down sizing, empty nest, faith, moving, South Plains, Texas, travel
This has been my longest move EVER – and it isn’t over yet. I’m not actually referring to distance, that trophy would go to my Germany move back in the late 80’s, and returning stateside in the 90’s. What I’m referring to for this move is the amount of time invested.
Earlier this year, near the end of January, I started to feel compelled to hit the road again. I had finally emptied my nest and figured the best way to keep it empty would be to move it. I love, love, love my little birdies, but I want to discourage any ideas they might have about moving back in. Don’t judge – it’s for their own good. Besides, after nearly eight years of aging in place, I was more than ready for a change of scenery.
My family has always referred to me as a “road warrior” because I would pack up and hit the road at the drop of a hat. Sometimes it was a permanent relocation, sometimes it was just a road trip to see what I could see. I loved the excitement of a new adventure and I didn’t care if I had to roll solo. In fact, I rather enjoyed those trips with just me, myself, and I. It gave me time to think, and I didn’t have to deal with anybody’s needs but my own. For an added sense of security I would occasionally dress one of my large Teddy bears in a shirt and tie, slap on a hat and sunglasses, and strap him into the passenger seat. And yes, we (meaning me) would talk off and on during the trip if one of us happened to be in the mood for conversation.
But I digress. In the past, I always had a solid plan in place before I hit the road, even if it was a spur of the moment thing. This time I only had a vague idea of where I could end up if nothing better materialized in the interim. This was both disconcerting and exhilarating, but it allowed me to keep my options open. Initially, I figured I would land on the West Coast until I could decide on something more definitive and permanent. So, for two months I packed, and sorted, and discarded, and packed some more. That whole down-sizing thing was a lot harder than I expected. But, I finally got the things I couldn’t part with stashed in a storage unit, sold a lot of stuff at a moving sale, and donated the rest – almost two truckloads. It’s amazing how much “stuff” gets accumulated over the years, especially for a border-hoarder such as myself.
Finally, after months of preparation, and packing, and storing, and tying up loose ends, I crammed my little HHR to the roof with my “necessities” and hit the road. Picture a covered wagon headed west during the land rush, or the Beverly Hillbillies heading down Santa Monica Blvd – minus the loaded bank account. For the past three months I have been living out of my car, heading westward on my latest adventure. Thanks to the generosity of family and friends, I didn’t have to live in my car. So, I meandered through my list of “places in Texas where I might like to live instead of going to California”, stopping here and there to see what I could see. For a while it seemed as though every time I managed to wedge a door open, it unceremoniously slammed shut, right in my face. I was beginning to think that it was time to accept reality and make my way out west – do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Then, I happened to find myself in the South Plains of Texas. Definitely not on the aforementioned list, I was just passing through on my way elsewhere. I decided that since I was in the area, I might as well see what I could see. And the doors opened. In fact, doors are opening all around me, no wedging required. In a few weeks I will go back to Bama and retrieve the rest of my things from storage, and this move will be complete. Finally. Meanwhile, I’ll be roughing it – foraging for food in the nearby woods, writing my posts by moonlight, and sending messages with a smoky blanket. Just kidding – a little.
To sum it all up, and make a long story longer, I guess I just want to say that I’m glad I was open to unexpected opportunities. God has blessed me above and beyond my expectations and I am grateful. I don’t know who originally said this, or remember where I heard it, but there really are times when you think things are falling apart, and they are actually falling into place.