Originally published on March 31, 2007.
I love the mental vision of Lex, in boxer shorts yet, sitting on the floor of his new living room with back issues of The Economist surrounding him, and a garage full of “stuff” outside. It sounds like the Neighborhood Association there is even more Busybody than ours. But we’re not in a ‘gated community.’ Down here in Texas where every man’s home is “his castle” that he can protect with his gun or guns, neighborhood associations are a little more careful about issuing ‘diktats.’
I can soooo relate to this post. I’m not sure the boxer shorts visual actually describes him and may well be some artistic license on his part. Be that as it may.
We can relate to the garage cave o’crap scenario he went through. My policy was to empty one box every day after the initial push upon moving in. In that manner within six months we were done. Either they had been emptied or gone through and stored as necessary. Said system working fine in Colorado and Texas. In Florida we moved into a house 1/3 the size of the previous one, empty nesters tending apparently towards overshoot when downsizing abodes. Never emptied the boxen in the garage but the local brownshirts were after more lurid targets – like not bringing in your trashcans after they were emptied. Said emulators of Mother Theresa having time during the day to wander the neighborhood and ponder such weighty matters whilst us bluecollar wastrels were otherwise occupied during the normal course of the business day. The filthy chasing of lucre being more difficult due to the wily nature of such game and requiring of us mere mortals more time than our cold and distant betters.
Still, that post resonates with us. Been there, done that. Glad he manned up eventually. I’m sure it’s good for the soul, else why would our otherwise busy neighbors be so concerned for our welfare?
I’ve got to admit that the Neighborhood Watchers can be mean sometimes. If you are an empty nester, perhaps you could bravely limp down to the curb [Walgreens carries a nice line in adjustable canes, which my husband and I really truly need] to bring back your garbage cans and your neighbors might volunteer to help. If we can jointly maneuver the garbage can down the sloping drive to the curb, some younger strong alpha male will bring it back up the sloping drive after the weekly collection. Our particular, now apparently permanent feebleness struck in 2010, after my husband broke his shoulder in the grocery store, falling in the fruits and veggies aisle. We came back from this but only partially, because both of us were enfeebled and we now are unsteady when walking without our canes. But, after all, my husband just turned 87, and I will be 84 in June. So I forgive myself. And my brain is still working pretty well.
My husband’s mother survived until she was 98. About three months before she died, my husband asked her how much longer she would want to live, if she could choose. She said firmly, at least ten years. That’s the way I feel about my own survival. We just have to fly under the radar so that the death panels don’t find out I’m still alive.
It’s great when you can’t trust your own government, isn’t it?
My paternal grandmother lived to be 97, although the last 8 years of her existence were not what one could call living. Being confined to a wheelchair and being cared after in an Assisted Living facility was hardly her idea of a good time. I was grateful to learn of her passing from my sister, who had received a call shortly after the event. In Grandma’s case, that last morning began at 0500 with a call to the Caregiver “Okay. I’m ready to get up now.” “Okay, Verna, I have a couple of other ladies to help to the bathroom. I’ll be back after that to give you your bath.” When she came back 10 minutes later, Grandma had stepped into the clearing at the end of the path. I had a strong sense that my dad, who preceded her in death, had come to escort her home.
Grandma’s younger brother, Roy, lived to be 98 and lived in his home right until the end. He had been diagnosed with cancer in the lower GI tract and been offered surgery to help improve “quality of live”. “Doctor” he said, “Do you know what it’s like to grow old? You aren’t touching me!” A few months later his son, who lived down the street, walked up to the house one morning, and knew his dad was gone because the front gate was still shut. Uncle Roy had a habit of going out to get his morning paper, which he would sit and read while drinking a cup of coffee.
Barring my making an exit such as Lex’, the way Uncle Roy went ain’t a half bad way to go.
Marianne -you truly are a force of nature. And I too enjoyed the visuals painted by our Beloved Lex. That said I still stand by my comment to him and will expand it here – someone care to do what he did to his garage … to my attic.
There would be a great meal, better wine and fine company in it for the soul brave enough.
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