Today marks two years since we left our perfectly nice home in suburbia for the adventure of a lifetime. It may not sound like such a big deal to move to small town USA to build a custom solar home in the southern Colorado foothills, but it was for us at age 60!
We moved to Walsenburg on June 17th 2014, to sleep on the floor of this hundred-year-old rental, moving in the next day and staying there for 13 months while our new home was forming far too SLOWLY 20 minutes west of town at 7,000 feet. Mike worked as the contractor and purchaser of all things when we found the builder was not taking competitive bids, but just hiring his local friends.
Then on July 30th, 2015 we moved into our new home, HOME AT LAST!
For weeks after that move we just sat and stared out the window, mesmerized with the awesome views out our front windows, too exhausted to do anything else. We finally made it to our goal after many, many challenges and so many days of absolute stress.
Why did we do it? Our trip to Pueblo yesterday answers that question quickly. Being in cities always ruins my day. We need to go there occasionally to buy certain things, but the stress, the heat, the traffic, the bad air and bad manners of other drivers always convinces us we will never live there again!
We have no patience with cities anymore, and why should we when we have a magnificent place where we can escape them?
Today we will drink a toast to surviving all these many changes and challenges, and also to never moving again! Instead we will try to get our patio finished this summer, enjoy the great wildflower displays everywhere, the cool mountain breezes each evening, and offer encouragement to others who have found their new home in this small slice of heaven.
Want to learn more about our experience of moving from the city to the country to live a quiet, relaxed life? Check it out here!
“Even in seemingly dormant times, we are in transition. Losses and gains are in constant play. We are the change-agent, and we are changed. Even without toil, we transform. So, wisdom advises us to open our hearts to transition; to honor fully what is passing, to learn from all that unfolds, and to welcome what arrives at our door each day with courage and curiosity.”
As all who have been reading this blog for the past year or so know, I have had many doubts about this big, dramatic move Mike and I started on two years ago. Especially when we first moved to Walsenburg, and I basically hated it.
But then if you took anyone from a beautiful, suburban home in Fort Collins, and moved them into a tiny, dirty 100-year-old house in a sad, rundown town an hour away from any decent sized city, the shock would be total, and it was!
The challenges we have faced in the past two years have been daunting for both of us. For me the biggest challenge was simply adjusting to such a different world than I was used to. For Mike it was the many extra expenses, frustrations, and delays in building a passive solar home in a rural environment.
I am now quite happy that we made this choice, while Mike says he wouldn’t have done it if he had known how unhappy I would be in the process of adjusting to something so different.
In retrospect I wish I had not worried so much about everything and trusted more in Mike’s vision for us, because this place is heaven. I fully appreciate how much courage and vision it took for Mike to push this whole project through to completion.
Now we live in a beautiful home that is supremely quiet, with fantastic views in every direction, and our direct-gain passive solar is working great! Plus I now feel like I’m making a few friends and slowly starting to feel like I belong here.
In summary: This place is perfect, but change can still be hell!
How did this happen? How did I end up here, feeling so fortunate? It’s a long story, one I can now share with you in my new memoir…
I love to remember May Day when I was a kid. We lived in a small town in Iowa where kids made simple paper May baskets, filled them with flowers, and then hung them on our neighbor’s front doors. What FUN! Then at school we would do the Maypole dance. Such great spring singing programs! Remember “Spring is busting out all over!?”
Unfortunately the weather is NOT cooperating here today. We are stuck in our second four day snowstorm in TWO WEEKS in southern Colorado. The good news? Over 4 inches of moisture in April! That’s my rain gauge out there…
Luckily we have a few great blog posts from some great boomer bloggers to entertain us today! First up is Carol Cassara:
Visibility seems to be EVERYTHING in today’s intrusive social media environment–and some of the most awful influences on kids and grandkids are way too visible. Carol’s asking what you think parents (and grandparents) can do to combat the influence of negative role models in social media? At the same time, she’s lucky enough to have a nephew who appreciates the wisdom of age.
Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting says the pharmaceutical industry is dear to the hearts of most Americans. We buy lots of drugs, but the industry wants us to buy more. Advertisements ply us with information about all kinds of maladies and the pills that will cure them. Meryl spends too much time listening to ads, as she explains in her post: On Becoming a Hypochondriac.
Tom Sightings says, they’ve been talking about it for a few years now, ever since the last of their children left home. It’s a crossroads most of us must face as we retire. So navigate over to “Guess What We’re Doing?” to find out what he’s talking about — and what they’re doing.
Over at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, Rita R. Robison, consumer journalist, writes about a new study that found working longer can extend your life. Researchers found that healthy adults who retired one year past age 65 had an 11 percent lower risk of death from all causes, even when taking into account demographic, lifestyle, and health issues.
Too bad so many us do have health issues which prevent us from working longer, or chronic unemployment. It’s also very sad thousands of midlife Americans are committing suicide at an alarming rate.