living with history

When two families combine households, we combine histories as well. We can’t separate ourselves from our past—even if we wanted to! We are who we were.

One of the items I considered precious enough to haul with me across the country when Mauri and I combined households is my dad’s neon real-estate-office sign. I think I highly valued it because he highly valued it—enough to drag it with him for several moves.

Here’s how it looked in the window of his office on Front Street in Wheaton, Illinois, back in the 1950s.

In his desire to help with the moving/marriage transition, Mauri, without my knowledge, took the non-functioning, clockless sign to a shop in Portland and had it reconfigured and re-gassed (that’s what neon is) in the original colors.

Imagine my joy when he unveiled his gift! Are you a little bit curious about where Mauri is sitting?

Our bedroom (we call it the “sanctuary”) has a high sloped ceiling with two skylights above our bed. (No sleeping in during the summer months!) So we created a little loft above our closet for no particular purpose, since it takes a ladder to get up there (which reminds me, it hasn’t been cleaned in several years). Those radios don’t work, and who’d want to climb a ladder to turn them on? Over to the right is a gigantic (working) Klipsch speaker from Mauri and Margaret-Rose’s touring days. Which brings me to the rain gutters. Don’t pretend you didn’t wonder about those! They hold some mini Christmas lights for ambiance. And in the corner that you can’t see is a downspout to contain all the unsightly wires/cords that have to plug into the outlet down by the baseboard.

We might have the only bedroom in Oregon that has rain gutters and a headboard with a working doorknob.

You might also be curious about whose history that secretary belongs to.

Here’s a slide I found in Mauri and Margaret-Rose’s collection. It’s one of the first pieces of furniture they acquired as a married couple. And you can see it served an important purpose for the feline family member.

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2 Responses to living with history

  1. Rachel says:

    I’m so glad you guys still have the secretary. I can still picture mom sitting at it — maybe writing or maybe paying bills. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen this picture of it before. Thanks for sharing it, Sherry.

  2. LizW says:

    OK – that is a bit strange. You are two of the craziest people I know … and I mean that in a very good way 🙂

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