So much has happened since my last post, and I don’t know quite what to include and what to skip over (my poor memory will take care of some of this problem). According to WordPress, my last post was in April of last year, and it seems so long ago.
Last year we were still living in Indiana, of course, on our pastoral retreat outside Corydon, a quaint historic town in the southern part of the state, about 9 miles north of the Ohio River. We had lived in that part of the world since January 2010, which is exactly when I began this little journal, intending to document our move from Littleton, Colorado, and then see what developed from there.
What developed was….we gained MANY MANY new friends, had MANY great experiences (again, I won’t attempt to list all of them here – most of them showed up here, on these pages). Kate began her new job at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, and our new location gave us much easier access to some of her family, across the river in Kentucky. We got to visit her mother, Frances Seymour, who lived first in Vine Grove, KY, then later in Elizabethtown, KY. Also, her two brothers and their families lived there – Bruce and Joyce, Alan and Janice, all nice folks, good in-laws for me 🙂 We had many nice get-togethers with family, and I learned a few things about the land south of the River.
Kate and I got to participate in some ‘historical re-enactment’ events in Corydon, notably Corydon’s Unsavory Past, where we got to dress up in ‘old timey’ clothes (pretty handy, me being married to a seamstress). We added to our friend list through those activities, and also, through that connection, I wound up as Santa Claus for Corydon, and Kate was Mrs. Claus (again, the seamstress thing – Kate made some wonderful costumes for us!).
After that, Kate never referred to me as ‘the fellow who dresses up like Santa’ – she always pointed out, “Yes, he IS Santa!” Whadda gal! 🙂
Kate made an important connection during our lives in Corydon – she volunteered to join the CASA program (Court Appointed Special Advocate), whereby she was assigned cases to become the voice for the children caught up in the court system (parents at odds with the law, etc). She found it to be demanding, time-consuming, and…TOTALLY rewarding. She has a BIG heart, and even though it took up a fair amount of her personal time, she never complained, she just kept smiling, kept helping, kept ‘stepping up to the plate for the children’. I still don’t understand why this great woman said ‘Yes’, back in 2009 when i proposed, but I am honored to be her clumsy, silly husband.
And, to provide some small explanation of how we came to be in Arizona, I have to say that I was the instigator of the whole thing, and Kate acquiesced to make me happy. Now, the story: in April of last year, about the time of my last post here, we were invited to visit and stay in a large RV-Retirement Village in Mesa, Arizona. My daughter Natalie Lewis, and hubby John Lewis, were staying for awhile there, in their 5th wheel, and they asked if we’d like to come experience the ‘over 55 retirement village’ lifestyle, we said, “Hey, sounds like fun!” So, Natalie arranged for us to stay in a Park Model mobile home (a new term for us, but as we learned, that describes a small mobile home, about 400 square feet, just about big enough for 2 people). We went to Mesa (Phoenix suburb), stayed about 3 days, and had a wonderful visit. Nat described the lifestyle in that particular park (2000 spaces) as ‘like being on a cruise ship’, with all the available activities (yes, they had MANY activities!). We had fruit-bearing orange and grapefruit trees nearby, giant saguaro cacti everywhere in the park, palm trees, and there were ‘over 55’ folks walking, cycling, enjoying life. The weather was PERFECT, April in Arizona, you know, but, nice as it was, we couldn’t picture living there in the summer heat (115 degrees is very common!).
So, back home in Indiana, I was still taken with the idea, and also I kept returning to the thought that, if there was some way to get Kate nearer to retirement, away from the nursing job in Louisville that kept her running the halls of the hospital 12-14 high-stress, exhausting hours per shift, and maybe if we could do it while not going broke, well…. maybe an affordable Park Model out west would be the way to do it. We had seen some attractive pricing on that type of housing while in Mesa, but….TOO HOT IN SUMMER.
I was entertaining myself at the computer, checking out prices on Park Models, using Craigslist, and a few ads popped up in Show Low, Arizona. Hmmm, good prices on the homes, but…..Show Low?? I started doing a little research, and found that, with the elevation, and the low humidity, it could be a LOT like Colorado, which we both loved! So, one house-hunting trip later (which I had to do alone, due to Kate’s work schedule), here we are. Kate is still working, but this time she is a traveling nurse, and gets to do mostly driving, instead of running the halls – much easier on her. It’s not ‘zero stress’, since she has the lives and health of numerous patients on her hands, and it is, oh by the way, a JOB, ya know! 🙂 But, no RUNNING 🙂
We got here in late July, at the tail-end of summer, and the weather was MARVELOUS! And, no TICKS, as we had in Indiana. We’ve seen maybe 3 mosquitoes the whole time we’ve been here, and the low summer humidity has been delightful. We happened to get here in time to enjoy the COLDEST winter they’ve had here in years, but we know from the data that the average winters will be much nicer than back East. Heavy snow is predicted for tonight and tomorrow, so time to bundle up and hope for the best 🙂
We’ve made many new friends here, as you might predict, but we do miss all our friends back in Indiana and Kentucky. I’m trying to be the watchdog of our finances (trying not to buy too many techie toys), and hoping to get some nagging bills paid off so Kate can retire before too much longer. Keep us in your thoughts, ok?
We’re loving Arizona, and we’re adjusting to our new lives, with new adventures coming our way. We love all of you! 🙂
Jim & Kate