Thursday, April 19, 2018
News Roundup

Why wait until you're dead to give the children their inheritance?

Change is good. Throughout my life there have been big changes that always turned out to be good. Fifteen years ago, I met Darling Husband and monumental changes occurred. Like living in Switzerland for six months every year.

Recent changes have been a little harder to define as "good." Getting old, one has to face up to the realities of diminishing physical capacity. The good thing about getting old is that it's better than the alternative.

We can't live in Switzerland in the summer anymore, but we didn't look forward to going back to our adorable house in a lakeside village in southern Switzerland for the sole purpose of moving out of it … forever.

But it had to be done.

That's when Darling Husband came up with a brilliant idea: Delegate the job to our children.

We have two grown daughters each and they will inherit all our stuff someday. My husband has the accumulated memorabilia from his parents' house in our Switzerland house. We're talking things such as sets of Victorian china, tea sets, books, paintings, commemorative plaques, childhood toys, you name it. I, too, accumulated a lot of stuff over the past 15 years and a lot of clothes I'm not ready to part with yet.

My husband suggested we each send one of our daughters — letting each pair decide who goes — to our house in Switzerland to deal with the contents and select what they want and deem worth the freight charge. We'd pay the expenses and I'd have them send the stuff I want to me, too.

Usually, clearing out a house becomes a grim post-funeral task for surviving offspring. Why do that?

Our daughters have never met their counterparts in spite of some efforts to round them all up for a stepsisters gathering. Schedules just never seem to coincide for busy women with families of their own.

When we contacted the four of them, some of the responses were surprising. "You mean you're never going back?" from one daughter, sounding a little tearful. "You mean without you?" incredulously from another.

Right. We aren't going back … at all. We are too old.

If they thought about it, I'm sure they expected us to just keep on until we dropped. But they rallied to the cause and decided that the two oldest would make the journey. They went in late November.

My daughter, Bronwyn, who lives in Minnesota, and my husband's daughter, Alfa, who lives in California, met in Switzerland — which, by the way, is where Alfa was born.

They had never met previously except on Facebook. They spent three intense days involving much four-way communication (thanks to the wonders of modern technology) with their sisters who didn't go — my daughter, Wendy, who lives in Montana, and his daughter, Marina, who lives in New Jersey.

It must have been like an online auction with the words, "Do you want this?" accompanied by a photo flying across the Internet to computer screens in Montana and New Jersey. I got some late night and early morning calls, too

They got it all done and had a really good time together. The two oldest, at least, have fond memories of a shared sisterly experience. They won't meet as total strangers at a future funeral. All four of them feel a bond now and it's not all tied up with sadness and loss.

See? Change is good!

Sheila Stoll is happy to hear from readers but cannot respond to individual queries. Write her at PMB No. 309, 7904 E Chaparral Road, No. 110, Scottsdale, AZ 85250.

Comments
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG – Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Updated: 3 minutes ago
Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested midday Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on multiple prostitution charges.Nicholson was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on one count of operat...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
An Alabama mayor says her small town smells like rotting corpses more than two months after New York City’s so-called

An Alabama mayor says her small town smells like rotting corpses more than two months after New York City’s so-called "Poop Train" rolled in for an extended stay

PARRISH, Ala. — A stinking trainload of human waste from New York City is stranded in a tiny Alabama town, spreading a stench like a giant backed-up toilet — and the "poop train" is just the latest example of the South being used as a dumping ground ...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

TAMPA — The old Trump tower site on Tampa’s Riverwalk has for years remained empty as a knocked-out tooth, but on Thursday developers put flesh on a vision for what they tout as Tampa’s tallest building, with its most exclusive set of condominiums an...
Updated: 1 hour ago
This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

An unusual pair showed up in the pre-dawn hours at Fire Station 82 in Wayne Township, Indiana, last week.Repeatedly pressing the doorbell was a frantic woman. In her arms was a furry, masked animal that firefighters later described as "lethargic," fi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Someone covered a gopher tortoise in red paint and concrete

Someone covered a gopher tortoise in red paint and concrete

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is trying to find the culprit who covered a gopher tortoise in concrete and painted it red.Two people found the gopher tortoise wandering on County Road 455, south of Montverde in Lake County, and...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa; Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools; and more

Top 5 at noon: Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa; Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:MARRIOTT EDITION TO BRING FIVE-STAR HOTEL AMBITIONS TO WATER STREET TAMPAAt the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City, hotelier Ian Schrager transformed a Jazz Age building with its own rich h...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Plant alumnus Rex Culpepper doing well in second chemo round at Syracuse

Plant alumnus Rex Culpepper doing well in second chemo round at Syracuse

Former Plant High quarterback Rex Culpepper recently started his second round of chemotherapy but is doing well and should return to football eventually, his college coach said Thursday morning."He's doing really good," Syracuse coach Dino Babers sai...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Joe Henderson: Boycott Starbucks? Take a deep breath, folks

Joe Henderson: Boycott Starbucks? Take a deep breath, folks

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from someone doing job-related background checks on a friend of mine. He wanted to meet face-to-face, so we did what many other people do in that situation.We picked a Starbucks that was near to both of us. I’v...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Free rides on PSTA and HART buses to celebrate Earth Day

Free rides on PSTA and HART buses to celebrate Earth Day

ST. PETERSBURG — Those who use mass transit across the Tampa Bay area can ride for free on Sunday.To celebrate Earth Day, both the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) will be offering...
Updated: 1 hour ago