Days Gone By

Yesterday was another tedious day of cleaning out and downsizing. Perhaps it was the most difficult day of all. I had to take two dressers and a large armoire and fit it into one dresser. To make matters worse, it was really the first time that I had to pull Bill into the picture because much of it was his stuff.

Up until now, he has putzed around in his office, mostly moving stuff around. He has done some in the garage, but frankly, most of the stuff in the garage is going to be pointed to and junked. I’m still hopeful that someone will take some of his glorious tools.

I began on my own in his armoire that is filled with sweaters he’s collected over the years. Keeping in mind that we spend winters in AZ, I kept a few and set the others aside for Goodwill. His t-shirts were a mixed bag, with some in pretty good shape, but others with necks so stretched out that they would go over the head of Godzilla. Those I simply threw out because I don’t think Godzilla shops at Goodwill.

And then I got to his keepsake box. (By the way, I don’t think he would call it a keepsake box, but frankly, it’s where he keeps his treasures.) The box contained things such as his wedding ring from his first marriage and a Mass card from the funeral Mass of the federal judge for whom he worked after law school and whom he loved and respected. But it also contained about 10,000 tie clips that he had collected over the years, some gag gifts, and some western wear accessories. I challenged him, reminding him that he no longer wears ties, that the gags are long forgotten, and that he never wears western clothing that needs accessorizing. I laid down the law: The ring and Mass card stays; the tie clips go. He got up and walked downstairs.

Given that I’m a pain in the butt, I followed him, continuing to nag him about the need for getting rid of things because we are moving into a smaller place, blah, blah, blah.

He looked at me with sad eyes, and said, “It’s really hard, isn’t it?”

I felt about the size of a peanut.

“Yes, it is,” I agreed.

Because it really is. I’m not sure exactly why. A photo of these items would be nearly the same as keeping the item itself. I think maybe it’s just a reminder that we’re getting older and there is more life behind us than there is in front of us. It’s a somber reminder of our humanness.

The good news, however, is that I was able to fit all of those items into one dresser. Well, with a few going into the little dresser that was Court’s when he was a baby. Don’t nag. It’s little and will fit in our closet.

And, by the way, I have little room to talk. While he needs to work harder on his office, I have yet to tackle my basement storage room with its popover pans and dumpling steamer baskets.

Saturday Smile: Heart Roomies for Life

Two of my favorite people — my sister Jen and my granddaughter Adelaide — spent the last two weeks as roommates while Addie took classes to be certified as a CNA. Jen loved having Addie as her house guest, and Addie told her mom, “Aunt Jen is really FUN!”

Jen’s dog Winston grew to tolerate her and she grew to tolerate him. That’s the best I can say about that relationship.

By the way, Addie passed her exam with flying colors, as we all knew she would. I can’t wait to have her take my vitals.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday Thoughts

It’s Just Peachy
We got our annual box of Palisade peaches yesterday from our neighbor, who sells them for his Optimist Club. He gets them from the same farmer every year, and they are delicious. Now I have to figure out how to use them before they start to rot. Yesterday I made a peach pie, and it was delicious. I won’t bore you with a photo, because I have posted so many photos of my pies that even I’m bored. But I will assure you that it was beautiful, as all homemade pies are. My niece Jessie and I were recently trying to figure out why we enjoy making pies so much. We mutually agreed that they are so yummy, but most of all, they are so pretty.

Tomatoes, Tomahtoes
I have finally been harvesting my tomatoes. This year I planted grape tomatoes and an heirloom red tomato. The small tomatoes have been ripening for a couple of weeks now. The larger tomatoes have only now begun to ripen. They’d better hurry up, because I’m quickly losing interest in all of my outdoor plants……

Another Step Forward
We learned yesterday that our financials passed muster with Wind Crest, and we have been approved as residents. Things could potentially move quickly from here on, but there is one hold-up. We decided to extend the flooring out from the kitchen into the rest of the apartment except for the bedrooms. Unfortunately, we can’t move in until the flooring job is completed. They are still awaiting arrival of the flooring, and then it takes a full TWO WEEKS to lay it down. I’m joining the masses of people who are frustrated about having to wait for supplies and services. I’m luckier than many, so I will stop complaining right this very minute.

School Daze
Our grands are all getting geared up to return to school. Magnolia has been attending freshman orientation classes all this week. Kaiya only has one day of freshman orientation, and it’s Tuesday. School starts Wednesday. I can’t believe those two girlies are entering high school. Yikes.



As we drove home from our finance meeting yesterday, Bill was quiet for a bit. Then he said, “We are really lucky, aren’t we.” I agreed, and decided it’s time again to stop and think about five things for which I’m grateful this very day.

  1. I’m grateful to have a wonderful son of whom I couldn’t possibly be more proud. I’m also happy that he forgave me for not remembering to call him on Monday to wish him happy birthday until 7:30 that night. Oy vey. Happy birthday Son!
  2. I’m thankful for all of my grandkids. This very day, however, I’m particularly thankful for my eldest grandchild, Addie. She called me on Monday when she got home from her CNA certification class. She had studied Parkinson’s Disease and other progressive diseases, and called to promise her love and support for her papa and me. She asked me lots of questions about our new senior community and about how PD is affecting both Papa and me. I couldn’t stop smiling after our talk.
  3. Yesterday before our meeting with the finance people at Wind Crest, we had lunch at a restaurant in Highland Ranch’s Town Center. The area is very near Wind Crest, and will likely be visited by us very often. It has a Target, an Office Depot, a Home Depot, lots of restaurants — both fast food and nice sit-down, hair salons, nail salons, etc. It will be fun to get to know our new neighborhood, and I’m thankful for all the amenities the area offers.
  4. I’m very happy that Bill is getting used to his new hearing aids so easily. He had trouble inserting them the first few days, but the process has gotten much better. And I’m grateful that he can hear me when I talk to him.
  5. I’m so very thankful for all of the help that our kids are providing to us as we clean out the house and get ready to move. We couldn’t do it without their help.

Sometimes it’s important to stop and think about all of your gifts.

Think of the Toilet Paper

Erik-the-Moving-Company guy came by yesterday morning and walked through our house. As he looked around, he wrote down every single thing he was going to move — down to the cans in the pantry. (He doesn’t know this, but I will probably move the items in the pantry myself so he doesn’t see that my grandkids eat sugar cubes right out of the box. #Truth. They skip the middle man and just eat the sugar neat.)

At the end of the walk-through, Erik commented on our house and how pretty it was. He was surprised to learn that it was only 2,800 square feet. Or 2,900 square feet. We’ve never been quite sure. Do you count the basement?

Anyhoo, he was quite taken with our house.

“Would you like to buy it?” I asked him. “It’s for sale.”

He apparently thought I was being serious, because he quickly explained that he was single and he didn’t need a house with four bedrooms. He went on to tell us that he walked through a house last week that was 6,000 square feet, and occupied by a single man around the age of 35. “I think he had family money,” he opined.

The house has 27 bathrooms. That means he can use a different bathroom almost every day of the month. He juuuuust misses the mark in February.

As it turns out, the man is agoraphobic. In fact, he is more than that. He had a fish tank that seemed perfectly fish tanky. But when he would walk by the tank, he could “sense” that there was mold behind it. He got it checked out, and he was correct. He apparently has very strong senses. Because I went out and got my M.D. last night, I think that’s why he is agoraphobic. He is over-sensitive. You’re welcome.

I’m rambling, when all I really want to say is why would a single person in his or her mid-30s need a house that has 27 bathrooms? In fact, why would he or she need 6,000 square feet to wander around in all by oneself? I’m pretty sure that even if I had “family money,” I wouldn’t need 6,000 square feet. Heck, I have a hard enough time finding Bill in our house that is half that size.

I’m going to be perfectly happy in my 1,200 square foot abode.

By the way, Erik (who seems to know a lot of gossip for a mover) told us that he was moving a single woman into an apartment in our building this week. Here’s the gossip: She has — and is bringing with her — a ping pong table. She plans on having sliders under her furniture so that when the urge for a ping pong game hits her, she can simply slide the furniture out of the way and unfold her ping pong table.

Apparently the moving consultant tried to talk her out of the ping pong table. She explained to her that there is a ping pong table at Wind Crest. No go. When this woman wants a game, she doesn’t want to have to wait in line!

She is going to be my new best friend. Not because I like ping pong. But I like eccentric people.

One Man’s Junk…

I imagine my blog readers are getting mighty sick of reading stuff related to our move. Geez, you are likely thinking, does she think they’re the only people who have ever moved?

The answer is that I am fully aware that thousands of people move every year in the United States alone. I don’t care about them. That sounds mean, I know. I wish them all well, and hope their move brings them much happiness. But the reality is that my entire life these days has something to do with our move. I am either cleaning out a cupboard or closet, making hard decisions like how many ice cream makers do I need to take to a place at which I will be offered dessert any time I’m interested, or trying to come to grip with getting rid of some of my puzzles…..

(I admit I’m considering taking them all and hiding them under the bed.)

Wind Crest (who must be run by angels) is making this as easy as possible for us. If I even THINK about something that is causing me concern, I receive a phone call the next day from a company that my personal moving consultant angel is referring to me. You have large items you’re not able to take? Gone For Good will come move them. Are you concerned about window treatments? A custom window treatment person will call before I can even say the word VALANCE.

It’s as though they have gone through this with someone else who has lived in the same house for 30 or more years! What? I’m not your first?

Today, following a haircut (that I desperately need because I’m starting to look like a werewolf), I will meet and greet the men and women from Gone for Good, a junk hauling company with a heart. Apparently if I am getting rid of something they think someone else can use — say, victims of a fire or another tragedy — they will donate some of the things we are having them haul away. I hope a homeless person can use my popover pan or my extremely tarnished silver tea set.

Once those have left with myjunk, I will await my next visitor — Erik from the moving company that works with Wind Crest. He is just stopping by to say hey, and to see approximately how much he and his folks will have to move on moving day. I will need to point to the things that I know I’m taking, he will do his calculations, he will provide me with a quote, I will gasp at the cost but almost certainly will accept his quote. After all, Wind Crest will credit us in part for our move. Because they’re angels.

I am hoping against hope that after we meet with the finance angel at Wind Crest tomorrow, we will have a date for our move. I’m not one for vague calculations. I like to be able to write things down in my calendar in pen.

By the way, Dave and Jll and the kids stopped by yesterday late morning on their way home from church. Just a drop-in, Jll said. Fortunately for Bill and me, and unfortunately for them, we were just getting started bringing things up from the basement for the junk people.

“So nice to see you,” I said. “By the way, can you carry up four or five boxes of books, a huge Christmas tree, five or six various baby seats and strollers and mattresses (all of which Goodwill will no longer take).”

The kids started to trudge downstairs and began bringing up all manner of, well, junk that will fill up one-quarter of a dump truck…..

I’m certain that won’t be the last time we see Gone for Good during this move.

Every day that goes by is one day closer to moving into our bright and shiny new apartment.

Saturday Smile: Do You Think One Will Be Enough?

Bec, Bill, and I went out yesterday morning for breakfast at the Original Pancake House. I love their blueberry Belgian waffles, and Bill always orders the apple pancake. He always tries to talk me into splitting it, because…..

It’s always a no-go because see above: I love their blueberry waffles. When he ordered the apple pancake, he asked the server (tongue firmly in cheek), “Do you think one will be enough?”

It was. And it was delicious. So was my waffle, by the way.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Book Whimsy: Run Rose, Run

Ok. Sometimes we’re not in need of great literature. Sometimes we just want a story with likeable characters and a plot line that isn’t too ridiculous and moves along at a brisk pace. Sometimes, when everything in life seems so complicated, you need a little Dolly Parton.

Run Rose, Run, a novel co-written by the world’s most prolific author James Patterson and the world’s most famed (and perhaps the nicest and most generous) singer and songwriter Dolly Parton, fits that description to a T. I don’t know how much James Patterson wrote or how much Dolly Parton wrote. She, of course, is a phenomenal songwriter and lyricist, so there’s reason to think she contributed a fair amount. All I know is that it was a briskly-paced novel that kept me reading.

AnnieLynn Keyes has escaped her difficult past and hitchhiked her way to Nashville. She knows she has talent, but everyone who moves to Nashville thinks they have talent. AnnieLynn is quickly discovered by country music queen Ruthanna Ryder in an offbeat bar where her last-minute performance is overheard by the right people. Despite the fact that Ruthanna Ryder has quit the music business for good — or so she says — she still is a well-respected voice in the country music world.

While AnnieLynn seems to be moving quickly towards a career as a singer/songwriter, her past begins to catch up with her. Will she make it in the world of country music, or will she fail to outrun her past.

The story is loaded with lots of kick-ass music lyrics, likely contributed by Ms. Parton. There are a fair amount of holes in the story line, but I will not hesitate to recommend the book to lovers of country music and fairly nonviolent thrillers.

God bless you Dolly Parton!

Here is a link to the book.

Thursday Thoughts

Who’s Calling Please?
Yesterday I spoke to a junk hauler, a custom designer, a custom window coverings specialist, a hair stylist, two doctors’ offices, and a partridge in a pear tree. I have a lot of balls in the air right now. It used to be that I wouldn’t answer the telephone if I didn’t recognize the number. These days, I get more phone calls than President Biden (who is making himself unavailable for a phone call from China President Xi Jinping these days: tell him I can’t come to the phone because I’m washing my hair). Me, who would rather do anything than talk on the telephone. I go from figuring out Bill’s prescriptions to figuring out what sort of drapery I want in the blink of an eye.

Is the Doctor In?
Our granddaughter Addie is currently living with my sister Jen is Fort Collins, where she is studying to earn a CNA certificate. She is tentatively planning on medical school in the future, and thus needs to have some medical experience and hours under her belt. CSU doesn’t start for two more weeks, and she needed a place to stay while she took the two-week course. For reasons no one can explain, Jen’s dog Winston is entirely distrustful of my sweet granddaughter. The mild-mannered dog acts like Cujo when she’s around. I texted Jen last night to ask if Winston was being nicer. “I think their relationship is irreparable,” she answered. Naughty dog. Here is Addie in her scrubs…..

Does she look like someone a dog shouldn’t trust?

Heart Attack On A Plate
This past weekend, Bill and I went to Fort Collins to see Jen and Bec, and to dine at one of our favorite restaurants. RARE Bistro is in downtown Fort Collins, and features delicious Italian food. We always start with a charcuterie plate, and then share some pastas. I’m not sure my doctor would be happy to see our appetizer, but it sure was yummy…..

Do My Duty to God and Country
One of the things I unearthed when I cleaned out my cedar chest was Court’s old Cub Scout shirt. He was in scouts for about a year, but didn’t really enjoy it that much. Still, he looked cute in his uniform. I dropped it — along with some other items — at their house the other day. The next day, Court sent me this photo of Cole wearing the uniform. Cutest scout ever!….

Time in a Bottle

When I was a little girl, I remember many Sundays when I would spend the entire hour or so while attending Mass dreaming about what adventures Jen’s and my paper dolls were going to have that afternoon after we got home. Our Betsy McCall paper dolls had been carefully cut out of Mom’s McCall’s magazine, and were awaiting our return to begin doing whatever it was I dreamed up instead of listening to Father Regis’ homily. Perhaps if I had been listening to the homily, I might know why and what Jesus was scribbling in the dirt before telling the folks that they were all sinners, a question that I have always had about John: 8-11.

I’m not sure why that memory of my naughty daydreaming popped into my mind yesterday afternoon. We had gotten home following a morning of medical appointments. I had just laid down on our bed to take a short nap because that morning when I got out of bed, the first number on the clock was a 4. I am not sleeping well these days. Too much on my mind.

But I remembered those paper dolls, which then caused me to go down the childhood rabbit hole of memories. I wonder what I would have thought if someone had told me that 60 years from one of those paper doll adventures, I was going to be spending many of my days traveling from one side of Denver to the other at a variety of physical therapy and medical appointments.

In fact, if I could have seen 60 years into the future, I would probably have taken better care of myself. Perhaps brushed my teeth more thoroughly. Maybe gotten into the habit of drinking more water. Eaten apple slices and a glass of milk after school instead of walking to Potter’s Market and mooching penny candy from my Aunt Cork, who worked there as a clerk.

At the end of this month, I will be attending my 50th high school class reunion. Fifty years since I moved the green tassel from one side of my graduation cap to the other. I haven’t missed a class reunion since that time, and — God willing — I won’t be missing this one. We all went through life in similar manner. We went to college or got a job, many of us married (some of us more than once, unfortunately), we had kids (or perhaps nieces and nephews), we worked hard for our money, we turned middle age, our kids left home, we retired, we started receiving Social Security and Medicare. We had a passel of grandkids, who made everything before that seem worthwhile.

Yikes. Life has a way of sneaking up on us when we aren’t looking.

At this year’s reunion, we will all probably look much older. We will be sharing photos of our kids and our grands. We will complain about what the world’s come to, and can you believe what they put on television these days? We will share COVID stories. We will mourn those classmates we’ve lost. We will eat dinner early because we don’t want to drive in the dark.

I don’t miss those days of playing paper dolls with my sister. Still, you blink, and you’re 68. Enjoy every minute of every day.