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A chance conversation at a consignment store yesterday inspired me to add an extra blog post this week.

As I not-so-surreptitiously shot photos of a fake Botero bronze sculpture (more in a future post), two middle-aged sisters–funny, sharp, and full of spirit and bawdy humor–were talking in loud and laughing voices about clearing out their mother’s home.

I had to hand it to them: there was no trace of bitterness or sibling rivalry, just a cheeky respect for the dear departed, as if to say, “we could tell you an earful…but bless her, she’s in heaven now driving the angels crazy.”

The conversation moved into lessons learned, and I smiled to myself as I heard them agree that they will never require their own children to manage the disposal of their tons of stuff.  “Before that happens I’ll have given everything away,” Declared Sister #1.  More discrete nodding from the nosy lady with the camera, torn between curiosity and discretion.  I was loving these ladies.

“Nope,” added Sister #2, “not like when mom died and we had to throw everything in garbage bags and haul it all to the dump.” Do what, now? Nosy won.

“Excuse me,” I said, smiling to try to offset the presumption of joining their conversation.  “But you can’t really mean everything?  I mean, you must have taken a few days to distinguish between what was valuable and what wasn’t.  Had an appraiser do a walk-through? Anything?”

The ladies, luckily not at all offended by my butting in, just laughed and explained that there wasn’t anything valuable in mom’s house.  It would have been a waste of time, let alone money, to bring in an estate specialist.  “Sure,” Sister #1 continued, “there used to be some nice things–antiques, family silver, that kind of stuff–but, come to think of it, I’m not sure what happened to them.  I think maybe the ‘boyfriend’ swapped them during all the commotion before an executor was named.  Like I say, the house was full of nothing but junk when the time came to settle it all up.  There wouldn’t have been anything to appraise!”

I had to admit the ladies were right: there was no point in calling in an appraiser.  Anymore.