May 12, 2007 by taffystay
I feel like it has been awhile since we’ve had a weekend where we weren’t working on some sort of house project. Last week and throughout the week, we were helping the contractor, Randy, out with replacing the siding of the house. But since Randy went out of town this weekend, we were off the hook with doing work.
Today marked the grand opening of the new Chief Sealth bike trail, which begins in Beacon Hill and ends about 1/2 mile from our house. So we dusted off our bikes and went to check it out. As soon as I got on my bike, I knew it would be a tough morning. I was huffing and puffing before we even got onto the main road (granted, the road to our house is STEEP). The trail mostly winds through a greenbelt where the power lines sit, so it’s nice not to have to worry about driving next to cars. The trail can get a little hilly, though. Even with rolling hills, I was getting out of breath climbing them.
On the way back home, we detoured off the trail and took a more direct road home. The last 1/2 mile or so was a slight incline. I didn’t want to have to walk my bike up the road, but I was so tired. I was biking at a pace slower than a leisurely stroll. I kept telling myself, “Just get to that pole…just get to the sign…just get to that stoplight.” And as I got to each benchmark, I was happy that I got that much closer to home. I was so sure that after I got to one of the stoplights that the road would decline…but it didn’t. The incline continued. You can imagine my disappointment. But I was seriously proud of myself that I didn’t stop along the way to walk my bike up the road. Yippee!
While we were out biking, we stopped at an estate sale. I think the coolest thing about estate sales is that EVERYTHING is for sale–not just someone’s junk at a yard sale that they don’t want that may not even work that well. I think Matt went a little overboard by buying a VCR ($8) and a TV ($15), but he was really excited about his finds. I bought a book about pruning for $2 and a whole case with a lifetime supply of bobbins, sewing machine needles, and other things for $10. The woman who used to live at the house was really into sewing, as she had shelves full of sewing books, closets full of fabric, and a lot of sewing supplies (notions?).
The house was from the 1960s, but everything was in good shape, and all of her decorations were definitely from that era. As we went through the house, it was sort of sad seeing how everyone was just digging through this woman’s belongings. I wonder what she or one of her relatives would have thought if they saw everything rummaging around her house, with no disregard for who she was.
I found a journal of hers, tucked into a box of blank thank you and Christmas cards. The journal was full of letters written to her (Ellinore). Apparently Ellinore (or El, as she was called) went out of town for awhile, and her boyfriend (?) wrote her letters in this journal for every day that she was gone. For some reason, going through that made me sad. Maybe because it made me wonder about how one day, someone will be rummaging through my old journals as they are looking for things to buy? Or maybe it made life and death so much more real to me to see all these things that she left behind. She had so much stuff still, and now, it’s all being bought by strangers.
I guess it’s just a reminder to me of how temporary life and possessions can be. I hope that in El’s case, she has family and friends who are still keeping her memory alive. Otherwise, it’s sad to think that as soon as her belongings are all sold, there will be no more evidence of her life here on earth.
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