The Hunt

Dear J—

My folks, who had told me weeks ago that their house was too big, are looking for new digs – hopefully smaller and easier to care for – nearer to us. I’m happy to be part of that while trying to help them out and look at local listings. And yet (and there’s always an ‘and yet’) I wonder if they wouldn’t be happier … well, no one understands their needs better than them, so they’re digging in on price (I can’t say I blame them, as their current mortgage is quite reasonable and, frankly, impossible to beat in this inflated real estate market) and hoping there’s a cheaper location nearby, which there might be … somewhere … somewhere.

I will be honest and open and offer advice and not feel slighted when it’s not taken; we’ve advocated some of the senior condos in town but quite honestly, they’re pretty expensive and offer a lot of services they don’t need – not yet, at least. Meals? Maids? Nursing care? On the other hand if they did need it at least it’s there and they wouldn’t need to move again; I suppose there’s always some other ways to go here like how to provide advice without being overbearing or overly dramatic (you must … do it NOW … you must … do it ALL) or dictatorial (here I am again trying to live their lives for them). I don’t know, for instance, how to get rid of your stuff in a graceful manner (there’s something that I’ll have to tackle in my own life) so how am I going to provide any serious help?

We are not dreaming of drama here; this is not something that should be handled with big screaming fights and raised voices or I’m-putting-my-foot-down. Looking for a new place to live should be fun and exciting but it is a lot of work and I appreciate that they’re willing to take the time and effort to do that. I don’t necessarily want it to turn into a situation like Spokane, the annual announcement that we were going to move at the end of each school year and the strange disappointment of not actually going, having to show up sheepish each September. We’ve got a long way to go yet, and I’ve got to pace myself.

Mike

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