Downsizing? So am I getting shorter?

Published 6:00 am Sunday, January 24, 2016

No, it means you’re getting “short” of breath while packing, lifting, carrying, loading, cleaning, emptying your wallet and writing checks.

If that wasn’t taxing enough, when the big truck with your furniture gets to your wonderful new home, all on one floor, you have to do  “it” all over again. The only difference between building your big home years ago is that you were a lot younger and things didn’t ache all over and you didn’t have to break the bank buying Advil and Aleve.

So why did we downsize?

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Short answer — we knew after we did all those things mentioned above God would see our plan and lead us toward a wonderful life, on one floor level, and reward us for being really smart. Do we miss the big house, with the big acres and the big lake? Not really, we know it’s all in good hands with really nice people who will take good care of it and soon they will be breaking the bank buying Advil and Aleve. One big problem was that my computer was in storage for three months until the new home was built. We had wonderful next-door neighbors, who we have been close friends with for many, many years. Their home was on the other side of our small lake. For three months we lived in their upstairs bedrooms with TVs and an activity room with a washer and dryer, so we were not quite roughing it. God bless them for putting up with us and making our lives and move a lot easier.

So here we go into a new life, in the Oxford Commons, but now farther from our great next-door neighbors.

We love to travel, mostly by car, and prior this move we always left behind projects and chores that needed attention. Now we have sold the big ladders, the chain saws, the riding lawnmower, the weed eater, the boat and everything else that made us feel guilty for driving away for a week or two. I know what you’re thinking and the answer is: I know there’s a young man looking for some Saturday money and we have landscaped our new home that leaves only small patches of actual grass and the remaining trees, bushes, plants and a lot of straw.

Yes, we know that’s smart, thank you. If we get lonely for a large lawn, a nice lake, big raised gardens, etc.-etc., we can just get in the car and ride around some neighborhoods of Oxford taking pictures of all that stuff, tape them on our big windows, so that when we look out it looks something like our old home.

So after one month things are great; pictures are hung, the TVs work, the beds are working fine and the kitchen and pantry have produced works of food art.

Almost all the projects have been “one-time” projects, or at least until my wife changes her mind, again.

Surprisingly the home seems larger than we thought it would be and we’ve really enjoyed finding new stuff to add to the décor. That will, of course, stop when we add up all the checks we’ve written. Maybe I retired too soon.

Oops, I just learned that my wife wants to have a small garden. Here we go again, we’ve been married 54 years and I have learned that small is just a word, not the actual size of a new garden.

Over those wonderful years I have learned the magic words that guarantee a wonderful marriage and make your life happy and rewarding. No, it’s not rocket science they’re just plain words; “Yes, Dear” and they work every time. Strange, isn’t it? Well no, I’ve just been brainwashed by “you know who.”

So if you’re spending all your money buying Advil and Aleve and never seem to have the time to relax and enjoy life because of projects and chores, bite the bullet and downsize.  Of course, if you have the cash to have someone else do all the projects and chores, which mean that when you leave on trips you know everything will be done when you get home, hey, have at it. In addition to the projects and chores, remember those nasty stairs, which is another reason to buy more Advil and Aleve or at least another bottle of wine.  The whole idea is to enjoy your life because, “life is good,” or at least that’s what my shirt says.

Jim McCauley is an Oxford retiree and you can reach him at