One of my father's army buddies sent me this photo of my family last week.

So here I am on the other side of my mother’s estate sale: plumb tuckered, wrung out and emotional.  Stress, grief and responsibility tromped on my soul with muddy boots.  Emotional housekeeping can wear out a person.  Tidy up I must.  Oddly enough, making a mess in the studio is one way to clean up the muck and mud left by the physical and emotional chore of settling my mother into a new home and bringing an end to the chapter she shared with my father at the “Huffine House.”  She is sad.  We both grieve.  My father’s beloved shop and ashtray collection exist no more.  People walked away from my parents’ home with their arms full.  The place is picked clean.  Life cycles and circles – my own father was one of those bargain seeking auction goers.  He would brag for weeks about deals snatched at estate sales.  Understandably, it is a different perspective as a seller rather than a buyer.  Mom and I have to shake it off and count our blessings.

I can finally return to the sawdust making part of my life for the first time in a month.   The monumental task of preparing my mother’s house for an estate sale and auction slurped up my time.   Here is a confession:  My father’s presence has shifted somehow.  I realize now that Dad existed largely at the old place.  As the reality of the auction settles in, I find myself disoriented by the feeling that his spirit is unsettled.  Dad is looming.  Unblinking.  I am not used to him here on my mountain or in my studio.  I am a bit at a loss…