Saturday, December 24, 2016

On this Christmas Eve

We are in Oklahoma for Christmas; Kent has been here since Tuesday. This is his third or fourth trip since October—his mother has been having some health issues and he’s been here to help her with the house, her doctor’s appointments and so forth.

But it’s time for her to leave this house. She’s been a widow for nearly 20 years, and has downsized a couple times. The first house where I met her was huge and had a gigantic yard. So, then she moved into a smaller house, although I had to laugh—it was still about 3000 square feet! But the yard was smaller, which helped, and the house was definitely smaller than the first one.

Then about four or five years ago, she moved into her current house. It’s smaller than the second house, it’s in a small, gated community and yard care is included with the homeowner’s fees. She’s done well here but in the last year, she’s realized it’s gotten to be a little much.

Our arts & crafts project
Kent and I have been helping her sort out her options and she’s found a place that’s quite nice—it’s a one bedroom apartment that faces south so it’s got lots of light. It’s also near where Kent’s brother works so it will be very easy for him to drop by also. Today, Kent's made a floor plan of the apartment and drawn the furniture she thinks she'd like to take. It looks like her gigantic couch won't make it, but pretty much everything else she'd like to have will fit just fine.

Looking ahead, we’ll need to help her pick the furniture she’ll want with her and then help her with selling the rest. It’s a little overwhelming, to be honest. While she’s not a hoarder by any means, she has a lot of stuff and it will take some serious work.

Thinking back to my grandfather, I remember how he purged nearly everything after my grandmother died. At the time, I found it a little weird and depressing. Now, though, I get it. And more than that, it’s how I see myself being as I get older. I’ve always had the urge to pare down. I think that will only increase as we help Kent’s mother.

Raspberry almond tart
For now, we are working to make this a good Christmas for her and for us. I’ve cooked a lot of savory food that she’s been enjoying (like this tomato soup, and this blueberry oatmeal bake). Tonight, we’ll have spaghetti pie, which is a recipe from my own mother. And tomorrow we’ll have my mother’s pork, mashed potatoes, peas, and applesauce. Oh and raspberry tart for dessert.

I hope you are spending this holiday season with people you love.

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