Friday, April 8, 2011

A Visit To Aunt Ruth

I have plans to visit my dear Aunt Ruth back in Pittsburgh, PA. She is on a waiting list for a new apartment and it's time to reduce the amount of "stuff" that has to be moved from one end of town to another. Aunt Ruth has lived in the same place for many years and has accumulated a lot of "stuff," so even though I'm looking forward to spending time with her, the thought of going through years of collecting is daunting.

Aunt Ruth is an artist and many of her friends were artists; so she has lots of art throughout her home. She also has stacks of paper, matboard, glass, frames, thousands of photographs, scads of sketchbooks, and albums recording all the art workshops she took over the years. I'm sure we'll take hours going through these things and will probably box them up for her new location.

But there will also be drawers of clothes, purses, and shoes she hasn't worn in ten years or more. Not to mention chipped dishes, dented pots and pans, multiple can openers and screw drivers, unopened boxes of stale crackers, matches from all over the world, art magazines stacked to the ceiling, old linens and doilies, and bric-a-brac that needs dusting - a life's collection of stuff. It won't be easy for her to part with a lot of these possessions even though they have sat unused for years. I hope I can be gentle and kind, patient and tolerate as I convince my 86 year old aunt to part with her past and move on to her future in a smaller, safer home.


  1. good luck, Donna. You should sell those magazines on eBay! Older art magazines are sometimes considered valuable, as well as some out of print art books. Make sure you Google things before chucking them! I have a Richard Schmid book, for example that is worth 350.00 My "heirs" would look at it and think it was just an old book worth 10 cents!
    Good luck with your "project" I don't envy you and yet it could be fun!

  2. Donna,

    I personally know about the task you have ahead of you. I hope it goes well. And don't forget, we'll all be there sooner or later!

  3. Dear Celeste and Margaret - thanks for the advice and encouragement.