When I was growing up we had a four-bedroomed house on two floors and in 1992 my dad inherited a little money from his brother and they were able to sell up and move to a bungalow in Dorset - which had always been their dream. But, with them moving away from the stairs in the first house I realized that in addition to getting older, every time I saw them they were probably significantly less fit than maybe they would have been otherwise - and I put that down to the stairs! My mom wouldn't have had it any other way in any case, but I guess looking at things from this angle is one way to "turn that frown upside down" isn't it!
I had to go out grocery shopping this morning so I left the two young men to get on with their work since they didn't need access to the house. When I got back though they were on top of my sloping roof and it was scorching! I felt so sorry for them as it was 32°C (90°F) and there wasn't a cloud in the sky! I had told them where my hose was and left the garage door open and they had been spraying each other down with cold water, but even so it was hot. So then I was running in and out with iced water and coke for them but even so, I just don't know how they do it! They had made good progress on the one side of the roof and I just assumed they'd go off to get something to eat but they said that they wanted to get that side totally finished before packing up and heading off. They eventually finished up at 4 p.m. and left for the day. The one young lad told me that the previous day they had put in a 14-hour day to get a job finished. You've got to be young, is all I can say!
On a slightly morbid note, I read somewhere yesterday about a file you can buy called Life in Motion! Basically, it's a rather jolly name for a file I would probably rename "here's a list of everything I own, all my passwords and who gets what when I snuff it"! Slightly less poetic but more fitting I think! Basically it's a file with eight tabs in it that you put together to "ease" things somewhat for your loved ones when you pass. To me that goes along with the whole "decluttering now so that they don't have to do it afterwards" kinda thing. I've been pretty good at filing my stuff and I've always told my boys that when I pop my clogs the first place they should looks is in a file called "important stuff", as that contains the most important papers they will need immediately. Anyway, this Life in Motion file, which I believe is available from Amazon, cost $50! Fifty dollars for a file/binder with eight tabs in it? No thanks. I have everything I need so I thought why not sit down every Friday when I'm doing my banking and just type up one thing for the file - which is what I did today!
The tabs that they supply are! (1) documents/emergency plan; (2) medical and insurance info; (3) property info - house/car/keys etc.; (4) banking info; (5) final wishes/funeral arrangements; (6) end-of-life decisions; (7) estate settlement/will; and (8) where to find important documents. Frankly I will add a (9) miscellaneous/info about my blog? - as I don't believe everything will fit neatly under 1-8! So since I got paid today and was transferring money/paying bills, I decided to type up a number (4) and put the details of my UBS bank account down on paper. I have four bank accounts, which might make me sound like Rockerfeller but is pretty easily explained. I have my former salary account (UBS) in Switzerland where my pension is now paid. We have a Swiss franc-denominated pension fund and I have my pension paid in Swissies because - well because I'm not stupid! I also have a savings account at the United Nations Credit Union. I kept this simply because it's more difficult for me to access money there so I throw a little in it every month in order to save for whatever. Then I have an account in the UK (HSBC) which I've had since I was 18 and if I close it they won't let me open another one, so I send SF 100 there every month and that gives me my pocket money whenever I go to England. And finally I have an account in France because that's where I live and most of my bills come out of that in euros. So you can imagine my boys would probably find all this pretty intimidating if and when!
So today it took me maybe 10 minutes to type up the UBS stuff. "This is the account number, this is where the bank is located, this is my password for e-banking" and so on, and it was really easy. As I say, I have everything all in one place but it struck me as making so much more sense to have a divider for each one and include all the passwords too. Morbid stuff maybe but I am more concerned with making my kids' lives easy as and when rather than worrying that if I write about my death it's gonna happen. It is - but not just yet hopefully!
I got my "one hour" of work in again today and I realize that by the time I look at my timer for the first time 45 minutes have usually gone by so it really is easy. While I was "doing" in the garden my neighbour wandered over for something or other. He's going in to hospital tomorrow for a fourth (or fifth?) operation to put stents into the veins in his legs as they are clogging up. Wouldn't you think with him finding walking more and more strenuous and this being yet another hospital stay he would give up smoking like the doctors have asked him to do? But nope, his wife gave up (after 50 years of smoking?) when she got the fright or her life and ended up in hospital with pneumonia last year and even now has a hard time breathing. Anyway, his wife is also making her own world smaller and smaller as she ages (she's 67) because she "can't drive in the dark (OK), is too afraid to drive down to Annecy (30 minutes away), won't drive on the motorway (OK) and can't drive him to the hospital because "she's never driven on that road before". I love her to bits but remember telling her ages ago that if she wasn't careful she would slowly wall herself in with all these perceived "inabilities" she has - and she was maybe 45 at the time! Well his daughter is going to drive him in tomorrow but has to be back at work on Friday for the first time since lockdown lifted so she can't pick him up. So I offered. It's no biggie to me but it brought home to me how much his wife's world is shrinking - and how stupid smoking really is!
And finally, I got one over on my friend today. He sent me a chatty message asking when we could get together (this weekend probably, for the first time since March). So anyway he tells me that all this walking he's being doing (a lot) seems to have paid off and he's pretty sure he's lost weight, but he couldn't say how much because he doesn't have any scales. Next thing I know he sends me a picture of himself in his underpants and yes, it would seem that he has lost quite a bit of weight. So then we go flirting back and forth and I'm saying "I think I'll need to see a bit more in order to be sure" - but that's just our usual kind of banter. So at this point I decided to tell him about the time last year, just before Christmas, when out of the blue he sent me a rather more raunchy picture. I've no idea why and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I mean, it's not like I haven't seen it all before right - we dated for about five years! Anyway, what I had forgotten was that when someone sends you a picture it automatically gets saved onto your pictures (on iPhone at least). So last year, just after he had sent the picture, I was at my patchwork lesson when I was telling one of the ladies about a Christmassy-themed project I would like to attempt. I had seen it at a patchwork exhibition and liked it so I took a picture of it. So she said "oh can I see", so I handed my phone over to her! And that was when I realized his other pictures was probably saved onto my phone. Now I'm the kind that looks at someone's pictures and often swipes left to look at the next one, so I was hoping to god she wouldn't do the same and almost threw myself at her to get my phone back. Which I managed but seriously? When I told him this I was roaring laughing and he was horrified - as I reminded him this morning when he sent me his "I'm losing weight" photo! Moral of the story? Be careful who you send your raunchy pictures to!
The dilemmas of the digital world with the need to leave passwords for your executors and heirs. I do hope I can come back from the grave to see if they manage to input them any better than I do or make more sense of my myriad of spreadsheets and other documents not to mention the ongoing genealogy project and unfinished manuscripts. I swear if they just press the Delete button, I'll haunt them for ever after. Oh and I did chuckle at your iPhone photo collection.ReplyDelete
Obviously everything makes sense to you but can you imagine what happens when the "wrong spouse" goes first, the one who knows where everything is. If my mom had gone first my dad wouldn't have had a clue. Same for my husband actually. I tried to show him where everything was but I know, in reality, he couldn't handle the different exchange rates. From his point of view he only needed to be able to deal with the Swiss/euro exchange rate (and maybe the US$ because he's American) but he always walked away when I started trying to explain - and then claimed I kept everything a secret!Delete
Ah yes, we did have a problem finding the deeds for my parents in law’s house. My father in law omitted to tell anybody of their whereabouts when the mortgage was repaid in full and it was only months after his death that they were found: under the mattress!Delete
Roofing is very hard work and definitely not one of the safest. The need for stents is most likely caused by his diet rather than walking. Life in Motion reminds me I really out to spend a couple of minutes writing out a will. What a bother. I'm going to make sure I spend everything by the time I go, so there's not going to be much to divvy up.ReplyDelete
I was glad to see these young lads were harnessed up but yes it really is hard work. As for my neighbour, his diet is really healthy - all fruit and veg and no alcohol to speak of. His problem is 50 years of smoking - as his doctors have told him repeatedly, but I actually suspect it's too late (too hard) to stop now! And I don't blame you for spending the lot, that's the aim after all!Delete
I am not the type to want o send those pictures because it would blow up on me. You sure make me thinking I need to get my end of life ducks in order. Last fall when I was scared of the unknown and was waiting for tests and biopsy results, I increased my life insurance. Well-wasn't needed, but now with COVID, who knows. When I read about your neighbor having all these reasons she can't do this or that, I should be very grateful my mother-in-law at 79 still is so independent. I know I will fight for mine for along while.ReplyDelete
I can't honestly see the point in sending these pictures. My husband and I had a couple (his choosing) but in the end I didn't trust him, especially when he ran off with a gf, so I made sure everything was deleted as it's just not my scene. I had good life insurance when the kids were young because their school was very expensive and I was the one with the expat benefits. As they finished school and I got divorced I dropped the insurance in order to throw the money at debts, figuring my kids will get my house and my pension when I die. And sadly I think my neighbour's "inabilities" have been brought on by almost 50 years of being told she was stupid and/or incompetent, when in fact I believe she's the more competent of the two!Delete
That's sad for your neighbor. Since I carry the health benefits and we still have one in college, I have this extra policy that will take me to age 69, and by then, we both will have full SS benefits, medicare, my pension, and should have low living expenses. Mine is more a protection for my husband than the kids.Delete
A huge amount of thought in this post. I've done that guided tour of my papers and passwords for my son, and instructor for how to deal with probate etc. He doesn't believe I'll die though I assure him there's a 100% chance.ReplyDelete
About stairs: one of my friends is I her late 80s still training physiotherapists, and insists that if you can do stairs, you shouldn't move to one floor. Unless there are real health reasons forcing a move, it's much better to live with stairs, and avoid elevators where stairs are an option. She's seen healthy people lose the ability to use stairs within months of moving to a one storey home. It's excellent cardio and stamina training. I'm in my eighties and have a three storey house. Between that and a poor short term memory causing endless searching for items, I'd agree it's a fitness machine!
Ha ha, you're right about the stairs then - it makes sense really doesn't it. I had just never thought about it that way although everyone tells you to "walk up the stairs at work" don't they! I saw the difference in my parents and just put it down to old age but I'm not sure that was 100% the reason!Delete
The file is a great idea and something I need to do. Since selling my rental I've got bits of money everywhere. I live in a bungalow now and my dog doesn't understand stairs when we go to my daughters. He just sits at the bottom. Walking him every single day makes up for not having stairs.ReplyDelete
I'm not trying to be morbid but seeing the mess my brother was in when my SIL went first was eye-opening. I went through all his bank details looking for things that needed to be cancelled and so on in order to help his kids. Luckily he was compus mentis enough at the end to tell me about his bank details, but if it hadn't have been for that his kids would have been in a right mess as they were just not up to it, for obvious reasons. When I told his one son I had just gotten a fully paid-up funeral for him (with them making all the choices but everything was already paid for) he let out a very audible sigh of relief. Death is tough on those that love you so I think you owe it to them to make the administrative side of things as easy as possible. And your poor puppy - its a whole new world for him isn't it!Delete
Many years ago, a colleague and I went to see The Chippendales. At the entrance, two guys with awesome six-packs, naked from waist up, in tight-fitting black leather pants would get you between them and your picture would be taken. We purchased the pictures and this woman who is now the wife of my ex-boyfriend (very long story) offered to swap the pictures so, that if any one of us got rich and famous, the other could blackmail her. I looked her up and down and said "Nah! I think I have better chances to become rich and famous so, I'm keeping my picture". Neither of us became rich and famous but still...ReplyDelete
Neither of you became rich and famous YET!!! That is so funny!Delete
TheHub and I have been married forever and neither has ever sent a risqué picture to the other. We must be the most boring couple on the face of the earth!ReplyDelete
Nope, just sensible. It's not like it's any kind of turn on anyway!!!Delete
Roofers seem to me to be able to work in all conditions. Roofers were working across from us and I couldn't watch as they scampered about the roof without a care!ReplyDelete
Our doctor gave my parents a large (about 10 pages) document that they were supposed to fill in with all sorts of details, like who was to be their power of attorney, who was to be the executor of their will etc. Of course they never filled it in but fortunately although it didn't feel like it at the time, it was quite straightforward dealing with all the stuff when my dad died. I agree with your method and its one I've started doing, though not with any regularity!
Your poor neighbour, 67 is not nearly old enough to have painted herself into that corner! What a shame, though I think its easily done.
As for your pictures, how I laughed at what your face must have been like when you realised what your friend might see!! You maybe need to move those pictures to a separate folder? xx
Sadly I think my neighbour became and "old woman" quite a few years ago as he knocked her confidence right out of her. It's such a shame. I've known her for over 30 years and I've seen it happen. It's all well and good to say "stand up for yourself" but it isn't that easy. And as for the pictures, don't worry they were deleted. When you get to our ages it was just a bit of fun or winding each other up so nope they've gone!Delete