So Long Scottsdale, Hello San Diego

sunriseSo back to the big move. This major change in my life. Humongous! We said we’d never leave Arizona. Home. And here I was driving off. Not sunset. But sunrise. Dawn. New day. Bright. Sunny. Full of promise. Beginning. Here we go. Five hours of sleep. Marriott’s shortest stay. But it was time to hit the road. “Mini angels” were raring to go. Really? Minimal sleep. Up at the crack of dawn. No caffeine. And powered with energy. Give me what they’ve got! We loaded up. Pit stop for gas. Caffeine. Little breakfast. And then it was “Farewell Phoenix.” Hasta la vista baby. As Gregger would say, “So long. Until we meet again.” Never, “goodbye.” Too final. But this was. And as we drove, the memories flooded my mind.

sunrise 3On every corner. Something. A restaurant. We loved or hated. Starbucks. Our Sunday Funday. Casino. Part of my 60th birthday celebration. Airport. Departure for cities around the world. Or return to home. Comfort. Flashes of pictures. Years streaming. Where did the time go? Where did our life go? How did this happen? And in a flash, it was gone. All that stretched before us was open land. Desert. Barren open land. A horizon of new opportunities. New life. What was I feeling? Sad? Not really. Relieved? Slightly. Overwhelmed? A little. Scared? Most definitely. But I was ready. I knew this was the right move. The right time. And certainly the right place.

sunrise 4The drive was easy. “Mama Angel” and I never stopped talking. It’s always easy between the two of us. Ask me what we talk about. I have no idea. Life. Love. Kids. Nothing. Everything. Being friends. I am lucky. She walked into my life and blessed me with a friendship that truly comes along once in a lifetime. She has held my hand when I’m ready to fall. Hugged me when I am feeling empty. And called just when I thought my world was falling apart. So the drive was easy. This was easy. I was ready.

As we drove down Melrose and headed up Rancho Santa Fe my heart started fluttering. Butterflies tumbled in my belly. I was going “home.” A home I was going to see for the very first time. But I knew it would be perfect. “Mama” and “Papa” angel had found it for me. I knew it had their blessing. I knew they would know what was right for me. And I never doubted it for one single second. When we made that final turn it all became very real.

To be continued….

sunrise 2

Packing Up

packingSo the house was packed and ready to go. I wasn’t. Or maybe I was. Either way I had to live with it for more than a week. Empty walls. Bare countertops. A cold, emotionless shell. This was no longer our home. It was simply a house. A place for people to rest their heads at night. Eat. But the warmth, laughter and love was packed away. In boxes. Ready to be moved elsewhere. It would all come with me. For now, I just had to sit in the cold. It wasn’t easy. I remembered the parties. Ryan’s 18th. Ashley’s 18th. Graduation. Adam and Katrina’s engagement. Ashley and Tyler’s engagement. So many celebrations. So many happy moments. The house filled with family, friends, and fun. So much fun. But now, it was empty. Lonely. And quiet. I kept busy. Tried to stay away. I used to love to be home. Now I just wanted to be out.

movingThursday came. Moving day. UGH! Five, six, seven buffed up dudes showed up at my door. Ready, set, roll! They were packing, taping, wrapping, shuffling, and carting away like busy worker bees harvesting honey. I wasn’t sure what to do. I held Lucy. Sat on a barstool. Kept looking around as the house emptied out. A few tears escaped every now and then. How could they not? 22 years. My home. Our home. This should not be happening. Or if it was, it should be different. But here it was. And I was moving on. 9 1/2 hours later, I sat on the floor. The empty shell of our home echoed from the silence. And I waited.

My angels were coming. From San Diego. “Mama” angel had called several hours before and said they were coming that afternoon. These angels were just too good to be true. But they were. And I knew that when they got there I would be okay. So I waited. In the silence. With the memories. And the tears.

To be continued…

moving (1)

packing up

Home…Cleaning Up!

stepping 5 The last few days have been a whirlwind. So much to do, yet I feel so little is getting done. I walk from room to room. I stare in closets. I peek in drawers. I open. Close. Walk away. It’s overwhelming. I don’t know where to start. 22 years. Life. Love. And memories. Stuffed away in spaces. What do I keep? What do I toss? What do I pack away? I don’t know. It seems that everything has a purpose. Everything has meaning. Even the dead plant on the shelf. Poor thing. Lost to my “brown thumb.” Gregger would be so sad. He loved his plants. And was super proud of his “green thumb.” Me too.

steppingI worked my way into our closet. I figured it was a smart place to start. Not sure why. But I did. Boxes. And boxes. And boxes. All empty. Gregger loved to save. Hated throwing away. There are three reasons to save things: you may need it later; have a sentimental attachment; or don’t want to waste anything. But boxes? He always thought we might have to return something. Half the boxes went to items that were obsolete! Old Iphones. Cameras. Computers. Mophie cases. It was good for a laugh. And boy did I need a laugh. Thanks Gregger!

Tucked in a corner, high on the shelf hid a pile of dust. Much to my surprise, under all that dust, hid a pair of alligator cowboy boots. I tried to conjure up a memory, but it wouldn’t budge. I had flashes of him. Jeans, cowboy boots, a plaid shirt, but it could have been a dream. I just don’t remember. Sad. The boots. Butter soft leather and alligator with steel toe tips. They rocked! But on the Gregger? Not so sure! He wasn’t the cowboy type. Sharp. Dapper. Suave. But cowboy? Western? I beg to differ.

first few daysI moved onto the filing cabinet. I knew this was going to be one big headache. I persuaded my brother to help me with this arduous task. Gregger not only loved boxes. He loved papers. He thought you might need something someday. So SAVE IT! OMG! In a nutshell, we condensed two filing cabinets into ONE DRAWER! Gregger must have been watching me, wringing his hands, pulling his (nonexistent) hair, and biting his nails. But Gregger – it was time! We don’t own the TV from 1994! No need to keep the warranty from Best Buy! We no longer have the computer from 2000! Obsolete! Papers, papers, and more papers! It’s 2015 and it’s all in the CLOUD! Or somewhere like that. So we made a dent. A start. Tomorrow is another day.

I am stressed. Overwhelmed. Overloaded. But I am doing the best I can. Six years ago I wrote on my FB wall: “Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” So I will keep smiling. Keep sharing. Keep giving. Positive thoughts. Live. Love. Learn. And always be grateful. Blessings.

To be continued….

stepping 4

And So The Adventure Begins

And So The Adventure Begins…

I’ve moved three significant times in my life. Three moves, three disparate emotions; freaky scary, ebulliently joyful, melancholy and skeptical, yet crazy and venturous. The first time was terrifying, lonely, and challenging in immeasurable ways. I was merely eight years old. I was moving from my childhoom home to a brand new city, starting out in a new school in the middle of the school year. I was leaving my friends behind. I didn’t know a soul. I walked into my new classroom the first day and had to take a test, not knowing the material. I was a straight “A” student and failed. I was devastated. I thought the world had come to an end. I did not think I would survive. Eventually I did. I made friends. I never failed another test. And in a short while I loved my new home.

I left several times for college, but they were never permanent moves. Not until I met the Gregger. After a whirlwind romance at Arizona State University and a wedding in St. Louis, we packed our bags for the Cornhusker State. Gregger was off to work with his dad at their family business (Marcus Department Store) in Council Bluffs, Iowa while I finished up my special ed degree at University of Nebraska-Omaha. Moving as a new bride was wondrous and overwhelming all in one breath. I was setting up “our” new home in a new city. I had “his” family but no friends. Gregger’s roots were in C.B. so he felt quite at home there. We were kind of “playing house” until we realized we were never going to be able to make this our “home.” After a spring vacation to Tempe, and a wild ride trip with our college friends, we ached to be back in Arizona. We were young, carefree, and figured this was the time of our life to go. But Gregger had to break the news to his parents, most of all his dad. This was not his nature to let anyone down. Lucky for us, his parents supported our decision and off we went. No home, no jobs, no place for the movers to even deliver our furniture. But it was exhilarating! I knew it was the adventure of our lifetime.  arizona

Obviously moving to Arizona was the BEST move we ever made! Our life truly began here. This is where we built our family, our home, our dreams. We moved here 38 years ago and never looked back. We would have stayed here to celebrate our promised 75th anniversary, but…

IMG_2118So now a new adventure begins. I am packing my bags and heading to San Diego. I am packing A LOT of bags! Gregger must be roaring in laughter. Two bins shipped by FedEx, two overpacked suitcases, a large carry on, a purse, a dog, and a backpack! All of that for 2 1/2 months!   But this time I am going it alone, just Lucy and me. This feels as scary as when I was eight years old. Maybe all that “stuff” is my security blanket. I don’t have to walk into a new classroom. I don’t have to take any tests. But I am walking away from “our” life. I am walking away from the place “we” lived for 38 years. But Gregger will forever be in my heart. He will be with me wherever I go. It’s the beginning of a new journey. As I venture into unknown territory, each day will be about discovery. Discovering places, people, but most of all myself. This is the move I never wanted to make. But Gregger would want me to go. He would want me to keep “moving.” He would never want me to stop and just be. This is about life and living. I miss you Gregger. I wish you were coming with me. But I will see you in the sand, the water, the stars and the sky. And so the adventure begins…