Day 94, packing, real estate, FOPAL

I omitted to mention yesterday that when I was at the gym, I was accosted by a man about my own age who I kind of recognized. He identified himself as Mike F., an old IBM colleague who worked with Marian for many years. He very kindly expressed condolences and commented on how everyone knew Marian as “really, really smart” and  “a programmer’s programmer”. That was nice.

Wednesday 3/6/2019

Since Chuck and his contractor will be here at 10, there isn’t time for a run — I tell myself. That isn’t strictly true; if I got off my butt and out the door at 8 there’d be time. Or I can take a run after they leave; how’s that for a concept? I’ll consider it. Right now it’s 8:20, and I’m dressed and finished with one of the two “things” on my schedule for today,


which brought up a couple of emotional reactions. Tomorrow morning I will leave for a long weekend in Vegas (baby), to watch the PAC-12 WBB tournament. Eleven games in four days, whee! Probably won’t watch all, or at least will probably walk out early from ones that turn into a runaway. But today I wanted to make sure I had everything ready.

Packing for one is stupidly easy. Everything fits in a nice little carry-on bag that fits under the seat, so I don’t even have to worry about space in the overhead. Which is a good thing, because I’m flying SouthWest, and I didn’t check in until half an hour after the 24-hour check-in window opened, so I’m number A46, the 50th or 60th person (allowing for gold members, servicemen, women with babies, etc) to board the plane. Don’t care, it’s a 90-minute flight and my bag fits under the seat hahaha.

Inevitably I contrast this to prior trips, where the two of us used at least a roller bag, two for a longer trip, plus a computer bag for our two laptops. We’d check the bag, especially in recent years where we had to go to the desk to check in in order to get the wheelchair Marian needed to travel to the gate. Now, in a moment of release (similar to what I felt back in the first week when I realized I could again walk to Sunday coffee), I realized that I can just print my boarding pass at home, pick up my bag, and bop on over to the security line without a pause. That’s nice.

Prior to that realization I had another moment, not exactly of grief but of combined relief and pity. I went to the “travel drawer” (oh jeez, yet another drawer I need to clean out) to get one of the small mesh bags we used to pack toiletries. The one I picked up had something in it: oh, Marian’s first-aid supplies.

For most of this millennium, she suffered from fragile skin: her skin would split or tear seemingly under a hard look, or at least any small collision with a corner of anything. So she always had to be ready with bandaids, tape, gauze, to patch a split. She handled this as she did all her other maladies, with intelligence and calm practicality. Your skin breaks; you swear quietly, patch it, and carry on. So one of the toiletry bags had this double-handful of assorted patching materials. I was so pleased to be able to throw all that out on her behalf. At least that isn’t an issue any more. As I finished writing that I saw Chuck pulling up so time for

Real estate talk.

Chuck brought his favorite contractor, Vassily, and we looked long at the kitchen and talked about how one could — or mostly how one could not — upgrade it. It bugs Chuck and his designer Amy that there is a door between the kitchen and the refrigerator:


It hasn’t been a functional problem for 45 years. The annoyance of having to open that door to reach the fridge, and close it to reach the pantry that’s behind it, was so slight it never occurred to us to do anything about it. Turns out that was smart, because in Vassily’s opinion, it can’t be done. One, the wall in which that door sits is a bearing wall for the sloping roof above and it would be hard to remove it. Two, if you keep the wall but do other work, because there is a furnace beyond it, the city will make you upgrade that door to a “20-minute fire door” which would mean replacing the frame and the door. If you keep the wall and try to put the fridge in the kitchen it replaces some of the counter, and anyway the counters are 24″ or less deep, so the refrigerator sticks out and you have a problem opening it. You could maybe put the fridge next to the stove where the pantry is, but then you lose all the shelf space in the pantry, plus, having a fridge abutting a stove is kind of weird.

I really don’t care; as I said several times (as much to myself as to them) “I won’t be living here, so I don’t care what you do.” But the decision to do such work does impact me, as I went over with Chuck after Vassily left. If they do remodeling, it can’t start until I move out, and then it will take at least a month (probably more, because that’s how this shit always goes) to finish. And that delays the selling of the house by that much.

We talked about the implications of that. If I move into C.H. they will charge 10% on the unpaid balance of the entry fee, which would come to circa $4000/month until the house closes escrow and I can pay the balance off. But Chuck says, if the upgrade work adds $100K to your sale price, you come out ahead.

Another option that we talked about is that I could go ahead and move out and take a temporary spot in another ILF (one with a month-to-month contract and no entry fee). Again that would cost circa $4000/month until such time as C.H. has an opening, but the work on the house and its sale could proceed.

Against that idea is my reluctance to change my address twice. But then I had the thought that perhaps I could change my postal address to C.H. right now. I need to ask Kim Krebs about that. She said that as soon as I paid my application fee (last Monday) I would be a “member” in the sense that I would get their newsletter and could attend any of their events. Maybe I could start converting all my various accounts to that as my postal address now. In which case I would not have to change addresses twice — only move all my earthly goods twice.

With this possibility in mind I asked Chuck to get me a referral to his favorite estate sale manager. I’d like to get a handle on that situation. Anyway, it’s all very complicated. And so off to FOPAL with three boxes of books.

next day… forgot to hit “Publish” on this. Also, forgot to note that since the FOPAL book sale is coming up this weekend, the sorting room is really crowded, so the three boxes of books stayed in the back of the car for next time.

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