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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saying Goodbye to the Cottage

Those of you who have been following my blog the last few weeks, know that March 30th was M-Day.  The packers came on Thursday.  The movers came yesterday.  The move finally happened. 

I love Lake Forest Place.  They have done these move-ins and move-outs so many times that working with them is like operating a well-greased machine.  There is someone to call to set up the phones; someone to call to hang the light fixture and on and on.  Comcast, of course, failed to show up for the high speed internet set-up.   While I had a very frustrating phone call - on hold most of the time -- with them,  the wonderful staff at LFP place managed to get Dad's TV working.   We'll deal with internet service next week.

Our little Post-It system worked like a charm -- the movers picked up the furniture with the bright pink Post-Its and placed them exactly where Mica had indicated on the chart.  The only challenges were Dad's desk and the huge console that needed to be moved.  But they worked it out and the movers were done by 2:00. 

My sister, her kids and I unpacked and put things away.  We found that while we probably didn't downsize quite enough, we did manage to find a place for just about everything.  We'll hang the pictures this week and in no time the apartment should look fabulous.  This new home is wonderful, with a little patio and a southern exposure.   The neighbors dropped in and his "apartment friends" have promised to have a cocktail party for him to welcome him to "The Big House."  I talked with him this morning.   He slept well in his new bedroom.  It's going to be a perfect home for Dad. 

My parents were among the pioneers who moved to Lake Forest Place in 1998,  so there was still construction machinery and mud on the grounds when they moved into their cottage on Pembridge Drive.  My mother loved this home more than anyone can possibly imagine and she turned their little cottage into a warm and inviting place to visit and live.  It was such a cozy home,  that the LFP marketing department often called her to use their cottage as a demo, when potential residents came to tour the facility.   (Since my mother was a born salesman, I think Lake Forest Place also knew that having her on "their sales team" was also helpful in sealing the deal.) 

As I walked out the door of the cottage yesterday, I teared up --  it hit me.  I guess on some level,  I was finally saying goodbye to Mom.  Dad has lived there alone for the last two years and while he has been remarkably resilient and capable in their little cottage, it just hasn't been the same without Mother. 

Life goes on as Dad begins the next chapter of his life ... such is moving.

That's really what life is all about - change, moving, renewal... endings and beginnings.

Moving 
Final Lesson: 
The heart of the home lies in the heart of its owners.  When a house is empty, it's no longer a home.   It's best to keep our memories in our hearts -- not our houses.  

I want to thank all the wonderful people at Lake Forest Place, who have made this a smooth transition... especially to Paisley for finding Dad just the right apartment and to Martha, for helping make it a beautiful place for him to live.  

1 comment:

  1. Ann, your thoughts are like de ja vu. It is remarkable how you have expressed almost mirror-like our experience we had with Dad, when he moved from his and Mom's cottage to his place in 'the Big House' at LFP. As My parents were co- pioneers with Becky and Phil, I remember when we left 913 Barclay Circle at LFP that, I too felt like it was a final farewell to Mom. They both adored their cottage, and Dad was not pleased to be moved to the apartment, but his declining driving and walking strength required that we pre-empt what might be. Thank the Lord we did so. Dad loved his 1st floor 2bedrm apartment and patio, and the move proved to be a blessing. He met new friends, became more active, and really enjoyed the energy of the Lake Forest Place community, something that had declined following Mom's passing. I am thrilled for Phil, and grateful he has the love and terrific support of you and your family. Your parents were remarkably special people!

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