Behind the scenes here, we have been hard at work getting Mom situated in her new life. (Sassy has found a number of favorite places.) After the unpacking, there was the arranging, picture hanging, ordering from Ikea, assembling and finishing, but we have that all set now. I started calling her Rapunzel because our family - mostly me - is still in charge of any and all things. Without a car, she relies on us for her connections to the outside world. And she needs and wants to be on her own.
There are 10 apartments and doors on her floor, but rarely do you see anyone lingering long enough in the hall and there isn't a common area where people would have a chance to gather. So I suggested that Mom hold an open house to meet the neighbors. It's the holidays, good time to party.
I made invitations like hangtags and looped them onto all the door knobs on her floor + one for the tall gentleman on another floor. (That's a whole 'nother story for the memory book.) Please stop by and meet your new neighbor..... 5-7 on Sunday.
Maggie - our amazing, sweet Maggie!! - took on the full task of food and drink. We got everything fluffed up, chilled the drinks, trayed the cheeses, plugged in the iPod, lit the candles and waited for 5:00, hoping someone would come.
At 4:45, the tall gentleman arrived.
By 5:15, the place was filling up. By 6, it was jammed. 100% attendance. Until 9 that night!
We met and entertained everyone on the floor, all ages and backgrounds. The gallery curators next door, the computer wiz, the children's book editor, the NYPD criminologist, the psychotherapist, Donald Trump's first (though now retired) personal assistant, the food fragrance specialist, the o-so-nice mother and daughter way at the end of the hall and sweet May and Seymour across the way. Each was so genuinely kind, full of offers to help in any way. They happily visited with each other and wondered why they hadn't thought of getting together before. They told us the stories and tips about life in the building. They left their phone numbers, cookies, welcome gifts, hugs.
Next day I called Mom to see how she was feeling after the Big Night. Sorry, can't talk.... I'm having coffee with the girl next door. Can I call you back?
Absolutely! Mission accomplished.