I’ll Unpack Tomorrow Or Maybe Later

Not much fun packing for moving day from house to retirement lodge. Transition is what they call it – a polite and efficiency sounding word meant to ease the stress and comfort the minds of old folks facing the downsizing they’ve been putting off for years.

Even at my most ruthless I ended up with boxes of stuff I haven’t used in ages and will never use again but couldn’t bring myself to toss. Silly.

I’ve pledged, but only to myself, to whittle them down a bit at a time over the next few months. A sort of slow withdrawal program rather than cold turkey.

I moved into Berwick Royal Oak, Victoria BC, on November 14 with the aid of three stalwart sons – Stephen, Andrew and Nicholas – and one magnificently organized daughter-in-law Buni – Andrew’s wife. She and Andrew were the prime organizers; Stephen provided muscle and technical support, Nic more muscle, computer programming expertise (delivered in the rapid fire style of the 21st century and almost totally incomprehensible to my ancient ears) and his Paramedic and St. John’s Ambulance training. The latter were not needed but are always comforting to have on hand.

When I asked what my role would be on the transition day project-manager Andrew was precise in response: “Dad, just stay away until the jobs finished.”

Having always found it easy to follow such simple instructions I did just that staying well away from Berwick until late in the afternoon when I found my new living quarters nicely arranged, pictures hung, the bed made, the computers working, flat screen TV hooked up and functioning, a toaster, coffee maker and electric kettle ready to be of service.

So here I am at weekend, not fully settled in but fortunate and comfortable enough to know I’ll be kept warm, dry and well fed as I wait for the last train “to the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns.”

Before it arrives (hopefully not for a few more years) I intend to go through those boxes the transition crew sighed over then stacked away. Maybe I’ll even start tomorrow – or the day after. Soon, anyway.



  1. I have seen the interior of your new “digs”. A great looking facility. I am currently downsizing in anticipation of a similar move. I had a daughter and a niece visit to initiate the downsizing. Both are nurses and after they did some fine work I have been able to put my car in the garage after 30 years.

  2. All the very best in your new home. I hope you’ll keep on writing your column. I always enjoy it when your words come winging into my email inbox

  3. I want to wish you all the best in the transition. I am not quite there yet so hope you continue with your blog or whatever it is called and keep us informed how you progress. The staff will be a little nervous with you as a guest because you tell it like it is

  4. According to a doctor that I was totally unfamiliar with …. I was there to ask for an innocuous prescription refill … the term is “warehousing”. When I repeated (for clarification) that my husband and I are fortunate to still be in our own home …. His reply was … well “we” refer to the alternative as “warehousing”. When I returned home my husband stated that he could see smoke coming out of my ears. So much for compassionate care.

  5. A week or so ago I dropped my wife (aka littler Granny) off to your new digs to hear some children who were singing for you all and a tea that had been put on for all the parents and visitors. Turns out they sang twice, once for the residents ( on a cruise ship you would be called passengers or guests ) and then again for the invited parents and such. Well she came home and said all excited , did you know that Jim Hume resides at the Berwick.. 🙂 She saw your name tag. The part I liked best if I heard right was the Pub there.. All the best to you and your new home.

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