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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.

A Curious New England House

Terri Reinhart

Curious. That’s one word to describe our new old house. In this context, the synonyms are peculiar, bizarre, irregular, perplexing, and mystifying.. among others. Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” could have been written in a house like ours.

Nothing is level, especially not the floor. Bookshelves and cabinets have to be shimmed up in order to stand up and be reasonably stable. We found some old pieces of molding in the attic which work well for this and provide the extra 3/4 to 1” of height necessary when accounting for the difference in the floor 12 inches from the wall. We’re not only figuring out where things fit and look best, but where they can stand without looking like they’ll tumble over when someone sneezes.

We still have dozens of boxes of books waiting patiently for a place on a bookshelf.

Coming from a mid-century ranch house on ground level, the first floor here feels like we’re already upstairs. We find ourselves getting a bit disoriented. Where are we now? first floor or second? (Hint - first floor has piles of unopened boxes, second floor has more beds) The kitchen is at least twice the size of our old one, so why do we bump into each other? The reasonable explanation is that we can’t find where we put anything. My explanation is we are so used to being in a small kitchen and we can’t function if we’re not bumping into each other.

And there are those other spaces… the attic has some old knob and tube wiring still in place. We have a call into an electrician to see what it will cost to have it taken out. It freaked me out at first because we’ve been told about the fire risk by the insurance company who also told us about the higher premium that goes along with it. We know it will be expensive to take out, but we’re determined to get it done. Then we can put some insulation up there. It was oddly comforting to know that virtually all the houses in the neighborhood have this issue.

smll door.jpg

There are these doors in this pointed corner of the hall.

There are electrical outlets near the ceiling and a light switch near the floor.

And the basement… all basements in this area take in some water when it rains, or when it thinks about raining, or when the washing machine is going. We are approximately 78 feet above sea level. We are approximately 2 inches above the water table (or so it seems). The previous owner was attempting to put a mother-in-law apartment in the basement. We can only surmise he did not like his mother-in-law. It’s a nice space for storage - as long as everything is kept off the floor!

The steps are steep.I do not need a fitness program. We are up and down countless times each day. If need be, we could live completely and totally on the first floor, but what fun is that? Listening to the wind on the second floor sounds like ghosts are coming to visit.

Maybe the ghosts can help us figure out what to do with the books.