My husband Art and I live in two places.
From April 1 until December 1, we live in Brier, Washington, a northern suburb of Seattle. We've lived in that 2000 square foot house for over 20 years as we raised our blended family of eight children and worked in our careers.
From December 1 until April 1, we live in Tucson, Arizona, in a 620-square foot park model (trailer) in a 55+ RV resort. This is our fourth winter here. At first it was like a vacation. Now it's a home.
Last week I said my face-to-face goodbyes. On Sunday, to my church community in the morning and a 12-step group in the evening. On Monday, to a friend with whom I sometimes walk (but only until January 6, when she arrives in Tucson for a weeklong visit). On Tuesday, to my niece and friend Colleen in the morning and to another 12-step group in the afternoon. On Wednesday to my housekeeper Melissa and my magician massage therapist, Christopher in the morning and my new friend Lisa in the afternoon. On Friday to our "property mates": my sister Alyx, my brother-in-law Virgil and Art's son Peter.
I don't need to say goodbye to people I talk to via email, text and Facebook. They will hardly know I am away from my first home because I usually meet them online, which has no physical location. That's one thing I love about this electronic age. And even my face-to-face people can keep in touch that way, though it's only a substitute for the real, live conversations over coffee or lunch.
We flew from Seattle to Tucson yesterday afternoon.
Now I am saying my face-to-face hellos. Today, to our remodel guy Jim, who will be replacing the carpeting and railings on our deck and installing a new kitchen counter. To Mary, who is a member of the "Voyager Light Opera Company" along with Art; this year, they will be playing Ado Annie and Will Parker in "Oklahoma!" To Mike and Michelle, our neighbors across the street. To Florence, my wise friend on the other side of the park. Tomorrow we'll meet our Tucson church community and then have dinner with friends Joan and John whom we met just before we left in April. On Monday I'll greet Victoria, my excellent massage therapist in Tucson. On Tuesday I'll revisit my dentist in Mexico and say hello to Maria, my Tucson housekeeper, and attend our regular 12-step meeting in the evening. On Wednesday I'll say hello to my current events group members; I've known most of them for four seasons and have come to respect most of them, even those with vastly different views from my own. On Thursday I'll turn in my curly Washington hairstyle to my desert hairstylist Marissa and emerge from her shop with my Arizona look; in the evening we'll meet up with a small group in our Tucson church that's much like a similar group we attend in Washington. And all week long it will be sunny.
We live in two places. We love them both. We are lucky!