Wisconsin Time – First 36 Days in Middleton

Sunday, September 5, 2021

This is what August first looked like:

Boxes Arrive

Thirty-five days later I can say that all boxes have been unpacked, broken down, and placed in recycling bins. I became very familiar with the apartment elevator which took me from the first floor down to the underground parking area which is where the trash/recycling room is located. Fortunately, there are carts which residents use to transport trash, recycling, groceries, and large packages.

Now it’s just a matter of getting a few pieces of furniture and organizing all the stuff I took out of the boxes. Just taking my time with all of that.


Just prior to August first and shortly thereafter, I had great fun with three sets of visitors.

Stepdaughter and granddaughter enjoying some kayaking time on Lake Wingra, late July 2021

Son-in-law, granddaughter, and stepdaughter at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin, late July 2021
Son and youngest grandchild greeting the beautiful cottonwood tree on the campus of my apartment complex, August 2021
Son and youngest granddaughter enjoying some weaving experience at the Children’s Museum in Madison, Wisconsin, August 2021

Gal Pal Patti from Missouri and cousin Bob from Madison, dinner in Middleton, August 2021
Me with cousin Bob. We have reconnected after decades. It’s nice to live in the same area. We are the last of the core family group we grew up with.

First Impressions of Apartment Living

** I am not the oldest person living in this apartment community. There are plenty of seniors, some with walkers and canes. Thus, it’s a nice mix of seniors, a few young families, plus middle-aged and young working professionals. Very few college students.

** I am probably the friendliest person around. I say “Hi” to everyone I pass, especially other dog owners. The dog owners respond. Others, not so much. Too bad for them.

** It’s quieter than I expected. I hear no voices as I walk down hallways, no TV’s either. Good soundproofing. We all hear dogs who will bark for one reason or another, but then, we are the only building of three where dogs are allowed. I do hear thumps, however. From above. There is a child who lives up there, one who frequently bounces, jumps, runs, and tumbles all over the place. A future Olympic gymnast? It isn’t disruptive. I’m just aware of it and very glad I don’t have to be the one to tell that child it’s time to go to bed. That said, I hear no voices from above. No scolding, no laughter. Just a active kid being a kid and parents who seem to understand. Glad I’m on the first floor. That way I don’t have to be concerned about someone below hearing me thump around.

** There isn’t much diversity in this area. In the apartment complex itself, I have seen a few families of Indian/Pakistani origin. I am on a first name basis with Tiffany, a young black woman, and her son, Odin, plus May or Mae, the pug Tiffany adopted from an animal rescue. There is also a black family with a new baby. They are my parking area neighbors down in the garage. They are friendly and speak with an accent. I’m not sure if they are originally from Haiti or Nigeria or….

And then…

This is Molly. She lives next door and her owner, Branden, is very nice. Molly will be staying with Cinnamon and me for a few nights later in September while Branden and his girlfriend go away for a couple days.

And this is Matt. He helped out and took care of Cinnamon a few times when the weather was very hot and I had visitors. Plus he and his uncle delivered a nice dining table I bought from people relocating to the state of Washington. He played rugby for Indiana University.

Cinnamon giving me that “Don’t You Dare Go And Leave Me” look.

About jjmummert

This blog was originally titled "Drifting Toward Planet Elderly," and it shared a journey I had with my elderly parents as they both finished their lives battling the complexities of dementia. After both passed on, I changed the title to "Living on Planet Elderly." I am a retiree who is reluctantly adjusting to the reality that she is now elderly. In July of 2021, I relocated to Middleton WI after living in Columbia MO for over 40 years. I decided that I want to experience a new and vibrant location in a cooler climate with lakes...a bucket list item of mine. I have a first cousin who lives in Madison. We have nice childhood memories, and I thought it would be wonderful to spend some time together as elders. It was. AND THEN....in March 2023, I returned to Columbia. I had a wonderful time experiencing the Madison area of Wisconsin, spending time with my cousin, and making some wonderful friends. No regrets.
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