After Tom's misadventure with the tick and anaplasmosis earlier this summer, we began to talk about the challenges of maintaining this property as we age. We have long thought that at some point we would need to move to a place where someone else will be responsible for yardwork and things of that sort. I mentioned this to a friend back in the spring, but said I expected the day was five years away. I underestimated. We have decided that now is the time to look into relocating to Madison.
We have begun telling the neighbors, letting them know that the large wooded lot next to the house is about to go on the market and that we will put the house itself up for sale in late winter. We are scouting out an apartment that will meet our needs -- meaning, the cats. Things look good in that regard, and the idea is at least to get our name on a list so that we can start moving stuff soon after the first of the year and prepare the house for sale.
This means lots of sacrifices, of course, but there will be gains as well. We look forward to being closer to all that Madison has to offer. It shows up all the time on those Ten Best Places lists, and we will take advantage of that while we are both still able to do so. We will miss the beauty and spaciousness of our home and property here in the Dells, our neighbors and friends, Tom's involvement with the little railroad and mine with the library. But "Life moves on" and "Life on life's terms" as they say.
Now every time I go for a walk, I look at the beans and corn in the fields and the trees and wildflowers and weeds a little differently. I notice the hundreds of trees Tom planted on the property since we moved here nine years ago, planning ahead to replace the toppling poplars that abound. I walk down the paths that he has been clearing in the woods this past year, making lovely places to stroll in privacy. I see all those rocks he dug out of the ground and placed around the flower beds and along the drive. I see all the lilies and other flowers that he has nurtured to make the place what it is, including the little garden anchored by the hydrangea given to me in memory of my father. Tom was working on that when the tick bite knocked him down, but he is back at it. He wants to complete that project, even as we plan to leave it behind.
When I come back inside, I see the furniture he built: the desk and bookcase in my bedroom, designed around my suggestions; my basement office with the large two-level working space; his own office with the window seat he built for the cats; the entertainment centers upstairs and down; the buffet that separates the dining area and the library; bookcases everywhere; the very beds in the three bedrooms. These are all works of his hands that we will most likely not be able to take with us.
Yes, there will be sacrifices. And don't get me started on the people ...
In one of the prayers used in Catholic Masses for the dead, there is a line I always liked: "Life is changed, not ended." in context, it refers to faith and hope in the resurrection. I find it applies to many other situations in life when I have left something behind. My life changes, it doesn't end. That will be true this time, too.
I mention this because at some point between now and next spring, it will probably affect how regularly I post on this blog. It is not like things will be hectic on a daily basis, but a lot will be happening. If I disappear for a while -- there is little danger I will stop talking or writing completely! -- just check back from time to time.