Executor’s notes

October 26, 2008 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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After my mom’s untimely death in January and my stepfather’s less than eight months after, my job [I could not choose to accept it or not] became sorting out their house and affairs as executor of the estate.  I spent 6 to 12 hours a day, every day except two from September 26 until the day before yesterday engaged in this work, at their house in Sequim, Washington.  The past week was so busy I couldn’t even put up any blog posts!

Nothing in my life experience prepared me for doing this.  I had some help from my brother.  It was the most emotionally charged, nerveracking and constantly challenging task I’ve ever faced.  Maybe I’ve been lucky or had a charmed life.

We had to go through the entire house and sort their belongings.  In every closet, every drawer and cabinet there were items that made a stream of memories return [and some items I wasn’t familiar with].  We had to decide what to keep, what to sell and what to give away.

A two-day estate sale took place [we had professional help with it, thankfully] where I got to watch the house get packed with people, sardine can-like… and was treated with high moments [compassion, respect and compliments from total strangers; conversations with concerned neighbors] and low [people rifling through tables and haggling over prices].

Managed to get through all of that, and completely empty out and clean the house, and did a fair job rehabbing my mom’s fabulous landscaped gardens including getting a fence built [wood posts and rails with split bamboo fabric covering] that she’d been planning.  When I pulled out of there on Friday afternoon, the place was looking pretty good.

The house is up for sale, and I am hoping that someone will buy it who is interested in continuing my mom’s vision.  That might be a longshot, but one can dream.  It is just a 1980s manufactured house, but they really made the most of it.  I found a photo album chronicling my mom and stepfather’s history with this house, from finding it, forlorn and faded tan in a mobile home park, moving it to a big lot in the county off Old Olympic Hwy. and reinventing it in bold, new colors and site improvements.  It was just five years ago that we designed and built a 400 sq. ft. deck, with built in planting containers across the whole front of the house, taking in a panorama of the Olympic Mountains. 

Such a sad business.  I guess it’s a rite of passage.

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