Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Apparently Running Away Isn't an Option

Before we got the ALZ diagnosis Sweetie and I were seriously contemplating a giant move. Somewhere we both fantasized about. Fantasies so real we could almost smell the mountain air and hear the birds singing.  My ancestors were pioneers that crossed the mountains from NC into TN. Some still live there. I'm pretty sure I've got Smoky Mountain genomes in my DNA. Some of the most peaceful moments in my life were spent in my father's retirement cabin. A part of me cries out to "go home." That's the fantasy.

The reality is the roads are curvy. Thar's bars in them thar woods - and spiders and snakes. When you live in the woods there's no running to the Dairy Queen at 10pm. Hell, there may not even be a Dairy Queen or movie theater, or fabric store. Small town living is just that - small. Is that really what I/we want/need at this time in our lives? What about doctors, hospitals, nursing homes?

There have only been a couple times in my life when I've thrown all caution/reason to the wind and acted on my own "I want it and I want it now" desires. While I may have learned some valuable lessons from the experiences, none of them had very good outcomes. I'm right to be cautious now. I know it. Sweetie knows it.  The very fact that I can control where I live but not the disease that will take my husband from me, makes me want to run as fast as I can to a mountain hideaway. 

Instead I sit in my bedroom night after night looking at real estate sites. Isn't there some theory that says if you do something for 30 days it becomes a habit? Sweetie and I have fallen into a new routine that, even though I say "this is the last time," here I sit, with my computer on my lap and my head spinning like a cotton candy machine.

It's time to downsize, time to de-clutter, time to let go of what was and hold on to what is for as long as we can.  I think we've looked at every house, townhouse and condo in Jacksonville at least 10 times.  We drove through a couple neighborhoods today, even looked at a house a couple blocks away from where we live now.  In my lifetime I've moved 18 times. Crossed the country 4 times. The thing is, except for a couple of those moves, someone else picked the spot. My job was to pack up and tag along. It probably sounds crazy, but I have no idea how to go about finding a new home.

Maybe that's the problem. I'm looking for a home, instead of a house. That's backwards, isn't it?
Maybe it would be a lot easier if Sweetie and I didn't have so many other things on our minds.

In the serendipitous way that the Universe works, I got a letter today from my friend Catherine, who happens to be one of the bravest women I've ever met. Without knowing about the ALZ diagnosis, she shared these words of wisdom.
"Moving is hard. It is one of the top causes of stress. But there is an excitement in moving somewhere new - a freshness. Family has been my number one criteria. I've never been brave enough to move to the beach or mountains by myself."
Catherine's is just another voice of reason cutting through my fear. I know she's right, like my son and daughter and sister and anyone else with a grain of sense. While pretty, a wooded sanctuary will not offer the support we're going to need in the coming years.

It's almost midnight. I've got a couple more hours of surfing the net. If anyone has some suggestions on how to make selling/buying a house easier, I'm all ears.

Merry ME

1 comment:

Debbie said...

To move or not to move......pondering this will keep a person busy for days, even weeks. Meanwhile what is it that you like about your current home? Downsizing doesn't have to mean a smaller/different situation. Streamlining what you have, easier said than done (I can attest as I'm in the middle of this) and focus on familiar might be the balance for you and Jack.