Then and Now Part III:
Last week, Jim, Louise, Bill and Kate arranged to re-connect again this week. Whenever they’ve encountered that rare need to be together on the phone, they use one of those free conference call programs. You know ~ the ones always advertising on the radio. It’s easy, and the price is right, as Bill says: free.
Louise, ever the club secretary, offers her research on senior move managers ~ noting the entire job should cost about $2500.00. She asks if everyone is on board to contribute $500 each, with Mom kicking in the last $500 to meet the goal of $2500. Louise reminds her sibs the actual mover will be a separate charge, but Mom has already agreed to pay this fee as well. She tells them the senior move manager will do everything: sort and downsize the home’s inventory; develop a customized floor plan of the new place; arrange for the disposal of unwanted items; contract the movers; arrange shipments to family members; and unpack and set up the new assisted living apartment just as their Mom would want it. “Gosh, they’ll even hang the pictures on the wall and get her TV and cable set up,” Louise says with a bit of urgency in her voice.
No surprise that Jim pipes up first. “Wow ~ amazing, Louise! Who knew this kind of service even existed? Let’s get this thing done. Great job!” Kate waits to speak. Bill, the third of the four siblings, didn’t say much last week, but he speaks animatedly now.
Bill has recently suffered a tough run of luck. An experienced and skilled IT guy, he should be set for life, but the downsizing bug hit his niche company hard. He’s been out of work for four months. Bill is still receiving severance funds, but those will dry up in 60 days. He says, “You know, 2500 bucks is a lot of money. I really can’t spare the $500 right now either. Why don’t I drive down and see if I can get most of it done? It will be fun, and I’ll get to spend some time with Mom too. After all, the one thing I have right now is time.”
Kate likes Bill’s idea a lot! She breathes a sign of relief. Kate and Bill are always on the same page, just as Louise and Jim think alike. Louise knows Bill, however, and she has her doubts. On her end of the phone, she is shaking her head and pursing her lips as Bill continues his blustery persuasion. (Thank goodness we’re not Skyping, she thinks!) Bill pushes a bit harder and everyone decides to give it a try. Jim, quietly scanning his work emails on his iPad, is only half-listening to the conversation. He just wants this whole thing over ~ one way or another. (He’d really like to write the entire check himself, but they wouldn’t hear of it. Well, really, Louise wouldn’t hear of it.) Distractedly, he says “Fine. If you want to go down there, Bill . . .”
Bill promises to give them a call once he gets “the lay of the land” in Florida. Louise notes they will reimburse him for the gas he uses to make the trip in his trusty Dodge Caravan. He laughs nervously, and says, “You better.” Kate reminds Bill to be patient with Mom once they start going through things. “She might be more trouble than help,” Louise adds. “You know how she can be.”
Bill plans to leave next week, and he ends the call by joking, “How hard can it be? It’s not nuclear physics ~ it’s just moving.”
Then and Now Part IV coming soon!