Just when I thought I was retired, here we go again! It’s been six months since my Mother in law passed away from cancer, I had quit my job last March 2014 in order to be able to stay home and be her caregiver. A lot has gone on since last July, we sold the 3 properties that were owned by the family trust, divided up the assets and moved from California to Idaho. We arrived just before Christmas, (not an ideal time to move) but hey, it is, what it is! I’ve been busy settling into the house and decorating and to tell you the truth…I’ve been as happy as a pig in shit. This is the first time since I was 16 years old that I haven’t had a job. Bets were out that I’d be pulling my hair out in less than 30 days, but as it turns out; I’m very content being a housewife.
My husband on the other hand is going stir crazy, he needs to be working, if he didn’t do something soon I feared for his early demise, I do believe his check liver light came on, cocktail hour was beginning way too early. So we started looking around at possible sites for restaurants, we’ve had 2 in our life and I swore I’d never do it again! (never say never, ever!) So after looking at several places we actually have an offer to lease a space that is fully equipped and less than a mile away from our home. Hubby said all I have to do is manage the books, pay the bills and manage the staff, what do you want to lay odds on that I’ll be working full time in no time flat? Dang-it!
Well I look at this way, we have to do something because we don’t have enough money to stay retired and I’m saving my husband’s life, right?
Stay tuned to this station as we maneuver our way through contracts, leases and opening, I’ll let you know how it’s all going, until then wish me luck!
The other day I went out to do some shopping for our new guest room, I visited a few stores and found a few items I was looking for and found myself lingering in the last store just perusing the lanes when all of a sudden I found myself urgently wanting to get out of there. I paid for my items; however as I was leaving I found something else that I wanted, but convinced myself to come back at another time. As I was driving through the parking lot I slowed and stopped to allow a woman to cross to her vehicle in front of me, looking at her I thought she looked familiar; in fact I was sure I knew her, so I rolled down the window and called out her name; what do I have to lose right? To my surprise, she turned around and recognized me. Turns out this is an old friend of mine that I haven’t seen in 10 years, we used to live in the same subdivision in California up near Yosemite National Park.
My friend was so shocked, she said, “what are you doing in Idaho?” We live here now, we just arrived less than a month ago. We visited for a few moments, exchanged contact information, turns out we only live a few miles from each other. I let her go because it was freezing outside and she was shivering, but promised to call her the next day. She and her husband, whom we also know, are coming to our home for dinner next week.
I thought to myself later, what if I’d gone back inside and made that purchase? I would not not run into her! What a wonderful gift from the Universe and a reminder to listen to the little whispers and nods
We’ve been in Idaho for just shy of a month, when we first arrived I was overcome by the size of this house; it’s double the size of our home in Santa Monica. We really don’t need this much square footage; after all it’s just the two of us, but at the end of the day, it’s a three bedroom, three bath home, it’s just that the rooms and living quarters are huge!
Funny how quickly one can get used to something when you have lived in it for a month, suddenly the house doesn’t seem so large, just comfortable, with each box that we unpacked it started to feel more and more like home. Being the frustrated interior decorator that I am, I’m finding the process of creating and transforming each room invigorating and thankfully my husband gives me 100% final approval on decorating, it’s one of the reasons our marriage has survived all these years! What I’ve learned about myself is that I get comfortable with one style for too long, I tend to hang onto accent pieces and art, because after-all I chose them because I loved them. It’s kind of like articles of clothing that I have a difficult time letting go, even though I haven’t been able to fit into them for years! So slowly, I’m forcing myself to put away some of these things and replace them with others in order to try and create a new look, it’s a process.
Looking back at photos of our previous homes/apartments over the span of our relationship, I actually have to laugh at some of my choices. In the 80’s I was all Modern, lacquer furniture, glass tables and mirrors everywhere and all of the furniture was black and the accents were plum and grey. I hung onto the color scheme for a bit when we purchased our first home together, black couch, white chairs with gray carpeting, but somewhere in the early 90’s something went terribly wrong….I went floral! We had a floral couch with matching over-sized chair, I brought oak tables in and antiques. Staring at photos of our old living room; it looks like The Rose Parade threw up in it, but at the time I thought it was gorgeous. I guess it’s like looking back at old photos of hairstyles where you wonder what in the hell was I thinking? Who knows, in 10 years from now perhaps I’ll look at photos of this house and wonder the same thing.
Life just got interesting again, after 6 1/2 years of living in Santa Monica, CA. we have just relocated to Idaho. Many people think we are crazy and some think we are adventurous and some know its just what we do.
My husband and I were the caregivers to my Mother-in-law for 6.5 years until her recent passing on July 13, 2014, it was at that time we had to explore our options going forward. Neither one of us wanted to remain in her house, which we had made into our home, but we really didn’t have an idea of where we would end up, we originally thought of moving back to Carlsbad in North San Diego County, but prices had gone up substantially since we last lived there so we considered our options for moving out of California. But what state could we move to that would still be close to California?
Thankfully we were left in a position, thanks to my in-laws where we had the luxury of time to explore, but we also have to be smart and make sound decisions. A good friend of mine had recently moved to Idaho, we’d been chatting back and forth on Facebook, she told me how beautiful it was and how reasonable housing was and the overall cost of living, so off we went to check it out.
We didn’t dive in head first and buy a home, we decided to lease for 18 months and make sure that its going to be a good fit for us, so far, so good!
Some of my most special Christmas memories growing up; believe it or not, were those years when our family was so broke and struggling. We were fortunate enough to have a Mother who knew how to make everything seem special. Instead of shopping for a Christmas tree weeks before Christmas, she would make us wait to get our tree on Christmas Eve. We didn’t know the reason for the delay was no money, or that you could get a Christmas tree on the 24th of December for next to nothing and many times when the tree lot owner saw her pull up in the Country Squire Station Wagon and 6 super excited kids jumped out, they did give it to us for free!
As soon as we unloaded the tree from the top of the station wagon, it was rushed into the house where Mom and one of us kids would set it in the tree stand and give it a nice drink of water. Then it was promptly draped with a clean white bed sheet to mimic snow.
The strands of rainbow colored lights were brought out and plugged into the wall to check for burnt out bulbs that needed replacing and then the lights went up to a bunch of ooh’s and aah’s! Now time to load it up with ornaments and 5 tons of those cheap silver icicles.
When the tree was all lit up and decorated we would turn the other house lights off and sit in amazement of our decorating abilities and how beautiful it was. With the excitement of the Christmas tree and wondering what Santa was going to bring me; I could hardly sleep at night. I was always the first one up and would run down the hallway in my pink feet pajama’s to see if Santa had been there yet and when I saw the gifts under the tree I immediately ran throughout the house screaming with glee for everyone to wake up!
My Mom scrimped and saved all year long to make Christmas as special for us as possible, and mine you a lot of those gifts under the tree were socks and new sneakers, but there were somehow magically also at least one gift that we had asked Santa for. In no time flat, the Christmas wrapping paper was flying through the air and landing in a pile on the floor as we tore open each gift and screamed with excitement.
However the thing I treasured most, looking back is that I was surrounded by my family and that I felt unconditional love and acceptance. Now as an adult, I admit that I still consider Christmas to be my favorite holiday, I love to see bright twinkling lights on the houses with their Christmas trees sitting inside by the windows displayed for all the neighbors and passersby’s to admire. I love to see the excited faces of little children as they line up to see Santa, it takes me back to a time in my life when I was innocent and truly believed in Santa Claus and the Magic of Christmas that only a child can truly feel. I hope your Christmas Day will be spent surrounded by family, friends and loved ones!