Sunday, August 16, 2015

Change


We left Manhattan, bound from Harlem for Brooklyn.  


This trip was repeated several times, in vehicles ranging from Zipvans to U-Haul trucks to a proper moving truck with three strong men, then a Zipcar and another Zipvan.


If there is a Medal of Honor for moving, the Frenchman gets it. 

He is Le Tired.


Not pictured: the blood, the sweat, the tears. We had all three. Smaller amounts of blood and tears balanced by copious sweat. 


Our hearts could not help singing a little, as the BQE brought us into Brooklyn.


Passing Dumbo, and its condominiumed factories.


Seeing rooftop trees against large amounts of sky. 


And Vince thought about running again near the water, and across the Brooklyn Bridge.


Brooklyn Bridge Park appeared.


And Atlantic Avenue. See, Brooklyn has trash, too (note to self).


And at last, our block, in Carroll Gardens.


The boxes and the furniture and plants have been offloaded. Unpacking has begun. Things are in limbo, as they will be for a while, before we find our domestic and horticultural feet. But we have the essentials for ground floor living: mosquito wipes, red wine, and pizza.


I will be in South Africa in a week, to see my parents. My father was diagnosed with vascular dementia, and things are changing fast. He is still himself, but he suffers from intense short term memory loss.

Vince will fly out for his annual two weeks of vacation (seriously, when will Americans wise up to the ridiculousness of this?) and for a few days we will head up the West Coast to see flowers, stars, and to be alone with the road.

And in this week that is left we will learn the language of our new home. Find domestic landmarks, carve out new patterns, mark the moon and plot our nightwalks from bedroom to kitchen, without lights.

The landscape is altered.

40 comments:

  1. I am so sorry to read this news about your father. It is good you are able to make your visit. I can't help but be curious as to how they definitively say it is vascular dementia rather than Alzheimer's. Perhaps vascular dementia doesn't have so defined a decline? I hope so.

    Your street looks lovely with the trees! May you be very happy in your new home.

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    1. Even though the symptoms are similar, diagnostically they are very different.

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  2. Figured something was going on SA-wise, and am sorry for this development. Both Mother and my stepdad had similar issues, so will be thinking of you all and wishing for the best.

    Glad you will be returning in a few weeks to fall in Brooklyn. Looks like a really nice neighborhood.

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  3. Welcome to your new 'hood. The tree lined street looks very inviting. I'm sorry to hear about your father's diagnosis. From what you've mentioned about his profession I would assume he did/does a lot of reading and analysis. I can only imagine how distressing it must be for him and those around him to see the decline in his abilities as it would be for any family.

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    1. The streets are very inviting yes, and clean. Mostly.

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  4. We all wish you the happiness you had in your previous Brooklyn apartment and are ready to enjoy your new "garden" with you.

    On the other hand, I understand how hard it is to see your dad going through that. My dad has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer (his neurologist said that they cannot be hundred per cent sure whether it is Alzheimer until there is an autopsy) as well and it is very difficult to cope with it...

    Have a safe trip and enjoy your stay with them!

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  5. I'm excited to read about the nesting process but always enjoy your South Africa pics and stories, and tours of you Mother's garden.

    My Mother in Law had vascular dementia.Oddly, it didn't effect her sense of humor. Her children donated her brain for research.

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    1. My father's sense of humour is intact, too. And I like making him laugh.

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  6. My best friend had vascular dementia,a side effect of diabetes. I'm glad you are going to see your father. Have a wonderful visit.

    It's nice to hear your happy tone, on returning to Brooklyn.

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  7. Bless your Dad. My Mum is 8 years into Alzheimer's and only yesterday, during a low patch when only Mum would do, but knowing she's altered by this hideous disease, I still had such an uplifting visit with her. She sang Daisy Daisy to me, hugged me and held my hand so tight, smiled her smile. All of this so rare but perfectly timed. Hang in there xx

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    1. Hi jelli - thank you, and take care.

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  8. I'm looking forward to watching how the new place develops through this blog. Thank you so much for taking your readers with you.

    And I am so sorry to hear about your dad. It must be so hard to be so far away. As you say, "The landscape is altered." Thinking of you and your family.

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  9. Although it ensured lots of the sweat for Churchill's quote, am very glad your move was in summer. How welcoming are the trees on your block! Even I, who was not there, sighed with relief at seeing the photo. And glad the heavy lifting is done and you are home now, even if not for long, given your travel schedule. Sympathies re your father - may you and your mother find a way to cope, and may he enjoy his days with as much clarity as he is offered. Mary

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  10. I hate to move. I know you're glad it is over--even if it takes too long to get settled in.

    So sorry to hear about your father...and half a world away.

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  11. Good luck in your new home. Save travel to see your Dad and enjoy your visit with your parents.
    FYI there is a nice video in the Real Estate section of the NY Times (in the Block by Block section) on Carroll Gardens that you might enjoy.

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  12. Welcome back home to Brooklyn. It's lovely that you have returned. And many positive, empowering thoughts sent your way for your trip to your other home, in SA. I hope your father continues to fare well and that your Mom keeps her health. Child-parent caregiving. It's a trip. (All puns intended.)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Pritha - thank you, and it's nice to hear from you. Hope you're well!

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  13. How huge the sky looks over the water and especially away from Manhattan's concrete, steel and glass canyons. The previous posters have said it all before me, so I will just echo their well wishes on both fronts. I am amazed at your energy, being able to produce such a fine post in the midst of moving. Good luck to your mother with what sounds like a possibly long and trying care taking challenge ahead. I just wish you could live closer to them or vice versa. We will be thinking of you all & cheering you on from (geographically) afar. Take care of yourself, please.

    Diane in Denver

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  14. Pritha said it ahead of me, but I echo it. Welcome home.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dinah. Maybe you can come and bee-sit for us here :-)

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  15. *sigh*
    Life is certainly full, Marie.
    Soak it all in, take deep breaths when required and be gentle with yourself.
    Sending love and light.

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    Replies
    1. Deep breaths are a good reminder. Thank you, Karen.

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  16. Congratulations on surviving the move. Moving house has got to be one of Life's Top Ten Stressors. If you have mosquitos, try a fan. Mosquitos are lousy fliers, and a gentle breeze from a fan will quite literally blow them off.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ed. And thank you for your comment on the Times article...

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  17. I am so sorry to hear about your dad....it is a difficult time...and I send my good thoughts that you all can get through this with grace....Both of my parents suffered from types of dementia during the last years of their lives....we don't honor the process do we?
    Carol

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    1. I think as it hits us, or threatens us - DNA and all - we will start addressing it more seriously.

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  18. A homecoming, twice over. Your dad will welcome this time with him.

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    1. Yeah, he will. Breaks my heart. Thanks, Frank.

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  19. Welcome home (and for a long and happy time), Marie and The Frenchman.

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  20. Welcome home! Isn't moving the worst? We live on the UES (Yorkville to be exact) and wish we could afford Brooklyn. As it is, we spend a lot of our free time there-restaursnts (try La Vara which is very close to you), our favorite toy store, Brooklyn Bridge park, and just walking block after block of gorgeous streets.

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  21. Change sucks. It hurts, it stings, it blinds, it stirs, it upsets, it worries, it frustrates, it scares, it blurs, it scars, it challenges and it ruins. But the flower that grows from it can be so pretty.

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  22. Beautiful trees on your street bode well! Here's to a peaceful neighborhood and to a home and garden that you will make beautiful.Love your inspiring posts.

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