This is the kind of post one should really support with photographs. Trouble is, I don’t have any.
Since 2011, the year my mother died, I’ve been packing my childhood home. It’s been a long haul. I think I’ve posted here before that I’m taking my time and taking care with the job because I’m well aware that I’m handling history: my mother’s papers, my father’s papers, their books, their collections. Today I tackled the Everest of the job: the room which used to be my father’s study but which, thanks to its location at the end of the house and its ability to be locked away, has become the repository for all sorts of odds and ends and critical documents and photographs and artwork and. Also thanks to its ability to be locked away, it has been the place where those objects were dumped and forgotten. And my father has been dead for 27 years. So there are at least 27 years of objects, but that doesn’t count his own papers, which go back to the 1960s, some even earlier.
All that paper and all that wood (my father had outfitted the study (he called it his studio) with windowseats) attracted termites, and a decade or more of leaky roof tiles attracted dampness. The room was also unfinished when we bought the house, so my aunt, the interior decorator, solved the problem by laying down a carpet and covering the semi-plastered walls with high-grade burlap. The result was a quick-and-dirty stylish makeover back in 1967, but an allergy trap in 2014.
Today, with help, we cleared the studio out and gutted it.
The image at the top of this post is NOT a picture of the studio. It is of my mother’s home office as I got to the end of packing that room. I didn’t take pictures of the studio. I was too busy sorting through boxes and papers. I didn’t finish, but I found some pretty cool treasures nevertheless.