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One of the perks of having one’s mother move in with one is to have it confirmed–by the movers at least–that though my birth order makes me the third, in fact, I’m #1.

I didn't put it there, but I'm not taking it off either.

I didn’t put it there, but I’m not taking it off either.

Swear on my mother’s storage unit that this is what came out of the well-wrapped box among many boxes that arrived at my house last week. Jean Reasoner Plunket painted this watercolor of most of my siblings over the course of months in 1968. I can still remember coming home from school and sitting in my sister’s room none too happy about having to sit still. How I hated that hairstyle but loved the blue plaid dress that I can easily conjure up beneath that white collar. So now this portrait hangs in my house near the dart board, which seems appropriate. Of course, since I have another sister not pictured here, we hung her much larger portrait nearby as well. She came into the picture a few years after this one was done so her reward was more glory than the rest of us. Funnily enough, the painting of her wound up across from a movie poster of her that already hung downstairs. I will spare her and you that ironic photo gallery.

I can’t tell you everything I left behind at my mother’s house that will be occupied by the new almost owners on Jan. 31st because the almost owners rent from us for a month or so before settlement, and I really don’t want them finding this blog and realizing that they don’t actually want the stuff I couldn’t bribe Salvation Army, the county bulk trash pick-up folks, the group home next door or anyone driving by the house to take.  Handily ping pong is very in now. Susan Sarandon thinks so, too, and has invested in ping pong clubs called SPIN in a couple of cities, so having a semi-functional ping-pong table in the front yard is quite community-building, if you ask me.

It’s amazing how much one can get done when one (that would be I) doesn’t give a shit. And it’s amazing how upset I was driving along a certain unnamed street to get on the Beltway to head back to Richmond (where I belong) to realize that I had left a just-purchased, unopened pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia fro-yo in the freezer. That hurt.

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