Friday, April 27, 2018

Home. Really?

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.


DUTA said...

At a certain age, stairs are not welcome. Even not a yard, as life has to be simplified in order to allow smooth functioning. Good Luck with your moving!

Roberta Warshaw said...

We had every intention of doing the back and forth trip to Tucson when we bought our place in 2015. Then life got in the way and we could not leave Massachusetts at all. Over those three years we realized that supporting 2 homes was becoming a huge burden on us. If we wanted to have a comfortable retirement we were going to have to sell our MA condo. We sold it last week (where the housing market is also on fire) and are moving to Tucson full time in June of all months! We couldn't move until our grandson (who lives with us) graduates from high school. Hence the June move. We are very excited to be moving although we are moving over 2500 miles away from our families. So there is that. But we can always fly and visit. After all these years of raising our grandson we are ready for us. And that means moving to Tucson where we will be warm and life will be easier on us all around. Good luck with whatever you decide.

And yes, if enough of us move to Arizona perhaps we can change the demographic out there. I cannot wait to register to vote there.

DJan said...

I look forward to hearing when (not if) you decide to make the final push to move to AZ. Does that mean you will be here for the summer months? :-)

Linda Reeder said...

I'll be following your process.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

It is an interesting time for that transition but quite an undertaking, I wish you all the best as you carry on.

Sandi said...

It is sad to leave home. I still think of my childhood house (and dream of it if I am stressed!) But a new house becomes home too, just another one. :)

Your profile says you are a writer, mediator. What is a mediator? A counselor?

All the Best,

Arkansas Patti said...

Have you done a summer in Az? Think I'd try one first. Most people fell in love with Florida Winters but had no idea what hot was like in the summers nor experienced the high cooling bills. Will be interested to see how this goes.

Madeline Kasian said...

You’ve experienced Arizona enough to know your way around the weather and the change,I believe. SInce you are retired you can always travel for a month of two of the hot times. I’ve been here 34 years and I do fine in summer..we just don’t go jogging in it!! LOL! I like the slower pace, the mornings in the pool, and yes, 2 trips to San Diego every summer!! You find ways around it.. and there are the OTHER NINE MONTHS!! We had two homes for a long time and got weary of the upkeep and expense. Now we pick up and do airbnb whenever and wherever we like.,Santa Fe,Oregon Coast,California.. this is a nice jumping off place.... I hope you do get to sinmplfiy, it feels simply marvelous to have one place that suits!!

Tom said...

Good luck with your decision ... I think we're all familiar with the feeling of having "too much."

Pia said...

I bought my first house at 58, nine years ago, and still love the stairs. But wow have I accumulated—-spent weeks getting rid of things and will begin again in the fall!

My three besties from NY just left. They were all prepared to make fun of me for living in South Carolina—-but a funny thing happened. They fell in love with the wonderful people, the easy walk to the beach_—and I rented a an ocean view condo as there’s big construction here. Plus it was cheapish and beautiful. We went to Myrtle Beach for the gaudy tack, and Wilmington NC for its incredible beauty, food, liberal people, and arts.

I don’t overtly try to change people’s views but I show them a NY Jew can be, well, a good person who believes that her beliefs, values, and history (I come from a leftist family) are as valid as theirs. It’s a start. And there are more and more of us. Together we will be the change we want. I truly believe that.

Love your posts though I don’t usually comment

Sally Wessely said...

I hear what you are saying. I would have a difficult time transitioning from one home to another. I know many like having a summer home and and a winter one, but I think that I would find it hard to feel integrated. I have such a strong sense of home. In fact, when we sold our home in Pueblo and moved here, it took me forever to feel transitioned. At times, I still long for that old place. Yet, I know the decision to downsize and move was the very best thing to do. You guys will decide when you look at all the options. Leaving a home that fit at one point in life but no longer fits is a difficult thing to do, but I have learned it is best to do so while the move is easier to accomplish physically, mentally, and financially. It will be interesting to see what you two decide.

Dee said...

Dear Linda, it's a good feeling, isn't it, to come to a decision that feels so right for you. There's a peace that come and a serenity followed by contentment. The last six years or so led you to this realization that you can begin a new phase of your life. You're already there in Arizona for 6 months a year. That's a base that you can operate from. And you do that so well as I've seen in your postings about the Washington/ Arizona/ Greek travels.Good luck. Peace.

Bob Lowry said...

How interesting! I can see how such a big house, stairs, and large yard can become a drag. From what I understand Seattle traffic is also close to a breaking point. But, it would be a major decision. I wish you the best in convincing Art!

And, yes, head to San Diego or somewhere cool if you can for our "lovely" Arizona summers. We are considering Prescott or Flagstaff for a few months each summer. They are much cooler than Phoenix but still within 2 or 3 hours of family.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Yes, stairs are not our friend these days! I hope that you do make the decision to live in Arizona full-time. We made that decision nine years ago -- and despite the fact that I generally dislike deserts and heat not to mention conservative politics -- we've been very happy here. (We live halfway between Phoenix and Tucson and enjoy both cities!) The heat is manageable, especially if you plan your outdoor activities for early morning or evening. And the summer evenings are like velvet. And, of course, air conditioning and access to a pool can help greatly. So can the ability to escape to San Diego, coastal L.A. or back to Washington to visit family members during some of the hottest weeks. Still, making the move is a big decision. May you make the one that feels most right for you!