Sunday, April 15, 2018

A woman of influence!

I never thought of myself as a woman of influence, but I guess I am. Here are three stories:

1. I have a friend named Ellen. I met her at a Habitat for Humanity build seven years ago in Lafayette, Louisiana. We became Facebook friends. She visited us briefly in Tucson several years ago. Then, last spring, Art and I decided to go to Greece for a month to volunteer at a refugee camp there. We decided to leave Larisa, our Designer Cat, at our place in Tucson while we were gone, since she'd already been there with us for five months.

I posted on Facebook that we were looking for someone to stay in our Tucson place to keep company with Larisa while we were gone. Ellen said she would like to do that. She drove from Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she has lived for the last 12 years. Before we left I introduced her to one of my friends. By the time we got back from Greece, Ellen had bought a place in our community! She said, "I have made more friends here in the last six weeks than I did in Fayetteville in 12 years." She went home for the summer, preparing to return in the fall, but decided to sell her Fayetteville house and move to Tucson permanently!

Ellen says she wouldn't be living here if it weren't for me. It is very nice to have her here.

2. We have friends named Shirley and Tom. We met them through a hospitality exchange group; we stayed with them twice at their place in Henderson, Nevada, when we were still driving between Seattle and Tucson for the winter. We became Facebook friends. Shirley and Tom sold their Nevada place and became housesitters for a year or so, then decided they'd like a permanent base from which to travel. They checked out the Voyager, the 55+ resort where we live in the winter, and looked online at all the places for sale here. They found one they liked and watched, hoping the price would drop. It did. They made plans for Tom to fly down to see it.

Shirley texted me to tell me about the plan. I said, "Would you like me to go over and check it out?" Shirley said yes and I did. A neighbor was watering the yard and had a key. I went in and looked around and asked the neighbor lots of questions. I texted Shirley and suggested she call me. She did. I told her what I thought and she asked the neighbor some questions herself. Then we hung up.

Two hours later Shirley texted me again. She and Tom had made an offer on the phone without even seeing the place, based on our conversation and pictures they'd seen. They arrive next month.

It's a little intimidating being a woman of such influence!

3. I've been thinking for several years that it might be time to sell our family home in Washington and find something smaller, and without stairs, and without a steep driveway and a big yard. My husband Art has not been at all ready for that. For the last six years we have spent the winter in Tucson. The first year we were there two months, then three, then four. This year we will have been here five months and three weeks when we fly home next Saturday.

Yesterday we looked at a resale manufactured home about three quarters of a mile from where we live now in our park model. The home is in the same 55+ resort. It is on one level, with an open floor plan, a great kitchen and a small low-maintenance yard. Actually, I looked first with my friend Ellen, then took Art over. We spent 45 minutes talking to the current owners.

Then Art and I talked. We still want to spend our summers in Washington. Several of our children and grandchildren live there, and the summer weather is glorious, with long daylight hours and very little rain. We had considered buying a smaller place, but housing prices in the Seattle area are very high. Then we considered leasing. In either case, though, the residence would sit empty for most of the year (a winter away and travel at other times can do that).

Then I thought about Airbnb and checked it out. We could rent a place for three months. Not just in Washington, but just about anywhere. That would get us out of the most daunting months of Arizona's summer.

Then I thought, well, what if one of us dies? Which is a certainty. And just this morning I remembered: there are always independent living or assisted living places if they're needed. And they could be in Washington.

So, if we sold our Washington home, we wouldn't be exiling ourselves from Washington or from our family. We would be freeing ourselves from our financial and upkeep obligations to a house we are, more and more, not living in.

This is not quite dreaming. Because we could either buy the place we looked at yesterday, or we could stay in the park model, which has been our winter residence for six years and which we like very much.

The most important thing, to me, is that both of us can see where we might step next. It's no longer "Let's rightsize and then maybe move to a smaller place." Instead, it might be "Let's get ready to move."

We may not move physically. But we are moving forward toward a lighter lifestyle. It's no longer me nagging a reluctant husband. It's both of us looking at the possibilities.

Does that make me a woman of influence?


#1Nana said...

Yep! You are a woman of influence. I am grateful that the universe brought us together. I have learned so much from you and you've influenced me in more ways that I can count...and I'll always carry the memories of Greece. I'm glad Art is coming around. Hummmm, let me know if you're going to sell the park model.

Terra said...

Yes indeedy, you are a woman of influence. People are flocking to be near you! Plus good change may be in the air for you and Art.

Olga Hebert said...

You are indeed a woman of influence and a nurturer to others. Your last point directly articulated ideas that have been forming in my own head. I did sell my VT house and buy a condo, but lately I have been thinking that having two places is a waste of my resources, financial and otherwise. I am drown back north by family and friends but I could easily live in my Florida place most of the time. You have made that bug in my ear a bit louder for sure.

DJan said...

What you have created in Arizona for yourself and others is wonderful. I predict that you will do the airbnb thing eventually, since it seems to be the best way to downsize and still stay in the area. :-)

Linda Reeder said...

I read of your deliberations with interest. We think about downsizing, but we are just not there yet. We are so very tied to our home and garden and really can't imagine life somewhere else yet. Time will tell.
What's important is that you, and each of us, do what works and feels right for you. I'll be standing by and watching.

Arkansas Patti said...

Ha ha use your influence wisely since you do seem to have some clout. As for your move, the airbnb does sound like a good option. Let us know how this goes.

Meryl Baer said...

Absolutely you are a great woman of influence. Your ideas and comments are taken seriously. Good luck with your move got lighter lifestyle - you won't regret it!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Renting an Airbnb sounds like a perfect plan. Your life is very full, and it is nice to lighten some of the load.

Sally said...

Well, I’d say you are a woman of influence. You have always been a great influencer as long as I have known you.

This plan that you are talking about sounds like a good one. I know you don’t know just what you will do about the place in Washington, but you are looking at possibilities. That is good. I like how you are thinking. I think it makes sense to sell a place where you no longer spend much time. It will be interesting to see what you decide.

Dee said...

Dear Linda, I don't have any doubt that you have influenced many people during your lifetime. Wherever you were--in Greece or in the United States you touched people's lives and helped bring about change. So you have been a blessing in many lives.

I'm glad to learn that you and your husband are now on the same page with regard to downsizing/possibly moving. That's going to make everything so much easier. Peace.

Caree Risover said...

Think I could do with being influenced. We know we need to downsize but having built our home ourselves are strongly attached to it and have no idea where to move to. In UK there’s very little in the way of retirement communities, so we just ponder and ponder 🤔