Wednesday, September 28, 2005

newest project - 2

A week ago today we took Mom to check out her potential new home – Fleetwood Villa – for a tour and lunch. First Polly from marketing took us on the tour. She pointed out all the amenities from the wide hallways, to the bright dining rooms (one per floor), to the beauty parlor, to the laundry facilities and on and on. "And this is a very sociable building," she said several times. "The residents don’t have to spend a lot of time alone in their rooms."

On our way to see an empty suite we encountered Eva with a group of women in a lounge just outside the dining room, waiting for lunch. Eva is Mum’s friend. She moved into this building in February from the place Mum lives in now.

As soon as she saw we were going down her hallway, she jumped up – or the 89-year-old lady equivalent – and, using her walker, scooted over to us and invited us in to see her suite.

It was tiny but cozy and adequate with its kitchenette area (sink, cupboard with microwave, motel-sized fridge), bathroom with sink and walk-in shower, and one large room which is bedroom, diningroom, livingroom all in one.

Then Mum saw an empty 320 sq. foot suite, just a bit smaller than Eva’s. It did look positively diminutive – unfurnished as it was. Was it my imagination, or did I actually see the wheels in Mum’s head turning: where will this go, and that and the other?

Later Eva joined us for lunch on the second floor instead of sitting at her assigned table on the first floor. What a sunshiny personality! When asked how she had adjusted to living in such small quarters, she said, "I just made up my mind I would like it." It was obvious she was a great favorite as several of the serving girls came over especially to say ‘hi.’

On our way back to the car after our visit we came to the moment I’d dreaded all day. (I once took training to sell life insurance. I hated it and quit in about three weeks. Ever since, I have avoided anything that resembles the close). I did manage to get the question out though: "What do you think?"

‘Yes," she said, "I’ll go for it."

Wow - sweet words. It was almost too easy!

But now comes the part that is not easy at all. Mum has lived in her 1000 sq. ft. apartment for 20 years – plenty of time to fill it up! Now that she has decided to move, she will need to pare down, practically to the bone.

Back at her apartment she and I went through each room with a pad and paper making an inventory of what we need to deal with.

Of course there’s all the furniture and appliances - dining room suite, living room furniture (some of which will go with her, but not much!), dressers, cupboards, end-tables, lamps, washer and dryer, fridge and stove.

On top of that, Mum is a crafter. She has books of instructions, scrapbooks of ideas and all the supplies to do paper quilling, counted cross-stitch, fabric crafts like quilting and doll-making, stamps, inks and embossing stuff to make cards, dozens of vases to make flower arrangements. She has collections – spoons, bells, glasses, cups and saucers – several sets of dishes, photo albums by the dozen and on and on...

Mum also has nine kids, 25 grand-kids and six great-grand-kids who are spread all over this province and Saskatchewan. And how will we find out what everyone wants / could use, and then get it distributed to everyone’s satisfaction?! I’m praying for lot of little miracles in the days ahead.


Addendum: Early Monday morning, Mum phoned me. She hadn’t been able to sleep, worrying about the smallness of the suite. The long and short of it is, we’ve now put a deposit on a suite that’s slightly bigger and moving day is November 1st!


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