Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Visting my Not-so-Distant Future

 My mini vacation ended. But that’s okay. I only got one in the first place because my house sold faster than I expected and I woke up the morning after accepting an offer a bit shell shocked with no reason to get out of bed. I did it anyway. I wandered the house looking for things I could do that would get me back to normal living but at the same time would still keep the house as neat as nun’s habit because the appraiser is still on the docket to make an appointment. (Inspections got waved as did a survey so this is the only thing coming up between now and closing day.) I’m sure an appraiser won’t care that my bottles and jars of ‘products’ and my electric tooth brush made their way on to my bathroom countertop or that my In Case of Emergency notebook is back on the kitchen countertop or that I’m not locking up my computer after each use like I was doing when the ShowHome app could request a showings at any time.  

After a few days I walking around in a haze I started the process of getting back into The Great Moving Project mode on Sunday by making a list of everything I need to do between now and October fifth. It’s two pages long and maybe if I’m still in a lazy mood the next time I have a blog post due, I’ll just post the list. Besides making that list the only other thing I did Sunday was to water three house plants and grill myself a steak. I didn’t even get dressed.

Monday I had an appointment to go visit my future home including the parking level of the building. I was the 24th person to sign up to live in the new section of this continuum care campus and it was just an artist’s renderings back then. The first 25 of us to sign up got a lot of perks and one of those perks was we got to pick our own parking spots in the same order we made our first payment. If I had been number one I probably would have picked the same space I scored. How cool is that! It’s directly across from the elevator doors and when the doors open, right in the line of sight, is a huge picture window with a view of the lake---one of only three down there. I can't believe my luck! I got my lakeside window! Why did 23 others passed it up? Maybe to put in a bigger storage unit in front of their car than the one that comes free? I'm hoping I’m not missing something because I love the joke of being able to say I have a unit with a lake view and I truly couldn't see any downside to that space.

The other views in my actual unit frankly suck and I’m going to mourn the loss of solitude and peace I get when looking out my back and side yards---the wildlife, the flowers, the birds, the grass and trees. The amphibians coming out of the cattail bog in the spring. At my new place I’ll only have a few feet of buffer between my deck and the sidewalk where “landscaping” will go---shrubs and flowers, according to the woman who took me on my the tour this week---but the buffer isn't enough to give you any sense of privacy. 

Across the street from my windows is a field that will be turned into a butterfly and flower garden, with mature woods in the distance maybe the length of a football field away. Sounded good on paper but directly in front of my den window across the street before the garden space starts are 5-6 pipes/vents coming out of the ground that stand 2 to 4 feet high. Supposedly they’ll have evergreens planted around them to cover them up (and block my view beyond). Touring other continuum care places, before buying into this one I’ve seen far worse views, though, and I’m happy I’ll only be a half block away from paved two walking paths that go around the lake or through the woods. The campus itself is tucked off the main road, making it feel “countrified” without it being in the country. The very first time I drove down that entry road I said, "This is where I want to be" and that road through mature trees still calls my name, connects me to my youth when we'd go to our summer cottage.

I’m not good at taking photos with my cellphone (my hand is too shaky) and my new computer and my decades old digital camera aren’t speaking so please forgive the quality of the pictures below. The lights are not working in my apartment yet either so these pictures will have to do for now.

The photo at the top is of the window at the end of my main room which is a living room, dining area and kitchen combined down the center of the apartment. The master bedroom and bath are on one side off the main room and a laundry room, half bath and den on the other side. The walls (except for the master bedroom and bath) are bright white so these photos are deceptive.  ©

Den/hobby room
 

kitchen - on the left not in view is the door to the common hall, to the right out of view is the refrigerator and where the workman's cart is in the foreground is where my Amish oak table and chairs will be.
bedroom wall with pocket door to the maser bath - the color here is stop on.


other side of the bedroom

laundry room - originally I was going to take the doors off the lower cupboard to create Levi's cave thus the stacking water/dryer instead of the standard set. Side-by-sides looked better but by the time he died it was too late to change it. Right now my washer and dryer are so large I only have to do three loads a week. I'll be doing far more with these playhouse sized machines.

half bath

This is the master bath with the closet door on the left and a vanity with two of the smallest sinks I've ever seen on the right. They cracked me up and I joked about having a sink for each hand because they are too small to wash them both together in one. The vanity itself is big though, bigger than I have now.

Below is a very bad photo of my masrer closet.  Seeing it made me go home and downsize a large trash bag full of clothing out of my current closet. AGAIN! The room itself is big on paper but the closet system doesn't take advantage of what could have been a better use of that space. I had about 40" of things on hangers to downsize. In addition to the bag for Goodwill I had some were easy choices like sweatpants, t-shirts and PJs that can be folded and put on shelves not in the photo. Other choices were painful like some good quality, classic Pendleton wool clothing that was slightly too small. I'll put on Facebook Marketplace when the weather is cooler. I had no trouble getting good money out of my husband's Pendletons. 

46 comments:

  1. Beautiful place. What a great adventure - new life.

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    1. It will be so different from any place I lived ever lived and it will be the last place I ever live so the pressure to get it right was really high.

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  2. Now that's just great, the house sale is more or less done and dusted (I'm behind with blogs but trying to catch up) Once you've unpacked all your goods and chattels into your new home, those spaces that maybe are causing you grief, will magically fit everything in; maybe you will need to rearrange a few things, but you will get it done...

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    1. I've made scale model furniture and have been rearranging things on a scale floor plan until I don't until I can't see straight. I will need some magic (or sky hook) to fit it all in. But I'm not going to worry about. The purging will continue after I move.

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  3. Your commentary on your future home is delightful. I do like a bit of snark and attitude. I don't understand the two small bathroom sinks, nor do I get the closet configuration, BUT the kitchen looks nice and I like your laundry room with its playhouse-sized machines that I bet you'll come to love. Well snarled, my dear.

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    1. I can't wait to show you guys the tiny sinks, especially if you saw the blueprints where it shown to oversized sinks that took up the entire countertop. I hope I'm still laughing at them after I move in and have to use them. Everything but the refrigerator is smaller than I'm used to. It will be like playing house back when my dad made me 'appliances' and shelves out of orange crates. I still have one of them that will hold sea shell in my new living room.

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  4. Isn't it interesting how our minds keep trying to work out all the details of life! I didn't figure you'd be able to "stay on vacation" for long, because there are still so many changes coming down the pike. I try to shut my mind off when it comes to our move, but haven't been very successful. Your new place looks great. When you talked about your great view from your parking spot, it reminded me of a condo my parents had years ago. Dad liked getting away, to his own little space, so he created a nice little niche in front of their car, in the parking garage. I don't know if your space would allow you a small chair or not. Also not sure how much privacy your spot has. They were in a very nice building, with great distant views, but the parking lot was right outside their big windows. A grouping of big potted plants can really help screen out the stuff you don't want to see. Just a suggestion. You're creative, and you'll come up with solutions, especially when you're actually living in your new home. Happy for your progress!

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    1. I like what your dad did with their parking space. I kidded to the woman giving me the tour that I might put a chair in front of that window and she didn't say I couldn't. I'll wait and see. It might just be a folding camp chair that I can keep in my storage cabinet when not in use. But I'll have something for when I want long distance views but don't want to go outside.

      I'm really curious about the sun patterns in my windows which I think are going to be the opposite of what I have now. Lots of thing to discover after I move.

      When is your move again?

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    2. We're supposed to be getting a new kitchen during October. Sounds like they should be done sometime in November. You know how it goes, though. Since Covid, no one wants to give you concrete dates on completion. Hoping we're moved by end of November, but I won't bet on it! LOL!!

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    3. I'm wondering if the tiny sinks wasn't Covid related. For while they were having trouble getting goods they'd order. Hope you get to celebrate Thanksgiving at your new place.

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    4. I wouldn't be one bit surprised about your smaller sinks being related to Covid. Thanks, Jean. I hope we're there by Thanksgiving, too, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

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    5. I think they were meant for motor homes.

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    6. We lived for 11 years in an old limestone homestead built in the late 1880s. Two families of 10 kids each were raised here. The kitchen cabinets were the originals and our kitchen sink was a stainless steel one definitely the size of those found in motorhomes or small travel trailers. We made it work. Thanksgiving was a challenge, needless to say!

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    7. They look silly, out of scale for the countertop and I have a feeling I'll be cleaning up a lot of slashes but I'm hoping I can continue to laugh at them instead of thinking it was a bait and switch. And if I want to wash both hands together I can go to the half bath. LOL

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  5. Thanks for posting pictures of your future home as it gets completed. You would laugh if you saw the small bathroom and closets in my 1957 house. A larger bathroom and a walk-in closet will be something I'll cherish whenever I move into a continuum care campus. Once your furnishings are placed in your future home, I think you'll be pleased with how nice it all turns out to be with all the activities and guys and gals the center has to offer you:)

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    1. Most of my life I lived in a late 1940s house with closets a 1/4 of the size in my next place. My current walk-in spoiled me. In truth I don't need nearly as many clothes as I have. Once I learn what my new activities and lifestyle is I'll be able to prune my wardrobe down. By spring I'll be ready to do that.

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  6. Hopefully you will be so busy making new friends, taking walks and doing interesting things that your new place will become your relaxing refuge and you will be content. It looks like they made sure to have good natural light in each room. The window shades that can be adjusted both top and bottom are lovely for privacy while still allowing light. Love the color of your new bedroom.

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    1. A relaxing refuge slash cottage feel is what I'm going for in decor and if I'm lucky I jump into the social life quickly.

      The unit comes with those honey comb shades that open and close from top and bottom. I'm not fond of the honey combs because I associate them with spiders living in them. We can get drapery if we want---which I don't. Don't think we can replace the shades though I haven't asked. Here I have the kid you can see out but people can't see in. I'm going to miss those!

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  7. You will find spaces for everything as you are clever that way. Don't you have a closet in the den too? I remember we used to fold seasonal clothes and store them in plastic bins under my Mom and Dad's beds when we moved them into assisted living.
    Everything looks nice - I love that kitchen with the nice tiles on the backsplash! So bright and clean!
    It won't be long now and you will be ready!

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    1. My den closet is big but it will be filled with crafts---quilting, knitting and painting supplies---and coats. I do plan to put some boxes under the bed.

      That kitchen is going to be too clean and bright to use! I may just tare at it month before I cook anything.

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    2. I am just wondering if you can ask them to replace those small sinks in your master bath if they aren't what you want or what you expected from seeing the plans. Seems like you should get what you want as you are paying for it. They shouldn't be able to show you one thing but then give you another...

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    3. We can get them to swap out things like light fixtures, shower heads and add outlet so I'm guessing I could gt a sink swap but I don't think it matters much to me. I was just shocked. Any changes we want has to be requested and made after the places gets its final occupancy permit from the city because those little swaps could cause a hold up for everyone moving in. I already know I'm asking for more brackets on a shelf in the den closet and a swag kit added over the table. If the sinks bother me when I do my request, I've got plenty of time to do it. Like when you build house they give you 3 months to find any flaws.

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  8. It looks really nice! And I love the paint color in your bedroom. We have a room that color in our new home, too. Like others, I think once you get your 'stuff' arranged, you will love living there. The trails in that area for walking are just lovely!

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    1. I also love ho close the sculpture garden is. I've wanted to take some classes there for years, have done two but hope to do more.

      I love that smoky color! It works well with lots of other colors.

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  9. Totally enjoyed the tour and think you have done quite well Jean. Did have to laugh at the sink for each hand. The moving in will be a chore but glad you have help. Think you are right how your new activities will determine the clothes you will need and what has to go. You have to be excited. We are.

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    1. I am excited but nerves too. The other day I googled the new owners-to-be, checked out their house on google earth and they are downsizing a lot. then I found out they are 80 and 81 and then I spent two days obsessed that they could die before the closing....until I remembered that I'm not far behind them in age and I could be the one to die before the closing. Had to laugh at myself.

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    2. OMG that is hilarious but I know I'd be concerned about that too if my Buyers had been 80+ Jean! *LMAO*

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  10. Jean I LOVED everything about the finishes in your new place, that Kitchen is fabulous! Even if you have to buy a few new things if you end up purging too much, it's all Good, consider it a housewarming to yourself. We had to replace some large items when we got this since we got rid of almost all furnishings, but I enjoyed picking out what would go with this Home. I know you must be getting excited now, glad you got The View from your Parking Garage, I know The View as something you wrestled with when choosing the Unit. We do have to make some compromises for budget sake and weigh what's most important to us in a Forever Home. The Man and I talked just Yesterday about how glad we are now our other options fell thru since this Home was the one that had the most boxes checked off as being Idyllic and Perfect for us in every way. Some of what it has we didn't even know we Needed, so that was just Bonus. I'm so excited for you and can't wait 'til you give us the After pixs once you're all Moved In!!!

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    1. My litmus test for downsizing was how easy could I replace this or that and being fan of vintage you'll understand how my keepers are things of little use but fun to look at (for me anyway). I'll have a lot of bridal shower type gifts I'll need to buy myself after I move...at least the showers from the olden days when people gave towels and Tupperware.

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  11. I don't understand the current fascination with 2 sinks in the master bathroom...yeah, yeah I know it is so two people can get ready at the same time BUT my thinking is the bathroom is my sacred space when I am in it, and I do not play well with others/want others in that area when I occupy it. I'd rather get up 30 minutes earlier just so I don't have to share. Just as well that I will never ever have to share, either...LOL!
    OK, rant over.
    I know you are going to make your place into a cozy, appealing nest, Jean. And congratulations on the sale of your house!

    Deb

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    1. Me neither on the two sinks. Never appreciated that kind of togetherness. When we built this place the architect said we had room for two sinks in the master bath and I said no. It would have meant my husband's wheelchair would be too close to a wall and I'd be forever fixing scrapes. At least one woman at my showings couldn't deal with that according to feedback. A carpenter and a couple of days could have cured that.

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  12. I feel overwhelmed just thinking of all you’ve been going through. As you say, those were scary decisions to have to make. Best of luck!

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  13. I love that your laundry is so near and your kitchen is lovely. Nice about the lake view! I know this is a huge adjustment but in the end it seems like the right thing to do and the place itself looks lovely. So, well done! I'm excited for you.

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    1. Wait until you start downsizing all your lovely stuff dishes and decor. I suspected that it's a lot harder fer those of us who love vintage than it is for people with easily replaceable stuff.

      The laundry catbinet space was a nice surprise. Lots of storage in there for all flower vases and my mom's party dishes that I wasn't sure would make it through the move.

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  14. It's coming together like a well oiled machine. Now into the home stretch!! The chosen parking is the icing on the cake. CONGRATULATIONS.

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    1. It's coming together with a lot of blood, sweat and tears and I'm really, really happy about my window for the joke of it and so I'll actually have a semi-private place to view the lake whenever I want.

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  15. I just checked out the photos as my head achea too much to read

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  16. You know, when I moved from my third floor apartment with the wonderful water and sky view, I was most concerned with the loss of privacy. My first floor looks right out on a common area now, and I wasn't sure if having people walking their dogs, heading to the mailbox, grilling, and so on was going to be an issue. After a year and a half, I don't even think about it. There aren't any privacy issues at all, and the only thing I don't like -- no direct sunlight for plants -- also has meant lower electric bills when it's broiling. Trade-offs are the name of the game!

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    1. I'm glad you shared that. I have total privacy here and the isolation of that is both good and bad. I'm sure living in a place where I have more close-up contact with others will also have two sides. I will adapt because the benefits of moving out weigh what I'm giving up, but it will take time for me to adjust. On the good side, being a brand new place we will all feel like a fish out of water and that will bind us right off the bat.

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  17. Looks like the new place will be nice. I enjoyed the pictures. I have a feeling that I'll be moving at some point because my daughter now lives with me and wants a bigger place. But I live in a 600sq ft. apartment so I won't have to downsize much since I don't have much in this little place to begin with.

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    1. Before we got married my husband's house was 800 square feet and he had a basement which you don't have in an apartment. Living in 600 square feet would defiantly factor into your what you can and can not do. I used to fantasy living in a Tiny Home---those under 200 square feet things on wheels with a sleeping loft. People with space want less to keep up and people without space dream about more to stretch out in. 1,200 would be my ideal but I'm moving into is 1,000.

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  18. Your new home sounds and looks fabulous. I think you're going to love it there when you've had time to settle in. Meanwhile I imagine you'll have so much to do.
    I hope it all goes smoothly from here on and that you'll be very happy with your choice.

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  19. Thanks. Little things are driving me bananas, though. Like a pocket door to the laundry room. I had planned to hang coats on the backside so I have do rethink spaces again.

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  20. The colour of your bedroom is lovely. And I like seeing white. It makes it look bright and light, like in your kitchen and bath. I know that will allow so much more natural light to be reflected, and that will lift your mood and spirits.

    I have a lot of wood/dark wood in my home and at my lakehouse. At the lake especially, it's getting replaced with white. I want an airier look and feel.

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    1. White walls, doors and woodwork will be harder keep clean but without grand-kids and a dog to help mess it up I'll have a fighting chance. You lake out transformation will be amazing. Lots of old cottages are dark. Airy is a look I'm going fore too.

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