Boxes and bags and bins, oh my! My room in the transitional care facility looks like a discount store at clearance time. If you’ve read my columns recently, you know my husband and I are moving. Downsizing to a one-bedroom, one-bath independent senior living building. Part of a large campus that includes assisted living, memory care and the transitional area where I am recuperating from bronchitis. We’ll have a small den, stackable washer-dryer, a TV in nearly every room. What more could we want?
My husband and I were fortunate to work for companies that offered good health insurance and, even more important, 401K investment plans. We signed on as soon as the benefit was announced and had a percentage of our pay rerouted to accounts we were told would give us a good retirement income to add to our social security checks. We never spoke about retiring, though. We enjoyed our jobs too much.
Saturday morning started out like most. A leisurely breakfast for my hubby, medications and feeding tube for me. I read the paper while he took a shower and then, we traded places. I brushed my teeth and washed my face while he got dressed. Later that day we were supposed to host a support group meeting of Minnesotans for The Myositis Association downstairs in the chapel of Presbyterian Homes of Bloomington.
Early last Saturday morning, as I got back in bed, my husband blurted out that he didn’t think the apartment we’re moving to has air conditioning. “Why would you tell me this at two-thirty in the morning?” I asked. “Couldn’t it wait until eight or nine? When I get up at that time of the night, it’s to use the bathroom. I like to keep my mind clear so I can get right back to bed and drift off to sleep with a head full of nothing.
Even though my husband and I gave up on moving to assisted living, every time I looked around our house, all I saw was stuff and space. We spent over three months last year at a transitional care facility living in an area that was about four hundred square feet. What the heck do we need with all this room and its extra costs? I kept asking myself. One day, as I pondered that question again, the answer hit me like the head smack in a V-8 commercial.
My niece was married in Florida last Saturday. She’s my goddaughter, too, so I felt doubly bad I couldn’t go. Airplanes, hotels, all the “stuff” connected with traveling isn’t fun anymore. Add a wheelchair, feeding tube and its paraphernalia and it’s downright impossible. I had a gift sent from one of the stores where she and her intended were registered.
Writing a column about this subject surprises me. I had hoped to stave off the inevitable a lot longer. I never thought it would be a subject I could get excited about. I couldn’t wait to tell you about my new wheelchair. It’s black with shiny royal blue fenders and fancy cast aluminum wheels. When I took a test drive around the dealer’s showfloor, I didn’t notice the trim.
Fifty years ago this spring, I donned a white floor-length organza dress, picked up my bouquet of red roses and joined my classmates in a procession across the grounds of our high school. In the audience, sitting on folding chairs, were my parents, siblings, boyfriend and two grade school friends. I bowed, curtsied or, perhaps, knelt, in front of the priest who handed me my diploma. I was out! Graduated.
My husband and I are on two different wave lengths when it comes to stuff. He likes to keep it and I just want to get rid of it. I’m...
My sister called me last Sunday morning. She wanted to make sure I saw that day’s StarTribune article about our former grade school, St. Albert the Great , and the Friday night fish fry they have during Lent. “It’s in the Variety section,” she said. “I might have missed it but there was a reference to it on the front page. It was like God wanted me to know it was there.” I had seen the piece and the photos that accompanied it.