Thursday, January 14, 2010


2010 is well started, and I’ve just had my birthday. Our Etsy Blogger Carnival choices are to look back at 2009, or forward to 2010. I want to look forward, and picture my hopes and plans for this year.

In the fall of last year, my Mom’s home was burglarized. I’m convinced she came home while they were still at it, because of what they didn’t take—two of three drawers in the china cabinet were emptied, but not the third, and the valuables on top of Mama’s dresser were taken, but nothing from the drawers. It seemed that they heard the garage door opening and bolted out the front door while Mom was coming in the back.

My nephew is Mama’s (and our) insurance agent. I was sitting in Mama’s living room with her, discussing insurance forms and claims and the like when, with Ryan on the speaker phone, when he said, “So,Grandma. When are you going to move up to the (Hood River) Valley?” That would put Mom in the same town as her siblings and a whole flock of nieces and nephews and friends.

Mama answered with some acerbity, “When my kids and grandkids come down here and help me pack up, and sell my house, and find a new one, I’ll move!” Well, then.

We let that ride through the holidays, and then the first week of January I got a bit of a bee in my bonnet. I wonder what I could find if I just Googled “Hood River Real Estate”, I thought. No sooner thought than done, and scant minutes later I was on the phone with Mom, with three possibilities. Several days later we were in the Valley with a real estate agent, the next day we’d put an offer in on a place that seems to be perfect, the seller countered on Monday, and we’ve countered that offer, and now have an acceptance.

I think we’re all a bit stunned at the speed of it. And now my head is full of plans, and schedules, and trips, and packing. That is my plan for 2010, to get Mama moved to her new place, and settled. Easy. Not.

Mom currently lives in a BIG house. It has five bedrooms, four and a half baths, a big family room, living room, separate dining room, office, and five car garage. She’s 84, and you’d think she’d be rattling around like a marble in a Red Flyer wagon, but no, she’s all over that place, and while she might not do an awful lot in the daylight basement, with its two bedrooms and baths and family room, let me tell you, she fully inhabits the rest of the house! And it is stuffed to the brim with the accumulation of twenty-five years in one place, much of it while Dad and Mom ran the place as a bed and breakfast.

Mama’s head is now full of check lists—what she’ll take, who gets what that she’s giving away, what goes into a moving/garage sale, what gets sent to the Goodwill, what repairs my DH will need to make before selling, what remodeling projects will take place in her new home. We spend hours on the phone every day, discussing everything.

My other plans for 2010:

"^"Add several new shows to my line-up. My least favorite thing is doing new shows. They make me tense, as I’m always worried I’ll get lost, or will forget to fill out some form or other, or do something stupid, so I like to have shows I can do every year, and be comfortable with.

"^" Work with my oldest daughter to come up with new ways to use the Coffee Pot People. Melody is full of ideas, more than I can keep up with, and I can’t think of anything but to try them out!

"^" My DH wants to add a sixth house to our property. Thankfully, I don’t think that will involve me much.

"^" But he also wants to buy another property we’ve found, and move to it! Picture me crawling under the table screeching “NO! NO! NO!!!” I’d probably like the new place. It looks from the outside like a 1970’s split level, and is nice and big, but I love this house. However, the property is a real fixer-upper, and we’d probably do better to rent out this house and live in the new one. eeek. We’ve stuffed this house almost as much as Mom and Dad did theirs.

Just one part of DH's collectibles

"^" And there’s my other goal: to empty this place out, whether we move or not. The DH has finally decided his collections need to go. The sheer volume of things is depressing him, and I can only sing Hallelujah! Over the years he has collected paper weights (not the pretty ones—the clear glass ones) antique pictures and frames, Scotty dog figurines, poker chip sets, bird cages and radio cabinets. The camera is ready, Craig’s List is bookmarked. Let’s clear the decks!

"^" Last, I want to get organized. Of course, I say that every year. What would I resolve to do, if I ever managed that one? I ask you.

Today is my birthday. It’s been a wonderful, quietly productive day, and I’ve felt less stressed than I have in some weeks. Last night, I went to the pub sing. There were probably thirty raucous singers lining both sides of a very long table littered with beer glasses, pitchers of beer and water and plates of French fries. I didn’t tell anyone my birthday was coming up, but I’d been there only a few minutes when one of the guys turned to me and said, “Isn’t it your birthday?”

“You know that?!? It isn’t until tomorrow,” I was surprised, and laughing a little, “so you can’t sing to me!”

“Oh, I’m not so sure about that.”

Sure enough, late in the evening, along about 11:30, John said, “We need a dirge. We need a DIRGE!” and began to sing that birthday song that goes to the tune of Volga Boatmen—“Happy birthday, happy birthday, now that you’re the age you are, your demise cannot be far!” and other such edifying verses. As that one was ending, they segued into “Happy birthday, happy birthday, we love you” (can’t remember what the tune is from, but it’s a waltz). And when they were through with that, Hugo stood and sang, “Whyiiiiiieeee…” which got everyone’s attention, and immediately they were all singing, “Why was she born so beautiful? Why was she born at all? She’s nobody use to anyone! She’s nobody use at all!” It was lovely wonderful, and I will not soon forget it.


Athena said...

Happy Birthday, Anitra! That last song made me chuckle. Good luck with all your goals. I don't envy having to empty out your mom's house, and all your stuff: a few years ago, my sister and I helped my parents move, and all the accumulation was overwhelming. I used to love yard-sailing; after that, not so much. :/

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Happy Birthday Anitra! It sounds like you certainly have your work cut out for you this year - good luck with everything!

Splendid Little Stars said...

awesomeness! The happy birthday songs and celebration! never heard of those songs, but they sound fun.
You have quite a lot on your plate, there. I had to pack up my mom's place last year (after she died) which wasn't as large as your mom's. But I had to be the decision maker for everything.
I always say, "my next move will be in a pine box!"
Good luck with those goals. I know you will have creative fun, too.

Linda Pruitt said...

I do understand about packing up your mom's house! My mom is 81 and her house is not stacked but needs repairs. One room has all of my dad's things (he passed about 7 yers ago.) No one has gone in there much, and I live in another state. When we do, the decisions will be tough for my mom.

Oh . . . Happy Birthday!

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Now those are some goals!
I can understand why you haven't had time for the forums lately!
Good luck to you in all your 2010 goals :)

storybeader said...

first of all, happy birthday! Nice to hear your mom will be close - I so wish to move closer to my family... maybe when I retire...

The new year? let's wish for a good one. It actually sounds like a lot of fun - packing up and planning! I know you have A LOT of things to organize - didn't know DH had his far share. Good luck on that!

tamdoll said...

First of all, Happy Birthday!
You sure have your plate full for 2010, and it sounds like you can handle it all.
Everyone seems pretty optimistic and setting realistic goals for 2010, it's very encouraging.

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