(NNPA)—Dear Gwendolyn: Last month I turned 88 and gave myself a great birthday party. I invited people I had worked with years ago before my retirement. I invited my church family, neighbors, and, of course, my family. I am the mother of seven—now all deceased. They were loving smart ambitious kids, but their children turned out to be lazy trifling bums. I hate to refer to them in such a negative way, but the truth is the truth.
This is the problem: My house is in need of repairs. Most of my friends live in luxury senior citizens apartments. They gave up their house and I have been thinking of doing the same. However, I would like to leave it for the grandchildren (lazy as they be) to have a home. Help me Gwendolyn to decide—please!—Annette
Dear Annette: Lady, you wrote to the right person. To help you decide about your house is no problem to me at all. This is the advice I have for you and I do hope you will receive it and act on it: Do not live shabby when you don’t have to. No matter how beautiful a house, there comes a time you may have to give it up. When youth leaves your body, you have no choice. When you become older, it is time to think about doing many things you could not afford or just plain did not do. If your health is at fair, travel—go shopping for clothes—and just live it up.
Let me tell you this: Leaving a house to lazy trifling children is never good. I do suggest that if you sell your house, give each of them an equal amount of money and let them do with it as they desire. Think about it. When property is left to a group, only one or two in that group will try to keep things going. The reason I know is because I got caught as the “keeper” of the clan. And believe me, it was a nightmare I still have not awakened from.
Annette, change your lifestyle and enjoy the remainder of your life. After all, they won’t keep the house. It will become lost due to—nonpayment of taxes.
(Have a problem? Don’t solve it alone. Write to Gwendolyn Baines at: P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, NC 27605-0066 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or view her website at: www.gwenbaines.com.)