Sunday, August 13, 2017


      Ed calls from Florida, cautiously ecstatic. They had their first open house since Frank did the makeover, and they’ve already received a bid on the house. It doesn’t come close to enough money, but Ed is sure there’s room for negotiation.
     Kathie’s pleas to B‑Dry have paid off. They advanced her spot on the waiting list and have waterproofed her basement two months ahead of schedule. She and Frank and I have been clearing out all their excess possessions so they can be replaced by all of Ed’s excess possessions.
     After months of broken promises, the engineer Kathie hired last May finally submitted to the Conservation Committee the building plans for the sewer connection. The delays have made Ed extremely nervous, especially now that they may actually have a buyer for the Florida house. He calls Kathie every night, looking for reassurance that he and Aliceann et cetera will be able to move north whenever they have to. He is confused about the weather; he worries that the remodeling will proceed too slowly now that it is “winter up there.” Kathie laughs and says, “Dad, it’s summer up here.” “It can’t be,” he replies. “It’s summer down here so it must be winter up there.” Kathie tries to explain that even though it’s cooler up here than down there, it’s still summer up here too. He wants to believe her but sounds dubious.
     To help convince Ed and Aliceann that all the obstacles will be overcome and there really will be an apartment for them, Kathie supplements telephoned descriptions with building plans drafted by Frank’s nephew, an architect. The former garage will house a spacious, wheelchair-accessible bathroom with roll-in shower, a large bedroom, a little office area for Ed’s large desk, situated so that he can look out over the driveway to the trees and pond beyond, and a spacious eat-in kitchen. The large formal living room/dining room area will be divided into two rooms—a family room and a studio for Aliceann with a fireplace and bay window looking out on the meadow and pond.
     The blueprints lead, of course, to new over-the-phone discussions. Ed and Aliceann are having a hard time visualizing what the final space will look like, especially when the plans change for either financial or accessibility reasons, but say they trust Kathie and Frank to go ahead with what they think is best. One essential component that they check on daily: the sizable attached cat pen where their babies can get out in the fresh air. It will need a roof and a dozen padlocks, since all six foxy felines are known escape artists. 
     Ed calls with big news.  The house in Florida is sold.  Not for anywhere near the price he was hoping for, but enough to get out from under the primary mortgage and make their move.  They are overwhelmed.  In addition to packing up the remaining half of their house and the two sheds and arranging for the movers, there are plane reservations to make for themselves and the two dogs and six cats, their Medicare and supplemental health insurance to be switched to Massachusetts, appointments scheduled for Edward in the Boston area with a new primary care physician, a urologist, a dermatologist, a neurologist, and a new veterinarian who will be overjoyed at the prospect of eight potential pampered patients.

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