Mom Sold Her House


Mom sold her house. I still don’t know if I’m relieved or depressed. Probably both.

The worst moment was when a few days before closing, we left a stack of pretty good stuff on the corner for trash pick up. I may be lying. Maybe it was pure junk. When you’re helping clean out your parents’ home, there’s a point where you don’t know anymore.

I texted a friend with a booth at a local antique mall and told her the stuff was there and free. She texted back later to say she got a few things. Now, that’s true friendship. Somehow, her kindness comforted me.

I expected Mom to be droopy the night of the closing. Surely, the reality of saying goodby to her home of 40 plus years would take its toll.

Dave and I anticipated a gloomy moment and arrived home after work with roses and cream brulee, her favorite dessert. We prepared a retro “60s Celebration” of grilled cheese sandwiches, Fritos, and Campbell’s tomato soup in honor of all the childhood memories that happened in that house.

The best moment was at dinner when Mom gobbled up her grilled cheese, relished her dessert, then cleared the table and did the dishes like she owned the place. Ah. All the comforts of home. For me at least.

Lucy, our beloved Border Colley has adopted Mom as a sympathetic soul who understands a dog’s need for attention and treats.

I’ve been telling Mom for months that I am perfectly fine letting her take over my kitchen. I’m just sacrificial that way.

She’s been so energetic that after a few days I realized I was going to have to lay down the law. Retired moms do not take out the trash or fold everyone’s laundry. I guess eventually my conscience will get the best of me and I’ll try to persuade Mom to stop emptying the dishwasher.

On the other hand, maybe she needs the dishwasher job to feel like a valued family member. At least that’s what I told my kids about their chores all those years when they were growing up. I just don’t know what applies to Mom.

We are figuring this out together. Learning together turns out to be my very, very favorite part of this adventure. Throughout my childhood, she taught me a thousand things. A gazillion things. Since I’m a first born, ninety-nine percent of things she taught me, Mom had never done either.

Now she’s teaching me how to be at home with family when the roles have shifted yet again. It’s so beautiful. I highly recommend becoming a life-long learner, just like my beautiful mom. I’m gonna try to be just like her when I grow up.

Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Comments are invited at


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