Were you wondering where we were


Part of Alicia's face with pool in background


This is what I moved Heaven and Earth for: to move to a place with a pool. Not just any pool, but one in the same building, and one of four.

And, of course, we moved so the kids won’t have to wait until we’re even older, and then help move Mom and Dad into the old folks home.

Things have changed in the world, and we no longer needed a big house and two cars in the suburbs to bring up a family.

And we were definitely not enjoying life, taking care of said house. Most of our friends are moving – and suddenly our quiet suburban court was no longer the place where we hung out. Not that I’ve been comfortable hanging out outside for years now, since I stopped being able, physically, to do even a half-hour of gardening (I truly didn’t mind pulling weeds) at a stretch. No point in lovely perennials if you never get out of the house.

The saga continues

We’re living in our second temporary quarters of the move.

The first was an Extended Stay America just north of Quakerbridge Mall on Route 1 in central NJ. We were there from the day before the movers took our stuff away (a night we slept two hours at the motel, and then stayed up all night at the old homestead while trying to get everything packed before the movers came.

Not the best method for me – I’d sleep a half-hour, get up to pack for a couple hours, repeat – all night long. I’ve packed that way for ‘vacation’ trips before, and it isn’t pretty. But it had to be done.

But this is much better because we’re at the guest suite until our furniture and boxes arrive at the end of the first week of September (NJ is a long way from California by moving van), and finally starting to catch up on sleep and get hooked into the system here.

The food is too good

Shrimp and lovely no-sugar-added carrot cake for dinner tonight, with a salad someone else prepared – but I can already see we will have to be careful, or the pounds will pile on – and the clothes arriving next week won’t fit!

The hours are a little on the early side for what we’ve been accustomed to, and we’re getting into the habit of being exhausted well before midnight – feels odd to a confirmed night owl, but you don’t argue with dining room hours if you want to be fed.

Photo of fitness center showing hot tub, therapy pool, and indoor pool

It took me two days, but I finally had time and energy – dropped the laundry off on the way down, and headed for the pool. For a while.

Then I took a shower in their well-appointed locker room (people don’t usually bother with locks) in the handicapped stall because our unit doesn’t have the seated shower. Let me tell you, I haven’t felt this safe getting clean since we took down the shower doors back in NJ months ago because the agent said the house looked tacky with them (they were old and corroding, but I could lightly hold onto the inside bar for some stability).

I have achieved my goal of avoiding a fall, even thought vertically challenged. We’ll have one of these showers in the permanent 2 BR apartment when we get it, but meanwhile I will take my safe showers by the pool. Falls are a major cause of problems for people as they get older.

So the first stage of the move in is over (we put things in the drawers!), and by the next time I write, we should be in our permanent temporary (1 BR) quarters, waiting to see what becomes available for a 2 BR.

In excellent spirits, if still figuring out where everything is

And you do need to take your keys and ID badge with you every time.

Not completely coherent here, but we are okay, the worst is probably over (except for the move IN coming up, and the second one some time in the future), and everyone here has been so nice.

I have to figure out a better way to send the photos to the blog from the iPhone, too, but too many details to worry about right now, and my cobbled get-arounds eventually work.

So bye for now. More when I have it. Moving is a pain for everyone, I’m sure, but eventually it will all be over.

Can’t wait to get settled enough to write – I’m way behind.

Oh, and the fitness expert/instructor seems awfully confident she can get me walking again. Please pray.



21 thoughts on “Were you wondering where we were

  1. M T McGuire

    Yay you are so close to the end of the marathon. I am in awe of you as it must have been a huge, huge, effort. Congratulations, live long and prosper in your swanky new place.




    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Hadn’t thought of it as swanky, but I guess having a place where senior needs are put FIRST is swanky – when compared with the opposite. It’s more… comfortable. Everything has handrails – but the ones in the halls are painted to match the dark wood. And the ones on the steps in the pool outside are padded to help you get a grip to get out of the pool. Things like that.

      Making it possible to stay independent longer is the goal. We’ve met several couples where one partner is failing mentally or physically while the other is still hale and hearty, and those couples will stay in independent living as long as possible. Without the spouse, though, you will need to move along to the higher levels of care – for your own safety.

      I guess it’s swanky, too, in that this model for older adults exists at all – definitely not a ‘nursing home’ or ‘old folk home’ where the model is institutional and paternalistic. I’m just spoiled to be able to afford it. More people can than realize it CAN afford it – if they sell their home to pay for the buy-in. It requires pre-planning, and you are then not able to leave the home (and its value) to your kids.

      But people don’t realize how much effort it is to have Mom and Dad at home (you do, from experience), and how expensive it is. Paying for caretakers can eat up financial resources appallingly quickly.


  2. joey

    So glad you’re swimming! 😀 And your eye is smiling! 😀
    I do believe she’ll have you walking again. The pool is going to take a lot of pressure off your joints and build muscle strength.
    I hope soon you are in your permanent residence.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Hope so, too. That would show the doctors who insist I need surgery, and then won’t promise anything about walking.

      The pain is not improved yet – we’ll see how that does. I’ve never had access to a pool for longer than a week at a resort, and that wasn’t enough, but optimism on the part of the staff who have been here a long time is a good sign.

      And if not, boy, that water feels good! These are all salt-water pools, and they leave your skin baby-soft.

      I have initiated the search for the recumbent bike and the adult trike said to have been here before. Apparently, people don’t bike much, but I can bike much better than I can walk, and I intend to do so.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. joey

        I prefer a recumbent when dealing with stationary bikes.
        Maybe you do need surgery, but if you’re walking before surgery, you’ll have a much better outcome and will certainly walk after.
        I love a saltwater pool, too. Only had the pleasure a handful of times, but I love them too.


        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          I don’t want a recumbent for toodling around the site, which is big enough, plus local streets, for my tiny bit of energy. Too low. Stationary – I’ll try what they have.

          And surgery ten years ago took a year to recover from – not something I want to repeat older and weaker. I want to write – and I can’t do that unless I’m alive.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. J.M. Ney-Grimm

    Wow! Somehow I feel really happy and excited that you are now on the west coast. I realize that you still have a fair bit ahead of you regarding settling in. But, wow! You are there! This is awesome!


        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          Thanks! There is so much to do that I’ve exhausted myself trying to even taste what’s available – pool time is draining.

          I want to get as ‘better’ as I can, but must do so within my own constraints. I’ve been pushing those way too hard for way too long. I’m starting to pay for that – last night was very twitchy.


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