I’ve done it

My last entry was quite some time ago, and as I write now I realize I just hadn’t felt compelled to come to my computer to write out what I was processing in my mind- which is different for me, writing things out is my usual behavior in matters of gaining mental clarity. In that hiatus I entered my 57th year on this planet, and came to a decision.

After some lengthy deliberation I officially gave my resignation notice as of June 19th. Doing this three years before I had planned gave me small pause, only small. I love where I work and will miss my colleagues, but it is time and I feel good about it. Once I finalized my decision I felt relieved and lightened.

I will have the flexibility now to care for my mother who will be 90 this year and lives on her own 45 minutes up Island-no more renting away from home and husband each winter as in the past three years. No mandatory daily, dark, early morning winter crossings to get to work either, I can go at my leisure.

Time also to bring all those things I left simmering on the back burner to the plate at last. Hopefully nothing vaporized over the years, I won’t know until I lift the lid and have a look ~

Adjustment will of course ensue but I’m ready to meet the challenges!

Shrouded

The fog is back! Well, I suppose it’s a small price to pay living on the Wet, I mean West Coast; those poor East Coasters still digging themselves out from under the ice and snow. Here’s my world this morning on my commute to work. Have to admit fog brings its own beauty to the table, but oh can hardly wait for the sunny days to come!

My dock on P.I.
Log booms loom long, low and dark, town harbour beyond

 

Coming into the inner harbor
Coming into the inner harbor, the Herring boats have been working the last few days

 

The gas docks
The gas docks

Packing for Home- the nuts n’ bolts of island life

 

So moving my belongings of 3 months of living at the vinyl cabin back to my home island involves some logistics, which I would like to share! This process applies to anything of a certain quantity that one happens to be bringing over. For bigger items or larger quantities we have a small skiff company and a barge service available to us.

BTW – I am NOT whining!

First I pack up the car and drive to the marina parkade

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Carry stuff from car down to my boat- this day it took 2 arm loads down

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Drive car to my own parkade across the street. Why not keep the car at the marina parkade?  Difference of $50.

Walk from parkade to boat

Travel across the water to a drop off point

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Unload

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Take boat to my dock

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Taking my valuables, walk to house to pick up van (up to about 5 years ago out of 25 we used a wheelbarrow)

Drive van to pick up spot.

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load stuff (two trips up/down ramp again)

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drive to house

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unload ( two trips)

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And rejoice over all the money I save on Gym memberships!

Give me a moment, I need to think this over.

 

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I had intended to rent my vinyl beach cabin till the end of March but I called the owner on Sunday to let her know I would be vacating at the end of this month.  It’s been three winters now that I rented away from home,  away from my husband.  When I go home on the weekends it just doesn’t feel long enough. It doesn’t help matters that when my husband works he is away for weeks at a time too. I feel out of touch with my home,  with my neighborhood.  Like a visitor.

At the moment my siblings and I are beginning  again to make arrangements to move our mother down to where we all live,  something I was trying to make happen last year because I said to myself,  husband and siblings that I can’t keep living  away form home like this.  But I can’t stand the thought of my mom up here by herself everyday until a weekend when one of us can come and take her out.  She’s unable to drive so she can’t just up and decide to head out on her own.  She’s a shut in.  It was my solution to rent near her although extreme maybe,  and because I was the more flexible of us,  the more independent of us, I don’t know, I just did what I knew I could do, wanted to do without question.

But I most certainly can’t anymore.  I’m feeling stress now.  Of course where my home is has a lot to do with my decision to rent up here, If my husband and I lived in town it would be much less stressful. A move for my mom must happen this summer,  so by the winter she’s settled.  I want her to  be part of our loop by living in our small city.  So my siblings, her grandchildren and great grandchildren and I can  without much arranging  swing by during our day or evening  and spend time with her.  One brother struggles with even affording the gas it takes to drive up here to see her in her current home,  my sister works all week 9-5, my other brother is nearly non existent other than the obligatory visits, but usually it’s just a phone call, on birthdays and christmas.

Gestures of moving her last summer was progressing,  but then it all got bogged down with financial questions that she wouldn’t be able to afford to live in a private Independent Care accommodation.  That maybe she could just increase her home nursing care instead and stay where she is. My mom is part of a Life Interest Estate from her second husband which involves its own set of logistics that had needed to be addressed early on in the process so we would know how to conduct the whole transaction of moving.  So another winter came and here I am.

Now we know she can afford the move and my siblings are now fully engaged.

Just needing to breath all this out, thank you for listening.

 

 

Here and There

I have been grappling with this particular issue lately. At this juncture in my middle-aged life (as with millions of Boomers) it involves the concerns of caring for a parent, who if fortunate enough to have reached into their octogenarian years, appreciate and need their children’s attention.  A role reversal if you will.

My post heading Here and There is most illustrative of my current residential condition.

As you may know from my profile I live on an island and commute by boat each day to work. And now that I’ve been attending to my mom who lives on her own and is one hour away logistics have to be managed. Now from work I can be up There  (Moms place) in 25 minutes – no problem- but during the winter the days are then dark and wet or icy and to drive back Here  (home) after a day at work and traveling up to see mom makes for a long, long day with burn out waiting in the wings.

So last year I had rented a trailer a few minutes from her house up There to alleviate the return commute each evening. It was simple. On weekends I would return to husband and home back Here, and my sister would then be available to assist and visit our mom then.

Not the best recipe for the happiest of marriages but he is very supportive and understands the condition.

To move her to a closer proximity to us, her children, into an Assisted Living home is proving to be a lengthy process of waiting for assessment (which we are) to then be placed onto a waiting list. Which presently is at one year.

She is best where she is for now. And we can make it work.

But coming up to this winter I thought I wouldn’t “move” away again. I  decided to retire from my work at the university, that my mom is now my occupation. I could then spend the day with her, getting her out to swimming and walks, errands and appointments returning to my island home by the early evening. Happy wife, happy husband-

Well I was pretty set with that decision for several weeks.

Then I decided again.

I decided instead to once more look for a place to rent for the winter. I enjoy my work. I’m not ready to stop. I will give it one more winter. She may move by next year, she may not, or she may be gone. But one more winter.

And the sad truth be told, It is a temporary situation. It could all change in a heartbeat.

 

 

 

 

Water

Better late than never, having missed the first couple of days of Blog U Photography 101- Just me bringing up the rear. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to post regarding this particular theme about Water. It has quite frankly been my life in every way.

Born in Southern California I not only spent most of my free childhood time at Huntington Beach, we also had a pool in our backyard where at 5 years old I first became a fish. Never swimming on top of the water- always under.

When I was 14 my family moved to British Columbia, our first house was a modest home right on the waterfront. My aunt gave me a row boat to use in the bay and I did any chance I could. I would row out as far as I could and sit and think.

Today I’m living on a small island surrounded by water, married to a man who’s passion is sailing  (and being a Cancer makes him a “water sign”)- we bought a 30 foot sailboat a year after we married and have her still – and each other- 24 years later.

And each day when I go and return from work I take my boat 1.5 km across the water, winter and summer, storm, fog or clear and calm.

Of course one more thing – I live on the Vancouver Island coast. It rains a lot!1654168_10152168562130733_89031500_n

The comings and goings of a water logged Island dweller
The comings and goings of a water logged Island dweller