Less Mess, More Memories

Since our return from New York late September, I’ve been trying to get the apartment more settled and organized. We finished most of our renovations months ago and never got around to putting things completely back together. Then My Mother The Dowager Duchess took her final bow and we returned with memories of her. What we carried home with us was followed months later by some furniture, art, and other things we didn’t have the heart to part with.

We also shipped back from South Dakota dozens of framed family photos we had left with Linda and Tom (Jerry’s sister and her husband) when we moved to Spain. About 10 boxes. They were supposed to go through the photos, keep what they wanted, share with the kids, and then get rid of the rest.

Somehow, in the emotions of our departure, Linda and Tom missed that point and thought they were simply storing boxes of papers! So, in September, we whittled the 10 boxes down to 4. We’ve now got a lot of framed photos and not a lot of wall space. I’m doing what I can, while turning what I had hoped would be a minimalist apartment into a Victorian-looking collection of clutter.

I’m trying to keep the clutter under control and, I must admit, we both love seeing so many family photos back on our walls (thanks, Linda and Tom) along with original artwork, including paintings and sculptures by The Dowager Duchess.

We used to have close to 200 photos lining a hallway or stairway in every one of our [more spacious] homes in the States, plus dozens displayed on tabletops. A few dozen is all this place can handle, I think. And each one requires me to drill a hole into the concrete wall. So, if I measure wrong, that’s where it stays! I still have to figure out permanent homes for all the additional sculptures and knick knacks that are strewn on most surfaces.

Mess makes me crazy.

(Click the images for a better look.)

OF COURSE, DUDO…
… AND MOOSE MONITOR MY PROGRESS.

Sweater Weather… Dammit

I’ve just got to say I’m pretty disgusted with “the weather man.” “He” said it was going to be sunny and in the 50sF (10–15C) for almost our entire visit. Well, we haven’t seen much sun. And, although we’ve seen the 50s a couple of times, we haven’t felt it. The wind-chill (we didn’t have windchill in Southern California and we don’t have windchill on the Mediterranean) has been below 40F (4.5C).

But are we complaining? Well, yes, actually. Every chance we get. We were well-prepared, however. We have our sweatshirts, winter jackets, scarves, gloves, layers. No problem really. I just wish I still had my father’s sweaters made by the Dowager Duchess (who was just a Duchess at the time). I’d be a lot more “stylin’.” While scanning old photos yesterday, I came across this shot of another one of my favorite sweaters made by the Duchess. This argyle cardigan was made for my father in 1948. I inherited it in 1969 and wore it until I outgrew it in the late ’80s. It was still in perfect condition. I wonder who’s enjoying it now.

(CLICK TO SEE THE FINE KNITTING.)