Unexpected turns

We are second day into February and it is Ground Hog Day, officially. Because the groundhog saw his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.  That means for us in northern Minnesota that it will be that many more weeks of cold!  Today it is bright and sunny but that is not to fool us, it is still cold outside.

The unexpected turns is I just said goodbye to my youngest brother as he visited us for several days.  He and his family had been here just a month ago but things have changed quickly in our parents direction.  They are downsizing from a big two story house with a roomy basement into a two bedroom apartment.  They have a garage that has a lot of room for storage but it is about 60 years worth of living that is getting pared down to a small place.

My other sister (I have three) sees this change or “unexpected” turn as sending a kid off to college and getting ready for the dorm room size of things.  Yes, she has been up two weekends in a row to help with her big van. The first weekend we moved two beds and other big pieces with my dad’s van as well.

Next, my other brother will be here this weekend to look at my Dad’s shop and try to convince him to move out of that, inventory and all.  That is the tough part.  He has a LOT of things in this very old shop that he has to heat at about $600 a month.  He puts in wood for the fuel to cut down on the cost but he drives in the middle of the night with wood to stoke the fire.  He is nearly 87 years old and should not be doing this physical kind of labor.

The unexpected turn is that he has a young kind of energy and wants to do things, but my dad is not of sound mind anymore. That is the tough part to watch. I want to be optimistic and think of him as being ready to take on the challenges of life. Reality is what my 82 year old mom sees everyday…he is not capable anymore. I can’t see him sitting in one place but there may be a day where he will need to go to assisted care living.

All this transition into old age is difficult for me to observe and my siblings who live far away do not understand the sense of immediacy of getting the folks out of their established home.  Bewildering for all of us, especially my dad.

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