Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I am sitting at my computer in one of our spare bedrooms in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When I look out the window, I can see the Jemez Mountains to the west.

After all this time of preparation and planning and waiting, WE ARE FINALLY HERE!

Parts of the move went smoothly, parts did not. Parts of it were the week from hell. We didn't kill each other but we came close.(LOL)

Getting finished with the repairs, remodeling, and cleaning at our house in Kansas in preparation for putting it on the market was not fun. It was hard work and very exhausting and stressful. But it got finished, and the house was officially put on the market on May 16. It looked good.

On that same day, Friday, May 16, we pulled out of our driveway for the last time ... loaded down with a U-Haul trailer packed with some of our belongings, and with our dogs in the back seat of the truck, unaware of the long journey we were all undertaking.

The move itself went very well. The teams of packers and movers from United Van Lines were just great ... efficient, quick and friendly. The packers finished their work on Monday May 12, and the movers came on Weds. May 14 and got the truck loaded.

During that packing/loading week, I had time to spend a few lunches with Kansas friends saying more goodbyes. It was not nearly as hard as I expected. My focus now was on the move, and I was ready to go. Saying goodbye to the house where we lived for 28 years was a little sad, but not heart-breaking.

The first night, we got to Wichita, Kansas, and spent the night. The next day we drove through the rest of Kansas and crossed over the border into New Mexico at Clayton at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time. The feeling was a little overwhelming ... after all these years of dreaming, the dream was a reality ~ we were New Mexico residents! We were going home!

We got to our house here in Eldorado at Santa Fe about 6:30 p.m. HOME.

It is hard to describe how it felt. Mostly it seemed like we were on one of our usual visits of several days and would be going back "home" to Kansas in several days.

The movers arrived on Monday morning, May 19, to deliver all of our household and personal belongings. They filled the house with furniture, washer, dryer, boxes, boxes, boxes, and still more boxes. The whole rest of that first week was spent unpacking, getting things settled and put in place, running errands into town for groceries, necessary stuff at Home Depot, Lowe's or Walmart. We were still tired, but now it was a nice we're-home-and-we're-making-a-new-life-tired.

Brian and Katy arrived on Friday of this past weekend, delivering my car from Kansas. We spent such a nice weekend with them. We ate at several New Mexican restaurants, did a little shopping, drove up to Taos to show them some of the spectacular scenery in this part of the state. We had several cookouts at the house. It was fun ... and a break from the unpacking for a few days. We took them to the Albuquerque Sunport on Monday for their flight back to Missouri.

Life is falling into a comfortable wonderful routine. Morning coffee on the front portal, looking at the mountains and watching the birds in our courtyard. Watching Starman hunt for lizards. Making runs into town for errands. A visit to my new endocrinologist for the first time. Enjoying the great weather here. Puttering around in the flower gardens which need a lot of work. Watching the sunsets and the stars at night. Getting back online and getting caught up on the two websites where I am moderator, answering emails, and finally getting to write this blog entry.

At I sit here typing, we are under a tornado watch ~~ didn't I leave the tornadoes behind in Kansas? I can see the storm moving from south to north across the Jemez Mountains. Quite a show.

Each day seems more and more like we are *home* here. Most mornings when we get up we look at each other and say something like "Just another typical day in Paradise" and smile.

HOME. Such a lovely lovely word.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Realtors, farewells, and an answer to prayer

The realtors (mother and son team) were here yesterday. They went through the house here in Kansas, and made a few suggestions, said we have done a great job getting the house ready to sell, and we discussed price. We were pleased with the asking price we all agreed on … and they think we can sell fairly quickly. The house will go on the market on May 16, the day we leave here.

The goodbyes continue. The group from my dog rescue work took me out to dinner on Monday night. We went to the Cheesecake Factory and just felt so strange to know it was the last time. There were some gifts, some cards and more tears than I wanted to have to handle. The tears were theirs, not mine. I was wondering why I am so detached from the emotions of this ... Protecting myself perhaps?

Last weekend was dinner at my son and daughter in law’s house across the border in Missouri. So many things now are "last time" events before we leave. Yesterday several of the ladies from my water aerobics class took me to lunch before class. More goodbyes...

The work continues on the house, and we are (I hope!) in the home stretch now. Most of the renovation is winding down, the house looks pretty good, and things are a little behind schedule, but we are getting there.


Mostly … this has been a grueling week for us; we have been working on the upcoming move for about 16 hours a day and by the end of every day we are beyond exhaustion. At some point yesterday I realized we had nothing for supper, and I breathed a tired sigh and said, “Oh God, what am I going to do about supper?” Not five minutes later the phone rang and it was my friend Ginny from Curves. “I have dinner to bring over to you.” She was at my house about 20 minutes later with two big homemade chicken pot pies, a huge tossed salad, two loaves of homemade bread ... and a package of Oreos because she ran out of time to make dessert. She also brought disposable plates, napkins, dressing for the salad and Promise for the bread. There is enough food to last us for several days! John said it was so much more than he would have ever expected anyone to do for us.

Ginny hugged me and told me how much I have meant to her and how much she is going to miss me. John’s cousin is here from New York helping us out this week, and he said "I didn’t think people still did stuff like this." We had a feast for our supper…..and I had the joy of knowing I have a very special friend and that a prayer was answered.

God willing, we leave here one week from tomorrow. New Mexico beckons.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The long, long goodbye

We are down to less than two weeks before our departure to Santa Fe.

This has been a long goodbye here. There is family here (my son and daughter in law) and many many friends. And the goodbyes are tough. Tougher than I was expecting. Every now and then a troubling thought enters my mind: "Are we doing the right thing?" But it is too late now to change anything even if we wanted to ... and we shall find out.

We know we will be coming back here at least every year to visit family, but I also know when we do there will not be time to see everyone we would like to keep in touch with.

On May 5, I will have my final weekly Monday night Whine & Dine dinner with my friends from Heart Bandits American Eskimo Dog Rescue. We are going to the Cheesecake Factory, and I know it will be a sad time and I am not sure I am ready.

This coming week will be my last visit to Curves and to my water aerobics class at the pool. On Weds. my pool friends are taking me out to lunch before class.

I am seeing doctors for the last time, and taking my dogs to the vet for the last time for their annual immunizations.

Tonight we go to my son's house for a last dinner with him, my daughter in law and her parents. I know it will be fun but the underlying sadness will be there.

And meanwhile, the endless work of getting this house ready to sell goes on and on and on. John's cousin was here from New York to help out a week ago for five days, and he is coming back this coming week for 5 more days. There is packing to do, getting old furniture picked up by the Catholic Charities folks, and getting the trash company to come for an old recliner and our old refrigerator. And packing packing packing cleaning cleaning cleaning.

Then, on top of all the working on the house, saying goodbye to our family and friends, and squeezing in computer crashed and burned the other night, and I was not able to save it. So I have had to say goodbye to it, too, and start all over with a new computer. I am gradually getting back my favorites to bookmark, my email program, etc. The new computer has Vista ... so far no problems ... seems user friendly enough... neat graphics! All of my pictures and my emails/email addresses are on the hard drive of the old computer. IF there is a way to save them all, I haven't had time to figure it out.

BUT! With all of the hard work and mixed feelings, I KNOW THAT New Mexico is waiting up ahead, just down the road....and that makes all this stress and distress okay to go through. I am SO READY for the laid back, quiet, renewing life in the Land of Enchantment. I think I am going to become one of those New Mexico "maƱana" people!