Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

Welcome to my World---Woman, widow. senior citizen seeking to live out my days with a sense of whimsy as I search for inner peace and friendships. Jeez, that sounds like a profile on a dating app and I have zero interest in them, having lost my soul mate of 42 years. Life was good until it wasn't when my husband had a massive stroke and I spent the next 12 1/2 years as his caregiver. This blog has documented the pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties and finally, moving past it all. And now I’m ready for a new start, in a new location---a continuum care campus in West Michigan, U.S.A. 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. Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Highs and Lows of one Crazy Week

Let's get the low out of the way because it wasn’t so earth shakingly awful that it could harm body or soul. It was just stressful to the control freaking side of my personality. Raise your hand if you knew I was like that. You also know that I’m moving, right? That’s a joke for anyone who’s been reading my blog more than a year. It seems like I’ve been writing about aspects of the process since the turn of the century. 

This week I had two women who work for my cleaning service scheduled to pack the kitchen and originally the master closet. When they got here they said they only had an hour and a half before they had to be at their next job. “But we can get it all done in that length of time.” They didn’t. The kitchen is barely a third done, and with the time restrain I scratched them doing the closet and I had one of them take the art off the walls instead, then start shrink wrapping all the stuff with drawers while the other lady worked in the kitchen. After seeing how careless she was at packing my glasses, cups and stemware I was grateful the universe saw fit to do me a favor when they got doubled booked and couldn't stay all afternoon.

If the dish barrel box gets to its destination with no breakage I’ll be surprised. the woman had the box half full when I stopped her from putting heavy stoneware cups on top of fragile antique cups with just a foam pad in between and to make it even worse she had the antique cups resting in the pockets on their sides, not their bottoms or tops. She also only had one strip of tape on the bottom of the box and it didn't even wrap up the sides. Those dish barrel are huge and heavy. I don’t know what she was thinking to only put one piece of tape up the center to join the two flaps. I made her tip the box up while I added more tape. She was snarky when I first asked about it. “I’ve packed many houses up and never had a box come apart.” And I got snarky back at her, “I’m a worry-wart and have lots of tape, so humor me.”

This week I had to make my final payment on the continuum care campus apartment where I’m moving. The first one was in June of 2019 when all there was were huge drawings and blueprints on the walls of a newly built sales office next to the building site. The first time I drove down the wooded driveway and saw the lake off to the side, I knew I wanted to live there. The setting reminded me of our family cottage where I spent all my summers growing up.

Even if Covid hadn’t shut down the building process down for one whole winter it still would have been a long time windup. And yet with all that time to plan I still don’t think I downsized enough. Like I told the son-I-wish-I-had this week, “No one needs four boxes of sea shells.” Oh yes, I got a carried away with pushing the western theme decor out of my life and embracing the beach cottage theme that previously only occupied my guest bath and sun porch. But never fear, before coming home from making my last payment I scouted out the closest Goodwill and found it an easy three minutes away. That's Plan C but it's still a plan for all the stuff I don't have room for once I start unpacking. Plan B is to rotate decor with the season. Some people swap throw pillows at holidays, I could swap out whaling lamps for 1940s sand toys.

Oh, and do your remember that landline phone number I've had for 35 years and am trying to port to my upgraded cell phone? I started the port process August 20th and they still can't work it out between Great Calls/Lively and Spectrum. I just got off the phone with Great Calls and they are giving me a $100 credit on my account to make up for the frustration I'm going through but they still don't have a for sure answer for if I'll be able to keep my old number. My new best friend at Great Calls says their entire port team has never seen anything like my case. Spectrum is now claiming they don't own the number they've been charging me monthly to use for the past 20 years. On another day they said the number was deactivated and out of service for a long time. Yet here we are.

If you’re reading this on the date it’s published (Saturday the 18th) the count down to my move is 17 days. Today when I made my final payment I also made the appointment to pick up my keys, parking pass, WiFi passwords and ID badge after which Tim and I are going to move stuff into my underground storage space and generally show him around for moving logistics. I’ll also be dropping off water, toilet paper, box cutters and other necessities we'll need the following day for the actual move. Sleeping there that first night will be kind of creepy. They'll only be four of us moved in by then. After that four people a day will be moving in all through October.

Four days before my move-in date they’re having a dinner in the new restaurant to welcome all the residents and five days after my move they’re having a Grand Opening party/media event. Look for me on the five o'clock news. Who am I kidding? I'll be so worn out by the Grand Opening I'll probably fall asleep before they serve the champagne. ©

40 comments:

  1. Oh, good luck! I'm so glad it's almost over.

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  2. You can see the finish line! Hang in there but I would have sent those packers on their way early.

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    1. I decided I really don't like having two people working around me at the same time. You can't keep track of two working in different rooms.

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  3. I guess it was good you were home to see what the ladies had done. Sure hope those antique cups make the trip in fine shape.
    I didn't know you and three others were going to be the only ones for a while. Hope they are nice people.
    Hang in there. It is getting close to the finish line.

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    1. When we had to pick out our move-in date, I was worried my house would sell and I wouldn't get my 60 days possession clause and I've be living out of suitcase. The ones who picked later dates to move in will still be around. As soon as they pay their final payment they can go in and start putting shelf paper in cabinets, etc. I can't because the first day the building can be legally occupied is Oct. 4th. On the plus side I'll have a front row seat on my deck watching everyone else move in.

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    2. P.S. It took me years to complete that antique set of dishes buying at China Replacement Etc, eBay and antique malls. If something does get broken I already know how to set it right again.

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  4. It's going to be wonderful. Keep repeating that until you relax a little. You've come this far. You're on the home stretch. You GO girl. šŸ™ƒ

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    1. Thanks! I don't remember moving being this complicated before. I threw things in boxes, shoved the stuff in storage and that was that. Guess I had bigger fish to fry back then.

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  5. Too bad your packing help wasn't so helpful after all. That is frustrating. You are super organized so the move will all work out fine. If anything gets crazy, you will have fun stories to share on your blog! Hooray for you!

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    1. They weren't a total waste of money. Just getting the art off the walls and shrink wrapping furniture with drawers was something I couldn't do on my own. And getting stuff down from high shelves. I have an overwhelming desire to unpack the dish barrel and do it over again. So far I've resisted.

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  6. I cannot believe those packers!! But the phone number fiasco almost tops it! Gosh. It's no wonder so many of us are hesitant to hire help. If you have to teach people how to tape a box together, it's pretty darned scary. It's nice that the phone co is giving you $100, but the truth is, that's not all that much when you think about how much time you've spent trying to get it ironed out. Well, on a lighter note, your move-in date is fast approaching and I am very, very happy for you, Jean. We're supposed to have our kitchen gutted at our new place on October 1st. Fingers crossed.

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    1. At this point in the process, it's time to roll with the punches.

      You are just going into the scary/exciting part of your process! A whole new kitchen will be fun to watch progress. I know from the experience of having this house built that the key is to be super familiar with the plans and check on the progress often. It's easier and cheaper change things like, say an electrical receptor out of place or the wrong counter tops, early on rather than later.

      You're right about the $100. It overs the double phone bills I have to pay the two companies when it should be just one. But it did shock me.

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  7. Wow! It's coming up fast now. I am so excited for you. I remember how I felt as the time approached and how excited I was to finally see my dream happen...the adrenalin helped a little with the exhaustion but let's be real...I was pretty worn out by the time I got on the plane. Luckily I had days to wait (and recover) before my stuff showed up on the island...my advice to you is to take your time unpacking on the other end...get out the essentials first and slowly unpack the rest as you have the energy.

    Deb

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    1. You are my role model. I followed your move with baited breath. I have two weeks to get my unpacking done---if I keep with my self imposed timeline. Then I'll be sidetracked with getting two eye surgeries followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'd like to invite people over by then.

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  8. Good point about checking the progress of our kitchen, often. We're glad we're not living in the house while it's being done, but we will still be going back and forth to make sure things are going well. Jean, I was thinking one of the benefits about you buying into the CCC prior to Covid is probably a significant cost savings. Hubby and I cannot believe how much this kitchen is costing, but there's really no choice but to go ahead. Crazy times, but I'm really looking forward to them!

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  9. 17 days how exciting and scary. You'll sleep fine the first night. Take a couple of aspirins and your poor tired body will pass out. I'm sure you will be donating a lot after you move in. At least that is how has been for me. I also had the same problem moving my phone at one time. I think I gave up at some point. Hahaha. Hang in there. You are almost there.

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    1. I will have no choice but to give up on the phone thing if it's not ported by the end of the month. i think their advanced tech team is challenged by trying to figure out what the problem is. It's a glitch they can't find, something different to do. LOL

      I know I saved too many crafting things. I'm even getting the CCC to add extra brackets on the wall shelf for my quilting fabrics. I'll have to check your blog to see if you've written anything about how you organized yours after your move.

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  10. Oh, I can't believe you are still WRITING for us! SOOOO exciting. If I didn't love living with these kids (large and small) I'd be looking at a CCC nearby.

    COUNTDOWN!

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    1. I can't believe I'm down to packing my last boxes---two large wardrobes, a printer box, last minute chargers & clocks plus a few that can't be closed until the last minute to add stuff like bedding I have to use the night before.

      You got your own life plan for your future care, if needed. And that works for you.

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  11. Oh what a week but things are nearly done with, well till you move and then the unpacking and organising starts.

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    1. I can't wait to start organizing. It's one of my favorite things to do.

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  12. When I read "pack the kitchen in an hour and a half" I started to laugh, and pretty soon I was laughing out loud. I know it's not nice to laugh at your frustrations, but those women! Good grief. And one strip of tape? I've done enough shipping and moving to know how well that can work out.

    No matter. You'll get moved, and probably something will break, and you'll survive that, and you'll begin to enjoy the settling process and all will be well. For reals!

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    1. Every single box packed for the move was done by me except the one box of my most fragile and breakable, kitchen stuff. I am so grateful that's all they packed. The kitchen took me a long time after they left.

      I'm kind of entering a zen like period in the process. Done to addresses changes and seeing people. Still got my closet to pack but most will fit to wardrobe boxes.

      I'm

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  13. Oh, that would make me so angry having people pack my fragile things. You were brave to even think it! I hope it makes it OK. (That's the kind of thing I'd be moving myself in heavily bubbled tote bags!) You'll be fine that first night. Make sure you have a radio or other music/viewing device for sound. Piece of cake. Besides, you will be exhausted! It's so exciting!

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  14. Wishing all goes as smoothly as possible for you from this point on.

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  15. So excited for you! And yes, you're super close to GoodWill, as well as my favorite of the Big Box Grocery locations. I know it like the back of my hand, so I often do my shopping there when I hit Costco. Great location!

    Packing is so tiring, but how nice to have a couple 'occasions' at the new place to meet people. I will watch for you on the news! :-)

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    1. I'll be shopping the same grocery chain I shop up here and its only 4 minutes away, but the best part is my niece often comes to town to shop there, I think, on Wednesdays.

      I'm pretty sure I just packed my very last box except for those sitting open for last minute additions I can't pack yet. Hoping to get all my change of addresses done tomorrow.

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  16. Moving is a pain. Having someone else pack your stuff can be so stressful. My mom and brother helped us pack and move each time Ken got a new apartment complex to work maintenance at. We got a free apartment so we had to move there. My family never packed things right. lol

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    1. I guess no one does it like we would but there really are a few basic rules you'd think would be common sense. I'm glad I didn't have a life that required I do it often enough to become an expert. LOL

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  17. Sounds like you are pretty well set for the move. Hopefully, all will arrive unbroken given the concerns you had with items your packers did.

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  18. Getting so close Jean, you're almost at the finish line my Friend, hang in there! The final days are always stressful but then the Relief once the transition is complete... and you can breathe again, taking your time to get the New Home organized and see what is a good fit and what is not. I'm a Year and a Half in now and still sorting out some stuff, but the Main House was actually livable and looking nice in a short time. That makes dealing with the rest easier since the sense of Urgency has subsided considerably now. I actually realize, that since this is the Forever Home, I can spend the rest of my Life tweaking it all... and so can you. I think the Move-In of everyone in your new Complex is great, since everyone is new and going thru it at the same time, so can lean on one another if need be to settle in and enter that new phase of Life, which is all rather Exciting, don't you think?

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    1. It's exciting and scary at the same time. I've always lived in a single family house where you could tuck unwanted stuff somewhere out of sight. No way to do that after I move.

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  19. PS: I had to Smile Jean about the Maid packing... it reminded me of The Son's attempts, when he was still High half the time... hadda Smile when we got there, it all made it in one piece, but the shapes of the Boxes was hilarious and what he wrote on some of the Labels. He's wicked Funny even tho' he was a Hot Mess... and at least he tried to be Helpful. It gives us Blog Fodder to recall the hiccups.

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  20. This is incredible! I remember when you started looking for a place to age safely and happily, having decided to leave your home. What a journey it has been, and now only two weeks from now you'll be sleeping in your new home.

    It sure was a helluva lot easier to read about it than go through it, but you've always had my support. Hang in there, Jean! You're almost there.

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    1. I'M trying. Going between being excited and hoping it well all be worth the trouble. Lol

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  21. Moves are always chaotic, but you've got this one as much under control as is humanely possible. But won't it be wonderful when you are all moved, unpacked, and settled in?

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    1. I can't wait but I must because realistically moving in is not going to be a two day thing.

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