During a five-week road trip through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California (end of August thru September) we stopped to visit a son for several days at his new lake house in northern California. The weather was perfect, the 3-story house poised on the lakefront with a terrific view and easy access to the floating dock below.
Early one morning I walked out onto the upper deck where Susie was sipping coffee, immersed in the ambience of place and time. She looked at me, smiled and said, “You may think I’m crazy, but I could live here.” I responded, “Funny you should say that, I was just thinking how easy it would be to go fishing here anytime if we lived here.” BAM!
We contacted a realtor, the same one our son had used, and set up an appointment to look at 5 or 6 properties that we thought might be of interest. Only one met all our criteria. We returned to that condo for a second viewing and closer inspection. It is also a waterfront property with a dock. We departed and for the next several weeks on the tail end of the trip that included a visit to Yosemite, San Francisco and Calistoga for the wedding of our oldest granddaughter, we talked about the pros and cons of relocating after 23 years based in northern New Mexico. Some people said why would you do that now and we said, why would we not do that now if we can?
Consider that the new location is on a clear, freshwater lake, closer to 10 of 28 family members, 500’ above sea level as opposed to 7000’ and hardly any winter of significance. We have been escaping northern New Mexico winters to Old Mexico for the past number of years. However, it’s not only about location, family, altitude, weather and travel as if those weren’t sufficient reasons to make the move. It’s about how we want to spend this next chapter of exploration, discovery and learning, and where an optimum place might be to do that. Insert the variables of good health, ample time, adequate resources, and a positive mind set and all seemed to line up in our favor, at least for now. And for that, we are enormously grateful.
When we sold our 12 acre country property and house on a river overlooking the mountains three years ago, we moved into a small, manufactured house in town and talked often about what next and where. We traveled frequently, I still worked part time and we had numerous family gatherings and celebrations. We now realize this idea has been germinating all along and just sprouted a few weeks ago. It was up to us to bring it along, help it grow into full bud and flower, and bear some fruit. We settled on a condo, one of 12 in 3 separate buildings, on the lake with a floating dock out front.
Since the housing bubble burst in 2008, the regulations and requirements increased exponentially. Suffice to say that the documents required and the people involved in the process were numerous, time consuming and at times, complicated. I counted 17 different people involved in this transaction and we finally signed the docs for closing. We were a bit sad to leave a beautiful place and good friends and glad to be starting a new adventure. Friends will remain friends and “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” (Margaret Wolfe Hungerford) We love being outdoors, we love having a great view, and our new home will be what we make of it.
The Big Audacious Move was accomplished over four days and I will spare you the details of that trip. Suffice to say it included drowning an iPhone in a cup of coffee early one morning in the dark. Also, that day included both of us driving in separate vehicles 665 miles. Nothing that could not be woven into the fabric of yet another day.
The moving truck arrived with everything intact, and now we’re staring at mountains of stuff to be sorted, jettisoned or stored. Three categories -1) keep & put away, 2) give away and 3) throw away or recycle. As we approach Thanksgiving we realize what immense gratitude we have for all that has come our way, for what we can share with others, and for being able to start a new chapter in our ongoing life adventure.
CONCLUSIONS: Being open and willing to change, seizing an opportunity when it’s presented, connecting in meaningful ways with people and places – all seem like essential parts of life’s ongoing journey. This latest step forward along the way is, like so many other things, a work in process as well as a work in progress, moving on and moving ahead. The next steps are to absorb what we have done, to make the most of where we are and to do what we can to be fully present in every encounter. May your Thanksgiving be richly blessed with the spirit of giving and receiving, embracing and celebrating our lives together.