Archive for September 2018


Yesterday was moving day — again. With the help of Jean and her red wagon, my son Doug, and Dianne, I made the trip two doors down to Dianne who is hosting me for the month of October. Jean had me in September, along with a garage full of things hastily removed from my unit across the way when I was preparing it for sale.

So amazing! Back when I was anticipating life after the sale of my home and before moving to The Waters, I mentioned in conversation that I was looking to find a place to live during the interim. With no hesitation, each of them offered “Come stay with me.”

My first reaction was, in my thoughts, “Thanks, but no thanks.” After all, they couldn’t really mean it. But they did. And you can’t tell me that it’s easy inviting someone to come live with you for a month. They make it look that way, though. What a welcome, and I don’t know what I would have done without them.

So this is my way of letting you know my good fortune in being welcomed by such generous women.


Posted September 28, 2018 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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Just click the link below — so good, and so good for you

Let’s laugh instead

Posted September 23, 2018 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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Was it Bette Davis who said, “Old age is not for Sissies?” One might say, “Apology is not for Sissies.” Only the strong are capable of accepting and acting on the truth of their own weakness. Try this link

Surviving the negativity   2 comments

While other things — mostly negative because of the nature of news –pull me down, I find every day is boosted by a shot of optimism. It’s a look at the unsung, unheadlined things that are happening to make our world a better place. I forward this every day to my friends. Why not share it with my blogging friends too. Try clicking

Posted September 18, 2018 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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My Downsizing Frenzy   18 comments

The following is a copy of the e-mail letter I have sent to family, friends, and colleagues. And now to you blogging friends.

Little did I know back when I made plans for Spring and Summer, 2018, that I would be involved in planning a move and preparing my home for sale. But it happened that the senior living complex I had been watching in its early approval stage would be coming to fruition. As it turned out, I have committed to a two-bedroom apartment (the Cosco) on the southeast corner as I requested. If you are interested in more detail, just click on

To say that it made for a very busy life is an understatement. From the time I knew I’d be moving, I began giving things away. First my Forgiveness library went to Luther Seminary, followed closely by my Psychology of Women library and then the “Job/Mrs Job” collection. But there was so much more to do.

To leap to the end of the story — Thinking it would take a while for my townhome to sell, I put it on the market just before I went off for a week of studying writing with MaryCarroll Moore at Madeline Island School of the Arts from July 30thto August 3d – fabulous course, by the way, with a super teacher. I expected that would make it easier for the agent to show my townhome without my presence. But things moved a little faster than anticipated when I received a full price cash offer on the first day it was listed. To say that hastened things is an understatement. I returned home from the class on August 3d and began the intricate, somewhat frantic process of emptying my home to prepare for an August 30th closing. I won’t keep you in suspense. I did make it to the closing on time, though I feared at many points that it wouldn’t be accomplished.

But I can’t move into my new place until November 26that the earliest. Ah! So where would I live in the meantime? Answer, two lovely neighbors, one taking me in for the month of September and another for the month of October. That left November. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to take my passport out of my file cabinet that would be stored with the moving company until my move into the Waters. My son Doug found us a bargain Holland America cruise to South America for November 3 to 19.  That gives us a day at home (his house) after our return before taking off for our annual Thanksgiving weekend at Cove Point on the shores of Lake Superior.

Breathless yet? There’s more. Not knowing I’d be making this move, we had earlier scheduled a Viking River Cruise to Russia on May 16 – 28, and a cruise of the United Kingdom on Holland America line from June 19 – July 15.

On August 23d the moving company came to get my “Waters” furniture for storage and other things to go to Lisa’s in Williamsburg the next time a truck made the trip there. On the 24th,whole sections of the house were cleared, helped by the energy of Doug and Lisa. Along the way, things went to the shelves Doug had built for me in his basement, to the garage across the way where I’m staying for September, and to the guest room that would be my home for the month. And thank goodness for the friends who helped move my clothes and other essentials to my temporary digs there.

On Saturday the 25ththe lady in charge of the estate sale made my living room look like a department store with anything that I was leaving behind. Sunday the 26thI was advised to stay away, so I had a lovely shopping day and dinner out with my hostess neighbor. On the 27th I panicked – very close to meltdown — at the sight of all that was left. But thank goodness people came to remove the unsold books for the fair to be held in September at the Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian church. I found someone who was happy to receive the gift of my piano and people who were willing to facilitate its move there. I invited friends in on the day after the sale to take what they wanted, and there were even a few more big pieces sold. Thank goodness, during this whole process, the sun shone bright and dry. On the 27thI had a potlach[i]for the neighbors. I provided space in the garage and paper plates, napkins, and things to be used in serving the potluck dishes they brought; Their job was to take away as many things as they would like to have from the remnants of the sale. Not surprisingly people were reluctant to take things for free, so I had to hound them to do their job and take stuff. Wouldn’t you know, that’s when it decided to pour, but the rain did stop and we had a nice time.

On the 28th, the “Moving Forward 2day” estate sale folks took much of what was left to include in later sales, and the manager of RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) took most of what was left. On the 29th, a fabulous cleaning-and-you-name-it person cleared everything else out to Good Will and other sources and cleaned the house from top to bottom.

We made it to the August 30th closing! I am now free of home ownership.

From the time I knew I’d be selling, I felt no sadness or nostalgia, only the sense that I was keeping the place beautiful for potential new owners. The hardest part was clearing out my study, leaf bags full of records to be shredded, piles of things recycled that I had once used for my classes, workshops and other presentations — most seeming rather quaint now after so many years have passed.. And, of course, holding out enough for daily life in my temporary homes.

I told my daughter I think I’m suffering mild PTSD. She says it can only be TSD. It hasn’t been long enough to call it “post.” But even those sleep destroying dreams of facing the pile of things to be sorted are dissipating. I’m liking being free of home ownership and mortgages.

I hope this will explain my absence from almost everything, but now I’m making my way back – and eager to resume work on “My Father’s House,” after all the excellent feedback and suggestions I got at Madeline Island.

I guess a good title for this would be “A downsizing frenzy.”

p.s., I now know that – if all goes as planned – I’ll be moving into the Waters on Monday, December 3. As one might expect, they can’t have everyone moving in at the same time, so we are scheduled two-a-day, based on who gets to make the arrangements first. I was a little too slow to make November 26. At any rate, I expect to be living at The Waters beginning December 3.

Then maybe I can get back to entering here the comments that have only been rattling around my head.




“among North American Indian peoples of the northwest coast, an opulent ceremonial feast at which possessions are given away or destroyed to display wealth or enhance prestige.” (Forget the wealth and prestige part.)

Posted September 16, 2018 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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