The ‘Burb

Some people have said I’m a little fast when it comes to getting rid of Kramer’s things…I’ve ignored all of that and did what I felt best after some careful consideration.

That garage sale stuff, that was easy to let go.  Things like the snowblower, weed eater and leaf blower were all stuff I couldn’t easily handle.  Letting go of them was no problem.  The last thing any of us wants is for me to injure myself using something that isn’t right for me and the equipment we had really wasn’t right for me.

The projects he intended to “get to” someday…those were easy decisions too.  I kept a couple that had good memories attached to them.  They were also things that given a little “studying up” or coercion, I might be able to fix it or get some help from Craig to finish.

Kramer’s clothes….that’s easy.  They are in the basement…I left them there for now.  Not because it would bother me…more because I don’t know if I might make memory items with them for the grandkids.  I just don’t know yet.  I hate doing projects like memory projects…but I might be able to get myself to do it…or the girls might want to it.  Kramer had minimal clothes…seriously I am relatively sure all of it would fit in two boxes.

Kramer had tools in his work area…sanders, planers, turning lathe.  All of that I’ll keep.  It will be here if the kids want to use it….or if I want to use it.  I am not ruling myself out of the equation just yet.  I figure if I can sew and make a quilt, I can likely figure out how to use the larger shop equipment if the mood struck me.

A harder decision for me has been The ‘Burb.  The ‘Burb is Kramer’s old 2000 Chevy Suburban.  It’s seen its day.  I hit a deer with it (or rather the deer hit me) back when it was our family vehicle.  Kramer hit a deer with it.  The front lights and grill are all working but it’s a patched up mess.


Inside…it’s gross…Seriously, there is no better word for it than gross.

The inside STINKS.  The seat is torn up.  There is dirt and dust EVERYWHERE.  Kramer used this as his work vehicle…and Kramer was no neat freak!!

The kids have been full of opinions about it.

I’ve heard…
-Sell both of your vehicles and get one nice reliable one.
-So and so could use us for whatever.
-Take it to the junkyard.  It’s so dirty.

For the last couple months, I’ve thought about it.  I made a decision.  I’m keeping it.  The ‘Burb is so old.  I’d only get junk price for it.

As is, license on it cost $35 a year….Insurance is minimal.  I think $190 a year or something like that.  That means for about $20 a month I can keep it.

So few in the last month, I’ve already needed it several times.  The “check engine” light came on in the pickup so that was in the shop getting checked out.  I had an errand I needed to do so I took the ‘Burb.

Karl took my truck to Texas.  He had to go back and clean out his apartment and needed a truck to get his bed and furniture home.  I needed to go to town for groceries so I took the ‘Burb.

Several times already the ‘Burb gave me freedom and independence.  I didn’t have to rely on Kalissa to help me out.  Would I buy a vehicle for this purpose?  NO.  But it’s already here….so keeping it, I think, is a good idea.

Those are all the rational ideas…but I’ll be honest here.  It’s a bit of my security blanket.  It’s dumb but it is so my connection to Kramer.  It smells like the farm.  The air conditioning doesn’t work so I have to roll the windows down.  Driving it is the closest thing to hanging with him on a ‘farmer date’ as I’m ever going to get anymore.  It’s crazy but the second I get in, I start driving slower…I take things a little more easy, just like we did when we were out checking crops.

I also feel a lot like this song….

So…long story short.  I’m keeping The ‘Burb.

31 thoughts on “The ‘Burb

  1. Pam from CA

    Jo, I think you are doing exactly what you need to be doing in your own time. It is heartwarming you are able to share your life with all of us. Keeping The Burb is what you needed to do. We all keep things that connect us with our loved ones who have passed. Loved the music video and understand the connection.

  2. Donna T

    Before I even read about the hubby connection you feel to the Burb, I thought you should keep it for a backup vehicle. My sister and her husband have kept their older vehicles over the years as a backup. They couldn’t get much money for it and like you said the insurance is minimal. It has worked in their favor many times.

  3. Judith Fairchild

    Jo, that song is so comforting and hard to listen to also. My husband has been gone nearly 28 years, listening to that song brought back so many good memories. Yes I kept our car rather than getting another one partly because his smell and the memories were still in it. Thanks. Oh and take and do whatever you feel best about Kramer’s things. There is no timeline to grieving and dealing with grief. Enjoy the ‘burb

  4. Stearns Carol

    You are doing what is good for you Jo. I”m thinking shirt memory pillows for the kids. Maybe you have enough shirts for each one. The girls could help. It would be a fun project. Cathartic.

  5. Joy

    The most important thing is to deal with Kramer’s belongings when you are ready. In my case it was about a year before I could deal with my late husband’s clothing. I also held onto his vehicles for many years before deciding they needed to go to someone who could give them the love and maintenance they needed instead of sitting in a garage collecting dust. I know of many times having an extra vehicle has saved us.

  6. Carol

    I had not heard that song before, but it certainlly made me cry. I’m glad you are keeping the truck. My husband passed away last year and I have a hard time getting rid of anything of his. Thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.

  7. Laura

    Nothing wrong with that! You don’t need to justify anything you decide to keep or get rid of. It is your stuff now, your decision.

  8. Linda L

    Like others have said, you do things in your own time whether it’s fast or slow. My husband had a lot of clothes. Some I was able to get rid of right away. Others it took a few months, but a local apartment fire and many people needing clothes motivated me to give away his better clothes. It took a year and a half to get rid off two sports coats, but I realized it was time. I also am making Memory quilts, I did one for my stepson a year ago. I was never a fan, but I am now, it was sad at first but the memories were important to revisit. God bless you in your grief journey.

  9. Debbie B

    I’m with you, girl! Take your time and do what feels right. Having a backup vehicle is a great idea. Hugs!

  10. Lori Douglas

    You do what you need to do! No need to rationalize why. It is a connection to the essence of Roger… farm, dirt and hard work. You will know when it is time to get rid of it. So enjoy the ride !

  11. Paulette

    I made a memory quilt and pillows and framed squares for myself and siblings from my dad’s clothes a few months after he passed away, and it felt cathartic to work with that fabric. But then I had to just put those things away for a while, out of sight. A couple days ago I was changing some bedding around and pulled out the memory quilt and put it at the foot of my bed for those cooler nights to come. It felt good to see it again, less painful, and I was happy I’d made it and now can be using it, albeit almost two years later. There’s no right or wrong way to do this stuff and no timeline. You are doing what you are able to when you’re able to, and that’s a-okay. Drive safe in the Burb!

  12. Lori

    Just listened to the song. I’ve never heard it before. Oh my, tears and goosebumps, again.

    thanks for sharing.

    My husband and I “do” crop checking also. Not so much this summer, we had soo much rain this summer, crops don’t look so good, so don’t like looking at them.

  13. Mary Ann Mettler

    Jo,

    Love the song and your decisions are your decisions. Thanks for sharing. So do you listen to country and tear up the dirt fields? Don’t forget to stop and pick a flower from the ditch once in a while. Love and prayers.

  14. Paula S.

    Jo, I’m glad you’re doing what’s right for you! Don’t let others make those decisions for you. Take your time and you’ll let go of things when the time is right and not a minute sooner. Hugs to you!

  15. Lisa B

    New song to me and I’m crying. A year or so After my husband died I looked back on the past year and I was really glad that I had sorted through and disposed of, given away, or decided to keep the majority of my husband’s items. I remember thinking what if I was just starting this process now, today, and I was so relieved to have it in the past instead of looking forward to it in the 2nd and 3rd years. Everyone has to do what they’re called to do. All of us widows act and react different and you do what you think is best for you as you have been.

  16. Linda in NE

    Your writing about the “Burb” reminded me of yesterday as I was driving to grandson’s football game about 45 mi. away. I kept getting passed by Suburbans and I was doing the speed limit. I guess they couldn’t bear to stay behind a lowly Equinox. LOL

    As for when you choose to discard Kramer’s things, that is up to you. Those who are critical of you should keep their opinions to themselves. You just keep doing what is right for you and let everyone else just worry about their own lives.

  17. Janet R

    There’s no good reason not to keep it. It’s not economically draining and it serves a purpose, in addition to the memories. And, as you said, you won’t get much out of it anyway.

    We debated about getting rid of Bob’s van since he hasn’t been able to drive for a year because of his foot surgery and then we’d get something else when he got better. But it’s an unnecessary expense. His car is older, but runs great. Like you, we wouldn’t get much out of it, so we kept it. And hopefully, he’ll be completely healed in a couple more months.
    Anything that makes you smile, you should keep.

  18. Carolyn Sullivan

    I’d keep it too. I might take it to a car wash and get it vacuumed out……. and maybe see about getting a replacement seat….. but I would keep it.

  19. Kim LeMere

    One day at a time and One decision at a time, there is no right or wrong way to deal with the death of a loved one. You do it your way, that makes it right. I think keeping the Burb is a great idea, its a set of spare wheels that have come in handy and cost nothing to keep. I love that you drive slower so you can gawk at the crops and such…..memories in that truck for sure.

  20. Robin Anderson

    Wow I’ve listened to this song many times on the radio but it really felt different today. I did t have johns truck to get rid of it keep. When he couldn’t drive any longer he sold it. We have a Durango that Was my car. It pulled out trailer and then he drove it whenever we went. It was much more comfortable for us both.
    I let my kids and older grandkids have a flannel shirt that John wore all fall and winter. They were tickled and so am I because I see them wearing them and know that John us still here. His clothes are I. A couple of boxes under the bed for now. Can’t deal with them right now. Maybe next year. I would like to mKe comfort quilts for his daughter and grandson. As well as my kids and our grandkids. In the meantime I know where they are. Many things have left but his tools are still In the garage and I’m going to figure out how to use them when I have the need.
    It is very hard to part with things of his birthday doing it on my terms has made it much easier for me.
    I love the way you write and share your journey with out Kramer. It parallels mine without John
    Robin in Washington

  21. Terri L

    Keeping “the Burb” sounds like a good idea to me. Especially after listening to the song you attached…brought a tear to my eye. You need to give away or keep as you see fit. Nobody but you can decide or understand what’s important to have or give away. Blessings to you all amd lots of love.

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