June 14-22, 1997: My Sister Judy Visits Dallas
April 6, 1997: A Visit to the Dallas Arboretum
Return to the Index for 1997


June 7, 1997
My Mom Moves to Dallas

 

In the early part of 1997, it became evident that Mom was not comfortable living by herself in Charlotte. Although Ted was a police officer there, he could not spend the amount of time with her that she really needed. Mom did have helpful neighbors, but they, too, had their own lives to lead and could not help Mom as much as she would have liked. With her eyesight getting progressively worse, she wasnít playing much bridge any more, and there was little reason for her to remain in Charlotte so far from Jeffie and I and so far from Judy and Bob as well.

This page will chronicle my Mom's move to Dallas where I (and Fred, bless his heart) could give her the attention she was beginning to need.


So I suggested to Mom that she might consider moving to Dallas where both Jeffie and I could help her and keep an eye on her. Judy didnít really think that there was anyplace near her where Mom would like to live, so Dallas was pretty much the only choice.

I began looking for places that were convenient to both my work and my home but would also be close to amenities that Mom could walk to if she needed. I put a Realtor to work, and he found two places that were pretty nice and fairly new, but both of them were a long way from work and even further from my house in way North Dallas.

When we narrowed the parameters somewhat, he came up with a two-bedroom condominium in one of the first in-town condominium communities in Dallas- the High Hollows neighborhood. This area, west of Central Expressway at Meadow Road had gotten older now; it was first built out in the 1960s as fairly wealthy people were looking for in-town living that didnít require a house in the Park Cities. At the time, there were no apartments and condominiums in Turtle Creek as there are now, so this Preston Hollows area was about the only thing going.

I have shown on the map at left where High Hollows is located in relation to my house, and the route I normally took from home to get there; it was about a five mile trip. High Hollows was about two miles directly south of my workplace, and so if I needed to visit her at lunch of after work, it was either close or on the way home.

There were six or seven buildings in the development, most of them containing four condominium apartments- two upstairs and two downstairs. Being downstairs was one of the requirements for Mom, as was having two bedrooms- the kind of space she was used to.


The apartment also needed to be near shopping, something Mom was not close to in Charlotte; I wanted her to be able to walk to grocery and drug store shopping without walking along a busy street with no sidewalks as she had had to do in Charlotte.

High Hollows was just one block west of Central Expressway, and between the condos and the expressway was a shopping center- the Central-Meadow Plaza- and it had a Tom Thumb grocery, an Eckerds, some restaurants and a cleaners- all the basic services that someone of Momís age might need. There was even a senior citizen medical facility in the shopping center. To get there, Mom would have to walk along sidewalks about one block, and never have to cross a street. The location seemed ideal.

The buildings of High Hollows were arranged on both sides of High Hollows Drive, a short, one-block street that runs north from Meadow Road; Meadow Road runs from Hillcrest on the west all the way underneath Central Expressway and over to Greenville Avenue on the east (right near my eye doctor, as it turned out).


Being an older area, there are lots of trees along High Hollows Drive and between all the buildings. There are walkways that connect them all together, so residents visiting each other can do so easily. When we came to visit, we could park right on High Hollows Drive and walk just a few feet down between two of the buildings to Mom's building. It backed up to an alleyway where the covered parking was located, and the shopping center was just beyond that.

To walk to the shopping center, Mom would walk back out to where we usually parked, and along the sidewalk to Meadow Road and then along the sidewalk towards the expressway and into the center.

The price was certainly in Momís ballpark. We had listed her unit in Charlotte for $77,000, eventually getting about $73,000 for it. The condo here was $67,000, but needed about $1,500 of improvements, so, when you count moving expenses of about $2,000, the move was basically a wash. The transaction at this end was pretty simple, although the seller was pretty firm on her price. That didnít matter as I thought the price eminently fair for the unit and its location. Selling Momís unit was more difficult, and the transaction was not completed until after she had moved here.

If I or Judy could have been in Charlotte, we could have negotiated face-to-face and perhaps have netted a bit more, but that transaction did close and the move was completed. Mom flew to Dallas on June 2, and stayed with me for two days until her things arrived two days ago.


The condo itself was pretty nice for its being as old as it was. It did have two bedrooms and two baths, a large living room, eat-in kitchen, dining room and an outside patio. The view from the patio was of the shopping center, so that wasnít great, but at least it was an outside area that could be secured so Mom could sit outside if she wished.

Everything was just a bit dated, as you might expect- especially the kitchen. But by this time, Mom wasnít doing much cooking outside of a toaster oven or microwave anyway, so I didnít think that the avocado countertops and plain appliances would be a drawback. The apartment had a washer and dryer too- although the appliances were not so new as the ones Mom had in Charlotte.

By the weekend, when Fred came down, Momís things were all moved in and the major pieces were in place, but there was still lots of little stuff to be unpacked and put away.

Momís building, 10404 High Hollows, is set back from High Hollows Street itself, which makes it nice. At right, you can see Fred and just outside the door that leads to the vestibule of her building. Inside, Mom's front door is on the left, and her neighbor's to the right. There is also a set of stairs that leads up to a landing and the two front doors of the duplicate apartments above my mom and her ground floor neighbor.

Although Mom has a covered parking space in back, it takes a bit of time to go down the street, between some buildings, and then back up to the space. It is usually easier to park on the street and go down the walk that leads between 10400 and 10420 High Hollows. Momís upstairs neighbors are two gay guys, both of whom turned out to be very solicitous and helpful. Her next-door neighbor is a retired musician who doesnít get out much.


When you come in the front door, the laundry room is immediately to your right and there is a closet in front of you. Turning left you enter the living-dining area, with the living room on the left. In this picture of my mom in her new living room, the window behind her looks out to the front of her building. There is a nice window seat, and there had been an orange cushion on it, but it didnít go with anything that Mom had. Weíve already set out some of the main pieces of furniture, although we havenít done any window treatments or hung any pictures. Mom brought most everything with her, so it was just a matter of fitting it all in.


There is a working fireplace in the living room, although Mom never had a fire in it in all the time she lived there. As you can see, weíve positioned some of the pictures and things tentatively, but havenít decided on much yet.


The other end of the living area, partitioned off by two paneled columns, is the dining room where, of course, we have put Momís dining room furniture. Mom has had this Heywood-Wakefield furniture since 1951. I grew up with it on Somerset Drive, she moved it to her condo in Charlotte, and has now moved it here. It is in pretty good condition still, as it was very well put together originally. I imagine that Mom has gotten her moneyís worth from it by now.

The door at the end of the room leads out to the enclosed patio. There is a trellis that enclosed the patio and separates it from the long carport where residents park. To the right is the entrance to the kitchen. The kitchen, though larger than the one that Mom had in Charlotte, was also a bit dated. Avocado countertops went out many years ago and the appliances, though in good working order, were also showing their age. I suppose that if Mom is here for some length of time, and if she wants to do so, we could have the kitchen entirely remodeled. I had intended to take some other pictures of the rest of the condo, but I ran out of both time and film.

Looking again at the picture of the dining room, to the left is the very short hallway that leads to the two bedrooms. The paneling on the posts is typical recreation room paneling from the 1960s, and I think that we will end up eventually painting it white to match the walls.

That's it for this short tour of my Mom's new condo; there is still a lot to do. We actually came over here today to take her to brunch, so that's what we did, heading off to Le Peep a few blocks to the north.

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.


June 14-22, 1997: My Sister Judy Visits Dallas
April 6, 1997: A Visit to the Dallas Arboretum
Return to the Index for 1997