After months of defiantly declaring he would never leave his home, my 91 year old father agreed to try out the assisted living center his wife relocated to last spring. My sister and I quickly made the arrangements before he could change his mind and he moved the second week of September. He immediately seemed more content and quickly gained back the several pounds he had lost during the summer while eating his own cooking.
About the same time, my daughter announced her decision to live on the Oregon Coast. She had been planning since early in her senior year of high school to move to Portland, get a job and live in her own apartment following graduation rather than continuing on to college. One week after arriving here at the end of August, she announced that she changed her mind about Portland and had found a job and an apartment in Lincoln City though Craig's List. The third week of September we loaded all of Rebecca's worldly goods into a U-Haul and transported her to the Coast to start her job as manager of a bakery.
A week or two after helping our youngest settle into her apartment, my father decided to sell his home and we offered to buy it. Gary and I both have a lifetime of happy memories associated with the home and it just didn't seem right to sell it to strangers. A whirlwind of cleaning, preparing for an estate sale and negotiating the muddy waters of a family business deal ensued. Working side by side with my sister and her family we spent weeks cleaning out 58 years of accumulated treasure and more than a little trash. My favorite discovery was the turquoise transistor radio I received for my 12th birthday still pristine in it's leather case.
Shortly before Thanksgiving the house deal closed and we started painting, removing carpet, cleaning hardwood floors, replacing windows, and preparing for yet another move (maybe we should buy shares in U-Haul). To top off the year of crazy adventures, we moved in on the 19th of December in the middle of a two week series of snow storms. A week later we hosted all three of our children for a late Christmas celebration.
As you can see, we've been a bit too busy to write. There were no hand made Christmas cards this year, no tree blazing with lights, and no fancy dinner. I was lucky to put my annual Christmas/New Year's letter in the mail before the middle of January.
There is painting yet to be finished, carpet and light fixtures to be installed and boxes to be emptied, but we are hoping our lives will settle down soon. After back-to-back moves, I've declared (except for a personal request from Barack to head the National Endowment for the Arts in DC) my next move out of here might just be feet first in a pine box.