The Way Life Should Be

Just about nine months ago to the day, I peacefully approached the Piscataqua River Bridge — Maine’s southern border with New Hampshire — at dusk. The clouds were replaced by a relatively clear sky with pale oranges and yellows on the horizon and ribbons of pastel pink tinting the few clouds. I was leaving my adopted home state of four years for what I was sure would be my last time. I was okay with that.

Truly, the decision to not renew my lease in Dover-Foxcroft was with mixed emotions. But I heard Karen last fall. “It’s time to go. Live your life. Visit the kids/grandkids/great-grandkids.” And so we packed up and hit the road — both of us.

It has been an adventure, zig zagging across the country to visit all five kids and their families in five states — Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, and South Carolina — from October through the end of 2019. I had intended to hug the east coast for a Route 1/Atlantic Ocean tour during 2020, stretching from Key West, FL, to Fort Kent, ME. A little thing like a budget got in the way {and in retrospect saved me from traveling nightmares due to the coronavirus}, so I decided to reverse my path — with a couple of stops in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut for one nighters with other family and friends — and ending in Massachusetts since I did have a routine doctor’s appointment and a pair of pulpit supply assignments in late February in Maine. After that, I figured we {can’t forget Angelina in the equation} would be moving in permanently with my oldest son in Bowling Green, KY.

That was the plan — from someone who doesn’t regularly rely on formal planning.

Before I decided to not renew my lease at The Mill, I did fill out an application for a senior living complex in Dexter, about 10 miles from my apartment in Dover-Foxcroft. I hadn’t heard anything — I mean, absolutely nothing — when I decided on my adventure. Lo and behold, the complex owner contacted me in early February about a vacancy, and since I was in the neighborhood in late February, I looked at it and the wheels started turning. She explained I was No. 2 on the waiting list and another person was looking at the apartment as well. She would have first right, although she was already in a lease and no one was sure if she could get out of it. That’s why I got the call. I explained my plans and told her it would probably be April before I could get everything in place. A couple of days later she called to tell me the apartment was no longer available, but if I was interested, the next vacancy was mine.

I told her to keep be apprised and continued with my journey. I revisited the kids/grandkids/great-grandkids in Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio. Three days into my stop in Kentucky, I got the call an apartment was waiting for me with the caveat we were at the mercy of the virus. I was sequestered in Kentucky and Maine’s governor all but shut down that state. The woman vacating her apartment couldn’t leave … and neither could I. But we stayed in touch, filed the appropriate paperwork, and waited … and waited … and waited. Eighty-three days.

My predecessor in the apartment finally got cleared to leave. The apartment has been cleaned and refurbished with fresh paint. So, next stop is in Massachusetts to pick up my grandson(s) in Massachusetts, load up the buggy, and move in July 1 or 2. 

My kids are not particularly pleased about the move. They each tried to lobby me to either stay with them or get an apartment near them. I love them dearly. I enjoy visiting with them and the grands and great-grands. But I’m ready for some routine in my life again. I miss seeing my wife sharing life with me from her urn {She’s been pretty much resting quietly in the back cargo area of the SUV}.  I can’t wait to “hear” her voice. “Put the couch over there.” “No, change that. Put it on the other wall and the television over there.” “Don’t get new furniture. Old stuff — our stuff — would fit in better.” “You need to get a rug. “Don’t forget the Precious Moment collection.” “And accessories.” “Don’t forget” plates and knives and forks and spoons and kitchen utensils … and food … and cleaning supplies {who would have thought of those?} … and shower curtains … and towels and wash cloths … and … and … and … It was like starting a new life! Oh, wait. We are … again.

And there is no place like Maine — The Way Life Should Be.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. — Buddha

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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2 Responses to The Way Life Should Be

  1. TamrahJo says:

    “Not all who wander are lost” and “There’s No Place Like Home” – 🙂
    So happy for you that after hitting the road, living it up and at times, flying by the seat of your pants with grace, you have the option to put down roots for yourself, establish a home base, but know, now, whatever stuff crops up out of your control, you just always can find your way ‘home’ to the space & grace that makes life worth living! So happy to read this and hear your good news!

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