Sunday, March 18, 2007


For days now, I can't get this out of my mind. It's always coming back to it, and I wonder why? It's about an old man, I didn't know. This is his house, you see. It's a little story, which began when we moved here, almost eleven years ago.
He lived a few houses down the road, he no longer does.
It must have been over a week ago, when my son came home, telling me, that he saw the paramedics at this house, bringing someone out on a gurney. This someone must have been the old man, since nobody else was living there anymore.
There are lots of houses on this road, most of which I don't know anything about. This house and it's occupants stood out, because there was a dog living there. When we first moved here, a couple was living there with a little white dog. We would see them working in the garden. On sunny days they would sit on lawn chairs, and sometimes even fancier ones in the open garage, with the little dog on a long leash lying in the sun beside them. We would give a friendly nod, and a smile, and sometimes a "Good morning" or only a "Hallo!", that was it! The man smoked a lot, even walking his dog, he had a cigarette in his mouth, and he was tall.
When we would walk our dogs by this house and the little one was outside, he would bark his little head off, as long as he could see us. Even though he wasn't there anymore for over a year now, our dogs always stick around their heads expecting to see and hear this little white dog, they don't forget.
I don't know exactly when, but some day I noticed, that I never saw the woman anymore, only the man would sit in his lawn chair, and smoke, and stare, still keeping his front yard tidy and neat.
Then, he would sit there alone! I was sad for him, but soon I figured out, that his neighbors took care of his dog now. They've moved away though too.
So, it all came down to this old man, living alone in his house. Of course we think, he might be in a home now, but a couple of days ago, this gigantic blue bin appeared, and I think it's so sad to see, that somebody just let workers toss out the furniture and whatnot! He was living there for many years, happily or not, and all his things mean nothing to somebody else. Soon this house will be sold, I'm sure, and life goes on. But still, it's very depressing to see something like that. Makes me wonder, why we accumulate and hoard so many things. Of course, if there are children and grandchildren, some things might stay in the family and be treasured - or not!


Cecie said...

puuuh, das klingt alles ziemlich deprimierend. normalerweise bin ich jemand, der aus allem und noch dem schlimmsten etwas positives ziehen kann... hier fällts mir schwer etwas zu finden...

im übrigen haben wir jetzt einen besuch zuhaus und eine telefonische beratung der tierberaterin/kommunikatorin hinter uns. mir hat das viel gebracht: obwohl ich bei allen dingen schon ziemlich auf dem richtigen weg war, half es doch, von aussen nochmal eine bestätigung auf den punkt und ein paar konstruktive hinweise zu bekommen. falls es für euch mal einen versuch wert sein sollte: es kostet nicht die welt und birga macht auch englische beratung (hat lange drüben gelebt und gearbeitet). wenn du noch nähere details haben magst, freu ich mich immer über ne mail, und natürlich wird auch alles im blog festgehalten. wie es mit deinen weissen wölfen weitergeht, werde ich natürlich auch verfolgen ;o)

liebe grüsse, silke

Sue J. said...

What a post! I ran into this same thing when it came time to clean out my parents' house after my mother's passing. It does come down to cleaning out material possessions, and one person's treasure is another person's junk. I kept asking myself if this was all there was to life. Do we accumulate only to have someone else hire a dumpster to clean it out someday? Strong thoughts here. Thanks so much for sharing.

sgeddes said...

That is sad and depressing. I think the worst part is thinking he had no one around that cared.

Renee said...

Monika, after cleaning out 30 years worth of accumulated stuff at my parents, I wondered what's going to happen to all my stuff. Neither my sister or I has a spouse or children. What will become of our stuff. Or even the stuff I took from my parents. I had a full set of china, but brought my Mom's china home anyway. Now I have two unused sets of china in the house. Who's going to want to bring two more sets of china into their house when my house gets cleaned out. It's sad to think we accumulate so much stuff in our lifetime that no one else wants or has a place to put.

Kathy said...

That is so sad. :(

When my grandfather died ten years ago (has it really been that long?), we made a family event out of cleaning out his home. My parents, brother, aunt, uncle and cousins all gathered at his home for a week.

There were sad moments, but mostly it was a way for the younger generation to hear all of these fabulous stories about my grandparents. Cleaning out the house together also enabled all of us to choose what we wanted to take home. I came home with a wonderful set of antique china, a crystal candy dish and various kitchen tools. Every time I use my grandfather's egg beater, I'm reminded of him.

Thanks for sharing this story. It led me down memory lane and made me smile. :)

hakucho said...

Your story is so sad... but true :(

TracyKM said...

My parents and in laws tell us that any present we give them now, we'll just be getting back in 15-25 years. My husband's grandmother died, and his heartbroken grandfather killed himself. Married for almost 75 years, they had wedding presents still in the boxes. I grew up across the street from an ederly, never married woman. She was like my grandmother for 24 years. I moved, my parents moved, she died...and we have no idea (despite keeping contact with neighbours) what happened to her 55 years of stuff from that house. Beautiful needlepoints, a wonderful collection of Royal Doltan figurines, antiques. We weren't related, but were closer than most of her extended family.
It is sad, that it all comes down to a blue dumpster in the end. Even sadder, now that I have kids, to think that some day, there might be a blue dumpster in front of my vacant house.

Carrie K said...

Not so much apalling as ineveitable. Alas, no one treasures our stuff as much as we do.

OTOH, make sure that your yarn and material get distributed properly! ;) The importance of a will.

I hope you find out what's wrong with poor Biko! That is some cute plushy she's got there.

meg said...

how sad. sounds so lonely and miserable.

normanack said...

Things -- we have too many things. And yet it is so sad when treasured things are tossed away.

I hope not to burden my children with too many of my things. One or two treasures -- yes -- but not rooms full.

I hope the man and woman and little dog had good lives.

Life's a Stitch said...

That's happening in our neighbourhood, too. We were gone for three weeks last year and both the husband and wife across the street died. It was so sudden. And now two houses away I see them clearing things out and it was just a couple of months ago I was talking to the woman on a bus, about how they took her driver's license away.

It's depressing to think that will be us someday. Yikes.


Dipsy said...

How very sad this is - most of all the fact that he seemed to be totally on his own, with no family around to care for him.

Susanne said...

Liebe Monika,
solche Beobachtungen bringen einen immer wieder dazu, über die eigenen Schätzchen nachzudenken. Wer soll das alles mal übernehmen und vor allem: Wer will das eigentlich? Ich kenne die Situation aufgrund des Todes meiner Mutter vor fast 4 Monaten und der jetzigen Auflösung des Eigenheimes, weil mein Vater in dem großen Haus nicht mehr allein leben möchte. Es ist einfach schrecklich.

Zwar kein schöner Anlass, aber doch möchte ich mich für Deinen netten Eintrag in meinem Blog bedanken. Da schau ich doch gleich mal bei Dir rein und - hey: Du machst auch ganz tolle Sachen. So viele schöne Strümpfe mit schönen Garnen und ausgefallenen Mustern. Dazu gleich die Anleitungen. Ich denke, da werde ich mal was nachstricken.
Viel Zeit hatte ich jetzt eben noch nicht, aber es wird bestimmt nicht das letzte Mal sein, dass ich bei Dir vorbeigeschaut habe.

Bitte sieh' es mir nach, dass ich in Deutsch geschrieben habe. Nicht alle Deine Leserinnen können das verstehen. Aber so ging es für mich schneller - im Moment.

Bis bald und herzliche Grüße nach Canada (das schon immer zu meinen Traumländern gehört hat, ich war aber noch nie dort)

Violiknit said...

What a sad story this is---it seems so rude and disrespectful what happened to your neighbor...