Friday, March 15, 2013

A Week Later (more or less.........)

My feet are up on my sister's rocker/recliner as I type and plan the beef stew I'm about to throw in the dutch oven for dinner.  It's seventy degrees in Denver today, and although my sister's patio does not yet look like the lovely picture I took and shared last summer, it is beautiful and the sun is shining (as happens 320 or so days a year in Denver).  I've finished cleaning (I'm attempting to lower my footprint in her house as much as possible) and am about to begin cooking.  The past week has been a blur, and I am ready to slow down for the "weekend:
  • Extreme winds on the high plains and a brief snowstorm turned a twelve hour trip into three days and two overnights (one of which actually began at two PM when snow negated going further). Much of my time was spent a couple hundred yards behind my son with my flashers going.  I'll say here that the truck drivers on the truck route were much more understanding than the regular folks driving on I25.  I'm glad that part is over.
  • I paid someone a hundred dollars for two hours of moving services, and they unpacked my worldly goods and put them into a large storage unit. I could never have packed so well. Unfortunately my camera bag and the box it was in landed in the back of the storage unit before I realized and could rescue the poor thing!
  • It's going to take me some time to adjust to the climate,  I expect that I'll be taking some time in the winter to go south next year, be it with a short term rental or some other method.  I love the heat and it rarely bothers me.
  • When it comes to the altitude, I am not there.  My doctor did tell me it would take a month or so, and I believe it. At this point I consider my normal routine to be exercise enough. I have already joined the Y and can take water aerobics at any location. They have basketball courts as well as fitness equipment, so if nothing else my son will start getting some socialization on the court.
  • I am already appreciating being near family, in spite of (or because of) not seeing them every day. Under normal circumstances we would have been getting together every nite for the week I was here, in spite of work obligations or other commitments. It's relaxing to plan a belated birthday dinner this weekend, but know that I'll see them many weekends in the future.  I am missing my daughter and I expect she is missing me. There will be MANY trips south to visit and spend time with her, as well as visit my old church and in laws. On the other hand, she is thirty five, working and in a relationship. In other words, she has her own life. Once upon a time, she lived on Grand Cayman, and we lived in Frankfurt-it was that way for seven years.
  • Three days of driving gives one LOTS of time to think....and make decisions. One of those decisions is that even with downsizing, my crafting business will be a keeper. I say crafting because in addition to quilting I am now making soaps and lotions, gift tags and cards, and even baked goods (Colorado has a cottage food law). I only do these things when I feel the spirit (although I've incorporated techniques such as sewing multiple items at a time).  I cannot object to making money doing what I like to do.  I'll share some of my other mind processes later.
  • I've just begun looking at locations to live, and feel fairly sure that for one year it will be an apartment. It may be that I find a house that fits the bill, but if not a three bedroom ground level apartment with patio will serve just fine (even a two bedroom, depending). It will be an adjustment, especially for the dogs. On the other hand it will give me freedom to spend lots of time on my quilting and the quilting business.  I also feel I need a full year to explore all the areas of the front range before I put down "roots"  I've actually seen some apartments that had room for my dining table and would allow me to feed ten people!
  • I've also just begin to take advantage of the retirement life-style I wrote about previously. I have not begun to look at classes to take as of yet. I may have missed the spring college semester and have to wait for the summer (or take classes through recreation or the local free university). I plan to attend a different church each week for awhile until I find one that is a good "fit".  Since I am very impressed with the cathedral parish (lots of inner city outreach, a seniors group and a twenties and thirties group) I may be alternating between a local church and one further afield.  I've investigated the local quilting options and hope to attend the next quilt guild meeting and find a small group near where I end up.  There's a fifties and up dinner group and a fifties and up movie group through meet up and once I am settled will explore that option as well.
  • Even though I'm only at the beginning of the relocation process, I have been looking at travel options from my new location.  As always, I'll be taking new routes to and from Texas and exploring those parts of Texas I missed.  My goals are still to take a long train trip and drive along the gulf coast. In order to do that frugally, I keep my eyes out daily for offers and steals.
  • My son has been exploring on his own. He's looking at returning to school and getting a four year degree (his two year degree in golf course management and three years of unemployment have not served him well). Because he is an out of state student, the next year will most likely be spent in a community college if possible and then he will transfer to another school.  Denver has a very large "commuter" university.  For folks in the eastern seaboard area, think George Mason. Most places we have lived have simply had city branches of state universities and I for one love the commuter model. He has also been looking for jobs and my sister has offered him one as a gofer at a local garden place (its a two month season but would show on his resume). Meanwhile, after some serious thought, I invested in a lot of 2500 books so that he can take his book selling to another level. I've also encouraged him to search out a church group and play basketball.
  • I've seen a local doctor about my arm tingling. I have a lot of labs scheduled, and she suggested removing myself from my vitamin E regimen. She is testing various vitamin levels and the arm and hand tingling remains the same, no worse. I needed to find a doctor right away as I forgot to ask for a prescription renewal before I left. I picked this doctor from my insurer's list sight unseen and I am thrilled!
  • For the next week, my time will be spent in my normal semi-retired lifestyle, with a few extras thrown in. I need to face my taxes at some point and I continue to look for apartments and spend hours just driving around town.  Other than that, I'll be cooking deviled short ribs and a corned beef dinner, finishing two quilts and working on expanding my business, watching the TV series "Homeland" on video, reading three new books on my kindle, and exploring, exploring, exploring.
Oh, and I'm finding my new lifestyle includes a brief nap everyday-probably a step this night owl should have taken long ago!  Coming soon-my attempt to budget for the year with so many unknowns!


  1. Welcome to Colorado! Glad you made it okay. I thought of you many times as I looked out the window at the snow blowing. Luckily in March the snow melts fast. Right off hand I am familiar with 2 quilt shops - Harriets Treadle Arts in Wheatridge where I took hand quilting classes about 30 years ago and Fabric Expressions in Littleton where I visited after I moved out of the Denver area. Sounds like you have some terrific plans. Looking forward to hearing all about your adventures.

  2. Welcome to Colorado! Glad you made it okay. I thought of you often as I looked out the window at the blowing snow. Sounds like you have some terrific plans. Two quilt shops I am familiar with are Harriet's Treadle Arts in Wheatridge where I took hand piecing and quilting about 30 years ago and Fabric Expressions in Littleton where I visited after I moved away from the Denver area. Looking forward to reading about your adventures in Colorado.

  3. Glad to hear that you made it safely Barb. New adventures are just around the corner, I know it.

    God bless.

  4. Great that you made it safe and sound! It must have been a nightmare. I do some of my best thinking while on long trips. One great decision I made was to marry my current husband. Denver seems to be a land of great opportunity for we retirees. Have a great time exploring!

  5. Wow you have been very busy! It all sounds good and exciting.

  6. Glad you made it safely to Colorado and hope you are going to love it there. My niece has lived there for years teaching school. You have some great plans for activities that interest you. It's exciting to start something new; enjoy!

  7. I was wondering how your trip went and thought you may have been caught up in that nasty storm.

    It doesn't sound as though you have missed a beat. Your plans and life seem just as full as they did in Texas.

    My wife and I start our first extended RV trip in a few weeks and the bulk of it will be in Texas. We've never spent any time in Hill country so that is our target. If you have any suggestions we are all ears.

  8. Your plans sound interesting and fun!

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