Looking for answers to life's questions

A Final Address?

I knew I had to find another place to live when I sold my manufactured home which was address # 35 but had very few clues to where that might be. I was looking for somewhere that I could live comfortably, have easy access to things like groceries and the post office without driving. I sent a deposit that would put me on a waiting list at the place my friend Emily was living in the Portland area and checked many others online. Independent living is very expensive and since covid, all the perks and activities had been canceled with guests often not being allowed in. They didn’t change the prices.

While I visited my son during Thanksgiving, we looked at what little was available in his area. Again, we could not enter one building due to active covid contract by residents. All I could see was floor plans and in the other I could see the common areas. I was not impressed by any of them.

My son sent an e-mail with photos of the place three blocks from his house that was available when I arrived home. In Portland, I was still on a waiting list with no availability.

I signed the lease online while in Germany so I had a place to land when arriving home. I remembered the place as dark and depressing. It had adequate space and was attached physically to the very quiet senior center. They serve lunch and cook for meals on wheels having procured a new chef. I would make the best of it.

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There are thousands of women that can’t even afford to live here much less the nicer places. I talk to them everyday as they struggle to find a safe spot in the world. I consider myself very blessed to have what I do.

I’ve been here over a month now and barely getting adjusted to the altitude. Coming from sea level to 6300 ft hit the old lungs hard. Perseverance is my middle name so each day we did something to make life workable until I could get my things out of storage.

The kids brought over an old sofa bed that I had given them years ago belonging to my last Mother-in-law. I’d recovered it years before passing it on and it still looked nice. With the mattress topper, it slept well enough until a new bed was bought and delivered. In the meantime, my daughter-in-law had collected a few things to make the kitchen and bathroom function. They offered back an old second hand dresser that my mother had used for fabric storage. It was functional so I sanded it down in the kitchen and repainted it.

Original

We haunted thrift stores for a few things and I found a cute little end table some young man had probably made in wood-shop. It received the same treatment. Before it was all over, I had most of the furniture I needed and now all that is left is to fly to Portland and have my stuff loaded into a U-Haul for my son to drive back so I can set up my sewing room. That’s my favorite part. I can hardly wait. By next week, I’ll be eating off my own dishes and cooking in my own pots. The senior center lunch room may rarely see me.

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Have you thought about your final address or are you already there?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

Comments on: "A Final Address?" (67)

  1. I hope having some furniture now makes living a bit better, but I can understand when you talk about the new place being rather dark without much natural light. It’s an interesting set up they have with indoor corridors letting you get to the senior center, yet also that outside door to nature. That question mark in your title makes me suspicious that you haven’t given up all hope of maybe coming back to Oregon? Having breathing issues is one thing in the lowlands, but struggling significantly at 6000+ ft may not give you the best quality of life. I know you don’t complain and will make the best of what you have in front of you, but I’m also crossing my fingers that perhaps some other options may present to you as well.

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    • Hope springs eternal. My daughter has to work full time and my son does not so he has time to help me. I think she is feeling a bit of relief and I’m finally in my own space with no major work that I have to do. Once I get it set up, I may be in better shape with this. My rent here is less than half of what I would pay for the least expensive facility elsewhere. I’m getting extra oxygen shortly so that will help some. We will see. I have a years lease but really don’t want to move again, ever. I do miss Oregon so much for so many reasons. How are you doing with your retirement plans, Deb?

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      • I hope you can make this new place feel like home Marlene. I understand how difficult it would be to face moving again. Not much new, although I do have a trip set up for June to visit the daughter in Denver and I want to meander around WA and OR over the summer, unless it’s over 100 degrees again. We can toss masks in March so I hope that will also signal places like libraries to open their volunteer programs again. I’d like to look into doing something in a volunteer capacity.

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      • I was thinking the same thing, Deb. Volunteering in the library sounds like heaven to me. There are very few masks up here and definitely few in this facility. Almost all have been vaccinated. This is rebel country almost as bad as Texas in that capacity. We mask if we go anywhere else though. It won’t be 100 every day so enjoy as much as you can. Denver is an interesting town with a great bookstore! Enjoy it. I’ll post photos when this place is up to par. 🙂

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  2. Looks like a place you can put your own sweet style into and be very comfortable. Also, it might be nice to have a choice to cook or join others in the common dining area. I’m glad you’ll be getting your things soon. Have you made new friends there? My MIL’s room is nowhere’s near the size of yours and she’s never had a kitchen. I don’t have a place in mind and Jim and I seem to have different ideas, LOL. He’s a year or 2 away from retirement, so who knows where we’ll end up. I don’t want to stay in Edmonton and I guess it’ll depend on the economy, which stinks right at the moment. Is it just me or are things going to he!! in a handbasket? LOL xK

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    • It’s not just you, Kelly. I say that often but I think people have been saying that phrase for generations. Retirement with good health is entirely different than with health complications. It’s probably a good idea to really start scouting out where you want to be and then be on the same page. Things changed in the last seven years and I had to adapt to the changes, like it or not. I’m getting acquainted with people of course, but no one to call friend yet. It will take time. There is a hefty turnover here. I have plenty of room for my needs and not too much to clean. That’s the bright side. I eat with the group to learn the ins and outs of things here. 😉 I found out the first day I moved in the place was up for sale! Wouldn’t you know it!

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  3. I’m confident you’ll put the sassy Marlene stamp on your new home. Setting up the sewing room will make it your own. Is it exactly where you’d like to be? Maybe not, but thankfully, you’ll still be independent with help there if you need it. Thanks for the tours. Thank you also for the beautiful hummingbird card. I have it on display in my writing room, along with the mug rug. xo

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    • You are welcome, Jill. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I have plans to brighten the place up even though they won’t let me paint it white. I have lace to make curtains for the windows so I can get in more light with still plenty of privacy. 🙂 Everything has a reason and I’m sure this is where I should be for now. I like being independent.

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  4. Happy you have found a place to roost and hope you soon make it homey!

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  5. Very nice job on the furniture, Marlene. I love the extra colors. I think your new place looks lovely. Having a massive closet for a sewing room is fantastic. I didn’t have too much trouble finding a place for me to live, but I’ve been waiting weeks for the old tenant to move out, and then the landlord wants to remodel, so I think I’m stuck here for another month at least. Oh well. So glad to see you are settling nicely.

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    • It’s hard to wait, isn’t it, Maddie? I count my blessings here that I didn’t have to couch surf again until a place was found. The sewing room is HUGE compared to the last one. 10×11! I don’t have a lot of clothes so I put the bed in the smaller bedroom. The white paint on the furniture helps a little in lightening up the place. Maybe I’ll end the moving on an even number. 🙂

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  6. Wow Marlene! I’m sure it won’t be too much longer before you have your new place all cozy, feeling like home.

    We’re a couple years from retiring, so we’ve been having lots of conversations about where to live. There’s a lot to be considered. Take care, and I hope you adjust to the elevation and settle in real soon!

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    • Yes, Missy. I will make this a cozy home as quickly as possible. As my health has deteriorated, different decisions had to be made. I’m in line for extra oxygen help shortly. I’m sure since both of you are in excellent health, you will enjoy retirement. I am still enjoying mine in spite of the little hitches.

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  7. You will make this home cosy and to suit your needs. It will always be home to your kids with you in it. I am in mine.

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    • I will do my very best to make it a home, Amanda. I’m delighted there is no work for me to do here. It is nice the kids are close though. I’m glad you never have to move again. I had hope that would be the case when I bought my place.

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      • When I was young, I thought moving house would be fun as we had lived in the same house for most of my childhood – from 5 years onwards. I had become bored with the same room. But now, after moving an entire household twice and kids quite a few times back and forth, I am also relieved that I won’t have to repeat the packing exercise again. ( I hope). Planned this house to stay put.

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      • I hear you loud and clear, Amanda. This whole process has taken all my energy for months! I really didn’t expect it all to happen so fast and that part caught me unprepared. I expected the house sale to take many months. Who knew the market would be on fire? I probably had more than 5 addresses by the time I was 5 so I’m accustomed to moving but I’m done now. An even number here until they call in hospice. Let’s hope for several more years of creativity and orneriness. This place is starting to grow on me. Going to get my things tomorrow. Be back in a week. Yay! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. Was just looking at your posts. Trying to catch up in the middle of the night here.

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      • I hope I didn’t wake you up, Marlene. Reading my phone if I wake in the middle of the night doesn’t induce sleepiness for me. Believe it or not, I moved five times up to 5 years of age – then nothing until I was 17. Then 6 times in 5 years, then nothing for 35 years but the last two have been kickers! So I totally agree – staying put is good now! The real estate market is on fire here too and I wonder if that is because people feel investing in property is safer and with interest rates so low, it is cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent.
        I am glad to hear the place is growing on you. It is so good to have family close by.

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      • No one woke me. I do that all by myself around 3-4 a.m. I think people are buying because rents are out of sight. In better health, I would consider it over rent but that’s my lot now. I wanted all my affairs tidy ahead of time. Mission accomplished.

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      • Well planned to get all your affairs tidy, Marlene. I intend also to do that but hope I have the foresight to do that when the time is right. I have been waking at 3 am lately as well but sitting down a lot writing doesn’t help.

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  8. You’ve made great progress toward making your new place a home! I hope it works out for you. As for me, I hope I’m living in my final home, but one never knows.

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    • Thanks so much, Liz. I’m working hard on making this place a home with what I have. Hopefully, by next week I’ll be able to start really making things look homey. I hope you are in your final place too. This moving thing is no fun when you get old. 🙂 But it sure shakes things down to what’s important.

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      • You’re right, Marlene. Moving sure does serve to emphasize what’s important in life. I look forward to seeing photos of your new place when you have it all set up the way you want it.

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  9. If there is one thing I have learned in my many, many, MANY times moving in my life is no matter how old you are, life is a flowing, living thing with a mind of its own. LOL Although I’m pretty sure I’m now where I will probably die, a person just never knows what the future holds, and trying to predict it is a task that will fail.

    I’m sure once you have your things around you, your sewing room set up and meet a few more residents there you will find it’s not so bad.

    Again, things have a way of changing on us, as you well know. For right now, that is where you are supposed to be. Sending love and light and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are exactly right, Jackie. That’s what I thought when the only place available was where I never expected to end up again. Lots of hard memories up here but I’m ignoring them. I’m good with change which a guarantee of life. I know there is a reason for this. Thank you..

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  10. Before long, you will have made your new place your own, Marlene! I don’t know about my final home, yet. I do think about this sometimes, but then I push it out of my mind. Not ready, I suppose…

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    • I know what you mean, Becky. I think I’ve been moving in this direction for several years knowing that decisions needed to be made before they were made for me. I’m looking forward to making it my own and I have help here. I love redoing old furniture so this works out nicely. I think we are guided to the right place sometimes. Thanks for the visit.

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      • I would like to think that’s true, Marlene! My currentl issue is that even though I’m near one of my daughters, the cost of rent has gone up dramatically since the pandemic began. If that continues, I’ll be priced right out of the market.

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      • There are a lot of older women here that are scrambling for any place to live because the rents here are going up. There is no end to this insanity. The owner has the place up for sale for 5 million. He’ll get it to and the rent will go up again. It’s everywhere! That’s why so many are on the streets.

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      • Terrible situation, that’s for sure.

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  11. I too am working on moving to a seniors community house but with only 12 other occupants and full meal service. I’m still in the “steps of applying” and that is moving slowly. Lots of hoops to jump through but interesting how much “legal stuff” I need to have.
    Each room is large enough to be like a bed sitting room with en-suite bathroom and either a terrace or a balcony depending on which floor you are on, plus there is a big wheelchair type lift. It has wide open spaces outdoors and it’s in a residential area but closer to shops and stuff like that.
    If I manage to jump through the next 2 hoops, I’ll be officially on the wait list at I believe #3.

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    • I’m excited for you, Catherine! There are only 42 apartments here and it’s very quiet but they encourage our creative endeavors with those common spaces available to work at. Gives me more room than just my apartment. These are all wheel chair accessible but I don’t need that…yet. Only 2 floors and only one person who could hear me would be directly upstairs. The only other common wall is the kitchen and living room. I’m finally starting to be ok with it but still hate the wall color. I’m working on it. Close to shops is one of those perspective things. Fortunately, my son will take me anywhere I need to go but I’m finding out about the bus and they are trying for a grant to get their own little bus. I like finding out how these things work to try to make it easier for the next person. Keep me posted. I’m behind on reading your blogs but will catch up shortly. Leaving tomorrow to collect my things and be gone a week. Only 1800 miles away. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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      • Sounds like you have a win-win situation.

        What I often note is to do with our “single status” which in my is true plus my long marriage, now defunct never produced any offspring (crazy reason). So I have no adult children to assist. It was a chance remark around 5 years ago that gave me idea of Abbeyfield, which has a number of houses in NZ.

        My siblings offspring are in the main uninterested in my welfare, other the newly returned daughter of my late brother’s. A godsend as it’s turning out.

        And one particular friend, who sees the community at Abbeyfield as “my oeople”. I started the process a year ago, but the lockdowns caused issues! Now it’s slowly underway.

        Fingers crossed for a space…

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      • Fingers crossed here too. Not sure what my children will do when their time comes as they have no offspring either. At least the niece is helpful to you and that’s a bonus.

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  12. No flies on you! I hope the process goes smoothly for you, and I admire your positive attitude xxx

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  13. This growing old malarkey is tough, and I think you are an inspiration to us all. Not where you choose to be, not quite right, not fully moved in and yet you are so positive and just keep going. I am having a bad day, storm force winds, dodgy smoke alarm and an electrician who doesn’t come… You are simply fabulous,

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    • I know how to complain with the best of them and often sit and have a good cry for a few, then find something that needs doing and get on with it. We all get 10 minutes on the pitty pot, we just can’t stay there. Cross your fingers for no bad weather for a whole week here. We are leaving tomorrow morning to fly and get my things from storage and will be heading home Wed with 2 days at least driving some mountain passes with that big U-Haul truck. Then next Sunday, someone will help us unload. I just need one good week. Storms are scary. Hang in there, it means spring is coming.

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  14. I hope I have a bit more time before I have to think about my final address, especially since the last scare – 20 or so years vs 8 months was a bit much to swallow. This house will suit us well until we are very frail; it’s all on one level, and close to services. I know that you will always make the best of it, and I have found that nasty wall colour can always be improved by hanging a pretty quilt in front of it! Bring on your sewing machine!

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    • Yes, I’ll be hanging quilts wherever possible once a sleeve has been sewn in. It seems a putty color on the walls which offers no brightness. I have to hang things from those command hooks as no nails into the walls are allowed. I had one level living space but a few stairs up to it and steeper steps to the upper garden. Found I could not get up there so easy this last summer. The handwriting was on the wall and denial had to go it’s own way. You have that beautiful husband and sweet dog to keep you going. I’m going to keep you in my best thoughts as long as I’m here.

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      • Command hooks are very useful – I have three quilts hanging on them here, and they’ve hung safely for 3 years without falling down. I know I’m blessed with husband and doggo, long may it continue…

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  15. Goodness. It sounds as though you’ll be able to furnish as you like soon. I’m glad, and glad you’ve found some nice furniture. Just FYI, I had issues with altitude at 6000 ft in my 30s. I din’t notice it so much during the day, but I kept waking up at night because my body needed more oxygen! Good luck with this.

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    • Thanks, Lisa. I’ll need more than luck here. Once I get back from my trip getting my stuff out of storage, I’ll be supplied with extra oxygen. I like the idea of not sending most things to the dump if they still have usable value. There is a line I draw though. If the old sofa hadn’t been with the family all these years, I wouldn’t bring it home. But restoring wood pieces is fun, though hard work. Now, I’m off to gather my toys. 🙂 Have a wonderfilled week.

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  16. I love your new home! Actually being attached to a senior center sounds like a good thing. If only it weren’t for the altitude… Will you continue to keep your name on the list in Portland? Perseverance is definitely your middle name!!

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    • Thanks so much, Jennie. Yes, being attached to the senior center has a lot of perks and I’m definitely enjoying them. I took my name off the wait list in Portland. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and will probably be there until… Plan on making it as cozy as I can. There are more advantages than disadvantages. We are in Portland now and will load up my things on Wed to bring them back.

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      • As long as the perks and positives outweigh the negatives, all is good. Yes, you’re where you’re supposed to be. Thinking of you as you ready for the trip from Portland!

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      • We will be heading back to AZ on Wed or Thurs, depending on movers. The whole thing is a matter of perspective. It turned out to be the right decision no matter what. It will be like Christmas for me next week. 🙂 Thanks for the visit, Jennie.

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      • I’m so happy for you, Marlene!! 😍

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      • Safe travels, Marlene. I’m glad to hear you are in Portland and ready to gather your things. You’ll feel even more at home in the mountain community once your things are there. In the meantime, you’ve made quick work refinishing all that furniture, making it look light and bright and clean. As for the paint color, I wonder if there is a way to add fabric to the walls or a removable decal-styled covering that is easily removable? I’m glad you’re getting oxygen to help with the altitude, and I’m really pleased that you have your independence back, along with the convenience of prepared meals. I hope you get the bus system worked out. That’s a great way to get around if you have a good system in your community. Sending love and a hug your way. xo

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      • Thanks so much, Alys. I’ve thought about fabric on the walls too. My mind will go in all directions to resolve a situation I’m not happy with. I’ll revisit several things when I get back. I loved how the dresser and end table turned out. They are ready to go and I have lace and sheers for the windows for more light and privacy. I met the men that own the bus company in our mountain towns and they are working on bringing the bus all the way down our drive to pick up more disabled riders. It’s very cold out there in winter. The senior center is trying to write a grant for it’s own bus. Eating there has the perks of finding out what’s going on in town. 🙂 And you know I want to know everything. 🙂 We will visit soon. Hugs.

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      • I can’t wait to see the big reveal. I wish I could come play with you for a few days. It looks like fun. Lace drapes and white furnishings will go a long way to brightening things. Nice warm lighting as well. (I love that we can now choose cool or warm bulbs, especially the LEDs that use a fraction of the electricity.

        Best of luck to the senior center. A personal bus would be grand.

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      • Hoping your new home is everything you need/want it to be. You are a strong woman who makes the best of every day and who makes new friends quickly and easily. Be well.

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      • You are correct on part of that statement. My new home is everything I need which is as it should be. Wants are insignificant. Making friends really does not come easily to me and I really have to work at it. You may understand what it is to be the odd duck in a well established pond. 🙂 I’m finally almost sorted to the point I can focus on what is really important with the time left in this time and space. Also catching up with old friend. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Celine. Hugs.

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      • When I think of leaving this plane and going ‘home’ to my people, it brings me joy. I understand how life is so different here for those of us who can see beyond the physical form. Holding you in perfect harmony with your surroundings, new friends and time remaining in this physical life. Hugs to you as well.

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  17. Okay, I really like the apartment! It looks like somewhere we would live. It’s open, it’s simple, and I love turning walk-in closets into rooms! The senior center seems nice too, as long as the neighbors are pleasant. We’ve lived in a lot of communal settings with shared spaces, and the neighbors really are the deciding factor. The interior corridors made me laugh though, because it does look like a hotel! Everything is exterior here in Texas.

    I don’t think we’re in our final home, but I think we are in a more long-term home than anywhere else we’ve lived. This boat is everything we will ever need in a boat. Unless you count our P.O. Box, (which might actually be our final address, lol!), our address is likely to change. This marina is lovely and will probably see us through to retirement, but then I am hoping we will set sail and make the whole world our address!

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    • I love the idea of setting sail and making the world your address, Bethany! What a wonderful aspiration. I had planned more travel as well but it’s not likely now. I like my neighbors. They are not invasive and so far, all has gone well. I can join in or keep to myself depending on how I’m feeling at the moment. Now that I have my personal things here, I can make it as much my own as is possible with the restrictions they placed. You are still very young to have a final address figured out. I thought my trailer was going to be that but then life throws it’s curve and I had to readjust. This will work out nicely even though it’s half the square footage. Now the unpacking begins. Have a great week, Bethany and thanks for the visit.

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  18. By now you have returned from Portland. I can’t believe the bad luck that you were here exactly when Pedro and I were gone. BUT!! You are already on my itinerary in two weeks when I’m in Arizona. I am dying to hug you my friend. I am so glad that I randomly already had plans to be in Arizona before you even knew you would be living there. It may be a long time before I find an excuse to go back, so I am grateful for this chance. I guess I’ll have to make YOU my excuse to go back.

    What a beautiful job you always do when improving furniture. I agree with you that the softer colours look better. I hope your body adjusts to the higher elevation. It will happen slowly though, so I worry about you. I’m glad TS is so close.

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    • Oh, I forgot to answer your question. I am NOT in my final place, but I did that on purpose. I had a dream of working a big property in the country, and I knew I’d have to do that while I was young and strong. So here I am and I love it!! But I’ll enjoy the day when it overwhelms me and I have to sell and find a small place in a city where I can walk to things.

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    • I can’t begin to tell you how exhausted I am and it’s going to take time to revive. I wish we could have met with you in Portland. It was such an E-ticket ride for that whole week. More details when you get here and I hope to hear all about the birthday trip. I haven’t had my computer on except for a few moments a day. Lots of catching up to do. This place looks like a hoarders house right now and I’m slowly getting things put away. SLOWLY, being the operative word. It takes him 60 seconds to drive here! Can hardly wait to see you.

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  19. Just checking in quickly . . . hope you are acclimatizing in a way that suits you. And making a home out of your place. Even slowly, you will get there . . . (I know you know that; just re-inforcing). Thinking of you. Sending love and light your way . . . ~ Linne

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  20. By the time you read this I bet you now have your furniture and bits and pieces to make your new home real cosy Marlene…
    Uprooting and leaving to live somewhere else is always stressful and an upheaval when you have to do it alone and in our Wisdom Years… Its not easy especially given your health Marlene…
    So to move, and then start to renovate your furniture bargains, which by the way you transformed to be gorgeous.. Loved your finished results and Love those handles…

    It looks like you are settling in and it will not be long no doubt before your sewing again and adding your own unique foot print on your home…
    I hope you will soon be making new friends too…

    Sending you tons of love your way ..
    and squishy Hugs..
    Much love.. Sue ❤

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    • Thanks for the visit, Sue. I am still in the process of adapting this very small space to my needs. It’s taking a lot longer than anticipated as things are set in one place then seem to need to be elsewhere for better flow. The projects seem to be endless but no sewing so far other than a little handwork. My son is doing so many things to help. I’ve not written a blog post in well over a month and am not sure that I will write another. What time I have left is so precious and my energy thinning that I’m not sure that it’s where I should be spending my time. I’ll of course visit with my friends here online as long as I can. I’m thinking that it’s time to pull back in for now. Love and hugs to you. Keep up enjoying that quiet spot in yourself.

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      • So good to know your Son is on hand to help you Marlene.. I know the feeling of ‘Pulling back’ the desire to close my blog became very strong at one point… Too much to do and little time in which to complete it lol… As we both like to be busy..
        While its so good to connect to our online ‘family’ I am aware of how the WiFi affects me, so I tend to spend shorter bursts on the internet…. Though you cannot escape it.. its through the walls of neighbours etc… But lately I feel I am more sensitive to it.. So I limit myself.. And I am very absorbed in my crocheting and knitting at the moment… And Gardening season for planting seeds is here and the finer weather.. Where we want to be out and about not sat indoors on the computer. Hence I am here late in the evening… as I catch up with my blogging friends..
        So take care of yourself Marlene… as you create your inner new sacred space of your new home..
        And I will most definitely be enjoying a quiet spot for myself too..

        Much love right back ❤

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