So much has been going on in the last few weeks so I haven’t had the mental capacity and time to write in my blog. But now I can sit down and jot down some thoughts that have been whirling around in my head. I do miss this writing exercise when I am unable to keep up with it. I don’t know how so many bloggers and Instagram people post as often as they do.
Let’s talk about salt. As we all know salt is used to preserve and add flavor to food. It is a known fact in my family that it is the most beloved “additive” (dad, Kurt) and also my Norwegian culture is known for using salt to preserve fish and meats. For thousand of years salt has been a staple in every kitchen whether ancient or modern, so it comes without any pretense that it is a necessary ingredient.
There are so many other aspects of salt that I love. The seaside smell of salty air is one of my favorites but my main focus is to consider using salt as a means of preservation, even if it is in the metaphorical sense.
Over the last several months, I have been dealing with health issues revolving around aging parents. Granted I have done this from 600 miles away, with a couple trips up North, but nonetheless it has indirectly been part of my reality. I have found myself needing to help preserve the lives of my parents in a way that will give them the best quality of life. Now that may sound rather bold, as if I have some superpowers, which I don’t but I am being a realistic enabler. Some might think it’s not my place, but unless you’re an independent, strong-willed daughter, you just don’t understand.
My parents are in their 80’s and have lived in the same house since 1963. Imagine that! It’s where I was raised, along with my brothers, and a place my kids have grown to know and love. However, it is way too much for them to handle, both house and yard and it was time for someone to step in and help them make some tough decisions. This has nothing to do with being in charge, but it has everything to do with adding a hefty dose of salt, in the form of practicality, to preserve their life (so to speak) by helping them see the necessity for a change from their current living arrangement.
My folks have agreed to move near me where they will live in a relatively new home designed for an aging population. It’s a beautiful community where they will be less isolated and have more opportunities for socialization, assuming they take advantage of all the amenities the development has to offer. There’s an outdoor resort-like pool, an indoor Olympic size pool, a gym, yoga and art classes and so much more. It sounds pretty good, right? Well it does, but it still means they have to give up something. That being their home, their church and family and friends that are still on Long Island. All of a sudden it sounds less appealing. Nothing is perfect and sometimes sacrifices have to be made but change really can be a good thing and I think they are in need of a change, and they too have come to that realization.
When you think about using salt to preserve, one might think of fish, let’s say Salmon. We all know that fresh caught fish tastes best. However, there is something very delicious about lox. So prehaps one can say we’re moving into the lox stage of life.
The fact is, well in my opinion, if they stay where they are they will lose some of their saltiness, so to speak (once again). There is too much stress around maintaining ones home, just ask my husband. Not everyone is mister/misses handyman and by the time you’re in your 80’s you frankly do not have the ability to do what you once did. Heck, at 50 something I am not what I once was so I can’t imagine how I will feel in 30 years! It is my belief that with a little preservation now, they can enhance the flavor or their life and hopefully make their days more active and fulfilling.
So now the planning and packing begins.
It’s one step at a time.
Weeding out and scaling back one drawer at a time.
Packing one room at a time.
I’ll keep you posted on our progress.