This will be the first Christmas in our new apartment. It will be our first Christmas by ourselves as well. Our children from California are coming after Christmas, and so we are celebrating then.

A passage. This has been one of life’s doorways, and we walked through it. I didn’t anticipate the emotional salad that would accompany it. Deciding what to leave and what to take was hard. But I didn’t foresee the punch that the estate sale brought. I knew enough not to attend it personally, but I didn’t predict the constant sadness I felt when I thought about what I left behind, nor did I realize that I would label everything I brought with us as “rescued from the estate sale.” So far, I have not been able to go back into my old house. It is completely empty now. We took it off the market for a month.  Right after Christmas, it will be totally restaged and will go back on the market in January. It will look like somebody else’s house. I will be able to walk into it again, then. I sure hope it sells quickly, though, so that I won’t have to go back  into it more than once.

The technician installing our new television looked at both of us and asked, “So–this is going to be your final place?” Gosh. That hit me in the solar plexus. Yes, it will be, I hope. I won’t want to leave for another, less independent address. When the years ahead are so much shorter than the years behind, reality “bites.”

The happy part, aside from all of this philosophical fact-facing? This apartment is wonderful. I have always had a yen to live in a city, with all the tall buildings, the lights at night, the subtle hooting and swishing of traffic. I love living up high. Our building is full of young and diverse people, and everyone is so friendly. There is a Labradoodle on our floor. We can take the elevator down to the lobby and eat in the Mexican restaurant in our building. I am getting so much exercise walking to and from the elevator, and so far, I can go up the four flights of fire stairs twice for exercise every day. My goal is to do it three or four times. My legs are getting strong!

We put a little tree on our new deck, and you can see the lights on it from blocks away. When we drive around town at night, we both get a thrill from looking at our place, the twinkly lights, the lamps in the windows–from a distance, like spectators. So far, it hasn’t gotten old. We are trying to decide what we want to cook in our new, gourmet kitchen, for Christmas Eve dinner. On the grocery list is Champagne.

So here is to the holidays, the future, and all the years ahead. I wish you all happiness and joy. You deserve it.


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