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I've been lurking here for a while and thought I'd introduce myself prior to making comments. For the past two years I've been a daily reader and very occasional contributor to the Retire Early board. This is more of a stream-of-consciousness approach, which feels much less threatening right now. It's rather like comparing a pastrami sandwich and a Caesar salad...each sounds appetizing at different times.

Being born during WWII, I'm just above the Boomer age group, but identified with it all my life. Yes, I'm part of the Sandwich Generation, with the top layer doing the squashing at the moment.

My brother and I are the offspring of Archie Bunker and Mother Theresa. The patriarch has been dying for the past two years and has finally allowed the hospice folks to start visiting. My mother has always been a stalwart worker, taking care of her family and anybody else on the horizon. She's under such stress now that she's had a stroke, her blood pressure is sky-rocketing and she is tired all the time. However, when we suggest ways to allow hospice to help, each individual idea is met with "Oh, we can manage."

They're in FL, DB is in TX and I'm in NC. We visit 4-5 times a year, trying to keep even coverage. The Call could come any time, but this ol' boy has rung the alarm bell too many times to get us stirring very quickly. We'll believe it when the doctor says that time is up.

So part of me is prepared to grab the suitcase and call US Air, while the rest is trying to live a normal life. With 911 in front of us every day, "normal" is relative. The book and antique business is off, so we don't have much restocking to do.

Still, every morning the bulldog wants to go for his walk, the yard needs some tending and what, we're out of orange juice again?? Life goes on until it doesn't anymore.

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