I’m headed out of town this morning to help some people move. Moving is always fun.
I’m helping my grandparents move. Not quite like helping my bachelor friends move. I won’t be handling any futons or neon signs. And none of the furniture will be made of particle board.
It’s a big day. I don’t think my grandmother wants to move all that much. But it’s too late now. Here’s why the day is so unbelievably huge.
That’s how long my grandparents have lived at their house in the Ozarks. Wow. This is the house my Dad grew up in. That’s how long my grandmother has played the piano and organ at church! Talk about perseverance. It’s been four years since I’ve moved, and that’s a long stretch compared to the rest of my twenties. I can’t imagine sticking with something for four decades. Talk about a life that’s hard to break away from.
The New House
The day is also big because we’re not just moving my grandparents up to the town where my family lives. We’re moving them in with my parents. Yup. We built an addition on the house and everything (by “we,” I mean “contractors.”) It’s pretty awesome. But there are no delusions that this will be easy for anyone. My grandmother does not want to leave home. But being in your eighties isn’t easy. And living with your elderly parents isn’t easy either. But it will be good.
The interesting thing is that my mother has gotten nothing but cross-eyed looks from people when she says she’s moving her in-laws into her home. No one does that. It would certainly be easier to keep my grandparents at arm’s length in a nursing home four hours away, rather than build a new apartment onto the house and move them in. I hope my parents are planning on using the new addition when they are elderly, because I can’t guarantee I want them moving in with me in twenty years.
Life Done Right
I haven’t inherited a prominent family name, but it’s a good one. My grandparents are leaving behind four decades of goodwill from the community. When they moved in, they bought the town grocery store and immediately jacked the price of meat up by 300% (from nine cents to twenty-seven cents a pound.) People were outraged, until they took their new expensive meat home and found it no longer had stale cracker crumbs and water mixed into it like dog food. My grandparents gave away tens of thousands of groceries to people who could only afford imitation bologna. (That was a real product, and I have no idea how such an unholy sounding product existed.) They lived life right.
Any of you been in this situation? Where are you planning to be in your eighties? What is the longest you’ve lived some place or stuck with a job?