A Long Two weeks

It’s been awhile since my last post.  I finally have a few minutes to sit at the computer and get up to date on the last 2 weeks.  I can honestly say that I have never been so busy!  From the closings, to the actual moving to now the unpacking, it is endless.  I am so happy that I do not have to get up and go to work every day, as I don’t have enough time in a day as it is, I can’t even imagine how I would have fit work into this.

I can now say, the last box was emptied today – yeah!!!  We have accomplished so much, but by the end of the day my legs and back hurt so much, I can tell you after popping 2 Advil I sleep like a rock.  I remember when I worked the restless nights I would have thinking about the issues I was dealing with at work, my mind running and running and feeling my stomach in a knot.  Now my head hits the pillow and I’m out for the night.  So although I’m physically tired at the end of each day, it’s a good tired, I sleep well, and start each new day with new energy.  I really haven’t thought of work, or missing it.  I still get all the daily and weekly notifications from Monster and Linked In and a multitude of other job sites, I look at them quickly and delete.  I can honestly say I’m just not interested in getting a job right now.  This might change as we get to January and February, but the task at hand seems so big and is looming overhead that I don’t even think of it or want it.  To the workaholic I used to be, this is simply amazing.  I am a strong believer that things happen for a reason, and I feel from the day I quit on 8/31, everything has fallen into place regarding timing and this move.  We were able to visit family in Chicago, we found a nice home to move to and we had time to enjoy our previous home before leaving it.  The packing kept me busy and now the new house setup is definitely keeping us busy and will for some time to come.

The new neighborhood.  It seems that for the month of December things slow down a little when it comes to activities.  Many retirees either travel to be with family or family travels here to be with them so many groups don’t meet in December, but start again in January.  Again, timing that seems to be working out for us.  By end December we should be as settled as we can be, and we’ll be ready to start enjoying all the New Year activities, and let me tell you, there are quite a few.  You can be as busy as you want to be, and honestly could fill up an entire day going from one thing to the next.  We were able to attend the New Residents introduction meeting and all the clubs and groups were present to tell you a little about their activities.  My best analogy that I’m using is that you’re like a kid in a candy store.  Seeing all the different candies (clubs and groups) and you want to pick them all, but you know you can’t so you have to choose which ones to try now and maybe try the others later.  I can see how you can easily take on too much, too soon, and too fast.  We’re going to be here for a long time so if we try to do everything the first year, what will we do with the rest of the years.

For sure I’m going to join the neighborhood book club, getting on a few sub lists for game nights, and hoping to join a new game group that is being setup.  Already signed up for 3 yoga classes.  I said I was going to do this and I’m doing it.  Now only once a week for 3 weeks, but it’s a chance to try yoga and hopefully will like it so I can sign up in January again.  We’re going to join the Country Western Dance group and I’m going to join the ladies 9 hole weekly golf group.  Sounds more like a fun group and for someone who hasn’t golfed in a long time, it’s a perfect way to get back into it.  We’re going to join a group called the Zoomers. We hear this is the “in” group of Sun City.  Sounds like they do a lot of activities from luncheons, day trips, even 1 and 2 weeks trips.  This seems to be the biggest group in the community and the most active.  My husband wants to join bocce ball, and is considering work working.  We both think Pickle Ball sounds interesting, so we might give that a try.  I think starting with these activities is a good way to see how things go.  Of course, we want to have time to use the state of the art fitness facility and the pools also.  They have a wonderful library, I don’t think I’ll every have to buy another book again.

So all those activities are the future.  For now, I’ve been stuck inside with my boxes.  For some reason the stupid Unpacking Fairy missed our house so I have been on my own.  The rooms are setup, the Christmas decorations up, the knick knacks in place, so only a few things left.  I can say that the “to do” list is now shorter than the “do” list I started with 2 weeks ago.  Not sure how much I’ll get done this week.  We have fitness orientation, Neighborhood Christmas party and we’ll be attending a show in the Grand ballroom on Thursday, and of course, my first ever yoga class.  Then on Friday I do want to go see the lights in the historic section of Georgetown since the shops are open late.  I can tell you I won’t be bored this week.  I sure would like to find some time to read a few chapters in my book, maybe the following week.

I hope your road you’re traveling on is being good to you and you’re enjoying it.  I’m on a new road, I have high hopes and I’m trying to see what’s around the next bend.  I’ll keep  you posted on what I find.

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Almost a Week

On Monday we will have owned our new home one week.  Although we had a Holiday this week, Thanksgiving, it basically has been a blur.  From closing on two houses, packing up the last-minute things, going to a neighborhood farewell party, moving out of one house and moving into the next house the next day, and cleaning and painting and unpacking, these last 6 days are a blur of activity and being very very tired when going to bed.

Overall, based on some of the horror stories regarding moving and closing on houses, I guess you can say ours was uneventful, which is always a good thing.  The movers overall did a good job, with only 1 broken  yard plant pot, and some minor scratches on the furniture that can be touched up.  Putting things away I have broken two things, so the Movers have a better track record than I.

Our new home is a resale so it was previously lived in.  The more I’m here I really do like the floor plan, but regrettably it hasn’t had a good cleaning in quite a while, so not only is unpacking required, but before anything can be put away, a thorough cleaning must be done.  I think I truly have dish pan hands!  I have never washed and cleaned so much in one week, and we still have a lot ahead of us.

One of our new neighbors brought over cookies on Wednesday and that was really appreciated, they were homemade and was good snacking.  You need that sugar energy to keep you going.  Although it seems like endless work we do try to stop by 8PM, but that is a long day since we start about 8:30.  I would never have guessed how badly my feet hurt.  Although wearing shoes all day, it’s amazing that one’s feet can hurt so much.  I give all retail people a big kudos for I have no idea how they can stand all day long, every day.  I have been at it a week and every evening my legs and feet just ache.  I wonder how long it takes until your legs and feet just get numb and they don’t hurt any longer?

On Thursday we enjoyed a very nice dinner at Cracker Barrel along with many other people.  Since Cracker Barrel was about the only restaurant open in the area, it was a big hit with many people.  On Friday we joined the locals in Georgetown’s square, listened to Christmas carols and watched the Town Square come alight with Christmas lights.  It was all very small town and all very nice.  It was a nice way to welcome in our new town.  There were many people so we will be going back this week to take some photos and I will post later in the week.  As we get settled in I’ll start carrying my camera with me and start taking more photos to share with you as I progress down our new town roads.  Welcome to Georgetown, TX, I can’t wait to share with you all the things I find and learn about this area. Although only 90 miles from where we previously lived, it feels much farther, and is all brand new.  Enjoy your Holiday travels and be safe and happy when traveling the roads!

 

Closing Day and More!

It has arrived.  Months have gone by since we first started discussing whether we should move or not.  I know it goes back to about the Spring time frame.  You know, the conversations that starts out “what if…” and you make a comment or two, then nothing, then a short while later something happens and it comes up again.  Then the moment comes when you start talking seriously about, weighing the pros and cons, and then saying we should wait a year or two.  Then a little more time goes by and something comes up and now it seems maybe this is the right time.  So we talked and talked, thought and thought, and finally about May we decided that were going to move forward with selling this house and traveling down our road to our next chapter.

We knew where we wanted to move so that wasn’t the issue, but we again went back to make sure we still felt strongly about the community and we certainly did.  When we left the Chicago area nearly 10 years ago we thought we would like to retire in an Adult/Senior community.  Prior to moving to Florida we traveled through many of the Adult/Senior communities throughout Florida and we decided we weren’t ready for that type of community yet.  I had many working years ahead of me, and although my husband was gong to retire I felt I was too young to move into this type of community.  So we purchased a home in an all age community and there we stayed for the time we were in Florida.

When we decided that Florida regrettably was not going to be our final destination, and we started looking at Texas, again we went down the road should we consider an Adult/Senior community.  Again we looked, and once again we decided not to.  Instead we had the opportunity to allow my husband to build his home that he designed and he lovingly was involved with from beginning to end.  It’s a beautiful home on an acre lot and is bigger than 2 people need, but we enjoyed the home and the area.

When we were making the decision about moving, the factor that was different this time is that I was quitting my job and not going to work.  With that new to the scene that changed our opinion and we did decide that now 10 years after our initial discussion it is time to move into the Adult/Senior community that we had been considering for the last 2 moves.

So today was our closing on our home in New Braunfels, and on Tuesday we will be moving into our home in Georgetown, TX.  We will be joining the other Seniors already residing in Del Webb’s Sun City in Georgetown.  It is a beautiful community; 3 golf courses, 2 indoor and 2 outdoor pools, tennis courts, and a wide variety of activities both within your neighborhood and through out the community.  We knew we would one day move to this type of community we just didn’t know when.  We both feel this is the time.

I will miss this home as my husband put his heart and soul into this home and he loved the building process and the results of all his hard work.  We put all the good we have found in previous homes and tried to come up with a home that met all of our needs and in some cases exceeded them.  It has upgrades that we never had before and probably will never have again.  Although we will be giving this up, we will always have the wonderful memories of our times here and also the memories of having been in a position to build this home and enjoy it.  We are lucky and blessed because I know many have this dream and it is never achieved, so I am leaving with no regrets and I am glad that life allowed us to enjoy the time we have had here.  If only we could take this house and move it to our new community, but of course that is not an option; hence the sale.

I know that Tuesday will be a difficult day for my husband, but I am hoping that as we get involved with our new home and community that although he won’t forget the home, but will start enjoying our new community.   I am calm about this move as I feel this is the right time.  It’s not like this decision came out of the blue, it has been thought about for 10 years and we did say that ultimately we wanted to purchase our last home in one of these Adult/Senior communities so to me it’s just turning onto the next street in our life and I’m looking forward to it.

Del Webb and Sun City are two words that have been around since the 1960’s.  The original communities were started in Arizona and now there are many communities throughout the U.S.  Not just in the warm climates any longer, but throughout the U.S.  It’s an active adult lifestyle.  It’s like going on a cruise.  You can take a cruise and lay on the deck all day and read a book and don’t get involved in any of the daily or nightly activities, and for some that’s great, but why go on a cruise.  Sun City is like a big adult playground and unless you want to go out and play, don’t waste your time.

Like with anything in life, you make of it what you want.  If I’m going to be by myself all day, take a walk and sit on my back porch and read a book,  we should have just stayed in our current home.  We can go a week without seeing anyone, and for a social person like me this is just depressing and boring.  But that’s not we want.  We want to golf, and socialize and be involved in activities.  Have a day that by the evening your exhausted but happy, not bored and lazy.  I am hoping that if our life in our new home is 1/2 as exciting as I hope it will be, then I will be 100% happy, and couldn’t ask for more.  Anything more than that will be a special surprise.

So we won’t be traveling down any new roads on vacations or long weekends over the next month or two as we have a lot of unpacking and settling in.  But what I will be bringing to you is our initiation into our new community and lifestyle.  Welcome to a new day and a new road, you’re never too old to start a new adventure.  Happy travels.

One Week and Counting

It’s almost here  – Moving Day!

It’s a day that I look forward to with sadness but also with great excitement.  Probably compared to many people I have moved quite a lot in my adult life, and to others probably not that much.   The amount of my adult moves does not in any way correlate to my childhood.  I was raised and lived in my childhood home from 5 years old until I got married in my 20’s.  As an adult the longest I have lived in a home is about 6 years, so I guess you can say I should be an expert at packing and unpacking.  Most moves were local except for the last 2 moves which were cross-country.  One thing I have learned is that cross-country moves take much more thought and planning.  You need to know what can go on the moving truck, what can’t, no refrigerated foods, no gas in lawn movers and every little thing must be packed.  Once the moving truck leaves if you can’t fit it in your suitcase or your car, you’re going to be leaving it behind.  Local moves, especially if you can coordinate good in sync closings are a little less worrisome because you can possibly make some trips by car and it’s amazing how much you can fit in an SUV, and really if it doesn’t fit or misses the truck it’s not like I can’t ask a neighbor to hold it and we come back for it.  It’s not the do or die situation that once you leave the area, you’re gone.

So what have we been doing the last couple of weeks, well of course, packing.  Yes, we’re packing ourselves.  If you haven’t moved recently moving is not a cheap thing to do, so since packing yourself saves lots of money, we’re doing it.  Also, I really like packing.  It gives you that chance to remind yourself of all the “stuff” you have.  You know all those things at the back of the cabinet or closet that you forget you have and never use, and you think why am I packing this again?  We have lived here almost 5 years and I haven’t used it once, and in the previous house I don’t think I used it, so for at least 10 years this item has taken up space in a cabinet and yet there I go and wrap it and stick it in the box!

The sadness about moving is that the people you have met will probably in a year or two just stop communicating.  With everyone’s life so busy and having friends close by its really hard to maintain a long distance friendship, especially if it wasn’t that close to start with.  I have to say that it now has been over 5 years since we left Florida and I still enjoy talking and emailing my next door neighbor and dear friend.  Even after all this time I find the discussion to be as free-flowing as when we lived next to each other, this is a true friendship.  It’s when the conversations turn to “how’s your weather” you know the end is in sight.

My last job is a good example of abrupt endings.  I really wasn’t that close with anyone in particular, except for occasional lunches so I really didn’t expect any type of closeness to continue.  To say the least I am disappointed that certain friendships that I thought I had stopped immediately, while another has actually improved.  So whether it be work friends, your neighbors, people you know from church or clubs, there’s a higher percentage that the longer you’re away the less you will hear from them.  But if you realize that and accept that it’s part of moving on that’s OK.  They shared a portion of your life, you carry the memories of the laughter, or sadness, but these people were part of your life and we all should be grateful we had the opportunity to meet them and they have become a part of a long and full life.  With the amount of moving we have done, I am happy to say that no matter where we have moved, I have had the opportunity of meeting some wonderful people and glad I had the time I shared with them.  I certainly hope that we will stay in contact, as we’re only moving 90 minutes up the road.  It’s not like we’re again moving out-of-state, but a relatively short drive based on Texas standards, only time will tell.

The excitement part is moving into the new neighborhood and meeting the new neighbors and starting the cycle over again.  I enjoy meeting new people and with the amount of invites already received to participate in things, I am hoping that this will be one of the neighborhoods that we will enjoy for years to come.  There’s always room for new and more friends, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your old friends.  If you’re going to be traveling down a road that is taking you to a new neighborhood or area, make sure you take time to meet your neighbors and participate in clubs.  Friendships should be nurtured and each one cherished and appreciated in its own way.  I’m tired but looking forward to the new roads we will be traveling on in the next week.

 

 

Packing, Patio Party and WURSTFEST – Does it get any better!

It’s been a few days since posted anything new, because how exciting can packing be?  I have been a busy bee this week packing up the house and getting ready for our move, which is now fast approaching.  But after working on it most of the week, I’m happy to say that I’m actually much farther than I expected.  We took yesterday and today off for fun things we had planned, but we’re back on track to packing again tomorrow.  Every move prior to this one, I have worked right up to the moving day, so it was very tiring.  Worked all week, and every evening and the weekends I would spend packing, and after a few weeks of that you get really tired.  This is the first time I am not working and it’s really not so bad.  I’m probably in the minority when I say I really like packing.  It’s like putting a puzzle together.  You pack this and that, then you have a certain size spot in the box that you need to find something to fit, so you walk thru the house and then you see it and it fits just perfect and fills out the box perfectly.  So each box is like a mini-challenge and you feel such an accomplishment with each one you tape up.

Now onto the fun things, really how much can you talk about packing.  Yesterday we drove to our new community in Georgetown to attend our first neighborhood party, although not moved in yet.  We were introduced to most of the people in our neighborhood, and I’m lucky if I remember 5 names.  Certainly have no idea who belongs to who as the wifes were not sitting next to their husbands so that one is going to take some time to figure out.  I have to say that I can pretty well hold my own when meeting new people, and joining in discussions but it was a little overwhelming.  The best example I can give you is like you’re walking into the middle of a movie where all the characters know what’s going on and you don’t.  So we have a lot of catching up but from our first meeting with our new neighbors they seem very friendly and open and I’m sure in no time we won’t be the new kids on the block, but feel like we have been there for years, I’m looking forward to it.  So we attended the afternoon patio party and unloaded an SUV load of stuff in our future garage, so we accomplished a moving task while having a very pleasant afternoon.

Then there’s today – it’s WURSTFEST time!  Only in New Braunfels, TX is it WURSTFEST time.  Every time about this year Wurstfest is held, it is a 10 day music, eating and beer drinking event.  It’s a place you can go with your family, spouse, old or young, if you like polka music you’re going to love Wurstfest.  The weather this time of year is fantastic, there’s plenty of sausage and sauerkraut, and an unlimited amount of both domestic and import beers.  They have bands from all over the Country and World that come to this event.  Some bands come from Germany and I can almost guarantee that every band will have at least one accordion player.  I thought accordions were dead, went by the way side in the 1960’s, but not here in New Braunfels, they are here to stay.

This is Wursthalle

Wurstfest has been going on for a very long time, from about the 1960’s, not sure of the exact history, so as always, the Internet will answer that question.  We went this afternoon because after 4 years of attending this festival we do have a favorite entertainer the Alex Meixner Band.  I have to say, in my opinion, he is the best entertainer of the event.  This year he had a special guest, the Canadian National accordion Champ, he was amazing!  Now I’m not an accordion aficionado, but it is an amazing instrument and fun to listen to.  Every year we get our annual dose of the Chicken Dance and the Beer Barrel Polka, two traditions that I enjoy maintaining.    Some of the entertainment are local to New Braunfels and are very good also.

Alex Meixner with Canadian Champion

Alex Meixner Band with Canadian Champion

Typically this festival is held near November 1st each year and the start date only changes by a day or two.  The event runs over 2 weekends, and although they are open during the week, it is only open in the evenings starting at 5PM on weekdays, of course the weekends are the biggest days and evenings and based on the crowds we saw today, it was amazing.  I have never seen it this crowded in the 4 years we have gone.  If you like to hear some good German music, enjoy good food, drink some good cold beer, and enjoy the beautiful Texas Fall weather, then you need to make New Braunfels your destination for a long weekend or a stop over on your vacation in this area, I don’t think you will be disappointed.   As I have stated before you don’t always have to travel far to have a good time, make some great memories and enjoy something different and new.    If coming to attend Wurstfest make sure you have time to stop and see Gruene, and enjoy some good music and there is also historic downtown New Braunfels that is worth the stroll.  It would certainly be a weekend that you will get plenty of good food and some great music, there is not a shortage of either one in this area.  This is a road well worth traveling down….. enjoy!

Mark Halata and Texavia

The Quiet before the Storm

It’s a beautiful sunny day in Texas for the end of October.  Temperatures will be in the upper 80’s, can’t complain about that.  It’s Fall, but it doesn’t yet feel like that down here.  Coming from the Midwest, by this time of year the trees have changed color and most have bare branches.  The corn fields are getting cut down, and there are Halloween and scarecrow festivals everywhere.  The days were cool and nights were brisk.  For me it was my absolute favorite time of year.  September and October in the Midwest are just beautiful and I truly miss that season.

This weekend we are going to get some cool weather here, high in the 60’s and low in the 40’s, so that is rather cool for this area for this time of year, but I understand that it takes one of these cold fronts for the few trees that do change color, to change.  There is a State Park west of San Antonio called Los Maples.  We have never been there, because we were only able to go on the weekends previously, and because our season change is so short and limited that at most you have 1 or 2 weekends to check out the Fall color and it’s gone.  The problem with that is that they limit the number of cars in the Park and we have heard that the weekends are extremely busy.

This year, we can go any day.  So we’re going to faithfully watch the local weatherman awaiting updates on the tree color changing status and when we hear it’s at peak we’re going to get into the car and drive out there that day.  Somewhere between now and mid-November we have to figure out when we’re going to pack!

Yesterday was my first day to start the packing extravaganza!  We have a closet that’s rather large and I use it as storage so that was my first task.  I was able to stash a lot of stuff into dresser drawers and packed up some stuff on the shelves.  It actually wasn’t too bad.  Of course I only worked a few hours, but I did feel a sense of accomplishment.  I actually felt like I did something worthwhile.  I was busy, I was active, I had to think and I had to apply myself, and on top of that I did get some excercise.  I find being home every day that you actually have to think very little compared to when I was working.  It seemed before that I was always making decisions, planning and organizing, but the last 2 months that really hasn’t been necessary as I typically have more time in a day than what I have planned, so not a lot of planning to get the things done.  And what has to be done, really doesn’t have to be done, it’s something to do.  So for me packing is actually something I’m looking forward to.  It will give me a goal, something that I need to achieve and get completed by a certain time.

This is me, whether I like it or not.  I’m goal oriented and being that way all my life, just because I take a few months off, this is not going to change.  I’m still driven, but I have slowed down.  No need to drive hard, where there’s no place in particular you’re going.  But it’s these things that come up such as packing, scheduling movers, coordinating closing dates and coming up with a plan, that I still enjoy.  I am actually surprised how quickly I have adapted to my new schedule of sleeping later, reading the paper while enjoy 2 cups of coffee, watching a talk show once in a while, going for a long walk, but I know it’s there, bubbling under the surface, waiting to come out.

I’ll let it come out some day in the future when I am ready to go back to work, but for now I have an avenue to put some of this energy into and I hope that with our few projects we need to do in the new house and the activities we hope to join that I’ll be able to funnel my energy into these types of things, and not be thinking how soon I will be going back to work.    For now, I’m learning to enjoy the moments I have now, because if I do go back to work, I need to know that I lived these months to the fullest, appreciated the time I had off, and will be comfortable knowing I had an opportunity that most people do not experience until older.  I’ve worked to get here and I’m not going to let it pass my by.

Enjoy your travels this week, hope you’re on the road that you want to be on, and if not it’s never too late to take the next right or left turn and try a new direction.  Have fun and until next time, Happy Travels…….

Another Day Closer to Moving

OK, I hope I won’t regret saying this but I think we have confirmed closings on both sides, our sale and our purchase.  We started out on 11/30, then moved to 11/20 now we’re at 11/16.  That’s it, we will not be changing again.  We have the closings scheduled, the mover has been picked and we will be scheduling tomorrow.  We will be able to rent back for a few days which will greatly help with the move.  Although we’re only moving about 90 minutes up the road trying to do 2 closings on one day, and move is virtually impossible, and we might have done it when we were younger, but not even a consideration at this age.  Once we are aligned with the movers then the fun begins – Packing!  When you are moving yourself and you don’t have a company to pick up the bill, you learn how to pack real fast.  Moving is not inexpensive.  I am always shocked when I find out how much they want and how long it will take.  It reminds me of when my husband paints.  He says, “I’ll be done in a couple of hours”, and I say OK, and plan on it taking at least 1/2 to 2/3 of the day.  Moving is just one of those things that looks simple, but it sure is not, and always takes longer than you expect.  Of course that’s good, I prefer taking the time to assure things are wrapped well and no breakage occurs.

Our sellers at our new home have already moved out so they are allowing us to move some stuff into the garage early, before closing, again, very helpful.  That is the benefit of local moves versus out-of-state.  When we moved from Illinois to Florida and from Florida to Texas, everything had to be packed, and some things just could not be moved, like plants and refrigerated items. We have also learned that some things are easier to move yourself then to take all the time packing and a good example of this is picture boxes.  I remember for our long distance moves I think my husband spent at least 1 or 2 days just packing paintings.  We’ll take those and it will be a lot easier.  Also, having one of the larger SUV’s helps this time too.

So it’s beginning of count down time.  I’m trying to hold off until the first week of November to start packing.  Once I start I just want to keep going, and I think 2 weeks is good timing.
Seeing that we were told by the movers that 3 moving people could pack our house in a day, I sure hope 2 people (my husband and I) can pack the house in 2 weeks – we’re giving ourselves quite a buffer.

It’s a short one today, but I’ll have more shortly.  I have some photos to share in the next blog of the town that we live in.  Just like I blogged about Boerne, I do need to give a plug to New Braunfels.  It’s a great small town with lots of activities.  Keep on truckin down your chosen road and along the way have some fun.  Until next time…….