Friday, August 5, 2011

A New Place

It's been an awfully busy summer for our family.  We didn't even have time to take an away-from-home vacation, our first vacation-less summer since 2001, ten years ago!  Luckily, all the busy-ness has been filled with good things, from the end of May when Ed and I were sealed in the Snowflake Temple, to my daughter Sarah's wedding just this past weekend (which I will blog as soon as we get the photos from the photographer).

One of the best things about this summer was having my mother-in-law Caryl come to live near us in mid-June.  She still has her big house and property in far northern Colorado, but for now she is settling nicely into her new apartment in a seniors' (55+) apartment complex just 10 minutes away from our home.

17 June 2011: Caryl tries out a couch at Ashley's Furniture Store.

I would have blogged about Caryl's new place sooner, but I was waiting for her new couch to be delivered.

You see, although she has a whole house full of furniture in Colorado, Caryl had it in her mind that she wanted a few new pieces of furniture for her new home.  She told me she'd never really been able to pick out her own furniture before.  I think it's high time! A 76-year-old woman has every right to choose her own furniture and enjoy the fruits of her labors!

17 June 2011: Caryl and Ed relax at Caryl's new table in the furniture store.

So we drove to two local furniture stores to look at couches and kitchen tables.  We tried a lot of couches before Caryl decided on a pretty blue one at Ashley's Furniture.  The salesperson ordered it for her and said it would arrive in 2-3 weeks, but naturally it took more than a month to get here. 

As for the table, Caryl fell in love with the first one she saw as we walked in the door at Ashley's.  We looked at many others after that, but it was too late; this round table with the beautiful tiled surface had won her heart.  What she loves most about it is the black wrought iron chairs.  She said she's always dreamed of owning wrought iron furniture.  At least she didn't have to wait for this one.  Since that style had been discontinued, she was able to take the store display table and chairs home with her the very next morning.

4 Aug 2011: The new couch looks great in Caryl's living room.
She says it is very comfy and she loves it!

There are still a few boxes to be emptied and a few things Caryl left behind in Colorado that she wishes she had brought, but otherwise she is all moved in.  She likes her new apartment, which is small but roomy.  Just the right size for her to take care of with minimal help.

In a couple of weeks, Ed will be heading back to Colorado and, health permitting, Caryl plans to return with him to pack up the items she discovered she'd like to have here with her.  It will also be the 100th anniversary celebration for the founding of the tiny town she has lived in for the past 20 years.  She doesn't want to miss that party!

Caryl asked me to take a picture of this palm tree.  She wants her son Ken (Ed's younger brother) to see how well it's doing.  Ken is in the Navy and his ship is currently deployed on the ocean somewhere.

One other item caught Caryl's eye at the furniture store and, although it wasn't on her shopping list, she just had to have this wrought iron rocking chair.  Neither Ed nor I find it to be very comfortable, but she loves it.  That's good, because Caryl spends a lot of time in it, watching sports on TV and cheering on her favorite ball team, the Colorado Rockies!

4 Aug 2011: The new tile-topped table fits perfectly in its niche
and matches the rest of the furniture well!

4 Aug 2011: Caryl's cute little kitchen.

Caryl was a little nervous about having new neighbors and getting to know so many people, especially since her eyesight is failing.  She was afraid she wouldn't recognize anyone upon meeting them a second or third time.  But I was never worried.  Caryl is a very social, smart, friendly, funny lady who would fit right in, I was sure of it.  As it turns out, I was right.  She has wonderful neighbors who genuinely like her, and she is enjoying getting to know everyone.  So are we!  We were invited to their Independence Day potluck last month, and we had a great time!  Very nice people!

The apartment also has a nice balcony/porch, which was quickly claimed by Caryl's many plants, transported from Colorado.  She has an honest-to-goodness green thumb and makes everything grow.

Below are some pictures of our front porch for the first few weeks after Caryl moved to Arizona.  We kept her plants at our house until she was all moved in, then we began taking them to her a few at a time each time we went to visit.  Being an unintentional plant-killer myself, it was amazing to enjoy this little jungle on my front porch for a little while!

20 June 2011: Our dog Diego is a bit bemused by all the unfamiliar greenery.

We are so blessed to have Caryl living nearly.  For Ed, it is doubly sweet to have her close enough that he can be there for his mom if she needs anything. He used to worry terribly about her in that big place in "the middle of nowhere" by herself.

As for me and the kids, we just enjoy Caryl so much. She is a humble, patient, kind, generous, clever, wise, and upbeat little lady with a twinkle in her eye and a great sense of humor, the kind that sneaks up and takes you by surprise, causing you to laugh out loud.  It's great to be able to visit with her two or three times each week and get to know her and learn about her family history.  We welcome her to Arizona with open arms!

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