I flew home to Seattle yesterday after six months in Tucson. Our house here is large; we bought it 23 years ago when our eight-kid blended family was growing up. Our place there is small; a park model (trailer) we bought four years ago - after two years of renting it - when we decided we wanted to spend our winters at the Voyager, a 55-plus RV resort.
The autumn transition to Arizona is always easy. We're returning to a simple but active life, with friends who are doing the same. Everyone is glad to see each other.
The spring return to our town, Brier, isn't so easy. I'm always amazed and overwhelmed by how much Stuff we have, and how little of it we use. I love the green beauty in this part of the country, but not the traffic. Our friends here have gone on with their lives without us for six months, and we need to kind of ease back in.
This year it's a little different. We have begun to think about selling our Washington home and relocating permanently to Tucson. Seriously thinking. Art is "still listening", but he says I can ask him once a week whether he is shifting from listening to thinking to planning. There will be a lot to do if we make the decision to sell and move.
Over the last six years we have come to think of our Tucson place as our second home. Not just a winter getaway. We love the little place we've fixed up to our liking. We love the Voyager community. We love the city of Tucson. Except for the beastly hot summers - which I think we can avoid - and the more conservative politics - which I hope we can influence.
Of course we love Seattle too. The physical beauty, the friends we have made here, our volunteer activities, the knowledge that four of our grown kids live in the area.
The family home here in Brier has stairs. Two sets. And a steep driveway. And a big yard. Too much for us these days, I think.
I'm pretty sure there's a family looking for a house like ours. And the Seattle housing market is sizzling right now. So next week, when I ask Art, I hope he'll be moving into his planning phase.
When we moved into this house I was 46 years old. I had never in my life lived in any house for longer than six years. This Brier place has been home, and part of my heart will remain here.
The other parts of my heart are ready to move on.
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