Dear Readers: Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all, along with our special good wishes to the veterans in VA hospitals around the country. And our particular thanks to those readers who have taken the time to send valentines, visit the vets and volunteer at VA facilities. Bless each and every one of you.
Q. My older sister and I are both in our late 40s. After years of putting up with “Mary’s” nasty, critical comments and her tantrums when she doesn’t get her way, I am ready to cut all ties. The only problem is, Mary still has possession of a number of family photographs and jewelry that once belonged to our mother.
After our father passed away, we put all of the family stuff in storage. About a year later, Mary bought a condo in another city, packed everything up and took it with her. She never asked whether I wanted any of it or whether I minded that she took the contents of the storage locker. I had to fly to her city, rent a car and a trailer, and then go through everything, dividing up most of the estate.
Because I was living in a small apartment, we agreed that Mary would take care of the family albums until I got my own place. Fifteen years later, she still has them and ignores all requests to make copies. She has found new “reasons” why we cannot divide the more valuable pieces of jewelry. I have neither the time nor the money to visit her again, and I’m fed up with her delays and excuses. I can’t afford to take her to court, but how can I get her to share without resorting to legal measures? Those pictures mean a lot to me. – Fed Up
A. Of course Mary should share these things with you, but she apparently has no intention of cooperating voluntarily. You will either have to find a way to visit her and go through the photographs and jewelry, or take her to court. Visiting is probably cheaper, so start saving your money.
Q. My husband and I find ourselves in an awkward situation. We recently moved to a retirement community. We enjoy entertaining and are seeking to make new friends. However, we find that when we go to other couples’ homes, the temperature is extremely uncomfortable.
We live in Florida, and even in the winter, it is at least 75 degrees and often humid. We keep the air-conditioning on year-round. If the temperature drops, we turn it off and open the windows to allow fresh air in. Most of the homes we visit are all closed up with no air on and no windows open. It is so uncomfortable and humid, I can barely make it through the evening.
At my last visit, I sat fanning myself all night, and when I casually mentioned that I was hot, the hostess made no effort to open a window. We don’t want to lose any friendships, but what happened to the days when you tried to make your guests comfortable for a few hours? – Sticky Situation in Florida
A. Since you are new members of this community, it’s quite possible that your friends’ internal body temperatures have adjusted to the heat and humidity, but yours has not. They may find your home too cold, but are reluctant to say so. A secondary possibility is the cost of running the air-conditioning. We suggest wearing lightweight clothing, and whenever possible, arrange meetings elsewhere.