Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Baby Steps Toward a New Way of Life

We got the architect’s sketch of a layout for the garage apartment yesterday, and it made me excited about the prospect of my new life. I’ll  have a sitting/office area, redone bathroom (with lots of grab bars), bedroom and small “kitchenette” area with the things that are out there now—fridge, hot plate, microwave, etc. Any cooking I do will be done in the main house.

Several people have had suggestions—pocket or barn doors to conserve space (contractor say hardware for those is expensive and not good quality), skylights (they might leak), counter space in kitchen and bathroom, and a long list.

The drawings raise as many questions as they answer: where is the secure walkway for me to get from cottage—the official name we’re giving it—to main house? Parking three cars? (Jordan was nicely philosophical about that). We’ll need a new roof and perhaps new siding. Do I carpet in the bedroom? Then I’d have to vacuum.

I foresee a long process ahead—much more work on the plans, then shepherding them through the permit process. We’re still a long way from beginning construction, but it’s a start.

After the holidays we’ll get serious about downsizing my belongings. A good friend who is an archivist will help me cull out my books; Jordan will continue to help with closets and drawers—I have more T-shirts than any ten women need, and I have a habit of wearing the same ones over and over because they’re clean and on the top of the crowded drawer. Lots of knickknacks and dishes I really can let go of—but also too many with sentimental value. It will be a long process. I look at a piece of furniture and think, yes! I want that in the cottage. But not all my family pieces will fit out there, and want it to feel open, not crowded. I will have to be realistic.

Some may remember that this year, beginning with my July birthday, I decided to keep a Word document file of each blog post, with an eye toward compiling a book. It may turn out to be more interesting than I thought as it will chronicle this business of merging households as well as my struggles with balance and hip and leg pain.

My brother asked me tonight what I attributed my improved walking and optimism to and I answered without hesitation: physical therapy. My Canadian daughter (I’m her Fort Worth mom since her real mom is in Ontario) was here tonight and said I was back to being myself. High praise. For a while there, I was quite depressed and afraid the blog book would chronicle the year I grew old. Don’t feel that way anymore.

So, yes, 2016 will be interesting.


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