Sunday, November 11, 2012

Trying to Settle In

Moving is exhausting!
Boston and Jim took some time to rest in the midst of all the unpacked boxes and mess.
Bit by bit, we are getting it done.
We are sticking together and tackling the task ahead of us one day at a time.

I keep being asked, "Are you all settled in yet?"  I just want to answer with a curt, "Are you kidding?"  Tomorrow, we will be able to say, "We have been living in this house for three weeks now."  In someways, those three weeks have seemed like a very long time.  We are growing accustomed to our surroundings.  We are beginning to establish a routine.  This place is even beginning to feel a bit like home.  We are not settled in yet though.

I am still writing this blog from my favorite chair in the corner of the guest room.  I have not yet set up my desk, my office, my writing space.  I did finally unload the top of my desk.  It is no longer covered with boxes.  I have not unpacked any of my office supplies.  I don't even know where my mouse is for the computer.  Thank goodness I use a laptop.  Thank goodness a laptop allows portability and connect-ability.  I think I have finally decided which room will house my office.  I think my husband and I have decided what space will work for his office.  Thank goodness, we are finally getting a vision on how to set this house up to best suit our needs.

We went from a two story house with a full unfinished basement to a one level patio home with a finished basement.  We had four very large bedrooms at our former home.  We now have three bedrooms that are not very large.  Two of our bedrooms were large enough in our old home to allow for space for a bed and an office.  This is no longer the case.  In theory, I went from a five bedroom house to a three bedroom when it comes to space.  What I didn't realize, was that I also gave up three very large closets!  I had a lot of stuff (please note how descriptive that word is!) in those closets.  Now, I am trying to figure out what to do with my stuff.  My new favorite place to shop has become The Container Store!  I am constantly on the search for better ways to store and have access to all that stuff that I need. Believe me, this stuff is the important stuff.  I still have a storage shed full of stuff that isn't important that I need to deal with at some point.  For now, I am just dealing with the important stuff.

The kitchen was the first challenge in this new home.  I also didn't realize that I was giving up a large pantry, a pantry I constantly complained about and didn't appreciate.  The pantry in this house, and the kitchen cabinets, took me about a week to arrange.  I am still rearranging.  My husband, my dear sweet husband who is patient and helps me so much, is still asking me to show him around the kitchen so he can figure out where items go.  I have rearranged quite a few times trying to make sense of where each item should be placed.  It has all been like one big puzzle, but I think the puzzle is finally coming together.

I love my new kitchen.  I love cooking in it.  Yes, I am actually cooking.  That is not something I have done much of over the past 15 years.  Our lives were too busy while we were working.  Then, after retirement, I just never took up cooking again.  I never liked my kitchen before.  I loved how I had fixed it up.  I loved its colors, but I didn't like cooking in it.  This kitchen has less storage, but it is more functional, and I love being in it.

The first floor of our home is finally free of all boxes!  This is something to celebrate.  Now, I have to empty the dining room table of all the china and crystal and get it loaded into the china cabinet.  That doesn't seem like it should be such a big task, but it is.  The only thing I have more of than shoes is china or dishes.  I love dishes almost as much as I love shoes.  The everyday dishes are arranged in the kitchen; now I must take care of  the "good" dishes.  I must get them all put away.  I lamented that I could not remember how I had the china hutch arranged.  Thankfully, my husband had taken a picture of it before we moved.  Now, I just have to look at the picture and not rethink how to arrange it all.

We are finally also making progress on the basement.  A good friend of Jim's came over on Saturday, the second time he has been here to help, and loaded a lot of things into the crawl space.  He brought his seven year old son who thought it was just really cool to take things into the huge crawl space.  Wow, was that ever helpful.  Our friend, Rob, also helped us get a vision for the family room.  I think we know what we will do with the space now.  He is coming back with his family to help us arrange it all and unpack books.  We would not be where we are without the help of friends and family.

It hasn't been all work and no fun.  We take time each day for a walk in our beautiful surroundings. 

On the day after we moved in, I took Boston for a walk around our little block.  Just three houses up from ours, as I rounded the corner, I was again awestruck by the beauty of where we live.  This scene that I photographed is just steps from our home.  This sight, the white sandstone rocks, the stately pines, and the Colorado blue sky, are there for me to admire when I round the corner from my house.  I still can barely believe I have the blessing to live to in this beautiful place.

As I rounded the next corner, I saw a few of our neighbors were checking us out.  Boston and I are the new kids on the block.  I'm not sure what they think of us.

Boston was surprisingly polite while he met his new neighbors.  He sat quietly without barking and kept his distance.  I guess he didn't want to appear too eager to meet the other animals in the neighborhood for fear they would scamper away.

Boston spends most of his time gazing out of the window at his friends.  This keeps him entertained throughout the day.  He has his favorite viewing spots.  This one is in the living room.

Our lives are very different here.  Our vistas are different.  We are settled in a small community of patio homes just over the hill from the Air Force Academy.  We drive two and a half miles from the interstate up a wooded road to our home.  I breathe a sigh of relief, of peace, whenever I drive this beautiful road on my way home.  I am away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and yet, in just minutes, I can be anywhere in the city itself.  We are surrounded by nature, trees, and lot of wildlife.  I saw a fox tonight as we were driving home.  I understand a bobcat lives in the area.  Needless to say, Boston no longer is able to run freely in the yard, but I think he is ok with that.  We give him walks, and he goes to doggie daycare to play on special days.

We have wonderful neighbors.  Everyone has been so friendly.  We are all about the same age.  Most of us are retired.  Everyone stops to chat when they are out and about.  Everyone waves.  We have had visits from our closest neighbors.  They have brought food, flowers, and housewarming gifts.  They have given suggestions on handymen and even helped with advice on where to hang pictures.  We think we will be very happy here.

I have longed for a sense of community.  I have longed to be near my family again.  I worried that my husband would never really adjust to moving to a new town.  So far, we are almost feeling like we are on an extended vacation as we get to know new places to explore.  We are in the honeymoon stage.  This past Friday night, we thought we would settle in and not go anywhere.  For the first time in our marriage, we ate in on Friday night.  (Really, that is the truth!)   For the first time in years, we did not go out for Mexican food on Friday night.  Jim put on his pajamas early.  Then, we remembered we needed something from Home Depot before Jim's friend Rob came over on Saturday morning.  Jim changed from his pajamas to his clothes and we were off into the night.  We drove all over looking for a yogurt place.  We found it and ate frozen yogurt just before the place closed.  On our way home, I said, "We were in a rut before we moved.  It is good to do new things and go new places."  Just tonight, as we came home from another trip to explore new places, Jim said, "I love living in Colorado Springs."  I am so happy he is happy here.

We've had our moments of profound homesickness.  We miss much about our former hometown.  We lived among the most wonderful people in the world.  We lived in a place with great tradition where people have roots that go deep.  We lived in a place that we dearly loved, but it was not where our children and other family members lived.  We were an odd rarity in Pueblo.  Most everyone in that town was surrounded by family.  We were not.  We knew our children would never move back.  That is why we moved.

The move has been very unsettling in many ways, but in others, it has also given us a chance to begin again.  For me that was most important.  I needed a new beginning.  I needed a new focus for my life.  I've never believed a place will make you happy.  I still believe that.  This place will not make me happy, but I know that I will be happy in this place.  Jim told me this past week that he thinks I am happier here.  He is right.  I am happier because I have the opportunity to move on with my life.  We are both able to rebuild again after great loss.  We've always been at our best when as a team we are building something new.

As we settle in, we recognize that we must take it slowly, one box and one day at a time.  We also recognize that we are starting a new chapter in our lives and in our marriage.  This is a something for which we are both very grateful.


Betsy Adams said...

What a great post, Sally... I am SO SO SO happy for you two... Sounds like you have made huge progress and are adjusting well. Of course, you will miss Pueblo. You lived there for many years. BUT--you can always go back to visit!!!!

I'm just so happy for you all.

Jackie said...

The photos of the surroundings (and friends in the yard) are beauuuutiful!! I can only imagine looking out and seeing such beauty.
I love this line from your blog:
"This place will not make me happy, but I know that I will be happy in this place."
I know that you will be happy in this place, too, my friend. I can already feel it as I read your blog.
Thankfully, things are beginning to settle for you, and I am so happy for you. I truly am.
Sending you hugs,

Jean said...

This is a wonderful post. I've been wondering how you were doing in your new home and new town. I know how overwhelming a move is. Just keep the "one box at a time" mantra and you'll get through it.

I love dishes, too. I wouldn't dare admit to anyone, even my husband, how many sets I have...

Your fresh start sounds like just the thing needed. Have fun in your new surroundings!

DJan said...

The hard part is behind you, and now you can extend that honeymoon phase far into the future! It sounds like it's working out very well, Sally. I'm so glad for you and Jim. Sending you cyber hugs! :-)

Olga said...

That first picture is so precious.
One box at a time; that is the only way to do it.

Grandmother said...

Sounds like you've developed wisdom in this move- one box at a time. Anyone can unpack and organize one box. You've also found happiness where you are and that's the greatest wisdom of all. The photos are lovely and a window a dog can look out makes him happy! Bless you all.

becca said...

beautiful post and what gorgeous photos sounds like your settling in well happy to hear that

Friko said...

You are right to do things slowly. Moving is one of the major causes of heart attacks in older people.

When we have gone looking for a new house (to leave London and later, on retirement,) I’ve always worked out there and then which room would become my study and if there was no suitable room, that house would be struck off the list. I also always needed exactly the garden of my choice.

When we came here, my husband was due to go to Edinburgh within a few days. I was glad to see the back of him because it meant that I could get down to arranging everything the way I wanted it.

When he came back all the decisions had been made. He was very glad.

Friko said...

You are right to do things slowly. Moving is one of the major causes of heart attacks in older people.

When we have gone looking for a new house (to leave London and later, on retirement,) I’ve always worked out there and then which room would become my study and if there was no suitable room, that house would be struck off the list. I also always needed exactly the garden of my choice.

When we came here, my husband was due to go to Edinburgh within a few days. I was glad to see the back of him because it meant that I could get down to arranging everything the way I wanted it.

When he came back all the decisions had been made. He was very glad.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

So glad you have found a new place to be where you feel more relaxed and know you will be happy. This post indicates just by the way you place your words and ideas that you are in a better zone:)
Bless you!

Barb said...

I felt peace reading your post, Sally. Even with unpacked boxes and much still to do, I'm happy that you're taking it slowly and also savoring the changes. I've read that finding new ways of doing things helps our brains create new circuits. It's so easy and sometimes comforting to have everything familiar, but I can sense that you're also on a grand adventure. Good Luck to you and Jim!

Lynilu said...

I empathize on downsizing. It is not easy! And I didn't really look at the storage space closely in this one, so finding a place for things that are "supposed" to be in a drawer or a closet or a cabinet is an eternal challenge!

Good luck with it. It will come. :)

Rita said...

Felt like the place has a good vibe just reading your post. I've had to downsize a couple of times and it just takes time. But purging and cleaning out what you don't need is very freeing. I hope you all grow to love the place you are happy in. :)

Kay said...

After four years in Hawaii, I feel like we're still settling in, but we are enjoying the process.

As you have discovered, it's not the same here, but different can be wonderful in lots of different ways. I know you'll love wherever you are with Jim and Boston with you. And besides, the rest of the family are not all that far away.

Chatty Crone said...

You know Sally - I think it takes a good year to get it all done!!! lol And you have the same problem I would have. Too much stuff and how to downsize. We have a big house too and I want to go smaller - but with Kelly and Andy still here it would be hard. You will love it I know. sandie

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Lovely post, Sally! I'm so happy that both you and your husband are loving your new home though it will take time to settle in and figure out the right places for a lifetime of belongings. You're so right to take your time with unpacking, integrating that all into the general process of making this new house a home. And how great to have friends to help you in this process!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's so good to have good neighbours, and the surroundings are gorgeous. I love the picture of Boston as though he's saying "who are you?"

Great post.
CJ x

Rose said...

I laughed when I read your new favorite place is the Container Store; I often call myself the Rubbermaid Queen:) I've try to downsize and get rid of some of the clutter I hang onto each year, but there is so much "stuff" I can't bear to part with either. I also chuckled at Boston looking out the window; Sophie, too, has a favorite window viewing area for bird and squirrel watching.

Most of all, though, I'm happy that you sound so happy, Sally. No, you may not be "settled in" exactly, but it sounds as though you are enjoying making a new life for yourself in your new home.

Dee said...

Dear Sally, what wonderful news. I'm so glad that you've begun this new phase of your life and are looking for and finding the good in it.

The line "This place will not make me happy, but I know that I will be happy in this place" is so important in life. It is a lesson for all of us who begin something new. Thank you for sharing. Peace.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Sally, you are clearly moving forward in a very positive way. Gorgeous surroundings, thoughtful people, steady progress, the occasional moments of grief for what is left behind, and the appreciation of what you have. I think you will have a very meaningful Thanksgiving this year!

Maggie May said...

Everything is so beautiful. I like the little friends at the bottom of the garden! (And the lovely scenery.)
It is certainly exhausting moving but I bet you'll want to stay in this lovely place now you've found it.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Joanne said...

What a gorgeous place. Boston seems to love it too! I don't envy the unpacking though...ugh. I'm so happy your nieghbors are so nice. What a great welcome to your new home!
Blessings, Joanne

I Wonder Wye said...

Colorado Springs is gorgeous. Congrats on the move -- it is hard work -- it's even hard work to clean a closet for me!! As for people who ask if you are settled in after just three weeks? I agree. Are you kidding me??X!

dkzody said...

Your new home sounds wonderful and very spacious. Compared to my tiny place, it sounds like a mansion. Living smaller makes you realize just what you need to live a comfortable, peaceful life. Sounds like you are getting there. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving in the new place.

troutbirder said...

Very nice, Sally. I'm so glad things are really looking up for you and yours. And it is beautiful country, indeed.

Linda Myers said...

Oh, blessings, Sally! What a beautiful, hopeful post!

Is the Colorado sky really that blue?

Linda Myers said...

Wonderful post! I'm so glad you're getting settled and learning to love your new place. Isn't it great to be past the "getting ready to move" phase?

Linda said...

Wonderful post, Sally. I am so glad that you love your new kitchen and are spending time cooking in it. I am also glad to see that you are taking things one day at a time. I have moved a few times and I know how hectic it can be. Thanks so much for sharing and hope things are settling for you and that you are mostly unpacked and relaxed now.

Vagabonde said...

A great post! Such a move must be quite tiring so it is well that you don’t rush. The area looks beautiful – it will be fun for you to explore everything close by. Our house is full of stuff as you say – it’s so hard to get rid of it- some for sentimental reasons.

Jeanie said...

Hi, Sally,

I've been reading down your posts, catching up, learning about election day memories and savoring the photos of your old home and new space! I'm envious of your new kitchen and impressed that Boston was such a gentleman. I can't even imagine moving -- talk about stuff! So, you have my deepest admiration! And it's nice to be back!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

We moved into our "new" house 11 years ago. I am still sorting through some of the "stuff" that lay in dark corners of our basement.

Colorado is such a beautiful area of the country to live. I have never been but my husband and children have all visited and have come back wanting to move there.

Much happiness on your new adventure.

Deb Shucka said...

I'm so glad to see that your new adventure is proving satisfying and happy, and that you're claiming the many gifts of such a huge change. I love the picture of Boston and Jim at the top of the post - it shows so much. You sound really great here.