"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Cue the ominous thunder...

Some changes in our situation may be forthcoming shortly.

It started with HBC getting a hostile takeover bid from an american financier who has done some impressive things in the retail industry in the US. Specifically, Mr. Zucker of Target, inc. - now of the Maple Leaf Heritage Investment Trust.

HBC declared Mr. Zucker's latest bid for the company's outstanding shares "acceptable". This after an earlier offer (unsolicited) was rejected.

Work at 507 proceeds as usual...but we've all got in the back of our minds that the company will be changing hands in a few weeks, and that could possibly mean that some or all of us will be looking for new jobs.

To make matters interesting in the meantime: HBC corporate in Toronto has finally loosed the purse strings and purchased a fleet of new lift trucks for 507. This after we were jonesing for them for about the past three years. I don't know the reason for the sudden spending spree...but I'm grateful.

HBC will also be building a new Distribution Centre in Calgary. 'Bout time, too... It is NOT cost effective to ship priority perishables to Calgary from Toronto via Vancouver. 'Tis like Storkcraft Cribs all over again...Not one to be considered profligate, HBC has also stated that the new centre in Calgary will also house the Fields head office. We've been waiting for Fields to move out for what, 13 years??

So there's the job situation; now, on to the home situation.

Granpa had a stroke.

Actually, the trouble may have started a few weeks ago with a mild cardiac episode. This came, coincidentally, a week or two after a new medication was added into his daily mix. But, of course, NONE of these tragic events can be blamed on incompetent doctoring, no sir...

Anyway, long about Sunday he sprung a minor internal leak in the ol' Cerebellum. This produced additional symptoms of nausea, drowsiness and dizziness. He figured he just had a bout of flu on his hands.

On Tuesday morning, his vision suddenly went...

He panicked, lost his english and tried to explain (in Dutch) what was happening to him. Laurie had the car because I decided to have a "ride to work for the heck of it because the weather's nice" day. She drove Granpa to hospital. Several tests and re-assesments later, he is in a private room in Delta Hospital; waiting for his eyesight and faculties to come back.

What bodes for our future? What if, for instance, his eyesight and faculties don't come back??

He may need to stay in an extended-care facility.

He can't afford it on his savings.

He may have to remove the equity he has invested in our house.

We would have to re-mortgage our house. This would almost certainly result in our paying DOUBLE the monthly payment we have now. We can't afford that.

Nothing causes family stress like money trouble. Trudy has suggested that if Granpa vacated the house to live in a "rest home", this would give us an opportunity to rent out the basement suite and we could then pay off our mortgage that way. L has responded that she doesn't want to play landlord.

There are some practical considerations, as well: we would need to install a walkway, and a door into the garage (or install a keylock switch on the garage door). Also, the suite needs another exit, in order to meet city code and bylaws. A practical solution to the "back door problem" as I call it; would be to put up dividing walls between the "living room" and "laundry room" downstairs. This would enable someone to enter the suite from the back door of the house, without going into the laundry room or living room downstairs - as long as the doors are kept under lock-and-key.

No comments: