This is an unpleasant picture. Time robs us of many things. It takes away our childhood, our parents, and sometimes our memories. There is no avoiding it or liking it.
After the folks died the homestead, the home Marj had designed by herself, was sold at auction. This picture is the final gasp of a warm and loving place that raised three boys and was the center of activity for a family. Cupboards emptied, shelves bare naked, family memories and heirlooms distributed. The rest put on display at auction for eager people looking for a bargain.
It is a cold expunging of facts and remembrances. A day of "I remember..." Of quiet sighs and embarrassed glances, like thieves robbing not just "things" but the very stuff of life.
This room whose walls saw us all grow up. It is the floor where we wrestled and made the "greatest blocks of the ceeeen-turrrr-yyyyy". It is the place we eagerly opened the latest edition of the Sporting News or LIFE magazine and read from cover to cover. Where Phil sat after a bout of hypertension after a basketball game - paper bag in hand. The folk's bridge games as we would sneak down the hall to see how old people play. Of Christmases, of Easter egg hunts (three of each). Warm winter fires and looking out the big picture window watching the snow and hoping there would be no school the next morning. Of the ding-dong song those bells made on the bikes that one Christmas. Family gatherings too numerous to count, to laugh, to applaud, to worry, to wonder.
If the back porch was the informal family hub, and the kitchen the magnet for sights and smells, the living room was the conference room. And if rooms are a composite of all its laughter, tears, and history of growth and decline, then this room was the warm blanket of comfort to us all. Always ready for the next gathering, then this final one.
No, this is not a pleasant picture. It is done and redone everyday. Until this picture and memory, too, fades away.