While it’s easy for me to type the title, the content will be more difficult.
My parents have decided that it’s time to “move to town”. They’ve owned their acreage for 50 years, purchasing it a little bit after I was born.
Hush. They’ve always gardened a huge garden, putting away tons of stuff for the winter and beyond. They’ve had a variety of animals from horses to chickens to guinea fowl (look them up) to sheep to pigs. They’ve been food or for the horses, a way to relive parts of their childhood. And they’ve been happy doing it. Yes, it’s been hard work, but they’ve never minded getting their hands dirty or taking three showers a day because of the work.
But as time as gone on, they’ve gotten older. Time waits for no one, and it’s finally catching up with them. Mom moves a little slower and had a small set back recently where she feel and cracked her knee cap. She was in a leg immoblizer for six weeks and grumbled about it most of the time. Dad has dealt with feet issues related to Agent Orange for years now. Two years ago he had back surgery and is just now looking like himself again. The aches and pains of this kind of a life have caught up with them, so they decided that the 5 year plan, that took 10 years to start, was going to be put into place: they were looking to move. They wanted the move to be on their terms, not that their health made it a forced choice. Good for them. ♥️
The problem is that this was a terrible time to make this decision. The market in their area has cooled somewhat, but at the beginning of the summer was ridiculously hot. They’d walk into a house that had several offers, many ABOVE the asking price. At one point, they emailed about starting to plan for the upcoming fall and winter because they’d started to lose a little bit of hope. But they kept at it. And eventually, their persistence (and believe you me, they are persistent!) paid off. We got a phone call from my father one day:
“Son, we’ve spent your inheritance.”
But, they’d pulled the trigger and set the all mouse trap mechanism into motion. The next step, selling their place. That’s the good thing about a hot market, selling your place goes well, which is exactly what it did.
Next thing we know, we have dates where they’ll move into their new home and dates where they’ll close on our old home. This past weekend, our families got together for the first of the last blow outs. My brother, his wife, and one of our nephews along with my wife, oldest daughter and her boyfriend all showed up at the “ranch” on Saturday. It a beautiful day to be in the shade and we did little things for my parents (moved boxes, put in a light bulb they couldn’t reach, etc), talked and laughed a lot. We had a big bonfire with brats and beer and beans and chips and s’mores. We talked about the stupid things we did (me trying to burn the shed came up again). When my brother asked my mom what she’d miss most, she sighed and said, “The view and the quiet.”
We slept in my parent’s trailer while my brother slept in his backpacking tent and my daugher/her boyfriend in their new tent. It rained briefly, but we woke to a glorious morning. Everyone left smiling, but yet, it will be hard when the final days come. Home is where your family love and caring is at, but you don’t give up 50 years of memories without tears shed. The goofy things (our only shower is the basement), the strange (our hot water heater is a 1959 model), and the funny (our old barn is falling in, but the basketball hoop we used to practice with is still standing in the hayloft) all of these things that made 5 acres a place of love and family will change.
The new “home” is bigger, more comfortable, and can fit all of us comfortably. When we come down for Irish Fest next year, we have a home base. When Thanksgiving comes (Mom all ready called dibs), we can stay without feeling like we are imposing. Plus, they have a bike trail close by, a grocery store within a mile, and have much less to take care of.
My dad comment that his father would be speechless at the place they’ve bought. For me, I know my parents are happy. They are almost glowing with the excitement of packing and figuring out what it means to be “town people”: getting garbage picked up (no Dad, you can’t burn in town) and all the trappings of city dwellers.
My hope, their health continues so they can truly enjoy their time with their new place. And even if that doesn’t happen, it’s been worth it, seeing them as happy as they are right now. Our job, bring them tomatoes, potatoes, and other garden stuff, visit more often, and just help them enjoy their new home. Making those new memories, making a new house a home will be an enjoyable experience.
To be able to get together was a gift not soon forgotten (as the picture above shows). Thanks to my brother, who reads this drivel, on getting us together. ♥️