was not too much for the children to fight about. It came down to three pieces of furniture, and we always knew it would.

My sister was excited to have the carved love seat that was the bought by my great-grandmother with her first paycheck. My brother had always wanted the antique cash register, with more than a dozen drawers. My grandfather would keep his tools, screws and nails in it. It will be beautiful when it is restored.

As for me, I got the one thing I most associate with my childhood. It is my father’s small chair, built when he was about Henry’s age. Children have learned to stand and walk behind this chair. We would flip it over, put a pillow against it and watch television while on the floor.

My grandchildren love sitting in this chair, made perfectly for their size. How neat it is to see the fourth generation of children playing with and enjoying the same piece of furniture.

Isn’t it interesting what memories are created over time? Pieces of linen from our grandparents’ travels. The turkey roaster that was used every Thanksgiving when I was a child.

And the pictures. Hundreds and hundreds of pictures. Thankfully most had some identification, many written in both of my grandmothers’ handwriting. My favorite is one of my grandmother as an infant, with her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. What a treasure that is.

My mother moves on to the next chapter of her life with enthusiasm and excitement. She is moving to the big city. It somehow seemed prophetic that she walked yesterday for the first time in nine weeks.

Breaking up can be hard to do, but staying still can sometimes be harder. No one can ever accuse my mother of staying still. Have fun in Hotlanta.