When Mother, age 83, and daughter, age 50 combine households. . .
When There Are Two of Everything
When two people who have each lived on their own decide to combine households and move in to one place together, there are comparable duplicated items. The primary problem is how to keep individually important material matter when space is at a premium. Furniture, fashion statements, and family relics, all need to find their own little niche in the new shared abode.
This relationship in the new household will benefit both of the parties financially, in convenience, and in love. My mom and I are each leaving our present living circumstances, and moving into a 3/2 together.
It's a roomy layout, with a separate den and formal living area. It's got a fireplace and attached garage too. It's in a nice neighborhood, only blocks from a shopping center. The house was built in 1957, and is in east Dallas. It has a wooden fenced yard, and an electric gate to drive to the back. It's a nice house, very nice.
Sharing space is somewhat like a jigsaw puzzle, except that there are pieces left over. I'm very hard-headed, bipolar as a matter of fact, and my mother is as obstinate as I am. Over the years, with psychiatric help, I've learned to bite my tongue over little things, because time is precious, and best spent in harmony. So I hold in my temper, and vent some other way. We'll see how this stategy holds up.
There will be give and take on both parts. This is going to be especially difficult for me, because she'll be parting with pieces of furniture I've known all my life. We already agreed to part with Daddy's recliner.
It's a green Danish leather recliner, very light of style and simple of frame. My step-father, a big, tall man, broke one of the springs in the bottom, and the chair hasn't been right since. The only other flaw in the chair is one very small burn mark in the seat. My father, during the time he was undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer, dropped his cigarette for just a second. It's the only burn hole in any of Mother's furniture.
It was Daddy's recliner when he watched television with me when I was growing up: Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Sonny and Cher. Over the years, as I've used the chair when visiting, it's developed an interesting kerplunk when you pull the level on the side to lean back. It sort of kerplops you into position. It's a great chair for reading. Presently there's no room in the floor plan. I'll miss that chair. I'll miss the memories the chair brings back more though. I need a way to nourish those memories before they all fade with time.
Another piece that won't go is my great aunt's mirrored vanity. It's a light wood color with an oval mirror in the center on top, attached to a two small drawers and two large drawers. The drawers are difficult to open, because I removed the antique hardware for cleaning and I never put it back on.
I always loved that piece of furniture, though it had lived it's exsistence in Van Alstyne, Texas, since at least the 1920s. It has the most beautiful intricately carved Victorian legs. When it was moved to it's present location, one of the legs began to give way. One more move may do it in. It can't be fixed without being rebuilt, with the original emotional authenticy gone somehow.
For a few years, it served as a cat dinner table. Two cats each took a side at feeding time. I have a picture of my cat landing amidst rows and rows of glassware atop the vanity in readiness for packing. I still have the kitty that knows that table. At 19, she might appreciate a familiar piece of furniture. But we're not keeping it.
Moving in when there are two of everything isn't really a problem. We have the memories of the furniture in common, and we have each other.