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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-18-2007, 10:51 AM   #81
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Another fine mess the old folks get themselves into..

Nords it will all work out.

I am just glad my father decided to move from the suburbs of Philly to Ocala Fl this week bypassing North Carolina!!

500+ miles distance is GOOD!!

Now if I could figure out what to do with my wifes family units that live in the same town we moved to??

These people are really CRAZY!!!

Distance is good repeat distance is good repeat distance is good repeat.... on and on!!!!
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-18-2007, 11:07 PM   #82
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Hey Nords...any chance of getting them to fly on Jet Blue?
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It's good to be back
Old 03-06-2007, 09:05 AM   #83
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It's good to be back

We're back from San Antonio after a fun-filled 11-hour flight. But that's another post.

My PILs had a great move so far. The crew took good care of the high-value items, they packed quickly on moving day, and they seem to have a good price. I don't know if this firm is that much better than the company my PILs used five years ago or if my PILs were better prepared for the movers...

We got home from the airport about 5:45 PM and would have taken them back for the redeye at 7 PM. However they'd decided to call an airport shuttle (in case our flight was late?) so I appreciated not having to make that drive again. We all sat around and caught up for an hour before they left. They both seemed calm, although my FIL has been much quieter these last few months. It's too easy to make up reasons for that-- I don't know if there's a problem or if he's thinking of all the work ahead of them or if it's just his hearing aid.

It was good to see how well our kid got along with Grandma & Grandpa while we were gone. We were concerned about distancing or the "You're not raising our grandkid right" complaints but everyone did great together.

I can't help feeling that another shoe will drop in the next few months. Maybe a medical one? However we may never learn what caused this sudden change of heart and such a rapid departure. In the meantime-- huge sigh of relief. Hopefully it's the end of this thread.

Spouse is still breaking out into spontaneous happy dances...
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Re: It's good to be back
Old 03-06-2007, 10:44 AM   #84
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Re: It's good to be back

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
...
It was good to see how well our kid got along with Grandma & Grandpa while we were gone. We were concerned about distancing or the "You're not raising our grandkid right" complaints but everyone did great together.

I can't help feeling that another shoe will drop in the next few months. Maybe a medical one? However we may never learn what caused this sudden change of heart and such a rapid departure. In the meantime-- huge sigh of relief. Hopefully it's the end of this thread.
....
I think kid and Grandparents both understood that the time was precious and appreciated each other.

This big a move is very stressful. I would't be surprised to see a change in health status as a result. I assume your BIL has lined up a health care team just in case.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-06-2007, 11:39 AM   #85
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Free at last!
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-06-2007, 10:41 PM   #86
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

I'm glad there is some resolution. Your patient attitude towards trying times will be something you can be proud of for a long time. DW would love if I could be as patient with her parents!
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-08-2007, 08:33 PM   #87
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

nords-

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear DD (as well as PIL's) made out okay.

On to the next chapter .............

Jane

PS Hope the trip with DW was good (or Great?) At least a good memory to last until next opportunity.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-27-2007, 01:39 AM   #88
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

After three weeks, including their Elderhostel in Charleston, we got my PIL's new phone number. (FIL had cancelled his ISP, including his e-mail account, so that he wouldn't waste the $4.95/month while they were traveling.) We haven't even had a postcard since they left, so my spouse dutifully made the call.

They're all moved in and they're thrilled with their new life. The movers were great (!), they loved the Elderhostel, they love their condo (their upgrades are better than the neighbor's), they love their neighbors, they love the fitness center, they love walking to the library and the grocery store, they love no yardwork, and they love all of the bus & package tours that the management arranges for its residents. They've made lots of new friends. MIL didn't even utter a complaint for 15 minutes, a new record. (In case you're wondering, the last owner had lost the condo's can of matching touch-up paint.) We've heard more happiness in this 20-minute phone call than we've heard for the entire last year. They've already signed up for a couple more Elderhostels and several day trips.

They still haven't really talked about why they left the islands and they probably never will. A clue to their departure was MIL's comment that they "don't feel anymore like they were just sitting around the house waiting for something to happen." A less appetizing clue was the comment that they "love living with people just like us". Sigh. I sure hope they're referring to the fact that they're back among older long-time Maryland residents who grew up in the Bronx, but I doubt it.

I think they moved to Hawaii in 2001 for two big reasons: to watch their grandkid grow up and to enjoy the weather. I think they eventually realized that this wasn't worth the effort of having to widen their social circle and change their travel preferences.

But I guess their experience could best be described as "failure to acculturate". If anything we felt that they didn't try very hard to spend enough time with their granddaughter. They could theoretically recreate the things they left behind but they either wouldn't or couldn't. I'm mystified by the idea that they couldn't find any Hawaii trips or activities that would bring them as much pleasure as riding a bus to spend the day at Baltimore's inner harbor for the gazillionth time. I can understand having trouble making friends, but ye gods-- they figured out how to find Oahu's Civil War Roundtable and they certainly knew where to go for religious or other social activities. They raved about Hawaii's weather when they skipped their first winter, but eventually their house got darker & darker (more shadecloth, more curtains, and light blocks) and they stopped going out in the sun. (In Hawaii.) Maybe the basal-cell carcinoma was the last straw.

Today FIL is thrilled to have a free public gym with access to a personal trainer, but five years ago we heard ad nauseum about the bargain he found on his home gym and how he didn't have to fight the crowds to get a good workout. MIL used to groan about hauling shopping bags home from Oahu's Costco on their evening walk but now she's happily bought a wheeled pullcart for her walks to the condo's nearby Food Lion. It's hard to separate preference from rationalization.

I wonder if they easily created a social circle in their 40s & 50s but couldn't do it again in their 60s. I wonder if they found a lot of joy in traveling to Civil War battlefields again & again in their 40s & 50s but couldn't create similar memorable trips around the islands in their 60s. I wonder if they dug such a rut for themselves that they couldn't get out of it (or didn't want to). Maybe they'll spend the next 30 years doing the exact same things in the exact same places that they've been doing for the last 30.

By unspoken mutual agreement I don't think we'll be seeing them for a year or two. If our next college-scouting expedition is nearby then we'll set up a visit, but I doubt they'll make the 11-hour flight out here this decade. Once again the separation seems to be a good thing.

Spouse and I have discussed this long, frequently, & therapeutically. It's not about us. However I sure hope we live our lives differently, or at least recognize the possibility that we won't want to uproot when we're older. I'd like to think that all our years in the Navy taught us how to build a life anywhere for the rest of our lives. But clearly there's a certain amount of risk inherent in moving to be near the grandkids!

BIL doesn't have a healthcare plan in place for his parents any more than we did. It's their responsibility, not his, and anyway he's not called upon as much because he's working and thus his time is considered more valuable. But I think PILs have a much better mutual support system in their new condo than they had in Oahu. And the burden's not on us right now!

BTW spouse and I had a wonderful time in San Antonio. If I couldn't live in Hawaii or San Diego or even Monterey then I'd live in San Antonio-- despite, of course, all the scorpions, fire ants, tarantulas, rattlers, tornados, earthquakes, flash floods, piranhas, and cannibals. (Did I say that right, REW?) And I have no intention of learning what Texas' August weather is like, but I'll always treasure my photos of the world's largest mulch fire.

OK, back to work. Gotta write up a lease, figure out what locks all these keys go to, and finish cleaning the screens & windows. The new tenants arrive Saturday!
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-27-2007, 07:16 AM   #89
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
But I guess their experience could best be described as "failure to acculturate".
I think Dr. Phil would agree that you nailed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
BTW spouse and I had a wonderful time in San Antonio. If I couldn't live in Hawaii or San Diego or even Monterey then I'd live in San Antonio-- despite, of course, all the scorpions, fire ants, tarantulas, rattlers, tornados, earthquakes, flash floods, piranhas, and cannibals. (Did I say that right, REW?)
Almost. You failed to mention punitive property taxes and the Ebola virus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
And I have no intention of learning what Texas' August weather is like, but I'll always treasure my photos of the world's largest mulch fire.
Despite 3 months of effort and $3 million in firefighting expense, "Mulchie", as it has been affectionately labeled, is still burning.

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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-27-2007, 07:49 AM   #90
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

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They're all moved in and they're thrilled with their new life.
Glad for all of you that everything is satisfactory. Your thinly veiled summary reveals how hurtful this has been for you and your wife, though liberating at the same time. Sounds like it's time to move on, but your relationship with the folks will always be a bit worse for wear.

As you'll find out soon enough, this grandparent thing is more complicated that it might appear. The down-on-the-farm scenario where everyone lives in the same town and respects all boundaries and space seems rare, and often in my experience if you scratch the surface a whole bucket of co-dependency and enmeshment oozes to the surface. Still, some pull it off beautifully and my hat's off to them.

Then there are the older grandparents who can immediately adopt the benign, supportive-of-everything-for-everyone-always, smiling, Normal Rockwell scenario - seems to work best when the grandfolks are considerably older when the grandkids come along. Doubt I'll ever be that wise.

In my case, we dealt with having grandkids arrive when I was in peak career mode and not close to financial independence. I was receiving career opportunities like never before at about the time of granddaughter #1; kids' plans pretty fluid; everyone in cold, dark, northern climes. Yes, family trumps career in my big view, but there are lots of extenuating circumstances in such scenarios. Will the kids stay in one place even if we hunker down? Can I retire a couple years earlier if I take this higher paying job? Can I ignore job satisfaction 12 hours a day? What about my MIL who is widowed and isolated in Florida, refusing to move? You get the picture.

Not yet ready for the rocking chair, I followed the career trajectory which culminated in our being distant from the kids and grandkids. DW and I have loved the adventure, seen parts of the country in depth, being closer for MIL, and approaching FI. But we don't know our grandkids as well as we want to. Happily, all the relationships seem to be intact. Now comes the hard part easing into semi-retirement, seeing them plenty, and maybe relocating down the road if kids' locale provides survivable weather and lifestyle.

Anyhow, your PILs have made their choices. Your mission here is done. Enjoy your future visits with them, and enjoy saying goodbye each time realizing their happiness is not your responsibility, however much you might want to support them.

It's a tangled web.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-27-2007, 12:05 PM   #91
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

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As you'll find out soon enough, this grandparent thing is more complicated that it might appear.......Still, some pull it off beautifully and my hat's off to them.
That's for sure Rich! That's what makes me surprised when folks try to define a "one size fits all" approach. It just isn't going to happen.

BTW, open-minded me, I considerer it very possible to have misunderstandings, spats, moments of tension, oversights, different priorities, etc., with the kids and grandkids and still use the term "pull it off beautifully." Those things are all part of normal life and relationships and festering over them excessively is not productive or beneficial. It's almost always a mistake to make an effort to categorize people or events as being right or wrong in these situations.





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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-27-2007, 12:33 PM   #92
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Maybe they moved to Hawaii to create some type of ideal family interaction, which didn't materialize.

For people who are not "out doors" types, Hawaii might not be anywhere near as nice as Baltimore. It is too different a lifestyle. With you, DW and DD living in the HI mode, they couldn't figure out how to join in.

And as Rich has said, the grandparent thing is harder than it looks. Depending on age, vitality and interests, it can be difficult to keep up with and engage a grandchild. For example, my parents, who visit infrequently but call regularly and try hard, can't keep up with/have little knowledge or experience with many of the kids' interests and activities.

Add that to not knowing how to shift interactions to develop adult relationships with adult children, and the whole thing becomes stressful, and not satisfying.

Sounds like they may have made the best decision for all involved.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-27-2007, 08:58 PM   #93
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

I just want to say that this topic has been the most enjoyable one for me in the almost 3 years I've been a member. The variety of emotions and the intelligent thought expressed here have made it so.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-28-2007, 09:54 AM   #94
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

I made the difficult decision to move away from my Dad when he was 90. No doubt he suffered as a result. My brother remained local to him. But I had to move on with my life. And staying watching the clock was not a good idea for me. I could see my resentment starting to build.

Now we have the same issue with MIL who is here. We want to spend the winter down south but limit our trips to 2 months so she does not feel abandoned. With any luck, she will continue to have a quality life for 7 more years. We do take other trips but not for as long. And we have arranged a caregiver to fill in during our trips. (We would love her to come with us but she does not even come to our place for overnight anymore.)
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 03-28-2007, 11:29 AM   #95
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gindie
I just want to say that this topic has been the most enjoyable one for me in the almost 3 years I've been a member. The variety of emotions and the intelligent thought expressed here have made it so.

A very good topic, indeed. With so many parallels to Nords' situation, and with all of the thoughtful input, I want to use this an outline for dealing with my mom and DW's parents. It amazes me how our respective philosophies, on just about everything, can differ so greatly. Learning how to navigate such differences can be extremely difficult, and I'll take all the insight I can get. For instance... I'm trying to make my MO 'Shut your mouth, and realize that even when asked for input.... it's only worth what they paid for it.'

Glad things seem to have worked out, Nords.
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