My Parents’ Move: The Highs and Lows

The past three weeks have been busy and eventful . . . and that’s an understatement.    First came a snowstorm on October 13th that dumped 8 inches of the cold, wet stuff, quickly followed by an avalanche of falling leaves from the hackberry tree in our front yard that decorated Janice’s (my sister’s) cute little Mazda.


October 13th snowstorm – back yard


October 13th snowstorm – side yard


October 13th snowstorm – Janice’s decorated car

Fortunately, our early season snows usually melt quickly, as was the case this time as well.  The evidence had mostly disappeared two days later, except for the leaves that required a little work by the clean-up crew (a/k/a yours truly and Bill).

If you read my last post, you will recall that my parents (ages 97 and 95) were preparing to downsize from their large house to a significantly more compact cottage in a senior living community.  After just four short weeks of sorting and packing, we were ready for the big day.  The movers arrived bright and early on the morning of Friday, October 19th to load and transport furniture and 60+ boxes of stuff to my parents’ new house located about three miles away.


Mom and Dad greeting the movers at their new house

The moving crew was careful, considerate, capable and efficient – completing the job in only 3.5 hours.  A big shout out to Billy Goat Movers of Fort Collins!


Our outstanding team of movers from Billy Goat


Dad relaxing in the new house

After a quick lunch, we proceeded to unpack a few necessities and set up the kitchen. That’s when things took an unfortunate turn.

Mom lost her footing and fell hard in the kitchen, injuring her back.  After several hours of intensifying pain, Dad and I took her to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a compression fracture in her lower back and admitted to the hospital.  While there, she developed digestive issues that also required treatment.

She was discharged after three days to the new house – a place that most definitely did not yet look or feel like home.  Honestly, it was a mess!  Stuff everywhere, mostly still packed in moving boxes stacked three and four high, plus random piles of odds and ends occupying nearly every square inch of space on the counters, the floor, and other available flat surfaces.  The chaos certainly didn’t help with her recovery, and the situation took its toll on Dad as well.  The first week was tough … but my parents are tougher!

Fast forward to now – 12 days post-moving day.  Mom is on the road to recovery (although she has strict instructions from her physical and occupational therapists not to bend, twist or lift for the next several weeks), and Dad is starting to feel more rested and energetic.

Thanks to able and enthusiastic assistance from Ken (my brother) and Janice, the boxes are about 80% unpacked, and after a field trip to Ikea to procure more storage capacity, the new kitchen is about 90% organized.  Much work remains to transform the new house into a comfy home, but we can tackle it in a somewhat more leisurely manner going forward.

While most of the focus over the past two weeks has been on Mom’s recovery and on getting the new house set up, the basement and garage at their old house is still packed with stuff, most of which will not be coming to their new place . . . but  it all needs to go somewhere by the end of November.  Ron (my other brother) arrives for a two-week stay in a few days, and I’m hoping he can work some magic to find appropriate homes for the leftover items.

Long story short – moving my parents to their new home has been my full time job for the past six weeks and will continue for at least the next few weeks.  It’s an intense and exhausting process, with long hours and no paycheck, and I agree with Dad’s observation that “we should have done this five years ago!”  I’m just glad they are doing it now and that I can help.

I’m also hopeful that I inherited their longevity genes!



Categories: Odds and EndsTags: , ,


  1. Sorry to hear about your Mom’s fall and injury! So much harder to recover when you are older and in a new home. Also Good Luck on “cleaning” up the last items. Never easy, but very rewarding to lighten the load of “stuff” not used. Good Luck!


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