Sunday, August 7, 2011

Changing directions...

... a little course correction. For this blog, for my life.

When I decided on a name for this blog, my mind was working in a completely different direction. I was mostly being clever with all the little "journey" references sprinkled throughout. Who knew that the name and "theme" of this blog would coincide with my life?

For a variety of reasons, that I don't really care to go into in such a public forum, my husband and I will be making a major course correction in our lifestyle. It occurs to me, that documenting this journey in a blog makes a lot of sense. So, I'm going to be sharing the process as we make decisions and navigate this new course here, in prose and photo.

We've struggled, a lot, for a long time. We always find a way to land on our feet, eventually, and money has never been the driver of our lives. We've lived in apartments and rental property pretty much our entire married lives. Owning a home always sounded like something we "should" do, and whenever a landlord was being unreasonable about something, it even sounded like something we'd rather do. But most of the time, we've been perfectly happy renting.

We bought a house in Portland, OR in November, 2006. We were really excited. We got a GREAT deal on a nice little place, with a full basement, in a really nice neighborhood. Nothing too fancy or upscale at all. But extremely pleasant. We set about doing all the things we've always wanted to do but couldn't as renters. Painting walls, planting gardens, redecorating. Nesting.

April 2008, our daughter, son-in-love & then-just-barely-3-year-old granddaughter moved in with us. As we already had my mother-in-law living with us, that meant we had four generations under one roof. The kids have had full possession of half the basement, we share the master bath shower... two very small bathrooms for six people. There are lots of things to recommend the set up, and in lots of ways, it's been great.

However, I suppose it goes without saying that six people between the ages of 3 and 83 will have issues and stresses in such an arrangement. The Waltons we are not. Although, I've recently starting watching the Waltons reruns again... and maybe in some ways we are the Waltons! LOL! Smaller house, fewer kids, lots of the same drama and sweetness... not nearly as functional, I suspect.

But "Big Grandma," as our little bit calls her 5'2" great-paternal-grandmother, is not doing well. Healthwise, not so bad at 86, but she's been dealing with dementia for at least a decade. Until this year, it has mostly been amusing. She generally has known where she is and who we are and able to take care of her personal needs without too much assistance. She hasn't always remembered what year it is, or that "yes, mom, you have seen it snow here before... it snowed last winter," but she always knew where her room was and how to find her way back, from directly across the hall, when she was done.

Lately, this hasn't been the case. She doesn't always "play well with others," she wanders off without anyone realizing she's left, (how on earth does she do that???), she isn't able to care for herself as well anymore... still feeds herself, but there are other issues... mostly, she's just not "here" much of the time. For a variety of reasons, we realize, this just isn't working. For anyone.

On top of that, the kids are looking at some changes in their lives too. They will be moving on at the end of the year, first of next year. But even if all that weren't the case, we simply cannot continue on financially here. (Thank you Bush-Obama Administrations.) Serious changes have to be made.

Hopefully between February 2012 & July 2012 we will be living full time in... a motor home. We are researching all the practical issues involved in making this change, and preparing ourselves emotionally for all the transitions, and losses, this will generate.

Mom will be in a full time facility. We feel guilty... as much for the relief that will bring as the feeling that we are abandoning her. (We aren't, but it feels that way.) Losing daily contact with "my sunshine." I'll especially miss our "bedtime chats." That will be hardest for me, personally. Possibly not being able to hang out with my daughter like we've been able to do since they moved in. Pop in downstairs to watch Dr. Who or chat or ask a question... or answer a knitting question.

Getting rid of almost all our worldly possessions. That's a biggie. On the plus side, the kids won't have to do it when we pass. Right? We are going to secure a small storage unit... to make the transition a little more slowly. We'll keep, at least for a while, the most critical stuff we'd need if we had to move into an apartment again, but it is really more for psychological soothing, I suspect.

This entire transition, on pretty much every level, is going to be hard. But I think it is going to be a good change, really for all of us. In ways we cannot appreciate now. God has unexpected ways of blessing us. Sometimes, it doesn't feel like a blessing at first. But experience tells me, He is always "on my side," no matter what I think at the moment.

Who knew, when I chose the name "Roving StarPoints" last year that this Star would be roving from one point to another, and writing about it, a year later? What kind of Providence is in that? I HATE to move. But it is the "transfer of stuff" from one place to another and all the details and issues that usually come up without warning that makes me crazy(ier).

Based on my preliminary research, this will be different. Once the initial purging of superfluous "stuff" is done and the remaining essentials and treasures are safely ensconced on board The Motor Home or tucked securely into the storage unit, "moving" won't be the same thing as it has been in the past. Rolling your home and goods down the road to a new location is not quite the same as moving all your stuff from one stationary place to another stationary place.

There is a lot more to all of this, and in the days, weeks, months, ahead, I'll make the case for our decision and share the process with you as we make this transition. It'll be hard. But it'll be exciting, and I expect, rewarding in lots of ways too. Maybe others will not have considered this as a viable option for their lives, as I did not, but discover... "gee, maybe this might work for me too."

Join us as we find...

Joy in the Journey,

P.S.: There will be a new category or two in the Book~Shop as we find resources related to our lifestyle change... books & goods that will make life easier as we make these changes.

P.P.S.: I am re-knitting my UDP, to check for errors, etc. and expect to be finished in the next day or so. Then, it will be on to test knitters, tech edit... and finally, submission. I finished the first one and used it for Sock Summit. It performed precisely as designed & I can not wait to share it with the world!

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