Friday, August 14, 2009

Seven Quick Takes -- Eventful Week Edition

This week has been one of the most eventful in the last few years. Starting with:

1. On Sunday morning we dropped Tommy off at the airport to fly to Duluth to visit George. Tommy was gone for two weeks earlier this summer at a "college camp". He took two one-week classes at the school Maggie graduated from in Florida, and really enjoyed himself. Roger and I both enjoyed and disliked our first taste of a totally empty nest. I think enjoyed won, but we still had the cat and the dog to deal with, so spontaneity was not something we got to enjoy. I'm already plotting to hand off the animals to some of the kids as the grandchildren get older....

At any rate, the expectation had been that we'd have another week on our own, and I was looking forward to it. But I was also nervous, because...

2. On Monday morning we got the "offer" from the state Department of Transportation to buy our house. For the last seven years we've anticipated, and then known, that we were in the buyout footprint for a massive road and bridge project. We've spent "the last Christmas in this house" a couple of times, and only didn't feel that way last year because Christmas was at Arwen's house because Blaise was imminent. Of course, in the last seven years housing prices have dropped precipitously. In my opinion, the state was very generous with us. They valued the house
at about $30 thousand higher than I would have expected, and in Michigan all homeowners bought out for public projects have to receive 125% of the value. So that's a nice chunk of change, except that we have a substantial HELOC to pay off. The drop in real estate prices means that we will be able to find more house for less money than would have been possible several years ago, but the slowness of Roger's business (hence the HELOC) mean's we're not sure how much of a mortgage we'll qualify for. We'd have been dealing with finding out this week, but....

3. On Monday afternoon Roger flew off to New Mexico because his dad and stepmother were having a health crisis. They had a major one about five years ago, and at that point Roger and his six siblings tried to persuade them to move closer to somebody. (The nearest kids are in California.) But things stabilized, and they decided they'd be OK on their own for a while.

This crisis has persuaded Roger's siblings that something needs to be done now. For the first part of the week they were actively working to make that happen. But through a combination of factors -- which I believe to include personality quirks, old-age-related deterioration, and a complete inability to believe they are loved -- the folks decided that nope, they can still make it on their own. They turned down a very reasonable and loving plan, and have suggested that the kids' self-interest was a factor. My heart bleeds for Roger and my sibs-in-law. However...

4. The working together to set up the plan the folks rejected has brought these three sisters and four brother together in a way they haven't been in years. Between emails and phone calls, everybody has been kept in the loop. And they have realized that even if Dad doesn't believe they love him, they KNOW they love each other. Visits are being planned, and I may even have to dust off the planning stuff for the family reunion that Roger and I were aiming to put together until 9/11 knocked us off track. (And now there are babies, including a great-niece due in about a month!) Roger's family has a track record of only getting together for weddings and funerals, and I think they're planning to change that. This is good!

5. Also good, to my surprise, has been being "home alone" this week. I've been trying to remember the last time I was totally alone for five days and four nights, and I'm sure it was before we were married. Of course I've done the "temporary single parent" thing many times over the years -- the most memorable being about 15 years ago, when Roger was gone 18 days out of 21 -- but this time the only demands on me are being made by JoeDog and LucasKitty, and they're pretty low maintenance, especially when I sit out on the deck in the evening. The deck is what
I'm going to miss the most about this house when we move. We put money into it knowing that we'd only be able to use it until we were bought out, and it's been worth every penny.

For the most part I've just been going through my regular routine this week (laundry on Tuesday, grocery shop on Thursday, etc.) The one thing that has NOT been routine is how late I've been staying up. Roger is an early riser, and I'm -- or I was when I was younger -- a regular night owl. Our compromise plan for the summer has consisted of going to bed at 10, with Roger getting up at 6 and me at 7 or 7:30. But the last few nights I've been up past midnight. At least when he comes home tonight he will be somewhat adjusted to a more western time zone.

And I'm REALLY glad he'll be home tonight because.....

6. Tomorrow is our 28th wedding anniversary!

One of the things that's been a little sad about this week (aside from his folks making a poor decision, which is a lot sad) is that Roger and I haven't been able to share one of our silly little traditions. "Twenty-eight years ago today we were taking our families out for Chinese food" (or "setting up the church basement for the reception", or "cutting up broccoli at the C's house" -- we catered our own reception.) But the "being married" is way more important than the wedding was, and even when I'm too old and/or ga-ga to remember any of that any more, I'll still be very happy that we got married!

We do have a celebration planned for tomorrow. We always go out to eat for our anniversary. Some years when there's plenty of money we go to a fancy restaurant on the water. More than once, in leaner years, we've gone to McDonald's, which is more romantic than it sounds. After our reception we went to some friends' house to open presents, and left from there for our honeymoon. Neither of us ate much at the reception, and we were starving, so we went to McDonald's on the way out of town. When our anniversary dinner is there, it's still the same McDonald's!

This year, although things are lean, we have a better plan. For our 25th anniversary we received one of these, and we are going to fill it with wine and cheese and bread and Milano cookies and dress in our laid-back best and have a wonderful dinner somewhere yet to be determined (we're not sure if the park we'd prefer has a "no alcohol" rule.) But we will have fun!

And then Sunday morning...

7. We will drive to Arwen and Rosie's town and pick up Tommy. George made his airline arrangements, and he flies into "Big City Airport" arriving at 12:30 AM!! I may be a night owl, but driving to the airport is not how I plan to spend the evening of my anniversary. So the married kids (who live closer to the airport anyway) are going to retrieve him for the night. We will drive down and join them for mass, and spend some time with the grandkids before coming home to close out our eventful week!

Seven Quick Takes are hosted here.

3 comments:

Lindsay said...

Early happy anniversary, you two! :o) That's really wonderful.

(I will confess that I was more than a little excited to see that you had a new post up, so I decided to forgo my usual anal-retentive method of reading the new material in my feed reader and jumped straight to yours first. I'm glad I did! Though I think now looking at it all out of order is going to bother me.. but it was well worth it.)

Tracy said...

Happy anniversary! And I'm glad that you'll be out of limbo, though sorry you have to move. I hope the perfect place presents itself to you soon!

Jen said...

Happy anniversary! I hope you have a lovely evening together.