Dan and I recently took the plunge that many baby boomers face. We down-sized, moving from our large family home in Delafield to a smaller condominium in Brookfield. It was difficult. I pulled myself together when saying farewell to the best neighbors we ever had. I promised them that we would see them again, making plans to meet them for dinner and a movie and have them over when we get settled in our condominium. We promised our Grandchildren that we will take then to the local pools and parks the next time they visit.
A very nice couple bought our house. They have a son in college and a daughter who is high school age. The new owner said she was looking forward to the pool. She especially liked it because the pool has a heater. To know that the new family is happy there was important to me.
There are so many memories associated with Home. I grew up in the city of Milwaukee, and that had its advantages. I have such fond memories of bicycling to McGovern Park with my two girl friends for tennis and swimming lessons. I especially liked it because my cousin, John Cheek, was the head Life Guard and taught me to swim. I felt safe because I knew that he was keeping an eye on me. He also played tennis with my Dad on the McGovern courts. Both men were very good tennis players.
But while change can be difficult, sometimes it is good. My husband Dan and I are getting settled in our new place. Every day we open boxes to unpack and find places for our things or take to Goodwill. Until our kitchen is set up, we are enjoying the local eateries and movies at the local theatre. The restaurants have not disappointed us.
Dan is happy frequenting the local Home Depot for supplies to make the condo our own. Nothing wrong with this picture. I may have Alzheimer’s disease, but we are busy and happy. Today my life- long girl friend and her husband, (my cousin John) are visiting us. They too are downsizing and biding their time until their new condo in Denver is built. Meantime, they do feel like vagabonds.
We are pleased that Dan is so much closer to his office. As I continue to get organized in our new dwelling, I feel that down-sizing has been a very good decision and experience. Three neighbors and my cousin who lives in Brookfield have welcomed us with sweet home-made goodies and smiles.
Nothing wrong with this picture :)
Barbara Cheek Johnson is a journalist living with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease