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What we leave behind




Evening Times Editor

The house I live in now is basically around the block from where I grew up, so I am intimately familiar with the neighborhood. And while most of the folks I knew from back in the day are either no longer living or no longer living in that neighborhood, there are a few holdovers, including my parents, and a lot of the homes still look like they did back in nineteen-eightysomething, so it’s a little stroll down memory late to go for a walk or ride my bike, just like I did all those years ago.

So, there’s a really big house down the street. If you’re familiar with “old Marion,” it’s the old Marconi house behind the fire station. As a kid, I thought of it as a “mansion,” although I guess in reality, it’s not really much bigger than a house you might see over in River Trace nowadays.

Anyway, back then, my sisters and I often wondered what it was like on the inside, but we never found out. Eventually, it sat empty and remained so for years. Finally, a while back, we started to see some activity there, like it was being cleaned out and getting prepared for someone to take up residence.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, they held a big estate sale there and my daughter and I walked over to see what they had to


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offer (but mostly, I just wanted to see the inside of the dang house after nearly 50 years of wondering. My daughter even picked up a few low-cost antique items for Christmas gifts.

There was so, so much stuff inside — like it was more akin to a museum than someone’s home. There were china tea sets and silver dinner sets and music boxes and paintings and and fur coats and old books and records. There was antique furniture and collections of Christmas village miniatures and boardgames and… I really can’t even touch on what all there was. I can say that there was enough that they did not sell everything — not even close. In fact, over this past weekend, they opened up the house again and had another sale.

I skipped this one. But it did get me to thinking about what, if anything, my kids might want of ours when my wife and I are gone. We don’t really have any “family heirlooms” to speak of, outside of some sentimental things like photos and some trinkets that we’ve kept on our shelves for the 30 years of our marriage.

There’s my collection of toys and baseball cards and comic books, but I wouldn’t really blame them if they just gave those away. They were really more for my enjoyment than any real value — although I do have some items that are worth a pretty penny.

I can’t even imagine what all my parents have tucked away in their house, but I dread even the thought of what it would mean to be going through it trying to decide what to keep and what to discard. The important thing, I guess, is to enjoy the time you have with the ones you love.

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