Friday, December 26, 2014

The other side of the coin


Dear Annie: We are facing an imminent, irreversible mistake with a family heirloom. My husband’s elderly father is determined to sell a generations-old coin collection to a coin shop and then split the money between his three sons.

My husband and his brothers would rather have the coins themselves for the sentimental value. No one involved is in financial trouble of any kind, and all the brothers would do their best to divide the heirlooms fairly. But when any of them tries to bring it up, their dad’s explosive temper puts an end to the discussion.

The weirdest, most hurtful part is that Grandpa wants my husband to deliver the coins to an unknown third party to sell, and he is keeping them in a sealed box, not even letting our young daughter view them once. This floored my husband and almost drove a huge wedge between them, as he has never felt trusted by his father. Yet my husband is one of the most responsible, honest and trustworthy people I’ve ever met.

We feel sad that his family may lose this piece of history forever, but I did try to get my husband to stay on friendly terms, as we may not have Grandpa around much longer. Is there any hope of changing his mind?

— Boondoggled in Boise

Dear Boondoggled: Has Grandpa had a full medical checkup lately? He doesn’t seem to be entirely rational. Even if he believes selling the coins would be more equitable than leaving the collection to his children, it is peculiar that he would not want his granddaughter to see them first — unless, of course, Grandpa has already sold many of the coins and doesn’t want anyone to know.

If Grandma is in the picture, please see whether she knows what’s going on. Otherwise, your husband and his brothers could try to discuss this one more time, together, with their father. But unless Grandpa requires a conservator to handle his affairs, the decision is his.


Dear Annie: We have run into an unbelievable problem trying to travel with a family member who is wheelchair bound due to a debilitating stroke. The hotels seem to have only a single king-size bed in all of their mobility handicap rooms — those set up with a roll-in toilet area and shower. In other words, none of the rooms with two doubles or two queen-size beds is handicap accessible.

Imagine all of the wheelchair-bound or otherwise disabled folks who need to travel with someone but don’t want to share the same bed, or, like us, are a couple with a disabled adult child.

Surely hotels could think this through better.

— Need a Place To Sleep

Dear Need: We agree that offering only king-size beds in handicap- accessible rooms is inadequate, although it is likely an issue of space. A king-size bed allows more room for a wheelchair. A rollaway bed is often sufficient to make up the difference, but it would make more sense to have two double beds, which is standard in other hotel rooms. Every hotel is different. When you are looking to book a room, speak to someone at the front desk to see whether they can accommodate your preferences.


Dear Annie: Reading “M.P.’s” experience with a person coughing behind her during a play brought back a wonderful memory of when I attended a performance of “The Belle of Amherst” at the Barter Theater in Abingdon, Va.

This is a one-woman show, and there was one audience member who kept coughing. The actress, in character and without missing a beat, said, “My dear, do you need a glass of water?” With that, she continued the performance, the audience had a giggle and the coughing woman left. This made for a special memory that amuses me every time I think of it.

— Smiling in Virginia


Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

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