IMG_20151213_162220Make no mistake about it: Mom and I are in the thick of a traumatic event. They say never to purchase a house you don’t plan to be in for at least five years. Well, they obviously aren’t an aging woman and her handicapped daughter. We’re moving to Riverside.

I don’t think it’s a secret. I’m not real keen on Mom’s neighborhood. What with the speeding cars and basically taking my life in my hands every time I walk Frankie, it’s not exactly pedestrian friendly. There are very few sidewalks here and where there are, a car usually sits in the driveway, blocking my path.

Always on the lookout for a way to further improve my (and my mom’s) quality of life, a friend and I were talking about her recent move to Riverside. Then I took a scouting trip there, via JTA, to make sure I could get to places in my power chair. Publix and Starbucks were right across the street from my friend’s apartment building. Groceries and a latte? On my own?

Unless you don’t drive, it’s impossible to convey just how huge this is. And I mean HUGE.

To my surprise, Mom was open to the idea. She’d always wanted to live in Riverside, but my life was at the beach. I’m ready to correct that statement. My able-bodied life was at the beach. I moved here when I was 23. But that was back when I could drive. Or actually go to the beach. As in swim. I’ve lived in this community for almost 23 years. And people think going to Mexico was brave? This feels bigger. Much bigger. Home base is everything.

So now, in addition to the normal holiday stress, we have added living among boxes, preparing a house for the market and having a garage sale stress. Mom and I vacillate between biting each others heads off and feeling nostalgic about breaking up our little two-person, three-animal family.

But it’s time. I need to be able to get somewhere without bumming a ride and Mom needs to not worry about a yard, a pool, the roof (heck – a light bulb!) We’re moving into separate apartments in the same building. And as for that whole five year homeowner’s plan? Well, live and learn.