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Multi-Gen Boomer Home?

The Main Fear Of Living Alone

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A benefit of living with different age groups is the point of view.

Both ends squeeze the middle, which is fine if you’re not in the middle.

For better and worse, baby boomers sit right in the middle. They are the meat in the generational sammy.

The youths grow to adults, just out of reach of their dreams, tormenting their parents along the way.

The seniors stay on task, stay on schedule. They’re the ones ready to go when you give them a go time.

The Multi-Gen household reveals life in full. Older kids have married friends and kids, older mom is one of the millions without a husband.

If you live with any combination of mom, dad, and kids, then you know which one remembers your own so-called tormented years well enough to make small references.

When they do, your kid looks over to your mom or dad and smiles. You smile too, a boomer smile.

The excitement of one and the experience of the other sit on either end of the lifeline. Boomers are the center bar for that teeter-totter.

NW Boomer keeps a line out for the tie that binds. One day my mother-in-law and I talked about her friends who’ve lost their husbands, whose ties had come unbound.

ME: The men always go first, huh?

MIL: Oh, yes dear, all the wear and tear. Many of my friends still live in houses too big for one person. You know Shelly and her beautiful house. Two older women across the street live alone, too.

ME: How about the ladies in your groups? How’ve their husbands taken the wear and tear?

MIL: So many live alone in big houses. It’s none of my business, but they all have a common topic.

ME: They miss their husbands?

MIL: I’m being serious. They worry about their homes. It’s been such a big part of them for a long time, and now they have to do it all alone. But they’re too old.

ME: Older than you?

MIL: None are older than me, dear. Wouldn’t it be nice if my friends had some kind of resource to fall back on when their houses need work? For their peace of mind?

Boomer, do you know any boomer and senior-aged women living without their partners? Some tradesmen see them as their next victim. How can you help them without butting in? What can you do for them if you felt compelled to do anything?

Give them a URL on a scrap of paper. Give them this one:

Here’s why. The major problems to worry about in a house are water, power, and the roof. You don’t want a flood, a fire, or a load of cedar shakes falling on you at night.

What would an elderly widow need for her house that you don’t? She doesn’t want a flood, a fire, or a collapsed roof. She’ll need help with that, along with her irrigation system, painting, new wainscot in the drawing room, the crown molding in the morning room, and more.

After husbands pass on, wives are free to change things, to remodel a closet and add a carousel, change the oven from gas to electric, to brighten up the window coverings.

They’d keep the basics up better, and do the build-outs they dreamed of, but for one thing. They’re afraid of getting started without their husbands. And they don’t want a new one, so that’s not an option.

You’re not an option either, Boomer, but you can give them as a starting place. From DIY to contractor info, NW Renovation is packed for the long hall. It’s a graduate class in learning what the right thing looks like, or supposed to look like, after you finish making a mess, or paying someone to make a mess.

It’s not a sentimental thing to feel the weight our elders have carried all their lives, together, then alone. It’s not wrong to give them hope for their worries.

ME: Do your single friends have computers?

MIL: Don’t be silly.

ME: Right. They’re in their seventies and eighties and…

MIL: We like our iPads more than a laptop. More and more just gave it up…

ME: Sure, new technology and all.

MIL: …and just use their smart phones instead.

ME: That’s what I was about to say.

MIL: Of course you were.

ME: Would you send a web address to all of your friends online?

MIL: My friends are online, but we’re friends off-line first. Why would I send them an email?

ME: When their houses need attention, it’s a place they can do a little homework. Sort of like a craft project.

MIL: We love crafting.

ME: Yes you do. Ok, here’s the web address…

MIL: The url?

ME: What?

MIL: Go ahead, then. www dot what?


MIL: I think I’ve seen a magazine of that name somewhere.

ME: You probably have. There is a print edition. When they go online, ask them to leave a note saying they heard about it from NW Boomer.

MIL: And who would that be?

ME: That’s the name of the blog I write.

MIL: And such a nice blog at that. I’ll do it.

ME: Thank you.

MIL: Thank me later, after I do it. You young people are in such a hurry.

ME: I’m fifty eight.

MIL: So you are. You’re welcome.









About David Gillaspie
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