February 2023


A s I descended the stairs the other day, I was reminded of the 1989 Bobby Brown hit “Every Little Step.” Every little step I took made me wince in pain. I can do stairs, but I don’t like doing stairs. Between my arthritis and the suitcase I dropped on my foot ten years ago, it hurts my feet, my knees, and my pride. I don’t want to do it multiple times a day anymore. Which is the basis for our latest project. We’re adding a downstairs master bedroom to our house, where we already have more room than any two people need. Based on construction estimates, we hope to be alive to witness the project’s completion. Ninety days for brick and four months for windows are not promising indicators; I’ll let you know when you can come over and inspect the new room. Get your 2024 calendar out. I’m trying not to get too excited about it, given the time frame. Still, I can’t help being tantalized by the prospect of going back to change my earrings without climbing those pesky stairs again. My son is a paramedic. He and his colleagues, he assures me, often pick up women my age at the bottom of stairs. Seems to me it’s a good idea to stay on the ground floor. We’ve had plans drawn that offer additional perks, not the least of which is that my husband and I will no longer be sharing a closet. This makes my heart sing. Even though he has generously ceded far more than half of the closet to me, it’s not enough. I dream of being able to hang my clothes, rather than what I think of as filing them. The rods in my closet are reminiscent of a file cabinet that someone forgot to clean out at year-end. My arthritic shoulder struggles to shove the clothes over far enough to create space for anything new. When my husband saw the plans for his very own closet, he demurred. “There’s no way I need that much closet space,” he said. I assured him that it wasn’t a problem and that he could count on me to fill any space he couldn’t. What are loving spouses for, after all? There are so many questions. Do we need a bathtub? Neither of us has taken a bath since 2006. What about resale, though? How many mirrors are really necessary in a closet? How many shoe racks do we actually need? Can I get one of those free-standing units they use at rehab to hold straps? It would be perfect for necklaces and scarves. Granddaughter Bryce, age seven, recently created a floorplan for her dream bedroom, and she didn’t even consider a closet or a bathroom. Her room includes a pool with a separate hot tub, a massage chair, and a bed with a slide. There is a headband station, a Pop It station, and a nail painting station that includes pedicure chairs. My goodness. I never considered having stations. Perhaps age-and-stage-appropriate stations are in order. An orthopedic station for knee braces, ace bandages, and ice packs might be handy. I could have a pharmaceutical station, with daily meds as well as extraneous OTCs like Advil and




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