Where Have I Gone?? Episode 2

Downsizing one’s home isn’t always an easy thing to do; downsizing two homes is more challenging still… and that’s what I’ve been up to lately. My wife and I live in a house that is close to 4,000 square feet in area, while my Mom has lived in a home of around 2,700 square feet. We are moving in together in a house that’s about 1,800 square feet.

Oh my.

After all of the furniture was gone, not the usual pose for someone who is 93 years old!

Of course we’re doing this because my Mom is nearly 94 years of age and is getting to the point where she really shouldn’t be living alone… 2,000 miles away. Oh don’t get me wrong, she’s still kicking well enough even though she’s become rather hard of hearing, and forgets things more than she used to; but she knows the time has come to give up some independence. Of course parting with anything is another story.

Even so, I filled up a 13X5X4 foot trailer with stuff to send to the dump, and sent load upon load of stuff to the Salvation Army, and got rid of 5 rooms of furniture, often when she wasn’t looking, to get the move down to two rooms of furniture and 56 cartons of stuff.

That was fun…

…and it was also the easy part as it turned out.

While I was in California from June 26 through July 12 She Who must Be Obeyed was busy here in the Midwest. As I mentioned earlier, the new house purchase closed right on schedule on June 26, and with that came the very important project of upgrading the house’s electric system from a 60 amp fuse box to a 100 amp panel before the Homeowners Insurance people found out about the 60 amp box… or they’d cancel our insurance. She was all over this project and it was promptly completed along with a few other repairs and improvements that were revealed as being needed by an inspection report: So far so good.

At this point, our tale won’t make much sense until I tell you a little more about the new house: First it is the newest home my wife and I have lived in, being built as it was as recently as 1921. (Our previous addresses were built in 1870, 1918 and 1895.) The previous owners bought the property in 1960, and it is quite clear that when they bought it, they did a serious renovation, and what we acquired was a 1921 Arts and Crafts home with a series of 1960 improvements. Yet in spite of that, the house is in great shape; just dated to the wrong time. As an example, here’s a photo of the upstairs Master as we found it:

So what’s wrong with that carpet?

The really amazing thing is that this almost 60-year-old carpet was in fantastic condition, almost like brand new, yet She Who Must Be Obeyed wasn’t having any of it, and while I was gone, she went to Home Depot and bought parquet flooring and made arrangements for its installation as soon  we arrived back in the Midwest after the cross country trip, and it was delivered on July 17… and I had to unload it from the truck myself because the driver wasn’t physically able to do so an omen of things to come as it turned out.

She also made arrangements for new carpet to be installed in the downstairs living room and hallway at Home Depot, and set up a meeting with their bathroom renovation people to redo the upstairs bath and add a shower…

I spent the lions’ share of the 17th ripping up 1960 carpet (also in great shape) and tack strips from the two downstairs bedrooms in preparation for the movers’ arrival from California the next day with my Mom’s furniture for those two rooms; she wanted wood floors.

The movers came early the next day and did their thing in a very efficient and workmanlike manner; I can’t say enough good things about my experience with Allied Van Lines. The only bad part about this was that since they were 2 days early, I would have to paint those rooms with furniture in them, but that’s OK, it isn’t like I’ve never done it that way before.

After the movers had gone on their way back to California, I had cartons everywhere; most of these had to be moved into the basement…

…which already had quite a few put there by the movers.

Of course, in spite of everything, my Mom knew that these pieces of furniture, seen in their new “residence”, the garage, would fit in the new house where she wanted them, even though she was advised against moving them; anybody need a leather couch or a China cabinet?

Other improvements that need to be done include a new heating and air conditioning system, a new kitchen and a major upgrade of the downstairs bath, but somehow I think some of those might have to wait.

The next day, July 19 was the day that the people would come and install the flooring on the second floor; the plan was that they would have the floor done by the 21st and then install the downstairs carpet on the following Monday and Tuesday, and we would move in the next weekend, the 29th. Tomorrow, I’ll tell that story, and I must say it isn’t all that humorous as it turned out; hope to see you then!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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18 Responses to Where Have I Gone?? Episode 2

  1. atimetoshare.me says:

    Your mom loves looks fabulous for 94. What’s her secret ?

  2. Don, I feel your pain because I have beeen there too. We didn’t have to move, but had to empty both my and my wife’s family homes just a few months apart. Much of that, of course, wound up in our basement and now it is our problem as we prepare to downsize ourselves.

  3. Hang in there. This too will pass.

  4. Bette Cox says:

    Guts, Don. You’ve got guts. Every stick of furniture has memories attached; leaving even one behind has to be wrenching, which is why so many basements and attics and storerooms are crammed to the rafters. Memories, joy / grief-containing pieces of our souls.

  5. gaustin00 says:

    and this is just the beginning of fun times…trust me “been there done that” and have heard the grief of it for 8+ yrs…finally that dang house is sold and sister “who must be obeyed” is happily in her wee little home and in a community where there are NO kids! But, we the sister and bro-in-law, are happily more than a 1000 miles from there …and the woes and begones are now no longer being heard. Life is fun sometimes and sometimes not so fun..but the tale is over “at the moment.” Stay tuned for next month’s saga…yep what goes around comes around…

  6. Anonymous says:

    As I recall there were Californians willing to take the sofa and China cabinet. 😉

    • Don Merritt says:

      I recall the same thing, and I also recall predicting that it would be much easier to have let those Californians do so 🙂

      But then we fight the battles we can win, and deal with the rest later, don’t we?

  7. My wife and I went from 3500 square feet to 1200 two years ago and it has been a real treat to have to evalute the “how many things” of life. There are some difficulties, but I feel free and blessed. Prayers

    • Don Merritt says:

      Thank you Irvin; you’re right. I came to recognize several years ago that all of the “things” I thought were so important were really more like millstones around my neck and this is a refresher course.

  8. What a wonderful gift to have your 94-year-old Mom. God bless you as you prepare for her.

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