lessons learned in year 1

The three most critical lessons from the first year of living with my mother: practicing patience, problem solving and finding the humor.

zen-2040340_1280

My mother and I worked through many issues during our first 12 months together as adults sharing a space. The key to successful outcomes always involved patience, problem solving and (eventually) finding the humor in almost everything. We tried to keep it simple, working through the issue together. The range of products available for older people – or indeed anyone who needs assistance –  is amazing and many of these products are not overly expensive.  Continue reading “lessons learned in year 1”

carving out a space for Mom

Everyone needs their own space but we also need to have a cohesive flow throughout this small space.

fairy-tale-2229620_1280Finding room in a one-bedroom apartment for another sleeping area was a little challenging. After fighting with the cat for space during renovations, I held my breath about adding another person into the mix. But at least my mother doesn’t bite or scratch!  Continue reading “carving out a space for Mom”

ripping up carpeting and jazzing up a bathroom

Finding that the end reward isn’t necessarily about the product but the satisfaction in sharing. Sickeningly sweet sentiment, I know ….

bathroom-1432362_1280March and April 2016 were busy months, as wood floors replaced old carpeting and the half bath began its transformation. I found myself looking at the calendar, as April and my mother’s arrival loomed in the not-too-distant future.  Continue reading “ripping up carpeting and jazzing up a bathroom”

my kingdom for a walk-in shower

The road to beauty is paved with sledgehammers, miles of pipe and vindictive cats.

renovation-1262389_1280To prepare for my mother’s arrival, several renovation projects needed to be undertaken. The first room to go under the sledgehammer was my bathroom – the only full bathroom in the apartment. It was December 5th, 2015 … the last time I would sleep in my bedroom until early March of the following year.  Continue reading “my kingdom for a walk-in shower”

the first year is the hardest, isn’t it?

Though we obviously knew each other, when mom came to live with my cat and me, there was a whole other level of “getting to know you” for all three of us.

welcome-to-our-home-1205888_1920In April 2016, at age 87, my mother took the courageous step of moving from the northern New York village where she had lived for more than 70 years to live with me in Baltimore. This was amazing for several reasons: she has many good friends in NY, she doesn’t have friends living in Baltimore, she has lived alone for more than 40 years and she is fiercely independent. She also was self-aware enough to realize that living alone was no longer working very well. She gave away or sold nearly everything she owned and moved into my (rather small) apartment to live with me and my cat. Continue reading “the first year is the hardest, isn’t it?”

welcome to the blog

Hello,

Welcome to my new blog! I have written short stories since I was a child and recently, I started writing as a way to process some recent changes in my life. My sister-in-law suggested that others might be interested as well, so I decided to give it a go.

As a starting point, I have three categories for these posts:

  • Caring for an elderly person – in my case, my mother came to live with me
  • Renovations at home
  • Life transitions – including jobs, pets and various other topics

Continue reading “welcome to the blog”