NECESSARY STEPS ON THE CRITICAL PATH
I figured I’d update my faithful followers and occasional readers on WHY there is not more progress toward Book 2 in the Pride’s Children trilogy.
And reassure you – there has been some progress, which I will write about when the current scene is actually written, because I discovered a new technique (for me), and it dislodged the logjam.
But I’m not actually writing yet because…
I have to focus now on getting out of this temporary place as soon as possible.
Which in practical terms has meant such things as borrowing a box of crayons from Facilities (who got it from the ‘healthcare activity department’) – to decide which colors go where.
Above is the winner.
You’d think they’d have visualization tools in a place where apartments are being renovated for each new set of residents, some nice piece of software with all the floor plans already included, and a quick way to try your choices even for the non-computer-savvy crowd.
Turnover is significant in a community this large
I hadn’t really thought about what it means to be 96% occupied, but one thing we found was that certain apartments – if you have a preference – may not come up for reoccupation as often as you might need, so there are waiting lists.
Also, a community of this size (and with permanent residents) may have a large number of units turn over every year (around 20, for a rough estimate), and that each of these gets renovated to the taste of the new occupant.
In an ordinary apartment complex, many things are standardized, and the tenants don’t decide what the floor coverings will be, and often have no choice of colors. Management makes changes mostly on its own schedule.
In a different community, one of ownership – houses or condominiums – individual owners arrange for – and pay for – their own choices with individual contractors.
But in a CCRC, management makes the changes according to the new residents‘ wishes. Too many cooks. Many of those ‘cooks’ also think of the apartment they don’t own as if it were their own new house. Many are willing to pay for significant upgrades – because they’re used to having their own way. Which process may also delay the completion of the new units, so the residents can’t move in!
We’re going for the simpler version
Let management do most of what they want – it seems good enough, and we’re easy.
But easy or not, we still have to sign off on everything, and it turns out their desire to standardize more from here on (and speed up the turnover of units) is getting a bit of pushback from us because ours is the first apartment of our floorplan in the new system, and we think there’s room for improvement. So we make very logical explanations of why something is better.
And they, wanting new people to be happy, have listened.
So the battle is to make the decisions as quickly as possible – but with foresight and questions and details and…
Meanwhile, we’re occupying two units.
And I desperately want to get back to my writing, especially now that I’ve figured out a path through the maze, but I can’t, in due conscience, live with a faucet which is installed so far back on the bathroom countertop that you can’t move the lever which closes the sink. Or a host of other minor atrocities.
So we move each day a little closer
And I try to have a little more patience, and move things along, but still not end up with a light fixture in the bathroom with naked compact fluorescent bulbs!
So, for your delectation – and in appreciation of your patience and because I haven’t blogged in too long – I give you my crayon drawings.
The colors are the ones we both still like – and will remind us of the home we sold (and which doesn’t probably look anything like that any more).
We don’t like white. Not for floors. They always look dirty, always show up pieces of stuff, always need vacuuming, and require instant action if you spill something so it doesn’t stain permanently. Newer carpeting is better, but I’m still not impressed. White is loved by designers because it artificially makes places look bigger. ‘Artificially’ is the key word.
And you have to watch these people very carefully: so far, every time we’ve had a layout presented to us which solved a problem, and which we now approve of – they have snuck something else in which wasn’t a problem before – and now is. I’m sure that’s a finite problem, and we will eventually lock it in – but we have to watch each new printout for the removal of things we thought we’d already agreed on!
Authority and responsibility should go together, in principle
But this process doesn’t work that way, because there are three parties involved. We’ll be living in the new apartment for the rest of our lifetime’s ability to live independently (a sobering thought), but we’re not paying for most of the renovations – except through the buy-in, but that’s not a direct payment to the contractor.
We have not been given a budget (they like to keep that under their hat), except that they’ve finally given us a number to aim for in the carpeting cost (we’re off to use that information today).
We don’t know exactly what the budget is for appliances – but the facility likes to keep them in certain families because they have spare parts which makes maintenance easier for them (except that they had given us the option of a refrigerator with a water dispenser, which we enthusiastically accepted, and then rescinded it).
I drink a lot of water. I’ve been filling water bottles and putting them in the fridge. Back in NJ I didn’t take the trouble to have the icemaker fixed, and so spent a lot of time filling ice cube trays, and don’t want to be doing either for the rest of my life, especially as I get older and feebler…
And so it boring goes
It should be over soon.
Except then for making sure they do what we thought we agreed to have them do.
Before correcting mistakes gets too costly.
Pray for me, sympathize, and this may happen to you, too, some day – so learn what you can.
And I’ll be back to blogging about something less mundane asap.
Happy to hear your stories of remodeling, especially if I can learn something useful for us now.
Meanwhile, check the upper right hand column of this blog if you have Christmas presents to select for literate grownup readers.