Corned Beef on Rye, Grilled Portobello Mushroom with pesto sauce, Grilled Cheese made with wild mushroom and sage olive oil. Just thinking about these make me want to run out to my favorite deli and place my sandwich order. Any of these yummy delights would find a welcome home on my palate.
So why does such a mouth-watering word give us such angst when it is used to describe our life situation? The Sandwich generation–we all will be there eventually, if we haven’t already arrived. That period of time in our lives when we are guiding or taking care of two generations, the one above us and below us, at the same time.
Fortunately for me, even with my mother’s kidney transplant, and my father’s painful spinal stenosis, they have been able to care for themselves. The trick has been trying to get them relatively close to my family and my sister’s, aka the Carolinas, so thats when assistance is required, albeit minor or major, we can be a short drive away.
Enter parent’s re:location project 101. Not an easy task. Those of you who have done this are in the club and know what I’m talking about.
It all began about five years ago. (yes, grandparents relocations take a lot longer than Kim’s relocation. ) We vacationed with my parents and my sister and her family on Hilton Head Island. “Granny” my mom, and “Pak” my dad, decide after the trip to rent a place for a few months in a retirement community to see if they like it.
Well, sure enough one year renting turned into two, Granny traveling around making friends with realtors, but not making decisions.
Trips to Peoria and back were the norm, until eventually I said, “look its time to make a decision.” (yes, my decisive nature reared its ugly head.)
Well, from that point forward, I was like a ping-pong ball bouncing back and forth in my parent’s decision-making process. Pak volleys a certain amount to spend, Granny counters, Pak says spend less leaves more money for decorating, Granny says she needs a minimum level to seal the deal and be comfortable. My head is spinning.
Finally, they agree on an amount for the home and an amount to furnish it. That actually lasted about a day, the negotiations continued on until the project was finished. And I, of course, was chief mediator, designer, shoulder to cry on. You don’t realize what tough is, until you start having to referee your parents.
Eventually, we all survived. And as we head into next week, Thanksgiving, all thirteen of us will be spending the holiday in Hilton Head, as a family. I guess the Sandwich Generation doesn’t get any better than that. I’ll let you know how the left over turkey and Swiss grilled on rosemary sourdough turns out.