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Posts tagged ‘independent living’

Weekly Activities

I’ve had some full days of a new exercise that consisted of 500 diddly squats. It was a hard week. I had only three days of walks due to my cart that carries the oxygen tank and miscellaneous needs, falling apart while the kids were gone and I was house/cat sitting.

It was a tough job to watch Gracie.

Sonar is a hard cat to catch.

The same day the cart fell apart, my suburban, that I gave my son, wouldn’t restart in the apartment parking lot. Dead battery that had worked fine only moments earlier. Fortunately, the pre-school was still open and one of the DIL’s co-workers came to get me so I didn’t have to climb that hill in the heat.

On the following Wednesday, I had three separate walks and by the end of the day, had 11,763 steps! I walked everywhere I needed to go that day since the kids had worked together when they got home to fix that poor old cart. I purchased it in Germany in 2000 and it’s been tagging along behind me a lot lately.

My days are usually packed full and I had a lot that needed doing but just felt like I wanted a personal day. I read a few blogs, looked online for gifts, (there is no good shopping here,) and edited a story I’m submitting to a friend for her anthology. We shall see how that goes. At least I’ve tried my hand at it.

In an effort to stay as independent as possible, I’m learning how the shuttle bus for this small community works. What I found out is an outing takes a lot of time and if I want to go to several places, I’ll need the better part of a day. It’s best not to go on extra hot days nor days we are expecting thunderstorms with lightning. That leaves almost no days to go out this month. I did ride the bus over the hill so I could walk the rest of the way to get my pedicure at the salon and then to the florist to order flowers for my DIL’s birthday. If you have to work, you need flowers to get through the day. My son took me the last few blocks in the car. It was quite warm by then.

DIL’s birthday flowers

In the next few weeks I hope to take the bus past the Walmart/Hospital stop and see all the stops and how long it will take.

I also tried my hand at machine embroidery again after almost a year. One of our ladies at Knit Wits is leaving for the valley permanently. That happens a lot up here so I made this card and then brought some sweet snacks so we will be remembered. She has a tough time ahead.

We all signed the inside of the card. Fits on half a page of card stock.

I also tried a more complicated machine embroidery that could have gone much better since (in the hoop applique) embroidery is new to me. I’m going to have to try it again until I get it right.

I need some serious practice on this. Not happy with the results.

How is your week shaping up? Full, frustrating, or a little bit of relaxation?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

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

 

A Little Twist

I’m going to the end of my trip, then later when I get more brain power, I’ll get back to the trip in all it’s glory.  I like to be efficient and answer the questions just once.

Too much luggage Then we added one more piece.

We made it back to the States. It was a bit nerve raking as in the last weeks of our trip, the U.S. government decided that anyone coming back into the country had to have a covid test the day before their flight. Then we had to wait until midnight of that day to get the results. The rapid results tests were not cheap and they came to our cell phones by email. It took until 2:00 a.m. to get ours, then my daughter had to go onto our flight carrier’s site to post the results. Hence, no sleep for either of us.

After our test at 8:00 a.m., which was done next door to the hotel by the train station, we collected our luggage and taxied to an airport hotel with shuttle service. We had a lovely breakfast on flight morning in the best hotel so far. The Steigenberger turned out to be where many of the pilots and crew stayed. That’s a good recommendation to me.

This gnome seemed to like the airline staff

There was an unexpected mix up about who we were flying with so there was a lot of shuffling around and long shuttles in the airport itself before settling in to a tightly packed 10 hour flight. No sleep to be had there either.

We changed planes in Denver where we had to retrieve our own bags and recheck them on the next flight, go through security again and customs. We only had 1½ hour between flights. Denver is a HUGE airport and again I was grateful for the wheelchair assistance. A tiny person pushed me all over that airport as my daughter and another young woman who had to go retrieve her knee scooter for an injured foot followed us through the maze. I did leave that sweet, helpful person a healthy tip as we made our connection, where on our own, we would not.

Borrowed from my favorite, Mary Engelbreit says it all.

That’s where our new acquaintance parted ways. We were headed for Phoenix, bleary eyed and past tired.

The twist here is that while I was visiting with my son prior to our trip, we took the time to check out a few independent living options close to him. I was not seriously impressed with them but then reality set in. There was nothing “available” in my area of Oregon. The cost would have been unsettling. The cost of one by my son was well below anything else. It was ground floor with a door opening to the courtyard as well as an inside hallway; available immediately. My gut said grab it so my son wrote the check I left behind, just in case. I am now ensconced in my own small, two-bedroom apartment. I have an old sofa bed for the moment that has been passed around the family for too many years but it’s a start. There are no fancy amenities but I’m 3 blocks from my son with everything I need close by. I’ll be in the Arizona mountains instead of Oregon. A move I never expected but now that it’s done, feels like the right choice.

I’m hooked on these words

Next comes the retrieval of my personal things from Oregon storage. My daughter is once again, getting to pursue her own trajectory in life with the same mixed emotions I’ve had. I’m the fourth senior my son and his wife have to look after. They have my apologies. This could get interesting once jet lag and altitude adjustments are made.

Happy New Year one and all. It’s going to be a doozy.

Have you ever made a decision that twisted your life around?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself