New House

Happiness is getting a new house without having to move

By ERNIE ZIMMERMANErnie Zimmerman
Palms West Monthly
Posted April 5, 2017

A couple months back I wrote a column about how Sharon and I were thinking of downsizing. We really didn’t need to continue living in a four-bedroom house, so we gave serious thought to selling our home in the Western Communities and moving into a 55-and-older adult community.

First, let me sincerely thank everyone who called, stopped me on the street, sent me emails and reached out to me on Facebook about our situation. I can now report back that, for the time being, Sharon and I have reached a compromise. We have decided that the best thing for us to do is to “age in place.” That’s just fancy talk for staying right where we are.

I know that I’m happy with our decision, and I think Sharon is as well. However, ever since we came to our decision, Sharon has been having these dreams of doing lots of – as she calls it – “home improvements.”

I’ve told her a thousand times that everything in our house is fine and we don’t need to make any improvements. Of course, I’ve learned many years ago that in our marriage, whatever I have to say doesn’t carry very much weight.

To make matters worse, it seems that Sharon has been sharing her ideas for dumping more money into our house with our friends, and they all seem to be on her side (including the publisher of this paper). They then turn to me and say, “It’s a small price to pay to keep her happy.”

No matter what I would say, I was wrong. Not one person would take my side.

The first thing Sharon said needed to be done was to pick up the carpet in all four bedrooms and replace them with real wood floors.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with our old carpet. In fact, in one room the carpet’s only two years old.

After driving around getting estimates and spending time online, she decided on a company to do the job.

About a month later, a crew of about five guys arrived at our house to pick up the carpet and start laying down our new wood floors.

About a day and a half later, our house now has four rooms with brand new wood floors. I must admit that the new floors really do look great.

Now Sharon has moved on to her next project – coming up with a brand new plan for our kitchen. It started with wanting to buy a new refrigerator.

As soon as I agreed to a new refrigerator I should have known Sharon had won.

“We can’t just get a new refrigerator, it won’t go with any of our other appliances,” Sharon explained.

When I first heard this, as gray as my hair is, it started to get grayer.

I already have high blood pressure, but now my blood pressure is even higher.

My doctor had to give me stronger blood pressure medicine to counteract the new kitchen appliances.

I understand that people update their kitchens all the time. But for the life of me, I just can’t understand why we need a new stove, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave and garbage disposal. What we have now works just fine.

Sharon is also changing the kitchen sink, but she’s not stopping there. Sharon now insists that our kitchen cabinets and counter tops won’t look good with our new appliances, so we have to update them as well.

It’s not that I’m cheap – which I am – but I can’t help but be reminded of an old Groucho Marx line, “I don’t want the savings of a lifetime wiped out in the twinkling of an eye.”

When I regained consciousness and felt the blood come back to my head, I asked Sharon very politely, “What’s wrong with all the cabinets and counter tops we have now?”

Without hesitation, she replied, “They’re old.”

After waiting a few seconds for her answer to sink into my brain, I asked her if I was going to be replaced next.

She simply said, “No, you’re staying. Someone has to pay for all this.”

At least I’m safe for now.

If Sharon’s home improvement ideas go as planned, all this work should be done about a week or two after Easter.

Honestly, now that I’ve had time to have this all sink in, I can hardly wait. I actually think that when the project is complete, I’ll be happy with the final result.

Speaking of being happy, whoever said you can’t buy happiness evidently never spoke to Sharon.

And by the way, if anyone wants a tour of my home after the work is done, just send me an email.

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About Ernie Zimmerman

Ernie, a retired New York City police officer and Vietnam veteran, takes life nice and easy in Wellington, where he and his wife Sharon have lived for more than 30 years.

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