There has been a yard sale going on next door for two or three days. An elderly couple named Hubert and Marilyn had the house built, and it was one of the first constructed in this subdivision. Our house is thirty years old, so theirs must have been built some years prior. Hubert was informally known as "the Mayor of Tanglewood Terrace".

I mentioned previously that they were elderly. Hubert was physically infirm and Marilyn suffered from slowly progressing dementia, though the family does not believe that it was Alzheimer's.

Both have been in and out of the hospital for quite some time. An ambulance came to pick up one or the other of them about once a month.

They spent some of this past winter in a residential medical facility but were unhappy there. When they returned home a nurse was hired (at great expense) to care for them day and night.

Eventually the nurse stopped coming around; we assumed that both of them were hospitalized once again. When the yard sale was eventually set up, our initial conclusion was that they had entered a retirement home - this time for good.

Late this afternoon I walked Rocky around the back yard and up to the front of the house. Lisa came out the front door with Marly while Rocky and I were still sniffing around for cat and dog spoor. They proceeded down the sidewalk - with Rocky and me tailing them (no pun intended) - to peruse the items arranged about the yard next door.

While speaking to a family member Lisa learned that Marilyn had passed away a month ago and that Hubert followed about a week later. This news reduced Lisa to tears. She knew them well, having been their next-door neighbors these past eleven years. I never had the pleasure of meeting them during the ten months that I have lived here.

As we looked around, Lisa mentioned to me that a particular throw rug displayed there would go well in our kitchen. Their daughter kindly gave it to us gratis and told us to take anything we felt that we could use, no charge. "I'd prefer that these things go to friends of the family for free rather than sell them to strangers," she said, "because friends will remember the my parents when they use or see any of them."

We do not wish to be greedy and so selected only a few simple objects, but I quickly chose a bicycle pump - a tool I truly need on a regular basis - and brought the dogs home along with the pump and a small folding table that Hubert had made himself. I left Lisa there to exchange remembrances of Hubert and Marilyn.

When she finally returned, she was carrying several things. They tried to get her to take more but she declined. I had noticed a circular saw that would come in very handy; in fact I have a need for it already, but I will wait until tomorrow to get it.

Yesterday I paid three dollars for some lopping shears but let them hold on to them for now, as they still have some tree-trimming to attend to in preparation for putting the house on the market. They offered to let me take them immediately so long as they could borrow them later, but I told them to hold the shears until their work is done. My yard work can wait.

I said a prayer for Hubert's and Marilyn's souls when I got home. They are in a better place now, a place where there is no pain and Marilyn's senile dementia no longer troubles her.

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