Thursday, March 23, 2023

tick . . . . tick . . . .

            I’ve written about this before: We are pondering where to live next. This decision is, of course, tied to the larger question of who we want to become. Or who or what we are going to become.


            Much of this is out of our control. Kim continues to have issues with pain, fatigue and mobility – though she still is able to climb up on a ladder to clean the highest shelves in our kitchen cabinets. I still have lingering pain in my calf and, some days, my hip – though this has not slowed my already slow pace. But we are aware, as spring approaches, that we may not be able to keep up with the gardening and other yardwork, that Kim’s cancer may return, etc. We are 80, which means that pretty soon we will become old. But a few mornings ago, Kim said, “The way I feel now, I’m good here for eight more years.”


            tick . . . . tick . . . . tick . . . . tick . . . .


            Ideally, as I’ve written before, we stay here in our Bark House, find some help for inside and outside the house, and age in place. But it’s not so simple. Kim knows, from simple daily observations, that I would not be able to maintain the house up to her standards once she is gone, and so we are looking for a place, probably a condo, where we both could live well, first as a second home close to friends and family for the lonely winter months, and then, should we decline, our only home. And then, perhaps, my home. She is, as always, taking care of me, even in the future. She’s concerned that, on my own, I’ll settle for a crappy but cheap place.


            Kim also wants to be alive to sell the Bark House so she can assist in the distribution of her various collections, our furniture, and the proceeds of the sale. She wants to be part of the transition process. How this squares with the decline that will make the transition necessary is not clear to me. We have a huge collection of cardboard boxes in the garage, and she is filling boxes with kitchen items, glasses, etc., to move to the new place when we find it, a place she calls “your house.” This requires effort.


            tick . . . . tick . . . . tick . . . . tick . . . .


            I have a file on my computer labeled “Next House.” It features contact information for realtors in Gainesville, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Luna Pier (cool house on Lake Erie), Holland (Michigan), and North Carolina. I have a few addresses and names of condos where we might be interested – places we check daily – should something come available and not immediately snapped up by an over-bidder.


            I’m also aware that, for Kim, deciding where and how to live next is an exercise of her creativity. Most of the condos we see are far too plain, but she is actively adding trim, adding or removing walls, re-doing floors and kitchen cabinets, placing our furniture, etc. Or we will find a place that looks great but is either too expensive or too remote, or it’s been sold, so she bookmarks it for decorating ideas to apply in the future. This is Kim.


            tick . . . . tick . . . . tick . . . . tick . . . .


            And so, most mornings after breakfast, we bring my laptop to the table, clear away everything except our second cups of coffee, and head for various homes-for-sale sites. Mostly we look in the very expensive Ann Arbor area, but occasionally, when she is going over her photos of Florida wildlife, she says, “I want to go to Florida.” And we saw a property for sale in the mountains of North Carolina, and the property featured some waterfalls, but we reluctantly concluded that it was too far away, and planning and supervising construction from 850 miles away might be difficult, so sadly we dropped it. Yesterday I googled “senior living,” or something like that, but I was discouraged by the hotel-look and by all the old people I saw in the photos. We look for “historic” or “vintage” homes, partly because we like their character, and partly because we are feeling rather “vintage” ourselves.


P.S. I remember reading advice from a downhill skier about how to avoid hitting the trees: “Look between the trees.” Apply as needed.


1 comment:

  1. My husband and I have moved many times. The last two times we began purging early things we no longer needed. We sold things on Facebook marketplace, donated and also sold the leftovers to someone I’ll call Larry the liquidator. Starting early makes the move smarter and less stressful. As far as a place to move, being near family in friends is extremely important. By moving to Kewadin for us we are near two siblings, which is lovely after not being near family for years. Following your passions will lead you to a location where you will be happy, whether it’s birding or cultural pursuits. I love being here in NW Michigan as a Plein-Air artist as there is so much to paint, lots of artists to network with. My husband loves the outdoors as well, however he misses all the theatre that comes in a bigger area. Spring and Summer are coming so there is much to look forward to. Enjoy your posts.