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My Parkinson's Journey

In which Terri shares a humorous look at her journey with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia:

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

In Search of a Gentle House

Terri Reinhart

There were about 20 cars lined up behind the black Mustang which was, for some odd reason, going 10 miles under the speed limit. Granted, it was getting dark and the MA 202 snaked its way through the hills around the Pioneer Valley. If one didn’t know the road well, the 45 mph limit seemed dangerously fast, but it was a Mustang, for goodness sake. Mustangs don’t go 10 miles UNDER the speed limit! Who was driving it, anyway? Some old grandmother?

We got back home a week ago after spending one week in Brunswick, Maine and another week in Massachusetts. Brunswick is now home to the Reinhart 2.0 clan, including our son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. Thanksgiving in an old New England house when it’s snowing outside and the name tags by our places at the table say G1 and G2, is postcard perfect. Coco, our daughter-in-law, is a fabulous cook. I got to make pies with the kids. We also went bowling, sledding, and traipsed around through the snow by their school. We didn’t want to leave!

The plan, however, was to spend the next week in Massachusetts looking at towns and houses and finding out where we wanted to be. The first hitch in the plan was due to poor planning. Who would have thought the Brunswick rent-a-car place would run out of vehicles? Our only option was to go to Yarmouth and rent the last car available: a very sporty black Mustang.

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We finally arrived at our destination: the Alexandra Dawson 1797 house in Hadley, happy to be out of a car which was not really made for normal people to fit into without practicing human origami. After we shook out the mountain and valley folds, we went in and met our hosts. Andy and Marcie are delightful and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in their lovely home. The houses on their block are all very old and the grassy area in the middle of the neighborhood was the original Village Commons.

The next day we were shown around Springfield and South Hadley by a nice real estate agent, who showed us a number of houses for sale. It’s amazing to see what’s out there. There was a house with a custom built European sauna in the basement. One house had a bathtub in the corner of the master bedroom. One was adorable, but in a location which was super isolated.

One house was just perfect: in the perfect neighborhood, in perfect condition with a perfectly maintained yard, with a perfect master bedroom with perfect closets. Maybe it was a little too perfect for us. It was in a more upscale neighborhood and there was plenty of space between houses. You could live there for ages without ever having to meet your neighbors.

Then we saw a small Victorian house with a big front porch and a walk in attic. Secret stairways behind doors, nooks and crannies, outside sheds. Though the kitchen had been remodeled and was lovely, there were enough oddities to let us know this was certainly not a perfect house. We realized we weren’t looking for a perfect house. We were looking for a gentle house. After meeting the next door neighbor and another neighbor who was out walking her dog, we were convinced. It sounds like a place where people get to know each other. This was where we wanted to live.

We made an offer. Offer has been accepted. Now, to sell our Colorado house quickly!

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