Seven or eight years ago (long before Cliff had heart surgery), I used to tell people that if Cliff left me a widow, I'd move to senior citizen's housing in Colorado Springs and live the rest of my life there. Cliff's youngest sister couldn't believe I'd consider moving away from everybody like that, and I think she even worried about it sometimes. I was dead serious about the plan.
At some point during the past few years, that idea has become unrealistic to me. I'm too tired to even think about heading to Colorado. I don't drive, so the chances of my taking daily walks in the Garden of the Gods are not good.
As we took our walk yesterday, I told Cliff about my change in plans.
"Probably," I told him, "I'd move to the apartments where my mom lived before she went to the nursing home. There's a Walmart and a senior center close by, and my doctor's office is there."
"You could have quite a good auction sale, if it's set up right," Cliff said. "before you sell the place. There's a lot of valuable stuff in my shop, not to mention all the tractors."
That's when it struck me: I couldn't live in the apartments where Mother lived; you can only have $2,000 to your name to live there. I'd have proceeds from selling the place and proceeds from this huge auction Cliff is so worried about.
"Oh, I know! I'll live in a house like the one Helen rents (she's an aging former co-worker of Cliff's). It's designed for seniors, and people come and pick her up and take her to the senior center every day. So that's settled. Now, what are you going to do if I die first?"
"I don't think that's going to happen."
"You don't know; I might be eaten up with cancer right now, or I might drop dead from a heart attack tomorrow."
"Well then," he said, "I guess I'd stay right here and play with my tractors as long as I'm able."
I never thought I'd see the day I'd be having conversations like that with my husband.
While we were walking and talking, we got a strong whiff of skunk odor.
"That means spring is coming," I told Cliff. "A biker friend on Facebook said skunk odor is a sure sign of spring!"
You'd never know it today, though, with these single-digit temperatures.