THE SECOND STORY | August 26th, 2010

It’s hot, it’s cold, emotions high, emotions low….

Blog photo: One of the rare nights we could see a sunset in the past 33 days of summer. Then BLAST – into the super (for us Alameda weather wimps) two day heatwave. Now fog this AM and PM. I was riding back from Bay Farm Island and took this with my iphone along the walk/bike path in front of the Raven’s Cove townhomes. From small Towata Park on the 94501 side of the BFI Bridge, cut over to the dead end street, up through the common driveway and on to the path.

Blog post: I guess I’m catching up on acknowledging emotions that started the beginning of the week. On Monday I made a one day trip to S CA to explore some additional housing/care options for my dad, who needs more attention than assisted living is offering him in the two bedroom two bath apartment he and my stepmom have shared since last December. And it’s no help that he’s driving my step mom nuts with his demands. It was a productive day, seeing 6 lovely residential care homes, typically with a max of 6 rooms, and a minimum of 2 full time caregivers 7/24, all blending into very nice neighborhoods. I also met for about 2 hours with the Director of the facility and we had a super ‘meet with Jesus’ meeting.

The results of the trip:
-My dad is staying at the same building but was moved the next day by a professional mover who works closely with the facility, to his own studio apartment.
-My step mom has her move into her own studio in the same building Friday morning.
-A change of their primary care physician to one who makes monthly house calls to them at their apartments.
-Verification with the facility of who is legally in charge of health care decisions. My step sista and I have all the proper paperwork signed by our folks last year and we have taken the spouses out of each other’s care decisions since we have awareness issues for them both.
-A set of expected communication procedures from the facility.
-A review of pain control for my dad, minimizing the pain but not jeopardizing awareness and balance.
-Encouraging our folks to set up dates for meals, reading, walking, etc. with strict parameters that if any action or chat was rude then my step mom would state the behavior was unacceptable and that she was stopping the date.
-Minimizing guilt they are both feeling.

And the most amazing two things? Where my dad had barely moved from bed over the past 4 weeks, he started walking all over the building the day of the move, to find his wife, who he thought had left him. We and staff are continuously assuring him that is not the case! And Staff is to keep him away from her apartment. She will come to him. And today he started playing the small family organ he took with him when they made the first move months ago. Today he said he has no remembrance of pain, and was not experiencing it now. And my step mom is getting the best nights of sleep since they’ve been there. We may have found an interim solution for the moment.

While I was waiting to board the early morning flight heading south, I received an email from a co-worker telling me my clients’ home just west of Grand on Clinton had a horrific fire. Thank goodness there were no injuries. Relieved to reach my long time friend at the end of the day, he invited me to come over and meet them, another friend, and the insurance adjuster at 9am Tues. morning.

Never having been in a devastated property right after the destruction, and never having watched an insurance adjuster work with policy holders who have just lost their world, my learning curve was straight up. The casually dressed ( a good thing), gentle man clearly knew his job was one of net-less tightrope walking: answer any and all questions, assure them of their coverage which will include gutting the whole house (not demolishing it), give funds so their lives can stabilize as quickly as possible, answer all of our questions, and answer more questions.

Per their request I sent out requests for possible rental housing in the general area and for info on fire damage contractors beyond what the insurance company might offer. If any body out there has some referrals that might be of value….send me an email.

With the passage of 3 days, perspective is now available. In a period of less than 24 hours, spanning a distance of 400+ miles, I was with two sets of people close to me, whose lives had been ripped out from beneath them. I am once again humbled and touched by how tender and fragile life is.

This week I have witnessed physical and emotional healing, witnessed the passion of dedicated caregivers, and I’ve been the recipient of hands-free emotional embraces from friends and acquaintances whose natural instincts have met my own needs, unknown to them. Most of these gifts of the heart are unrelated to the events I’ve mentioned but have been perfectly timed, and each thought and act has impacted me deeply. And I am finally crying.

Alameda real estate this week...
Active listings this week 181, 176 last report

Pending listings this week 89, 89 last report

Highest and lowest priced new listings

Broker tour 11 with 2 repeats

New 13

BOM (back on market) 1

Price changes 7

Pending 13

Sold 8

Expired 5

Withdrawn/canceled 4

Alameda real estate awards this week….
Nothing seemed all that worthy to me, but it was a great bike ride end to end of 94501 before the heat topped out!

PS My open note to the mystery ‘buyers’ was read last week and we met! What neat people!

That’s the interesting part about this….and the risk….I just don’t know who’s checking in.

Be well. marilyn

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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!