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My mother-in-law sold her house, pending appraisal, less than a week after putting it on the market. There’s a 45-day escrow plus three days for moving. She’ll be relocating to our home immediately after Labor Day. The plan that was drawn up after the death of her husband in January is coming to fruition imminently.

The train ride down will take 36 hours, which is about the same as driving and far less stressful than flying. After my husband arrives in central California, his mom will rent a truck for her move out of the state in which she’s lived for a bit more than 50 years, after growing up in Germany. She’ll drive her own vehicle with her dog and cat, following my husband in the rental. The trip will take two full days on the road in the first full week of September.

The pets will be interesting additions to our home. Our blue heeler is nearly 11 years old and slowed down by a deteriorating liver for the last couple. Here come a seven-year-old dog and maybe ten-year-old cat my mother-in-law adopted from my sister-in-law when she was dying from ALS. She moved into her boyfriend’s house for safety reasons and he didn’t let her bring these pets. So, this cat and dog are special members of the extended family, just as our dog is to us.

Shiloh, the sweet dog, lived in town for a short while at the nearby home of a friend, so my SIL was able to visit for that time. They were unable to keep the dog long-term, so my MIL was happy to take them; she is very much an animal lover. On one of my visits to see her in Southern California, we spent time with the young dog just prior to him moving to central California. Driving away from his “foster” home that night, with him standing quietly at the fence watching, his eyes reflecting the headlights as we pulled away was so sad. Adjustments such as these made the reality of the progression of the cruel disease unavoidable. Five years later, Shiloh is coming to live here and he’ll have grass for the first time since leaving a small yard in southern California. This makes my heart happy.

Firmly dog-lovers, my husband and I have never had a cat. We both regard felines as aloof animals who do whatever they want and create the need for a litter box. I know we’re not wrong. I also understand they can be in relationship with their owners, purring on laps, etc. Growing up, we did have a couple cats, but they were outdoor cats. The last cat we had brought us a bat and, as soon as we got the rabies ‘all clear’ from the vet, Bandit disappeared following a night of coyotes howing in the woods at the end of the street. Apparently, this cat keeps itself to itself and will be seen only occasionally. We’ll leave the laundry room door open, so the litter box has a place. My MIL was offended when my husband referred to stinky litterboxes. She assured him no odor will accompany the cat shat. We’ll find out soon.

Crazy days here in the midst of two bathroom remodels and no bedroom yet cleared for our son to move upstairs before my MIL moves in downstairs. Fibromyalgia has not improved since I started reminding myself there is no threat, no need for fight, flight or freeze. The unwinding I credit to merely a few months rewiring of communication involving the amygdala by frequently reminding myself that there is actually not a current threat has been rewound as I juggle thoughts regarding the recent disability hearing, complexities of fibro, and the listing with fast sale of MIL’s home.

As predicted this winter when my husband and I played out what this process would look like as well as the timing, my German mother-in-law will be moving into our home in September. The plan worked out just as we thought it would. That’s one definition of success, yes?

Rest assured, updates to follow.

Published by Sara Z

Writing is one of my passions. Most blog entries are relatively short articles regarding a wide variety of topics. I'm a middle-aged wife and mother of two adult sons. I've been a teacher, counselor, medical transcriptionist, student teacher supervisor, substitute teacher and retail clerk. Staying home now due to fibromyalgia. Seeking purpose.

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