Friday, February 4, 2022

Moving and Moving On

Hi, readers.  Have you avoided snow and ice storms?  How about Tornados?  Northern Colorado has had some pretty hefty snows, but we're prepared.  Unlike Texas.  Seems their overhauled power grid is holding up.  I think our seasons are going to be whacky from here on out, don't you?  When is the populace going to move away from the coastlines?  There's plenty of room in our midsection.  Come one, come all!

My sisters have been moving everything out of my parents apartment at their retirement community.  Having lived there for awhile myself, with my 15 years older husband, I wonder if I'll ever go back there again?  I made a few friends there and still keep in touch.  My sisters said that whenever they were in the public hallways they were besieged with residents who gave their condolences and then wanted the latest report on me.  My mother was practically non-verbal and in a wheelchair when they moved there, so it was difficult to get to know her. But people got to know Dad pretty well and they are shocked he is gone.  BettyLou would see him head out every morning for his walk; people chatted with him in the mail room; he worked with a writing group once a week, and he had prearranged lunches with different groups of friends after Mother died.

I was feeling somewhat guilty and/or helpless because I didn't want to fly to California because of Covid.  In the end, I managed to find things to do from afar to help move things along, such as contact the cemetery and start the process of ordering a headstone for them.  I've also been drafting their obituaries.  Nothing takes it out of me as much as a physical move.  I helped my parents downsize when they moved from San Diego to Sacramento 11 years ago.  40 years of accumulation.  Two freezers packed with food that was all dated, and much of it dated back years.  Spices that were over a decade old.  Supplies of washed ziplock storage bags and glass mason jars.  I didn't even consult.  It all went into the trash.  We were, after all, moving a 4 bedroom home with formal dining room and breakfast room, not to mention a den, into a 2 bedroom townhouse.  

My son in law just asked if I'd be using some of my inheritance to buy a bigger place.  "Nooooo!"  I don't want a bigger place.  I like it small.  I never want to move again.  I've done it too many time.  I've never lived in any house for longer than 5.5 years.  They'll have to carry me out of this one.  I have friends who have been in houses for 30 and 40 years.  That seems remarkable to me.  I have a friend in Boston who has been in the same apartment for 44 years.  And it aint big.  He's happy there, and that's what counts.  And that's why I like my place so much:  I'm happy here.  I have trustworthy and helpful neighbors who will join me for walks, they'll dog sit for me (and I for them).   The traffic noise is falling more into the background, and the BNSF rail line doesn't wake me up at night any more.  And those two conditions are why my house was affordable.

Mom and Dad have moved on, and we will have a graveside service in Monterey California sometime this spring.  Just for the family. Something simple in a beautiful city that we all love.  I'm going to book my room at the hotel where my parents had their honeymoon.  Full circle, baby, full circle.


  1. Good to hear from you about what's been going on since your father died and good to know that you have found such a beautiful place and supportive community to live in for the rest of your life.

    Having been here in Bellingham since 1974 and in the same condominium for 38(!) years now, I'm going to stay here, if that is possible. Bellingham is becoming one of the least affordable places to the live in the United States. Given that I live on just over $1000/month on my Social Security check, I'm going to have to be creative and resourceful for the rest of my life here. Nearly half of my income this year will go to condo dues and an assessment. If I were to sell my 667 square foot condo, there is nothing I could afford anywhere else in the country where I would be willing to live. Selling and then renting something smaller than my current condo is an option I may need to consider.

    Thank you for bringing up the issue of where to live and the idea of full circle. It is occurring to me that my parents were living in a tiny apartment in San Francisco in the Marina District when I was born. I could be happy in a tiny apartment in Bellingham for the rest of my life, if need be. I'm feeling hopeful. Against all odds!

    1. Good to hear from you. Yes, my sister and her husband live in Bellingham and housing prices are through the roof. Same here in Fort Collins. I get solicitations from realtors all the time. I can't imagine being in the same abode for 38 years!! I like to think it feels good and familiar. I look forward to many years where I am.

  2. Moving is a lot of hard work, both physical and emotional. You have to literally lay your hands on everything you own. I'm so glad that you have found the place that you call home and want to stay. I'm still a bit restless.
    Your parents will appreciate the gathering in Monterey, a place of so much love and history.

  3. Thanks, Robin. For the first time in my life, I don't feel restless about where I live. What a relief.

  4. Thanks, Robin. For the first time in my life, I don't feel restless about where I live. What a relief.

  5. In its way, this is a beautiful report. There is loss, certainly, and missing people you love, but there is also a sense of peace with where you are now, and is there anything better than feeling as if you are where you want to be?


Yellow Cottage, Part 2

I have a dear friend who I met in my Creative Writing class my freshman year in college.  I sent the poem to her for her comments and edits ...