Well if you thought my life was a soap opera...you should hear about the rest of the family.
Tomorrow, my sister is riding up to South Carolina with my grandmother to go through the majority of her belongings and determine what she is taking with her to Florida and what can be donated. My sister, who will be building a huge house on a HUGE plot of land they bought dirt cheap in Florida, will be taking pretty much all of the furniture from the house with her (but in a separate trip). My father pretty much abdicated any responsibility in the matter to my sister.
However, this is where it starts to get a wee bit nasty. My father is the only child in his generation of the family. There are plenty of cousins out there but, pretty much, he's the only child. When he went up to South Carolina with my grandmother earlier this year, he started getting...well...requests for items in the house after it's been sold, etc, etc. His response, "Talk to Melissa. It all belongs to her now."
Now mind you what these people are asking for isn't small sentimental stuff but rather large, valuable stuff. One relative wants some of the living room furniture (or has at least made great hints at it) while another wants a set of antique end tables. Even worse, one of the relatives has called my great-aunt (sister to the grandmother) and asked her what SHE wants from the house without consulting my sister on it.
My sister's take on all of this: "I don't care if I turn into the biggest bitch in the family, but they aren't going to come in and claim parts of her body before she's dead. She gave the contents of the house over to me and it's MY stuff. Once I've decided what I want, then they can come in and decide if there's anything they want. I don't care if I have to strip search them on the way out the door to make sure they haven't shoved something up their ass, but they aren't taking anything until I say it's okay to do so."
My sister's plan for her new home is to pretty much mimic what my grandmother had -- she had rooms painted blue, green, and pink (although my sister is going to opt for a nice yellow instead) and furnished accordingly. When we would travel to South Carolina to visit her, we would figure out who was staying in the "Green Room" or the "Blue Room" and so forth. Even though the green room got repainted white we still call it the Green Room.
Of course, the linch pin in all of this is my grandmother who is more than willing to tell someone, "Sure, you can have that," before consulting my sister. She's already done it with items before that she gave away and doesn't remember doing so or, even worse, who she gave them to...
Also the fact that grandma's trying to turn this final trip to South Carolina into one big huge hurrah of a social event when my sister is going there to (pretty much) work isn't sitting well either. She's already called up family members from as far away as Ohio to come down for that weekend. My sister told them not to bother since there will be no place for them to stay unless they use a hotel because she's breaking down the bedroom furniture and everything.
My sister...well...of all of the family member's she's the one you don't want to cross. When she has her mind set on something she goes for it full force, all out, and doesn't look back. There are going to be more than a few family members who are going to be upset at what is going to happen and the fact that my sister will be taking 90% of the inventory of the house with her (and definitely all of the valuable pieces as well).
Sigh...it's all drama....