Once you get to be 70, you’ve probably lived in a lot of zip codes. (Come to think of it, “zip codes” did not exist until 1963, but I digress.) At age nine, I was living in my fourth state. In my current state, I have lived at seven different addresses, although we spent the last forty years in only two of them.
Where I live has been on my mind a lot lately. We love our “empty nest” house which is a much smaller version of our “full nest” house. When the kids were out of college, we decided we wanted to be back in the city. We had some criteria for the “empty nest” house which we bought fourteen years ago. First, either the house had to be on one level or at least have a bedroom on the first floor so we could stay there the rest of our lives, even if one of us had a bit of trouble climbing stairs. Second, it had to be an easy walk from the center of town. Third, it had to have an indoor garage. I’m sure there were more criteria, but I mention those because they were the most important to us then.
The house we bought, however, is on four floors with no bedroom on the ground level. It is a 35-minute walk to the center of town, if you walk fast. It does have a garage, but that is now filled with bicycles, a snow blower, a lawn mower, garden tools, and charcoal grills of many shapes and sizes, so our car lives outdoors
But we love our home. It suits us.
Here’s the issue. Do we look for a place now or do we stay here as long as we can take care of our home ourselves or with help? Would either of us want to live here without the other?
Or do we think ahead and become apartment dwellers like we were more than 40 years ago?
There are no easy answers.