You know how occasionally I decide I want a puppy?
Well, I don't need one anymore. Because last night, I inherited a whole litter of puppies.
Last night was my grandmother's commital, which is far from a joyous occasion. But my family made the best of it. Afterwards, we joined together at Grandma's for pizza and birthday cake, to celebrate Aunt Marion's birthday, which is on Friday.
Then, after pizza and cake, the fun really began. My mom, her brother and her sisters have been gradually cleaning out Grandma's house since she passed away, in preparation to sell it. Along the way, they have come across many little treasures in Grandma's cedar chest, closet, and cupboards. They had set out everything that was "up for grabs" for us to peruse, and ordered us to label furniture and other larger items with sticky notes if we wanted them - anything left over will go in a yard sale this summer.
There were a few really special items, and it was amazing to see how Grandma had written little notes on things to say who had given them to her or how she had come into possesion of them. One thing that was kind of cool was the old slab of wood she used as an ironing board. Once they had stripped off the cover and padding, they discovered a little note on the back: "This piece of wood was from Grandmother Lang's table". Along with that, she had marked the date everytime she put a new cover on it.
My sister and I had fun when we went upstairs and found the collection of old hats Grandma had. We each were given a floppy yellow hat - the hats that my aunts wore as bridesmaids in my mom's wedding! We wore them around for the rest of the evening (and my brother Luke and cousin David were also both spotted wearing lovely hats, as well...)
I came home with many treasures - little knick-knacks, candle holders, dishes, another quilt, etc. that weren't of much value money-wise, but hold many memories. I claimed the elephant wind chimes, because I remember Grandma drawing our attention to them when the wind blew: "Listen! Hear the elephants stampeding?" Even when she was on the phone with us, and the window was open, if you could hear the chimes she would say, "Can you hear the heard of elephants outside my house?"
And then, of course, there were the dogs. Which I really, really didn't want.
When they first started going through things, Mom had said, "Now if there's anything of Grandma's that you would like, let me know now." I replied that I didn't know what I wanted, but I definitely didn't want the dogs.
I'm not sure how the dog collection began. I think it was one of the grandchildren who, years ago, gave her a small ceramic dog as a birthday gift, and she told us all how much she loved it. So then we all started giving her dogs, for every special occasion. It gets difficult to buy an elderly woman meaningful gifts, and she seemed to be so pleased with the dogs and displayed them all so proudly!
But even she got sick of them eventually. She put some away. Then she put a few more away. And eventually, she had to tell us to stop buying her dogs. She didn't want anymore of them. She had no more room in her life for fake little puppies.
Last night, I chose one of the dogs to take with me, the one that I distinctly remember giving her. And the next thing I knew, my cousin Erin had bestowed upon me the entire collection. Perfect one to look after the dogs, right? I have no hubby, no kids... I can give all of my love and attention to them.
I won't be an old crazy cat lady. No. I'll be the old crazy lady who sits at home and talks to her fake dogs.
I'll be sure to find a safe place for them. I think Grandma would want me to take good care of them.
But, for future reference, don't buy me any more. I have enough now to last me a lifetime!