Five Months Left On The Retirement Countdown Chain

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“I’m sending you a house.”

And with a few touches on the screen of my iPad I send another real estate listing to Gerry’s email. It’s Saturday morning and we’re lazing in bed later than usual with a second cup of coffee and our iPads reading the news and catching up on favorite blogs.

In recent months I’ve spent less time with Huff Post, Feedly and Flipboard and a lot more time on the app looking at houses. To say that I’ve been feeling stressed at the prospect of selling our current home without having a clear vision of where we are moving to is an understatement.

I’m the kind of person who likes to make a plan and start moving in that direction; the ambiguity of not having a clear destination in front of me makes me uneasy. I want a vision in my mind of my new home. I want to be able to lay in bed at night and imagine myself inhabiting this new home.

I’ve become daily visitor on the app. I’ve taken more than my share of virtual tours of homes, memorized slideshows, gotten familiar with neighborhoods, and sent email after email to my husband to get his input on certain houses that I see as possibilities. This summer we traveled back to Canada a few times to visit the kids and grands armed with real estate listings and appointments with realtors. We viewed house after house, considered pros and cons, and began talking in pre-retirement-house-hunting shorthand that only we understood and we came up with creative names for houses under consideration.

“I’m leaning toward the artist’s house.”

“We’d have to paint spearfish.”

“I like the garden at the one with the porches.”

“Muirfield is just too small.”

“The one with the pantry is great!”

We’ve done a lot of talking about where we want to move to over the summer. A lot. We considered the lifestyle we want in retirement, thought about proximity to family and friends, pondered the weather, prayed for direction, narrowed our focus, and changed our plans.

We’ve decided that we want to go home. Really home. Back home to the place where we’ve spent the better part of our lives.

Some of our kids are over the moon with our decision to go home; others are disappointed we didn’t stick with the original plan but supportive and understanding of our change in plans; many friends are excited about us coming home soon. All in all it just feels right.

There’s still the matter of selling our current home and moving though. How much easier it would be if we were retiring and staying where we are! There’s no denying that there’s a level of change involved in our retirement that is greater than many retirees face at their time of transition and, if you’re the kind of person I am, this level of looming change and accompanying uncertainty can result in more than a few restless nights.

Last night as we turned out the lights Gerry leaned over, kissed me goodnight, and put his hand on my shoulder.

“It will all turn out,” he said gently.

It will, of course it will. We’re going home and I can’t wait.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. From one who has just gone home, I can say it will be alright. I love being back here even with the changes. I love seeing people I know and the familiar sites. I will never leave! I hope you find that peace and the perfect home too!

    1. Thank you, Terri. There is something special about the familiarity of people and places we hold dear, isn’t there? I wish abundant peace and joy for you as you create your own brand new home.

  2. Dear Linda, moving is always difficult. So many decisions to make and so much letting go. When I sold my house, I had no idea what kind of home I’d be moving into. I’d decided to move back to Independence where I grew up. My brother still lived here and his family and so that seemed a good thing to do. I found a lovely home I could afford and here I am, but the transition has not been easy. I’ve been here four years and I’m still not truly home. When that will happen, I don’t know but more and more I can feel the first touch of contentment. I hope you can be gracious to yourself in all this. Peace.

    1. I agree moving, and all the change that goes with it, can be difficult. There is a grieving for what we leave behind even as we look forward to the promise of tomorrow. I pray that sense of being home will be yours very soon, Dee.

  3. Retirement is wonderful. I have always lived in my hometown so no change there. Many of my friends are retiring and returning to their places of birth – it is bitter sweet.
    I have followed your blog faithfully – but am not much of a commenter. I did reply a while back about being a birth mother who gave up a child to give her a stable loving home with two parents. I never tried to contact her because I did not want to intrude into her life. I did consider it, though.
    Last week, I received a contact from the agency which handled her adoption. She is looking for me and she wants to communicate with me. The counselor from the agency will be counseling me. I have always prayed for this – I would be overjoyed to just learn she had a happy life. She will be fifty on Monday. I wanted you to know as I have followed your adoption story and you sent me such compassionate words.

  4. Yes, we always know that things will turn out alright, but like you, I always prefer an almost cast in stone plan. That being said, Gerry is right. I’m praying for you as you countdown and looking forward to going home. Praying it will turn out alright!

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