Friday, August 8, 2014

A New Home, A New Life

UPDATES:  Hurricane Leslie is hitting the 'Big Island' as I type this but sister Mary and her husband, Jim, are safely in Colorado on vacation.  Family and friends are waiting on a report that her house has withstood the onslaught of wind and rain but I feel sure all will be okay.  Marianna (from the blog "Hattie's Web") is just as vulnerable as her house is in view of the ocean and less than a block away. But Marianna and her husband, Terry, are safe in Washington right now.  Good planning, guys!  We will stay tuned and think only positive thoughts.

(I met this little munchkin at the laundromat last week and couldn't resist the picture.)

No doubt, the hardest move we ever have to make, is that last one, and very few of us are ready for the decisions needed to make it less traumatic.

Her first decision was to find the best place and, for Aunt Louise, we found Hill Villa in Ft Worth.  Then we had to decide what to bring from a 3000 + square foot home to a 900 sq ft. apartment.  Sister Mary came for a two week visit to help select and move paintings, furnishings and keepsakes.  We are still struggling with the idea of selling home, land, antiques, etc and so far those decisions are on the back burner.  
I am learning that, for each of us, those decisions are best dealt with over longer periods of time,  in smaller increments, and when our coping abilities are more reliable so that the maximum amount of 'good results' may be achieved.  Liquidating assets during a crisis is not ever the best way to go.   
Is that why I am selling a house that is too big for me to maintain?  Yep!  And no, there is nothing to report in that vein.  It may be because my house was listed for three months stating "no air conditioning!  Hmm, and in Arizona.  The only advantage of not selling the house right away is that I have had lots of time to spend with Aunt Louise.

The second decision, for her, is to establish a social life as quickly as possible.  Hill Villa is very near a number of Aunt Louise's friends and family so that has been easy for her.  Her friend Dorothy has come to visit along with lots of others.  Dorothy, who is the same age as Aunt Louise and also lives alone, has just undergone some heart surgery. ( It appears that another traumatic decision may be in the works very soon.)

(Aunt Louise, Jerry, Chelsea, Blake, Kathy, Mary and me)
Her cousin, Jerry, and his family live nearby and when Mary visited we took the opportunity to have a Sunday lunch together.  

Aunt Louise's next door neighbor is also a 'Louise'.  They have meals together at the same table and are becoming fast friends.  Once the two met, and Aunt Louise was no longer having to eat pureed foods,  she became more interested in leaving her apartment and going to the dining room for meals.

 And that opened the door to a whole new world of activities.  These pictures are from the monthly birthday party.....

Rum punch was served and an entertainer was brought in to sing and encourage dancers.

A lot of encouragement wasn't necessary, there were eager participants from the first song.  This gentleman is famous for his stylish footwear and his enthusiasm, hence he never lacked a partner.

The emcee was a hoot, he flirted with all the ladies and sang lots of songs everyone knew the words to. 
 There are many social events that I hope Aunt Louise will get into once I leave in October and she is more confined.  But again, we are moving in baby steps...cha, cha, cha.

The decision to sell property that has been hers for 50 years (15 acres in Glen Rose) or in the family for many generations (many acres near Sulphur springs) is disturbing, unsettling and jarringly difficult.  That decision is on hold at the moment but we did take a trip to Glen Rose to find the corner markers on that property.  Aunt Louise found the old tree that she is sure is one corner but the markers are long buried.

One side of the property is the Pawluxy River that is famous for its dinosaur tracks in the stones.  My sisters and I remember swimming in the river as youngsters and putting our feet in the tracks. The property begins just beyond the cemetery on the left in the above photo.
Next week we will go to Sulphur Springs and check out that property, but I don't expect anything  further.  

Aunt Louise did decide to make one more acquisition--a new recliner.  We spent the day shopping which took quite a while since we had to try out each and every chair we saw.  When she sat in this one  and pushed the remote buttons all the way back I asked, "How does that feel?"  
"Fine," she said, "But it just took my clothes off!"  Sure enough, it pulled her pants down in the back. We thought that might be a good feature--to help you undress at night--but passed on it to buy a new chocolate brown one that will be delivered next week.

And finally, she wanted to go to an estate sale one weekend.  She was warned before hand that we weren't going to buy anything, and she even stepped back and let someone else purchase this fantastic prize and 'great bargain' of a taxidermied turkey. Ah, progress indeed.

One last note:  While Mary was here one Friday night we went to Central Market to enjoy their outdoor patio for a beer, a buffet salad, a band and lots of family dancing.

This couple was really good but .....

This couple was more captivating.

She had lots of rhythm and couldn't stop bouncing to the music. (I am a sucker for baby pictures.)

Thank you to any of you that are still with me on this blog.  It is sometimes hard to get a connection for wifi or the time to sit with it but I promise to do updates as often as possible.

I expect to leave for Tucson the first of October then on to California for the last week in October.  My son, Ron, and his fianc√©, Loretta from Australia,  will be getting married on the 29th of October and we are expecting a fun time.  The wedding will be at the Presidio in Santa Barbara. 

(Loretta, I am so pleased you two are finally able to tie the knot. This has been a very long and very difficult time for you both.  But I know you two will  be very happy and I am so excited to get to better know my new daughter-in-law.)


  1. Toni, you are doing such a good and difficult job. It sounds as if you are practicing enormous patience. Please email to me Louise's new address:

    Thank you.

    1. Not always as much patience as I would like. The address is on the way to you. And thanks for the comment.

  2. Still with you! I love seeing Aunt Louise. I hope she'll be happy in her new home. Good luck with the house. Selling real estate can just be a pain.

  3. So glad to get the news about Mary and Jim. I have called and called and was quite worried.
    I love reading about you and Louise and Mary. Almost as good as a visit!
    Our house is fine, our neighbors report. We lost a couple of hapu'u and there are a lot of scattered branches around.
    Puna was hardest hit, lots of those damn albesias down over electric lines, impassible roads, etc. etc. It's a mess. Nobody hurt or killed though, and that's good news.
    I was a nervous wreck way over here on the Mainland so am glad we were gone.
    However, we are heading back tomorrow and that has me feeling nervous.