Estate sales are strange. The act of dragging out a deceased relatives belongings onto the lawn and letting perfect strangers bid on objects that someone lived their entire lives with and, in some ways, through is a weird thing to witness.
My aunt’s (technically my mom’s cousin but it’s a minor detail of being from a small town) father passed away last month and they had a houseful of a two lives fully lived in one place to take care of. After taking what they (her herself and her sisters) wanted from the house, they called in an auction company to organize and clean out everything that was left.
I pointed myself and my car north and westward on Saturday morning and arrived in Sunbury at 11.15 or so. My main goal of the morning was to bid on a silver 50’s dinette set in immaculate condition with all 6 chairs, which was successful. I spent the late morning and early afternoon chatting with people I haven’t seen since I was 9 or so, eating hot dogs from a church vendor and listening to the chatter of the auctioneer.
I hadn’t been in the house since I was probably 4 and I have only small, vague memories of it. While I’ve been in houses that are totally empty before, I was struck by how vacant the spaces felt. The carpet in the living room was faded around where furniture sat, the floor worn was down in the upstairs hallway. Closet doors hung open, pillows and clothes lay in corners. Dust shone in the sunlight and despite the backyard being full of people, the upstairs was silent.
These photographs ended up being edited as darker than I expected, especially since they are digital. I always find myself making all of my photos darker than I shot them (even though I underexpose them by 1/2 a stop), especially interiors, because I like how aggressive the colors become. I especially enjoy it when the little bit of light in the interiors glows.