Taking the Long Road Home

Changing things up a little as a metaphor of what’s going on in our lives right now. Somewhere in the middle of January, my wife and I decided we no longer want to live in northern Michigan. After several long winters punctuated by health problems, the passing of my mom, and a few other things, we decided that we may not be able to survive another winter up here.

My wife’s sister has been singing the siren song for several years now trying to persuade us to move to the Texas gulf coast where she and our brother-in-law live. Up until now we have successfully resisted, having no desire or intention of living and dying in Texas. This winter finally broke us. For the first time it actually made sense to make the move for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is our grandkids in Austin, who have impolitely grown up without our permission while we were out of the area. The sunshine, beach and big water also had their appeal.

Had you asked me a few years ago I would have been aghast at the thought of living, and even worse dying, in Texas. It was never a consideration and never showed up on my radar screen. But then again, the opportunity to live near the Gulf and the beach is too good to pass up. And we have been away from our family for too many years living in the Great White North. Being closer to the end than the beginning of our lives, our priorities have changed dramatically. Connecting with family should have been right at the top of the list. Unfortunately, sometimes life just doesn’t work that way.

Rita and I have led an adventurous life. We moved around frequently, never staying in one place too long until the last few years. Part of it is a function of getting older, but we thought living in northern Michigan was our last destination and that we had no more adventures in us. Well, it seems we have one more, and the difference this time is that we’re looking to travel light. All the “stuff” that used to be important isn’t so much anymore; it’s a weight we’ve been dragging around for years. So now we take only what we’ll need and let the Good Lord provide the rest. We’re calling it Getting Ready for Death and Texas. It’s a load off of us and will be a relief to our kids when we’re gone. I think it will be a nice way to wrap things up.

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