When Mother decided to move from her apartment to assisted living in anticipation of her 96th birthday, we all pitched in to give her a hand. My brother from Texas spent the weekend before the move helping her decide what to take and what not to take, as well as making several runs to the thrift shop, UPS, and various stores to both rid her of excess and find items that might come in handy in the new place. I went down the week of the move and here is my story.
Saturday, October 7, 2006
On Friday I took a leisurely drive down 101 on a stunning day. The Salinas Valley has never been prettier.
On Saturday morning I did a 5K in Woodley Park in Van Nuys sponsored by the Valley Trauma Center. In the afternoon I decided to see the famous Huntington in San Marcos. Talk about overwhelming! The 207 acres includes over 100 acres of gardens, a conservatory, a huge library of ancient books, and an art museum (once a residence!) that is closed for a three year renovation.
When I ODed on visual stimulation, I turned to photographing people taking photos.
Sunday, October 8, 2006
Saturday, after leaving the Huntington I drove on to get a head start in the morning. I soon learned it was Bikers’ weekend in Palm Springs. There were thousands of them having what looked like a good time.The Hyatt was headquarters. I would have joined in, but sadly my Saturn did not let me qualify. Looked like there was good food and good music. I continued on to Palm Desert leaving the action behind.
I had my usual AZ trip date shake breakfast at Shields Date Ranch after spending the night in Palm Desert and arrived at mother’s about 12:30. We had lunch as usual with the regulars. The rest of the afternoon was spent with last minute details in order to be ready for the move in the morning.
Monday, October 9, 2006
The moving crew arrived as promised promptly at 7:00 a.m. and Mother and I vamoosed to eat breakfast in the dining room, something she had done only once before in all the years she has been here. We spun it out as long as possible, stuffing ourselves on omelets and drinking plenty of coffee.
When we arrived back at 9:45, everything had been moved, or close to it. Mother was invited to the new place at 10:30 to find that the furniture was all in place, the boxes were being unpacked, and it looked ready to live in.
And it was by 1:00 p.m. with bed made, closets in order, towels in the bathroom and all pictures hung.She was dumbfounded.
On Tuesday the main event of the day was when my nephew’s good friend and best man arrived with his roommate to take the furniture that had remained behind. He has a new house in Tempe but no furniture, so it was a good deal for all.
During the rest of of the day, I got know all the volunteers at the Thrift Shop after making six trips (one of which was to retrieve things Mother decided she wanted after all)
When all was loaded (except two casters for the bed, which had fallen off the frame, and the remote for the TV), Ben dropped in to graciously thank Mother. She was entertaining two of her friends and all were delighted.
I mailed him the casters and remote.
I had left my camera behind and had a chance to try the one I have in my new cell phone. As you can see, I have finally figured out how to get pictures out of my phone and onto my computer. Here is a picture of Ben and Mom
We ate in the dining room that night after a brief housewarming and sip of champagne for Mother’s friends who who could hardly wait to see her new place.
Of course, Mother knows almost everyone there already. The menu is the same as the one in the big dining room so life goes on as usual.
For those who have been there, the new living room does not look much different from the former one. The only thing that did not come was the wing chair that Mother said was uncomfortable anyway (Ben has it.) and the sofa that was so soft that no one could get out of it once they were down. (Ben has it too.)
The kitchen occupies a corner and has ample cupboards, a microwave, but no stove. Although the refrigerator is dinky, Mother feels it may be adequate. We shall see.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
After a day and a half of taking care of loose ends, I headed back across the desert. I had to stop in Palm Desert again to pick up the clothes I left in the closet of the motel I stayed at. (Dumb) I have become good friends with the new owner, a woman who has just opened up and with whom I can talk “hotel talk” again.
I finally stopped in Pasadena around 7:30.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Now that I am back in highspeed internet territory, I am posting this from my motel room in Pasadena while waiting for the morning commute traffic to ease up a bit–I hope.
I will stop at Harris Ranch on my way home and pick up steaks for dinner and rest easy knowing Mother is settled at last and no longer has need to endure the anxiety of anticipation.
All has ended very well.
Ben has sent pictures of the furniture that has found a home at his place. See for yourself!
March 2009 Update
She’s moved again! Click here for the latest