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, October 23, 2021

Public Places and Private Faces


Today I’m posting some photos of the public places around my new continuum care campus. It was hard to get some of them because we’re not supposed to post photos online that have any people in them unless we have their consent. One of our move-in forms dealt with this issue and we were asked to sign a paper allowing or not allowing our image to appear on their website and Facebook page. And we can’t post pictures directly to those places because they have to go through a filter that blocks out the ones who checked the “no” box. Since the only crime I’ve commented that makes me camera shy is I ate too much and exercised too little I cut the CCC some slack and I didn’t forbid them to use group photos with me in the image. If I’m having a bad hair day or bad weight day, I’ll just look down or off the in another direction if the marketing director has her camera is aimed my way. 

I didn't take the photo up above. I grabbed it from the CCC's website. A guy living in the condo section is a frequent photo contributor of the wildlife on campus. But it's a small lake and the swans are not hard to find, especially if you were to take the mile long, paved walking path that goes all the way around the lake. I'm not up to walking that far yet, but by spring I hope to do it. And I do have this fabulous picture window (below) at the end of my underground parking space. Do you think if I put in a work order I could get that window washed? I still can't believe the 23 people who got to pick their spaces before me didn't snap this one up. It's the first thing you see when you get off the elevator and the first thing I see when turn it to my space and turn off my car.


The photo below was take standing at the door to my building. The first window you see sticking out on the white wall is my painting easel corner. 

 


This next photo was taken standing in the same spot only looked the opposite direction toward the main building where the concierge desk, the cafe', the restaurant, the mailboxes and most of the classes are held. Rain was about to burst from the sky. Otherwise these outdoor areas would have looked more inviting.


As I round the corner where my building ends and before the main building begins there's a piazza, a fancy word for a patio where there is a fire feature and of course a view of the lake. They plan to use this for a lot of nice weather events. One is coming up next week, put on by our local Bird Rehabilitation Center. I hear there a lots of birds of pry on our campus that gobble up the little birds in flight. Gross, but Mother Nature is not always good to her weakest creations. 


This next photo is of the cafe` looking toward the service counter and the photo below that one is taken from the same location looking toward the main entrance and my building. The concierge desk is just on the other side of that glass wall. Behind my back are windows looking out to where the kitchen gardens will go in next spring.

The next two photos show the areas to the right and left of the concierge's desk. The fireplace area seems to be where people gather waiting to get into one of the class rooms and the long table is used for the daily 'Coffee & Conversation' meet-ups. I haven't been to one yet but they alternate between afternoons and mornings and it's on my list of things to try. 

 


 

The table was made from one tree that the construction company had to cut down for this building project and they made the table for us. It's supposed to be used like a farmhouse table in a restaurant---if you're alone and feel like talking the idea is that you sit there and others will join you or you can join others without fear of rejection.

I would have had photos of the restaurant and bar which is small but elegant but I said, "Hi," to a woman from my building and she took it as an invitation to talk my arm off which at first annoyed me because one-track me was on a mission. Then I had a talk with myself about being open and friendly so we walked together back to our building. When she took the elevator up to her floor I slipped into the gym and snapped a few photos without turning the lights on.

Window looks out on the piazza.

The machines in these two photos are around a corner and under twenty-steps from my door. I have to take an orientation class before I can use them which will come next week.

That ends the tour.
By the way, I had my cataract surgery on Tuesday on the eye with with the macular pucker so I'll be in eye-drop hell for the next eight weeks between this and the next surgery. ©

51 comments:

  1. Your campus buildings are lovely and you have the perfect spot for your art den. I hope you don't suffer too much after your cataract surgery. It will be much better for you once you can see clearly.

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    1. That's the plan! So far I've been far too busy to even think about creative stuff.

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  2. Glad you got through your first cataract surgery. Yes, we all should have bought stock in eye drops, years ago!! Great pictures. The layout, building materials, and setting really are impressive, Jean. Your outdoor views are beautiful and it seems like that may have been the focal point. You really do have just about everything at your fingertips. Lucky you as wintertime quickly approaches! Hope your eye heals quickly. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. I keep hoping if I look out over the green space between me and the woods I'll see a rabbit. And it could happen. It's peaceful enough now but it's only been a few weeks for nature to adapt after months of construction.

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  3. I hope you have no complications from the surgery and it's smooth sailing into your next one. I loved seeing the different amenities in the place you chose as your new home.

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    1. It was a long, hard road and decision but I know I made the right one buying into this campus. Just got to get over the fear of driving around here and that will come after my eye issues are resolved. Me too on the no complications.

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  4. Thank you for the "grand tour" - fascinating. Looks like a lovely place. As for the birds, that's nature for you, "red in tooth and claw".

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    1. We had lots of bird varieties where I used to live but very few birds of prey although three times in 20 years of living there I did find headless rabbits in the yard which I was told was the doings of birds of prey. My niece and I saw a bald eagle here when we went to dinner when she stayed with me after my surgery.

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  5. I'm curious about your 'eye drop hell.' Is it putting them in that you don't like? Maybe so many years with contact lenses got me used to the procedure; I don't even think about it with my glaucoma drops.

    Your place certainly looks inviting. That window of yours in the third photo is a terrific feature.

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    1. There are windows all over the place which I really love.

      I hate putting drops in because I have a terrible time getting them in. I practiced with over the counter drops for months and have even used tried the eye cups and I have to do 2-3 drops before I get one in my eye. Plus there are so many of them to do! Staring out its four times a day, four each time, five minutes apart which reduces in numbers just in time to start in with drops on the other eye.

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    2. Oh, my. After my cataract surgery/lens implants I only had to use one drop in each eye twice a day. Maybe three times a day. I can't quite remember. In any event, it wasn't nearly as complicated as your routine -- you have my sympathy!

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  6. It's lovely, Jean. And big! How do people with mobility issues get around to it all?! You might ask the head photo monitor if it is all right to have photos with unidentified people (no faces, just their backs). You might not want to use them but it would get you off the hook for legal release issues if someone stepped in that you couldn't crop out or if it was something like a person's back sitting at a table... it might limit you less. The worst that they can say is no. Or, if you ask the person. We had to get signed releases for faces in non-public venues (a home versus a festival) but not for backs!

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    1. My blog has always been more about words than images. And I'm kind of afraid that if I ask them it might come out that I'm a blogger. I don't think my accent on words rather than images will change once I get past the newness of my move.

      I haven't seen too many people with walkers but we can get meals from the cafe` or restaurant delivered to our door, for $2.00 extra. We can add all kinds of services as we need them. There are a few couples that I know of who have spouses living in the nursing home or memory care buildings on campus, just down the road from here while they are living in this independent living part of the campus. I talked to one guy who on days when his wife is having a good day, he'll bring her down here and return here after a few hours. The memory care is beautiful with a fence area they are free to roam in outside. All of these buildings are on a private, wooded road and they all face the lake. I've walked past them all and it's not that far. Lots of walkers here from the outside community because it's so quiet and pretty but close in to the city.

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  7. You have quite a deluxe setup there. And it's all new and bright. What a terrific place to live!

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    1. I really love the fact that we're all new to a new building and have input on how things are done and what things are done.

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  8. Lots of new adjustments for you but all seem doable with possibilities. I love your parking space window. Like you, can't imagine it hadn't been snapped up.
    Glad your surgery is over--till the next one and hope there is a big improvement in your sight.

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    1. Oh my gosh, yes, there are lots of adjustments and choices to make on how I live and how much I want to take part in. I've done a few classes already and will try them all before I settle into a routine. It's enough,now, just to get used to being at the cafe` during the hours they are open and figuring out how to budget my meals so I'm using up all my food card money before the end of the month.

      I go back to the eye doctor on Tuesday---two weeks out so I'll know more about improvement at that point. At the first appointment she said I'll have to wait until after both surgeries are done and I get a new prescription to get the full effect. But so far I'm disappointed I'm not seeing colors brighter. Maybe I built it up too much in my mind.

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  9. They did a lovely job on the design and landscaping of your new home. I’m very glad to here that you are meeting people and that your first surgery went well. There are a lot of eye drops though and it seems they all have different schedules!

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    1. I knew from studying the plans that it was going to be a thoughtful design and great living space. If I could have afforded the lake view apartments it would be perfect but just having access to seeing it daily is enough to make me happy.

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  10. I’d be happy in your apartment. Lovely big balcony.

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    1. I've never lived in an apartment before but this building is quiet and I've yet to see another neighbor in my hallway. There are only six apartments on my floor and half of them use another door to come and go. Anyone could be happy here, I think...if you can't have a single family home which just isn't practical at my age. My fall outside clean up and prepare for winter this year consists of picking six oak leafs off my deck!

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  11. Are that many drops typical after cataract surgery? I had no idea! Only thing I ever heard was you're not supposed to look down for a time.

    I'm a little envious of your place. It's really pleasant looking and the designers have managed to make it look welcoming and 'people' oriented.

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    1. I had to do four drops four times a day BEFORE the surgery that is not typical. That was because of the increased risk of getting an infection with the macular pucker. But I'm pretty sure all the other drops are typical. Each week they taper off so that by the end of week four you are done in one eye but you're still doing the other. You should see the sheet they give you to keep track. It's full of little circles to fill in for each day next to each drug.

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  12. Thanks for taking us on a tour of your place Jean. I know you'll be so happy with your move to independent living. No worries or tasks that you need to accomplish for the upcoming winter. Lucky you:) You'll have to let us know which classes you sample.

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    1. So far it's been mostly orientation classes for various things like who to use our kitchen appliances plus seating Yoga and seating stretches, both of which I really liked. Can't do many of the physical exercise classes until I get pasts the cataract surgeries.

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  13. A terrific, deluxe 25 cent tour! I want to move in! Well designed and great window placement.

    You should have called for help with all those leaves on your deck!!!!

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    1. I called the son-I-wish-I-had and asked him if he'd help me get ready for my winter clean up---that handful of leaves. It's really nice not to have to trim stuff, separate plants and cut them down, not to mention pay the lawn care service to vacuum up the leaves and pay someone else to do a fall weed and feed of the grass.

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  14. Looks like a fabulous place!

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    1. So far, so good. I'm going to like it here once I find my tribe and my balance between doing group stuff and doing my own thing.

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  15. I enjoyed your tour!! Reminds me of our local retirement facility John Knox Village. Neither of us is ready to make the move.. not yet.

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    1. I wasn't either when I first started exploring other living possibilities five years ago. Started out looking for a cottage to upgrade on a lake one summer then the next it was condo communities and so on. The winter I got the flu and we had a bad ice storm that took our power out for days as a real wake up call for me that I needed to make a move.

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  16. Your place looks great and so does the rest of the campus. I love your view and am curious why others didn't snap it up first too. Kinda strange that you can't take pictures of everybody if they're outside. But I can kinda understand.

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    1. I'm guessing some people wanted the wall space at the end of their parking stall to put in a bike rack or another storage unit. That's the only think I can think of. Time will tell.

      I kinda of like it too. I'm not fond of having my photo posted on random websites by strangers.

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  17. Thank for the tour, I enjoyed it mostly because I took it while sitting on my big fat ass..............lol

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    1. If you don't already you should start reading Bohemian Valhalla's blog. Dawn posts almost daily and is always photo heavy.

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  18. I think you will really enjoy all the different spaces the complex offers. I think you made a great decision to buy there,

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    1. I do too. I haven't had time to even explore all the indoor and outdoor spaces.

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  19. Loved the pictures, Jean! Thank you for sharing them with us. Gives me a better idea of your beautiful campus (I think that is the term to use). I hope your eye heals quickly and without too much discomfort.

    Deb

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    1. It is a campus. They own all but one building around the lake and they are trying to buy that.

      I'm not experiencing discomfort with my eye---knock on wood, just frustration trying to get the drops in.

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  20. Beautiful! They've done a really lovely job of designing it and putting everything together. And I really like the idea of the farmhouse table an joining your neighbors to chat. Thanks for the tour!

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    1. The farmhouse table was common out West back when we used to go every year and I heard they are common in Europe. We had some great times getting to talk to the locals in our travels, sitting at those farmhouse tables.

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  21. I'm just getting back to blogging and am pleased to know that you've landed safely in your new digs. I'm fascinated about the forms you signed that mean you can't photograph people in your new home. I've not heard about that before. I, too, would have difficulties chatting it up with a new neighbor b/c like you I'm "one-track me" when I'm on mission.

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    1. They consider anything inside the same as if you were in someone's home. I'm not sure if that applies to photos taken outside.

      There is a balance between being too friendly/clingy and being too stand-offish. I hope to strict a balance. I don't do well with clingy people.

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  22. Wow! That is some place! I am happy that you are happy! It is good to check out what they offer and then decide what you like best! Nice!!

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    1. There is so much to try here, it will be Christmas before I sample it all.

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  23. So, one Surgery out of the way, may Healing Energies be strong for you before you get the other Eye done. I really like your CCC, it has everything you'll ever need Jean and it seems they've planned it very well for the Residents to enjoy a really active Lifestyle in their Golden Years. Which is what we all aspire to enjoy... and the nice thing there is you don't have to maintain any of it yourself. I am strongly considering turning this Mini Farm into a Family Commune since we can build more on it or put an Airstream or Two here for the Younger Generations to live in and share expenses and Maintenance duties. Plus grow our own Food and have Chickens and such if we want to.

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    1. The maintenance free thing is a biggie especially this time of the year. The commune idea fits you and your family needs perfectly.

      I am not getting excited about my eye surgery yet. Saw the doctor today and the macular pucker is thickening which isn't good. They stepped up the number of times I do the antibiotic in the eye.

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    2. Love your new home!! Hope your eye is doing better Jean.

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    3. Me too. At least the macular pucker is getting measured every week for a while so they are being vigilant about it.

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