Since my father’s death in November, we have been spending all spare time moving my 80-year-old artist mother to live with us in San Jose. Moving Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson and two cats and clothes and computer and TV were the easy part. Clearing the San Francisco Victorian house she lived in for 45 years is a more complex task. The house has two flights of stairs up to the main floor and another spiral staircase to the bedrooms. Even with four hefty movers, getting large fragile antiques safely out and into a truck was a challenge.
Last week, we completed the move for 70 years of my mother’s art into storage. Today, we finally finished moving most of the big family furniture. The biggest chore was moving “General Burnside”, a huge armoire we named after that infamous Civil War general because my mother bought it from the house he occupied as his military headquarters. General Burnside was full of my mother’s collection of moonshine and other liquors plus the glassware to serve them. It took hours to empty and take apart for transport.
John and I are building an addition to our house for my mother but that will not be done for many months. Until then, she is staying in our spare bedroom in Willow Glen and we have a house sitter in San Francisco. The family furniture has for many years been divvied up between my brothers and me (using the distribution system I wrote about) but my mother will continue to use some of it during her lifetime. Her art will be stored for the long-term but we expect that the furniture will be out and in use again within a year. I will be so happy when this is all done!
Here is what our new storage unit looks like – with antiques gently packed in like puzzle pieces:
Images Copyright 2011-2012 by Katy Dickinson