7 weeks or 49 days or 1176 hours or 70560 seconds..

That’s how long it’s been since Mark passed away. But who is counting?  I guess I am.

boxesIt’s been a long seven weeks. So much has happened, but yet nothing at all. It’s hard to explain. I’m still waiting for all the financial stuff to settle down. Insurance companies, social security, Medicare, and the State of NJ move slower than molasses on a frigid day! Until the paperwork is finalized, I am sort of stagnant. Actually that is not completely true. I have been taking care of stuff as needed. And this weekend is the start of sorting/tossing stuff that is in my basement. I have a dear friend coming over to help me with this very tedious (and probably painful) chore. She seems to think it is not going to be as daunting as I think.

I was the one who packed up all that crap – on Mark’s insistence that we take it with us, so I know that each box is filled with to the brim with stuff. I still don’t know why we had to move all that stuff. It was hardly ever used to begin with, so instead of donating it, we opted to pack and move with it. And now it has sat in the basement (and guest bedroom closet and the garage) for 18 months collecting dust. Chances are very good that 85% of it is not stuff that I really want since I haven’t needed it in a year and a half.  Of course, finding my snow boots would be nice. I remember packing them, but haven’t seen them since. Honestly that’s all I can remember absolutely looking for but not finding.

I definitely have to move out of the condo that I live in now. It is way too large for me. I don’t use the basement. It’s just a huge storage area complete with a set of furniture that is collecting dust. I don’t use the guest bedroom. It is also a huge storage area. I go in there once each night to utilize the mini fridge. I get cold water for both myself and Belle. Other than that, it is a “no enter zone”.

Then there is the garage. The perimeter is lined with boxes and stuff but there is enough room so I can get my (small) car into it during bad weather. Again, it is simply a place to store MORE stuff that we collected over the years. Once I downsize, I will have a better assessment of what I have, and I will know exactly what type of new home I will need.

Besides the fact that my current condo is much too big for me (do I really need 2.5 bathrooms?), it is also too expensive. It costs quite a substantial amount of money to heat and cool a three level condo! I don’t even make enough money to cover everything each month. Since Mark passed away, I now dip into my savings each month just to pay all the expenses. That is definitely NOT a good thing, nor is it a smart thing.

forrentSo I have been looking online using a variety of sites to find a new place to live. I do have a budget. I am being realistic in what I want and what I need. I just need something for me and Belle.

Ideally, I would like a well-kept one bedroom apartment (or small house or a condo or duplex)  that is located close to where I am (Laurence Harbor/South Amboy, NJ area plus 5 miles) now since I like the area and it would be close to my job. Obviously I need a place that will allow Belle to live with me. Even though she is not classified as a “small dog”,  I am grateful that she is a golden retriever/poodle mix because that is considered a  “happy/friendly breed”. I definitely do not have any prejudice against any breeds, but I think I would have a more difficult time if I had a Rottweiler or a Shepherd or a Pit Bull.

I must have a washer and dryer in the apartment. I don’t want to be lugging laundry to the laundromat on the weekends with all the other “washerless” people! I would be fine with a place that has the hook up for the washer and dryer, and I will purchase my own!

I don’t have endless funds, but from what I have seen, it would be reasonable to find a place between $800 – $1,100. It would also be great if some (could I possibly wish for ALL?) the utilities to be included in the rent.

My ideal residence would be a first floor unit as I don’t relish the idea of lugging stuff up and down a flight of stairs. I would love to have a garage or off-street parking, but realistically I would settle for on-street parking. I would love to have a deck or a patio so that I could have an outside area to enjoy the spring and summer air. It would also be great to have a place to put my BBQ grille! Of course a quiet area is necessary. I do not want to live on a noisy and very busy main street. That is not for me. I am a quiet person who appreciates peace and serenity in my home.

I did go look at a small home in Laurence Harbor that was for rent. It was beautifully remodeled. It had a patio for grilling and a small fenced in yard for entertaining. I really liked it but realistically it was just too small for me. I took measurements while I was there, and I found out that my bedroom furniture would not fit. I could have lived with that, but my living room furniture also did not fit. My kitchen table and chairs did not fit. There was no closet space to speak of, and if I had any intention of taking any boxes with me, I would have to get a storage unit. That did not seem feasible or economical to me. Besides, boxes and a convertible do not mix well. It would be very hard for me to move boxes using my car, and I would have to recruit someone to help me each time I wanted to swap out boxes. Not realistic, so I had to turn it down. My friend reminded me that it was the first place that I went to see, and she was positive that I would find something that better suited my needs. I hope so. I don’t like hemorrhaging money each month. But more than that, I want to get situated in a new life and be able to settle into this life of widowhood. It was certainly NOT my choice, but I definitely need to make the best of things.

I am hoping that I will begin to feel better once I have a new home to live in. I won’t feel like I am trapped in a box of memories wrapped up in financial ties! So here’s to my finding my new home, and my new (first time) independence!!

  1. Amy Jo Taylor
    March 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Although it’s only been seven weeks, it’s been a hard long seven weeks I’m sure. I’ve read your posts on FB and even though we have never met I believe we would become fast friends. Your new journey is beginning and I know difficult right now but I believe your strong enough to get though this. Good luck and happy new beginnings.
    Amy Jo Taylor
    Hudson, IA

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