Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Aunt Marie's bookshelf

The family cleaned out Aunt Marie's house over the weekend.

My aunt died of complications from her type 1 diabetes five years ago. I'm not sure I mentioned it, but my uncle remarried at Christmastime; he and his new wife bought a house in another community and he's planning on selling their home. 

Before he sold, he wanted his daughters (and his former mother-in-law and sister-in-law and nieces) to be able to take what they wanted from the house. My aunt had immaculate taste. She loved beautiful things. There was plenty to choose from.

I am now the proud owner of the perfect red antique stool. Perhaps it's some weird genetic quirk, but every woman in my family has a red stool in her kitchen. Now I do, too. I love it and I love that I can have something in my kitchen to remind me of Aunt Marie every single day.

We also helped clean out the house. Not everything, not close but we boxed up plenty to be donated.

I was in charge of the books. I packed them up and brought them to work to be sold in our annual used book sale.

Sorting through the books was so happy and sad. I could identify books that were gifts and books that she'd borrowed from or lent to my mother. There were books that we all have a copy of, for whatever reason. And a book that reflected each and every one of her broad interests.

Her bookshelf really told the story of her life. I am tempted to keep practically every book that touched my hands, but I settled for a few that made me smile. The rest I will write about here. They can go to new readers; I will keep them just in my memory.

She always left her bookmark (a business card, a folded sheet of paper) in the book when she finished.
She could never have enough cookbooks.
She always bought a travel guide before going on vacation.
She had dozens of parenting books, all of which scream "EMMA!" (Her difficult youngest daughter.)
She kept prayer requests tucked inside her devotionals.
She bought her daughters classic children's literature.
She read the Oprah Book Club books.
She bought novels that featured Scandinavian characters, our family's heritage.
She read voraciously.
She, too, was sentimental about her books. 


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am glad you all were able to go through her things so you can have a few things to remember her by. I got to take some of my grandfather's books and I love to see them on my shelf. Plus the best part is that he wrote his reflections on the book on the first page so I also can see his handwriting which makes the books extra special.

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