Just checking in. I’ve been busying myself with life these days, not so much paying attention to politics. It’s one of the reasons I like having Biden in charge- everything seems steady, as steady as it can be in a nation I think is onf downward slope. We’re not doing the things we need to be doing to make life wubstantially better for those under 35, and I just don’t see any national willpower to do anything. The best case scenario is to keep voting in millennials and gen z politicians.
At any rate, I am at the stage in my life I am trying to get ready for the end. Don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of dying soon, but the simple fact of the matter is that everything happens before you ever are fully prepared, so I am going through and figuring out where I want to be for my senior years. It’s not fucking here, that is for sure.
And watching my parents go through the hell of a three story house with limited mobility, all the decisions and questions of what to do with all the stuff they have accumulated, I am determined I am not going to deal with that shit. So I am planning- looking for an efficient small one story house on a plot of land I can sustain with reasonable cost of living and someone decent weather.
I’ve also made some other moves. I know you all have heard me mention my friend Joelle, who I have known since we met in undergrad in 1988. We spent many years out of contact, and then the past eleven or so years she has stayed at the pad, and we’ve become close friends. About a year ago I had a dream, and woke up with the decision that since Joelle and I are both single and not planning on getting married to anyone, we should get married. So I called her up that morning and told her we were going to get married, and she said ok.
It makes sense- I like the cut of her jib and she brings me joy, she’s kind, and very smart and has a good sense of humor and is a good judge of character, and loves anbimals. One of my biggest fears is dropping dead with no one getting my social security and other benefits (USAA!) I have been working for since I was 13, etc., and it means we both can continue our lives in separate states doing what we do, vacationing and meeting up when we can, and plot our escape from the grind in our early sixties.
My parents, of course, think I am nuts- “Wait- you are marrying someone you have not dated and we have never met? You changed your will and made her executor? What did Tammy think? Does Devon know?” WHY YES MOM AND DAD, I AM AND I DID. They had their dander up for a bit until I reminded them that dad had told mom they were going to get married the first time he me her, so that shut them up. I don’t make rash decisions. I just don’t share my decision making process with my parents because it invites unwanted and unhelpful opinions- it’s why they are on a need to know basis about a lot of stuff. It just seems sudden because it is the first they are hearing of it, which IS BY FUCKING DESIGN. When I finally get a tattoo mom won’t know until I have had it for six months.
I don’t know why I had this dream but it happened about 6-7 months before Tammy’s tragic death. Speaking of which- Tammy visits me in my dreams. Obviously I have very vivid, rational, and clear dreams all the time, but these dreams are very different. I can smell her, feel her presence, hear her laugh, and when I wake up, I remember our conversations, and feel like she was actually there with me. I have never had dreams like that before. I like it- it is nice, and comforting, and they make me feel good and smile.
I guess all of this is my way of telling you all to expect to hear and see more of Joelle. I think you will like her. She’s smart, and kind, and friendly, and clearly a little off and pretty tolerant if she is willing to put up with my bullshit.
Good for you. Wishing you both all the best.
That’s a bundle of news and no mistake.
Congrats, John! You are inspiring me … well, not to get married … but to get my ass in gear about planning for later. And I’m a good couple of decades older than you.
If serious, congratulations.
Does she know about this place? Is she good at keeping track of mustard? So many questions…
But again, if you are serious, congratulations.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
That is a great story, and my hat’s off to you for doing it your own way.
Best wishes to both of you as follow the course you’ve set.
Congratulations, Mr. Cole.
Oooh, I like this story. Yea and wow!
I suppose congratulations are in order, but I’m sure you find them superfluous, though well directed.
Still, what we thought was love in our 20s turns out to be a pale imitation of what we discover decades later. I’m happy you’re not tied to the Hallmark version. It is what we make it.
Nice to hear about Tammy, too. Her visits might become less frequent, or maybe not. Enjoy each one.
Wow! Congratulations, John, and welcome, Joelle! IIRC, we met Joelle a few weeks ago when you were on vacation and she found that amazing massage therapist for you.
And your parents will be just fine with whatever you decide to do with your life. It just takes a minute.
I’m really happy for your new chapter. Great times!
Sister Golden Bear
Congratulations! I wish you many years of naked mopping together.
Friends with Social Security Benefits?
Congratulations! This is an amazing change and I love the way it went. All the best to you on your separate but together lives
I am with you on aging in a multi-story house and trying to figure out what to do.
ETA Our older son got a tattoo and went skydiving and didn’t tell his mother or me about either until months later. Good plan on your part!
@Sister Golden Bear: Ditto! Congrats Blogmaster!
Oh, and I’m sure the wedding is going to be a big blowout that all the jackals
are invited tocan crash, right?
Congratulations, John. I had a feeling about this after reading your vacation reports. I’m glad you are doing something that makes you happy.
My husband passed away more than 20 years ago. For the year after his death, I had vivid dreams of conversations with him about our boys. I still dream about him on occasion, but they are not as vivid, usually replaying some event in our lives. The dreams are always quite positive.
What an excellent batch of news. Good for you thinking ahead, and I’m very glad that Tammy visits you.
A piece of advice: Do not tell us where and when. God only knows what might happen.
Having done some counting on my fingers, I find that John and Joelle have known each other 35 years. That seems long enough to wait to pop the question.
Well hell, mazeltov! Kampai! Slainte! Skol! Congratulations and here’s a happy future.
Wait’ll Biden hears of this, his hand on the wheel has been so steady, Cole done got married!
The only way this could be more John Cole is if it involved missing condiments.
Been reaming stuff out, getting rid of so much – donations mostly. Updated will, etc. Same – not planning on an exit soon but you never know and I sure as hell do not want the state grabbing my modest, assets and leaving my friends to get rid of my crap. Hopefully, culling enough that just the good stuff is left for them
READ THIS: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Gentle-Art-of-Swedish-Death-Cleaning/Margareta-Magnusson/9781501173240
A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life.
In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.
Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your children’s art projects). Digging into her late husband’s tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.
@Omnes Omnibus: It would not surprise me in the least to learn the big event has already happened.
married john cole is gonna be an even funnier, crankier john cole. i love it.
She brings you joy. If you bring her the same then go chase that wild tiger of love
Congrats and be happy!
@Spanky: Fair point. And a good idea.
ETA: Did he do it on Valentine’s Day? That would be something.
Smart moves, Cole! Here’s another thing I think should happen; you and some of the other front-pagers should collect/curate your best posts–the funniest, the most furious, the most heart-breaking–and put them together into book. Maybe include pictures of your furry friends and the fucking old house project. I would certainly buy a copy, especially if the proceeds went to animal rescue and such.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Literal LOL from me
Congratulations. Does she add any animals to the equation?
Mike in NC
“Smart, and kind, and friendly” would rule out a career in US politics.
Very nice plan John.
I’m a few years/decades older than you, and I find myself unattached as I’m getting used to retirement and geezerdom. OK used to may be a bit of an overstatement. I’ve lived a decent life, am seemingly in reasonably decent health, but. Reasonable health in one’s mid 70s and beyond is not the same as a reasonably healthy 25 yr old, as others here can attest to. Having reasonable financial health helps a lot, having reasonable healthcare helps a lot, having a reasonable concept of forward helps most of all. Humans usually had very little possibilities to say what you say here, up until about the last 15-20 yrs, and it helps a lot to be able to say it and get feedback from a number of people besides your family, because family often are not going to see your side, at least at first.
good luck you crazy kids
Congratulations to you and Joelle, and a hearty welcome to the incoming FLOBJ*. Don’t forget to post any appropriate wedding/honeymoon pix.
*First Lady of Balloon-Juice
My partner and I finally, after 16+ years together (and 2 years of very sporadic, helpful, fun, but also confusing zoom meetings with a lawyer) drafted and signed to create a joint revocable trust and ‘pour over’ wills. Also new durable atty forms so we can, except in awful Catholic hospitals in shitty red states while traveling, maybe (damn the regressions in this f–king country) make decisions for each other.
This is what passes for marriage-like fun when you’re a lateish middle-age partnered queer who, when young, was like “smash the patriarchy” “marriage equality? I want unmarried equality!”
It was a big deal, and then within days we settled right back to normal and I’m just glad we have a solid plan tucked away for someday. My mom’s side of the family isn’t known for longevity. Dad’s side is. I’m not doing any genetic testing, so it’ll be a spin of the wheel when the trust may kick in.
Wow. So happy for you and Joelle. I know you are a private person but I hope you will share a wedding picture with us.
Most of my dead loved ones have visited me in my dreams at one point or another. It’s usually very comforting (sometimes frustrating when they disappear again).
Delurking just to say Mazel Tov and to wish you two kidz all the best!
Commmme to Florrrrridaaaa Coooooollllllle………… we neeeed more Democratttsssss……….
You know you wannttt toooooooo…………..
Commmme to Florrrrridaaaa Coooooollllllle………… we neeeed more Democratttsssss……….
You know you wannttt toooooooo…………….
Well congratulations, wonderful news!
@Sister Golden Bear:
This is good. Congratulations from someone who recently married someone I’ve known for 40 years. : )
Good on you, John.
I met my wife on her sixteenth birthday, going on fifty-four years ago. Although she was much sought-after, she was something of a party girl at the time, and tended to date men in their mid-twenties. “Why would I want to spend time with some pimply, inexperienced seventeen year-old who doesn’t own a car, still lives at home, and hasn’t the means to show a girl a good time?” as she put it years later. Never an item, we remained friends through the years. She went from being a grocery clerk to an itinerant musician—I’d see her whenever she blew through the Bay Area—and thence in her late thirties, to law school, being admitted to the California Bar at the end of 1993.
Two years later I found myself unexpectedly in Southern California at the turning of the year. I hadn’t had time to secure overnight arrangements, and friends who usually made their spare bedroom available were out of town, but I remembered that I had an open invitation from Lina in Glendale…
So there we were on New Year’s Eve, neither of us with a date, and one thing led to another…
I married my first wife when I was twenty-four and she twenty-three. I think we wed each of us hoping to be completed by the other. It came as a nasty shock when we realized that at that point we still only added up to about five-eighths of a human being. She ditched me ten years later, leaving me in a prolonged funk from which I was only beginning to emerge that fateful NYE. As Lina has observed, the nice thing about getting together with someone you’ve observed for a quarter of a century is that you can be reasonably sure you’re not getting tied up with a psycho. Yer doing the right thing, keed.
Here’s to rolling the dice, and finding companionship wherever you can. “There’s less of my future, and more of my past.” When sorting out the stuff of my parents after they passed away, and now sorting through that of my partner Ginger who passed in October, there is one nagging thought. Who is going to sort through my stuff when I’m gone? G and I were together for 20 years and when others who were breaking up asked how we stayed together, we always replied, “Separate houses.” The pandemic and her cancer treatments wrecked that.
Any relationship that works is wonderful, never judge others on what works for them.
@BQuimby: I love that book. It’s been very helpful to me.
Of course I disregarded the advice not to start with photographs. Wasn’t long before I switched to clothing. Now working on sorting through old paper records. I’ve realized that the photographs can stay disorganized forever.
Wow great news! Congratulations.
So happy for you, John! Surprising but wonderful news. You deserve all the good things in life.
Well, I approve, if that matters. Does she bring any critters to the equation?
Also, when and if I remarry, all but a very few close friends, would find out after the fact. They might just have to deduce it from the man who suddenly walks down the hallway one day. :-D
Congratulations. I wish you two much happiness. I am a widower but I enjoyed being married and having a partner who always had my back.
Congratulations, John; best wishes, Joelle.
(No implications, fellow Jackals — that’s the Miss-Manners approved response.)
Spousal Unit and I never intended to get married either, but after 15 years of ‘dating’ (16 years of living together), it turned out to be a very good decision. And that was almost 30 years ago, so…
Congratulations, John Cole. That is a shit ton of news, all of it forward-moving. Good for you (and her), and all the best on this wonderfully logical, practical move.
One thing I love about you John is you are very logical and down-to-earth and employ those traits in a way that leads to unorthodox outcomes that may actually make a lot of sense when you pause and think a moment.
Congrats! (I’m sure the animals will appreciate getting still more attention)
As of next week, I will have been married for nine years. It’s been a learning experience, but I count myself lucky and grateful. May your arrangement work as well for you.
Good for you. Congratulations. And welcome, Joelle.
Mazel fucking tov John. We need to find our team in life and I’m delighted you’ve found yours. Forward in all directions!
Congratulations John. And while you have played the comfortable solitary curmudgeon on the internet very well you have seemed a little lonely from to time. I am happy to read that you have found love [yes love in spite of your need for logical explanation) with someone who may not be there every minute, but know she is there in your heart and will be there when it counts. We are very happy for you.
Congratulations! Sounds like you have very well thought out plans.
Best Wishes to you and Joelle!
Congrats, John. Be happy, both of you.
Congratulations!! I recommend the institution but warnings on the whole socks situation.
Sounds very nice. Here I thought a new cat was the big change.
friends with social security benefits is an awesome formulation!
And, of course, I forgot my manners (a trait my parents would not be surprised by, despite their 1000 attempts to teach me. 57 years and I’m still awkward at social moments).
Congrats, John! Best wishes to Joelle!
Lots of life changes. Congratulations! Always wishing you the best, John Cole.
Congratulations, John! This old bachelor wishes you and Joelle the very best of lives together.
I still need to tackle the big clean-out. I did update the estate plan late last year, and am so glad that’s handled. I already live in the small one-story house–okay, there’s the basement too. Sometimes I wish the yard was smaller…then again, maybe I don’t. I checked the hellebores the other day and the Pink Fizz is forming buds under the leaf cover. Winter’s returning to NE Illinois tomorrow but soon there will be flowers.
You are nuts and you are genius. Do this, and may you and Joelle make one another as happy as you deserve to be, which is a goddamn lot.
All the best, Cole.
West of the Rockies
Congratulations, John! Laugh and be kind to each other and enjoy your time together.
God is truly with us.
Sounds like a great band name.
I am commenting to confirm that the impending nuptials and vacationing and snowbirding and multiple pets and single story lifestyle off into the sunset with sweet bennies is all true and not some figment of imagination caused by errant mushroom toxins in Cole’s brain stem. Of course, his fandom doesn’t need me to tell them what they already know… that Senor Blogfather is a real catch. In addition to being a total stud, I find him to be funny, kind, smart and incredibly thoughtful. If you want to know what it feels like to be loved and cared for unconditionally, snuggle up to ole JG. His warmth could power the sun. He is also masterful in calling me out on my shit and making me laugh about it while giving me a gentle, manageable corrective action plan that somehow fixes everything. It takes some serious mindfuq witchcraft to pull that off with a Scorpio and not end up losing an appendage. Some would say I’m a sucker for a man in uniform… in this case, overalls and $3.99 Amazon tshirts. And that multitude of reasons is why, dear Blogosphere, the day J.G. Cole called me out of the blue in the middle of the damn morning at work to tell me we oughts to get hitched… I had no other word upon my rosy red lips but a strangely confident “OK.” Thank you for all the well wishes and supremely funny comments! At the very least this perfectly unconventional venture will make for some great content.
Congratulations! Thanks for sharing all the good news!
@Joelle: ‘Bout time you weighed in. Thanks for co-
manningpersoning the helm!
@Amir Khalid: I humbly accept my role and responsibilities as FLOBJ.
So the wedding will be in … 2035? That’s a long engagement, but those can be wonderful things.
Make sure you tie the knot before January 19, 2038.
Congratulations and best wishes to you both!
@Sister Golden Bear: don’t threaten me with a good time. ;)
@Joelle: Oh, NOW I understand. Very happy to make your acquaintance, Joelle. You really do get the Tao of Cole. (Amazon tees sounds about right.)
Blessings unto you both.
Please excuse me while I clear the dog from my pillow. Rack time.
I am doing the big clean out as I approach retirement in June. I’ve only made a small dent in getting rid of the clothes. I swear they are asexually reproducing behind my back. We moved into a nice little 1.5 story place about five years ago as our retirement home. My plan, if hubby goes first, is to slap this place on the market and move into one of the very nice senior living communities in our area.
Mai Naem mobile
Congrats John. Good for you for figuring this stuff out and doing it your way.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Be happy, John. That’s what really matters in life. My wife and I have a lean senior life planned because we don’t want to leave a bunch of crap behind for the kids to deal with, so I know where you are coming from planning for your future.
Congratulations and good luck to you and the Mrs. to be. 👍
@Joelle: Joelle, that is wonderful that you two have found that your paths have intertwined, but seriously, despite JC’s (and hopefully your own) good fortune, we’ve been waiting on a status about a new cat and acclimation stories and we will NOT be swayed until we get some resolution on this important blog issue.
Belatedly, good luck on finding a great locale to settle down and be together, that can be a challenge in and of itself. Best advice I can offer would be to be honest about what you want and DON’T want in a location.
I too shall de-lurk to congratulate you both!
@MobiusKlein: Stealing that for the wedding invitations.
@TaMara: That’s how my uncle did it. Well, kinda.
I must have been around 6 and I can remember it well. My Family, including my Grandmother, my Uncle’s Mother, was visiting my Uncle in Ukiah, CA. There was this woman darting back and forth, doing this and that, and finally, my Father asked who it was. That, confessed Uncle, was his wife. My GM had the obvious reaction.
Can remember it well.
Wow!! This is simultaneously the best Cole news and the most Cole thing ever seen on this blog. As someone who reconnected with a truly wonderful woman I’ve known for over 40 years, I get it.
May you and Joelle find continued joy in each other.
I do not come to this hallowed altar without dowry. I bring an adorably chubby Shiba Inu named Curtis who likes to spoon, cut toxic farts, murder-scream for pizza and saw logs on the couch all day.
@Joelle: Whoa. You’re real! And a night owl to boot! Eexxxxxxellent………..
@John Revolta: HA! It’s these damn comments keeping me up. They are all 🔥. Cole however in true Cole fashion has stirred the blog pot with the hammer of Thor and sleeps like a baby.
@Joelle: JC and a Shiba? Hooo boy! They are wonderful dogs, I imagine the battle of wills will be epic, enjoyable and full of stories. I type this as a person who has had Shiba’s and has a Shiba now, they just have their own ways…..
@Joelle: Welcome to the joys of FYWP multiple posts!!
@piratedan: I know! Where’s the damn cat already? This has been my mantra as well. I say… don’t put a 💍 on it… PUT A FREAKING CAT ON IT COLE!!! 🐈⬛
@frosty: grrrrr….. that blows
This is the most John Cole story ever and you have my most sincere congratulations.
Woah, this is the kind of thing I love you for. Congrats and looking forward to getting to know Joelle. And once again, woah!
@piratedan: yup, it’s about to get real up in the shiba hizzous. We both know the Shib VS Cole content is going to make “Merry Shitzmas” look like a trip to ClubMed.
Ha! Brilliant. Basically telling Life you know the kind of shit it likes to pull so here’s your simple plan to deal with that. No fuss, no muss, and due respect for the anbimals (who no one else ever makes time for).
You should get a blog, Cole.
Congratulations to John and Joelle! I am very happy for both of you.
Congratulations John and Joelle!
Emma from Miami
Bravo!!! you are both brave and good people. And deserve all the happiness in the world.
Damn, but this is great news to wake up to.
@Ohio Mom: You don’t need to organize your photos, but please, please PLEASE, write the pertinent information on the back because that photo of a very old lady that your grandkids don’t recognize can suddenly become a treasured item when they see that it’s great grandmama Caroline Louisa who walked from Virginia to Missouri at age 13, barefoot, following her family’s wagons and in the company of kids from another family making the same trip after the Civil War.
@Joelle: HI Joelle, and congratulations to you and John G. I wish you many, many happy years together.
Congratulations to you both, with best wishes for a long and happy life together.
Nice of Tammy to come by and tell you she’s fine.
@Msb: I never have dreams of my dear departed family members, but once in a while THE HS boyfriend makes an appearance and it’s as real as real; I’m 16 again but also an adult, which is strange, but the dreams are pretty tame and innocent, which we were back then.
@Joelle: Congrats to John and Joelle… and, speaking as a dude, my condolences to Joelle ; – )
sounds very cool and am glad to be among the jackals to hear about it. great news after a weird day. for what it is worth , my sense is the jackals are loud but very few bite…
definitely curious to hear about Cole and a shiba, too. Not sure of what it means that autowrong wants to change shiba to shiva…
Congratulations John and Joelle. I look forward to the many life stories.
Wow, Cole, this news makes me so happy. I’ve long thought what a waste it was that you were single. Congrats to you and Joelle! I wish you decades of happiness together.
@Joelle: Congratulations! And be on the look out for itinerant mops late at night… I hope you both make eachother exceedingly happy.
What happened with the kitty you were picking up? We want photos!
The fact that Cole is optimistic that the GOP won’t repeal Social Security tells me it’s true love. Congratulations!
🤯 🤔 🤗 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
The single story house thing makes a lot of sense. We thought we were in our last house then about a year ago one of Mrs kalakals knees gave up. Definite wake up call
Congratulations to you both!
Congratulations! This is a great idea.
The attraction to Cole becomes apparent!
Balloon Juice…quite the family to marry into…
Congrats, John, to both of you!
So glad to hear good news!
Congratulations, John and Joelle! So happy for you!
Congratulations and best wishes to you both!
The single-story house is smart. I’d also recommend choosing it or making it so that the hallways are wheelchair compliant, and the shower has no lip, just a floor drain. Design that shower with an eye to getting in and out on crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.. Life is likely to bring you those things in the long run, and they are all more tolerable if you can stay clean.
Love each other and be good to each other. You both deserve it.
Congrats! May you have years of happiness together.
Congratulations and best wishes!
Good for you babysan.
We have three sets of stairs in our house but, when we did the addition, we built a walk in shower without a door. I’ve been having mobility issues since I retired just before covid but I can still negotiate the stairs for now. My old man left me a porthole from his WW2 destroyer and my step mom just sent it to me after 17 years. I ran into a friend right after I got it and he said “don’t make the mistake of thinking anyone will want this shit when you die”! I have accumulated all kinds of cool shit including a 6ft tuna that is hanging on the wall behind me! I also have trouble pushing the heavy duty clutch on my 66 Chevy truck and wonder sometimes about selling.
Oh, such lovely news to wake up to! Congratulations!
Ghost of Joe Liebling’s Dog
Very best wishes to both of you!
Hooray! Hoorah! Good news on a snowy, dark Iowa morning.
Wow, I love it! So nice to meet you, Joelle.
My husband and I became close friends during the year after I split from my previous partner. Another friend noted the amount of time we were spending together and I said “Nah, we’re just friends, we are not attracted to each other”. True at the time, but a few weeks later, after way too much beer, no longer true. He never slept at his place again, and we have been happily married for more than 30 years. I can’t think of a better way to start a loving relationship than as friends. I am happy for both of you!
@FastEdD: I had the same thoughts as I went through my mother’s stuff, which was also my sister’s and grandparent’s stuff. I have no family left on that side, but there was stuff I couldn’t bear to get rid of, at least not yet. It’s a problem. What do you do with your dead sister’s letter jacket that your mother kept? You put it in the shed out back, at least for now.
I had a hunch. What lovely news to wake up to!
Also, those dreams are such a gift. More vivid even than memory.
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. Hope you are as happy as Mr. Soprano and I, 32 years and counting. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve never regretted my decision, or that I waited until I was 29 to get married.
People underestimate what it takes to have an elder friendly house. Single story is just the beginning. My grandmother was in a wheelchair due to strokes the last 20 years of her life and I grew up calculating that with my genetic heritage I needed to plan. My mother is using a walker and this last year has had a lot of muscle and bone deterioration that is making everything harder.
Look for wide doorways and halls that don’t have sharp turns that wheelchairs have trouble with. Some doorways can effectively be widened by special hinges that make the door fold out of the way further. Pocket doors help. Lower counters are good. Bathroom sinks with space underneath instead of cabinets like a vanity so knees in a wheelchair can fit and faucets on the side instead of in back. Kitchen counters lower for wheelchairs or stooped older folks. If you aren’t yet in wheelchair, then some high some low. Flooring that is even. My tile floors were done by a prior owner and some is not even or flat. I think I need it redone if I stay before I become to prone to tripping. Haven’t done it yet because money and my parents are aging so fast the last 2 years they may go into a retirement community soon which might mean I need to move to be nearer when I thought this was it. They thought they picked a good house. I kinda knew it wasn’t ideal but ideal is hard to find. That is another point. Finding something close to right takes time so give yourself time.
I have hopes Florida’s super stupid Republican extremism is going to crash into reality dramatically soonish. Screwing with schools and meddling with kids privacy seem likely to cause blowback IMO. We shall see. I have to have hope my state will turn it around and maybe we can welcome you in 10 years.
I assume Thurston and Steve have met her and approved already….
My wife and I found our “elder home” in 2019. Nice and big because I’ve always lived in small houses and wanted a big one. But everything we need is on one floor (it’s an expanded ranch with a basement) and it had ramps already, which our dogs like more than steps.
Congratulations John and Joelle! Wishing you both much happiness together.
This video seems fitting here.
@Joelle: You sound like a perfect match for the blogfather. And if you need to raise funds for the single story house, you can always put Curtis vs JC on pay per view. Congratulations!
Congratulations John and Joelle! May you have many happy years of service to your pets.
Family friend wrote a book on universal design that I can recommend. “Universal Design for the Home”, by Wendy Jordan. My parents built their house with all of these things in mind and it makes a huge difference. Also single story is nice, but residential elevators aren’t nearly as complicated or expensive as they used to be.
Well, depends on what you need / want. They now have one-story, small models that go “through the floor”, but those are not large enough for a wheelchair.
We put in a fancy Graventa elevator, which ran well north of $50k…
@Soprano2: My mother died 10 years ago and I am only now starting to really purge stuff. Some of this stuff was my great great grandparents.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
Congrats! Guess its time for Joelle to meet the folks!
I DEMAND TO BE INVITED TO YOUR WEDDING!!!!
@Joelle: He didn’t mention you’re also cute. Probably doesn’t want any competition.
@Joelle: It doesn’t matter what happens the rest of my day, just readung this made it a good one. 😀😀😀
Oh dear, I think there must be cat hair in my eye. Congrats to both Cole and the brave Joelle, such a wonderful thing to wake up to. Thank you for bringing such great news! Sounds like Joelle has it well in hand, as it should be. She’s going to need all the strength to haul the cartons of mustard around. Congrats!!
This makes all kinds of sense to me, John and Joelle. Mazel tov!
Returning momentarily just to say: Congrats John!
Congratulations and (most of) what everyone else already said!
Oh, wow, I don’t have time to read the thread, but Congratulations!
@opiejeanne: I totally agree, I threw away a lot of pictures of people who I think were my mother’s friends, but who I didn’t recognize at all. I remember my grandma telling me to do that with pictures from my college trips to Europe – she told me I thought I’d remember who those people were, but in 50 years I’d look at them and struggle to remember the names.
Wow! I never expected to wake up to something so joyful! All the best to you both!!!
@sab: I can relate, some of that stuff like all the genealogical research she did was already a plastic tub, so I just put it out there thinking I might want to look at it one day. I was lucky because she was super-organized and had labelled everything. I feel badly because I found the key to a green trunk she had after I had the estate auction people sell it. It was labeled “key for green trunk in closet”. She was definitely thinking ahead for me, I have to appreciate that.
I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if a million screaming Jackals cried out in joy and happiness for John, and then just kept going…
delurking – so happy for both of you!
Dorothy A. Winsor
I would have missed this if someone hadn’t pointed to it. Congrats, John!
And you’re doing the right thing to organize yourself for aging. You’re getting ahead of the game there.
Mazel Tov to you both. Have Watergirl arrange a Zoom wedding. ;)
Congratulations John and Joelle. A good friendship is a solid foundation for a marriage.
We built our house 15 years ago planning for our retirement. We used universal design as the architectural concept. 15 years ago, it seemed over the top but now, we are really grateful for the design. Except for the obvious grab bars in the bathrooms, the other accommodations are more hidden in universal design concept but are there for us to use. And now we use them all the time.
To John and Joelle, wishing you a good life together, full of laughter and fun.
Congratulations to you both!
Welp. There goes my vision of eventually settling down with John Cole in our matching Key Imperial (“The Aristocrat of”) Overalls!
congratulations John and Joelle! This made my morning!!
tokyocali (formerly tokyo ex-pat)
I hope I’m not too late. I also only heard of this and had to pop in to say, Congratulations to you both!
Welcome to Jackaldom, Joelle, and congrats to both you and John.
Also, what does Steve think of all this?
Bard the Grim
Sounds like a damn good plan. Warmest congratulations to you two.
May happiness abound for you both.
Congratulations to you two!
Best wishes, Joelle.
Delightful news! So happy for both of you!
The Fat Kate Middleton
@Nelle: Exactly what I was about post. Such happy news! Congratulations!
Congratulations! Wishing you many (more) years of happiness!
Wait, don’t we get to vote on this??? ;)
Congratulations to both of you. May life bring you tears of joy.
Paul in KY
So very happy for you and Joelle, John. Know she must be supercool! Like you, I need to get rid of stuff & figure out (along with the missus) where we are going to live remainder of our (at least my) lives.
Will not be in KY. Has to be South somewhere or overseas (and warm) somewhere. I think I can refrain from commenting on a certain weirdo king, so it could be there :-)
Congratulations, John and Joelle! I wish you many happy years together.
Paul in KY
@Amir Khalid: ‘FLOBJ’ – I like it!
Holy crap, that’s huge! Congrats, you two!
Paul in KY
@FastEdD: Sorry to hear of Ginger’s passing. My condolences to you and your family.
There IS a lid for every pot!
Paul in KY
@Joelle: I do hope John has given you sufficient info on your rights and responsibilities. Congrats Madam FLOBJ!
I am so very happy for you, John Cole. I am also very impressed that no commentors have remarked upon the words that show your fingers slipped. We all know what words you meant. I wish my correspondents were as civilized when I exhibit fumble fingers. Sometimes they reply with gibberish so that is something.
I agree with you on the necessity of getting rid of massive amounts of stuff.
And living on one floor.
We thought we had achieved that by moving into a ranch 12 years ago,
but our full basement is full of stuff and the laundry is down there.
I think about falling down stairs, usually when I’m balancing clothes, standing on the steps.
Your house is beautiful and someone with young knees will be so happy to find it when you’re ready.
Nice! Best wishes John!
Congratulations, John, Joelle, and pets!
Congratulations Noelle and John! What wonderful news to wake up to!
I had suspicions your posts re wonderfully relaxing vacation in Florida would have sequels 😊
I am tearfully happy for you and I think your arrangement is genius level thinking. It’s perfect!
Best wishes John and Joelle!
awww this is so sweet, congrats to ya both
Congrats to you both! Sounds like an excellent plan.
So happy for you both, you crazy kids!!!!
This is great news to wake up to!
Huge congrats to John and Joelle! May you have a long and happy life together!
If you can’t have the wedding on Zoom (so we can all watch), please do be sure to post photos.
Will all the household critters be members of the wedding party?
Will there be regular commuting between households, a week here and there of connubial bliss within the same walls?
I am so happy for you both!
Congratulations and best wishes to you both! ‘Nuff said.
@Joelle: Knew I was going to like you!!!
@Joelle: You sound like a match for our Blogfather. And I mean that as high praise. :)
So, congratulations, JC, and best wishes, Joelle!
@Jackie: Dratted fat finger typo on my phone 😡 Joelle!!! And, I love your name, btw.
Just got online and saw your post. What wonderful news. There is nothing like being friends with one’s spouse. Friendship lasts.
Congratulations John and best wishes Joelle.
Congratulations and best wishes, John and Joelle!
My husband and I have spent most of the 32+ yrs we’ve been married in two cities 600 mi apart. Professors in the same field, we got together because we met at a conference and lived apart because finding two jobs in the same location in the same field is difficult. We’ve been in a single city since I retired in 2019 . . . finally!
There are lots of ways to be successfully married.
Wow, this is just so fabulous, wise and heart warming to read, congratulations! Watching parents make all the opposite choices and the hassle it has caused them is a good lesson, and we saw the same things you are seeing and learned from it. One story was the criteria when we moved states to retire, and we got lucky and got one that had some universal design remodelling (bathroom, the biggest one to get right). I wish you the same luck in house hunting and as much happiness as possible; it sounds like a great decision for both of you and all the 4 foots.
J R in WV
OK, NOW I believe it. Confirmation from the sane partner does it for me.
More seriously, congratulations and best wishes to both of you… At first I couldn’t tell for sure whether Cole was dreaming about getting married, or had actually taken steps in the real world towards it. There was a dream in the post, after all.
Wife and I have been married since 1971. Working out Ok so far…
Congratulations! Wishing you all an exceedingly high level of contentment in your travels ahead. Wheeeee!
This is so beautiful and sensible at the same time. I wish you all the best. And some good luck as well, since things are always so uncertain.
But think twice about that tattoo. My physical therapist wife has a one-word response to tattoos in general.: Hepatitis. :)
J R in WV
Don’t sell it, you love it ~!!~ Put a heavy duty automatic in it. Should be simple, not like changing from an automatic to a manual…
Surely in GA there’s a shop that would love to work on a ’66 Chevy truck.
New cat, new wife. Congrats John.
@Joelle: Big congratulations John and Joelle, and Joelle, it looks like you can match Cole in the writing department. Look forward to your posts.
Just to make sure the comments go over 200, Congratulations to both of you!
When we built a new house my first requirement was that the laundry room was on the main floor. No carting clothes baskets up and down stairs.
Also our builder gave us doors wide enough for wheelchairs. Things to think about….
Congratulations and Best Wishes to you both!
All the best of joining together for you both, and may you form your future with love, shared adventures, roller-coaster rides of the minds and good humor. Also with the ongoing awareness of feeling gratitude for this life together.
Congratulations John. I know this will ease your mind about a lot things. My wife & I have also reached the stage of life that we & our pets have about the same life expectancy.
This is great news, John Cole! Best wishes to you and Joelle. It’s really lovely that you can visit with Tammy in your dreams.
Bless you both, Cole. [Hi, Joelle! You are a delight!]
Take it from a geezer, you will thank your younger self for these decisions.
Remember, *Designs for Living* have been in fashion for at least a century – improvise, invent, enjoy. 🤠👍❤
Welcome to asylum, Joelle. I had some snarky comment about finding out you’re not a nebulous girlfriend in Canada, but that doesn’t seem appropriate. Congratulations to the both of you.
Congrats, but I fear a future where you’re all sweet and nice.
My favorite small home architect:
Cowgirl in the Sandi
Great happy news to wake up to here on the west coast.
Congratulations John and Joelle!
Congratulations Joelle and John. I don’t know either of you, of course, but this made my day. :)
Geez, that is news. Congrats. There have been lots of marriages that were based on companionability (if that’s even a word) and worked out great. You guys do you and be happy with it.
You are one of a kind, John… don’t ever change. Wishing you much happiness!
I’m just delighted by this news. I thought you two made a good team in Florida, and wondered why you weren’t an item.
Congraulations and best wishes!
This Saturday OldDave and I will be married 45 years. It helps if you are friends.
@Joelle: Congrats to you both! Your decisions are for all the right reasons, and I wish you the very best.
My daughter gave me this for Christmas. It’s now in a stack of books adding to the clutter. Can’t say she didn’t try but she should have known who she was sending it to…
Congratulations to you and Joelle, John!
Thanks for sharing the happy news…
Well then, I just dropped in to see what condition our condition was in and..it’s
Congratulations and I wish all well!!
Congratulations, John and Joelle. You are basically starting as an old married couple, with years of history behind and you vacation together well.
Welcome to Joelle, and I hope she’s in for some serious pet antics.
Hooray for John and Joelle! Thanks to both of you for sharing this wonderful news! I married my best friend more than 48 years ago, and know this is a great basis for long-term happiness. I wish you everything you wish yourselves!
@Joelle: fabulous! Wishing you both all the best! 💖🎉🎂
Late to the engagment party but:
Wishing you every happiness, John and Joelle. Who brings a shiba inu, Curtis the pizza-screamer, to the mix.
Curtis. Thurston. Steve. John.
Joelle, girl, you are seriously outnumbered. But in for a wild and wonderful ride.
Best of luck Mrs and Mr Cole!
Congrats to you both! This is wonderful news! I’ve just bought my first and forever home, at 72 (because previously in California it was beyond my ability to buy anything), in a small very blue dot in a sea of red Ohio, but it’ s close to family and is in a very walkable small town such that if I couldn’t drive I could still live very comfortably here. I am already doing remodeling to make it safer. It does have two stories but I have plans for converting part of the downstairs to make it livable without going to the 2nd floor and to add a staircase seat to ride to the 2nd floor (it’s cheaper than an elevator, for which I don’t really have room, I think). As someone who broke her leg last year and was isolated in ex-urban Ohio, being in a walkable town was a big deal for me. I’m also in the process (for a second time) of culling stuff. My question today was what to do with my ex’s photo collection from Vietnam. Our son doesn’t care about that stuff, there are no other living relatives and I can’t bring myself to throw the photos out.
@grandmaBear: Maybe send them to a military museum??
Congratulations, you two!
We’ve been in a too-small one-story house for 27 years now, and moving into a place with stairs would be a disaster. We were planning for the same kind of thing you were. Best of luck.
Dear Loyal Citizens of Balloon Juice Blogosphere: I am loving the support and the personal stories. They read like a handbook of “best marriage practices” sweetened by the romantic treacle you only get from truly loving someone inside and out. I think it has the potential to become a best seller.
Wishing you best, Cole.🤗
The house thing? I totally get. One story absolutely
So very late to the party, as usual.
John & Joelle, congratulations. I hope this decision brings you both joy and the stability you (at least John) is looking for. Joelle, welcome to the pack. Jackals can be a little territorial, but as John is the blog-father your acceptance here should be reasonably easy. Even more so if you have pet/s to share with us. 🙂
PS: after reading further I note that Joelle has joined the pack and fits right in, immediately. Looking forward to getting to know you better, Joelle and to meet your fur baby.
What a wonderful idea, and one that’s inspiring for me and no doubt many others. All the best!!