Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about experiences, ideas, nature, creativity, and culture. The latter might appear at times political, but we will try to speak to the broader issues that impact a culture. This is just too important a time not to sometimes speak to problems that impact society. Expressing different views is welcome when it's done respectfully and are able to agree to disagree.

Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled comments, or links (unless pre-approved).

Fantasy, the painting by Diane Widler Wenzel, cropped a little to fit the needs of a banner.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

by Diane: Hiring help and forecast for a stay in place widow

 Thankfully the means just fell in place for my being able to manage as the only occupant of our home we shared for 35 years.  In the not so distance past I thought my being a widow meant I would naturally seek out assisted living. But before Fisherman Hubby's diagnose I thought the change in living quarters was years in the future. I thought Fisherman Hubby who was slowing down a little each year and I would seek out a senior living community as soon as next five years or so.  But then his rapid decline between February, 2020 to his death in October, 2020 from bulbar ALS caught us all by surprise. I commenced my journey into widowhood October 8, 2020.  

    Among the the happenings that started my desire to stay in place were our previous yearly consults with our financial advisors. Our advisor planted the seed of aging in our own home. Still might change my mind and look into a senior living option, but the prospect of independently perusing my desires is now looking exceptionally good.

  Family and friends give me great support emotionally and with assistance in shopping and high tech assistance as well as home maintenance.

    Another most important help is having an experienced contractor and all around handy man with a work record of 35 years, David Torres. The right person to hire is rare.  I believe our relationship is good partly because I follow my mother's example of how to  relate to hired help. She showed them positive enthusiasm that I try to emulate. When a worker is feeling appreciated he is happier and does better work. I still have a lot to learn on hiring and communicating my needs to hired help.

    Working on projects with Fisherman Hubby gave me experience on how to draw plans and present the tasks I need being done.

    When I started sorting through Fisherman Hubby's shop and garage things, I came to realize that both of us were cramped for space. Little by little on my watch I found good homes for his clothes, his sports paraphernalia and manly garden tools.  Some of his inventive hand made tools are finding new purposes. A giants eye dropper made with a rubber horn squeezer has an additional curved spout making it sound like a  faint blow horn.  Doing as best I can, I have a  representative number of his tools on display behind his work bench. Electric sanders, saws and drills are saved in the house garage so when the studio shop is complete, they will become permanently saved in the shop room. The shop/studio still is half his and a challenges me to do a little woodworking.

Some want to call my studio a "she shed". I like how poetically "she shed" rolls off the tongue. She sheds are the work of creativity but my studio is a vessel where creativity and freedom of movement is the reason for the studio. A place where I can paint big because my aging body needs to keep exercising.  Contrary to movement is being confined to a chair where I would quickly get stiff from my age. And I would make tight creations.

So much has changed at my home in the past four and a half months, I am very happy. Even with the challenges of the pandemic. In my case because of the pandemic I feel an urgency to live as much as I can now. I celebrate being able to do all that I do.


Rain Trueax said...

A she-shed sounds like fun and very much oriented to hobbies and a need to be away from the family. Your creation sounds to me like a studio. You are not a hobby painter but a professional and looks like you're creating a wonderful work space.

I know senior care facilities are needed for some but they are also controlling. Based on my family experience, I'd stay independent as long as possible. When a person begins to lose faculties, then it makes sense. Old age is beginning to not sound like much fun! lol I read an article where people are being put under guardianship (not the family) where the guardian can see their property and charge fat fees for their services. Scary article as the courts helped it happen. Argh

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

Thanks for your thoughts on She-sheds versus studios. Maybe I should call mine the art gym because I believe the movements I make will be a pleasant way to exercise. But seriously studio is what it is and it will be called studio.
I heard one friend years ago say one should move to a retirement community a little before you are ready to start building a network of friends and enjoy all their activities. I know elders who are very social bodies who love this life and engage in crafts, exercise, and interest groups. I on the other hand cherish my alone time and I am not looking for more activities. If I wish in the future, I may take a woodworking class at the community college so I can use Fisherman Hubby's tools safely. And select the correct tool for the job I wish to do.