2016…transition year

front-of-house

Retirement plans and house hunting. So much happened in 2016. During the fall of 2015 my husband and I decided he should retire a few years early. We crunched the numbers and decided we could manage. Early in 2016 we started looking for houses. We finally found a house we loved as soon as we walked in. (It’s not perfect, of course, but I can see myself living here for years.) I moved into the house during the spring while my husband finished up at work and put our house in Maryland up for sale.

Flash ahead to first of July. My husband retired, we moved the rest of the household goods, thought we had the Maryland house sold and had a party for my husband here in Iowa. We had a wonderful summer just relaxing, unpacking and getting settled in. (The house sale fell through a couple more times. Finally, our Maryland house sold at the end of September. Yay!)

And now it was Autumn. We planned a road trip for much of 20160919_104029September and some of October while we meandered our way to a family wedding at the end of September. A few days before the wedding and a few miles from the U.S. border, but still in Canada we hit a deer with our car. The car was then towed almost 100 miles to Spokane, Washington for repairs. We rented a car and continued to the wedding. The wedding was wonderful and our niece beautiful. Our nephew-in-law and his family were wonderful, too. Lots of great memories.

Road trip finishes early. We continued in our rental into Oregon, visited some of my family and spent a few days at the Oregon Coast (one of my favorite places in the world). We were still hopeful our car would be repaired before we were ready to head home, but that didn’t happen. We flew home and waited for word the car was repaired. Over a month later we finally found out it was ready for the drive home and we booked tickets to Spokane. Our trip didn’t happen and we ended up shipping the car home. That was a good decision.

My husband in pain. Just a couple of days before the flight my husband had a terrible pain in his back which kept him from sleeping. After several trips to the emergency room, acute care and a hospital stay, lots of tests, pain medications, after two weeks we finally found out it was cancer. However, the oncologist is very encouraging. He started radiology and chemotherapy the first part of November. He’s doing well, is optimistic and his next chemo is scheduled around the first of February.

(You notice I didn’t include world events, politics, elections and other happenings in this post. I decided to keep this personal. I’m waiting to see what 2017 brings–and hoping for the best.)

So. . . it was a full and sometimes stressful year.

However, we have so much to be thankful for:

  1. For our children who have helped us out so much during the year
  2. For our extended family who have helped us move, cheered us on and sent good wishes
  3. For neither of us getting hurt when we hit the deer
  4. For the beautiful home we found in Iowa
  5. For the encouraging diagnosis my husband received
  6. And for so many, many other things in our lives

What about all of you? What happened in 2016 in your life? What are you thankful for?

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Travel planning

My husband and I started on a road trip this morning and since we’re retired we plan to be gone nearly a month.

We are headed west right now traveling through the rolling hills of western Iowa. It’s a beautiful time of year. The corn and fields are beginning to turn brown. Wildflowers are blooming between the road and fields–goldenrod and maybe a type of sunflower.

We are headed to Seattle for a wedding, but taking a meandering route through national parks and even into Canada. On the way home we will drive a little more south and then west. road-atlas

We’ve done a lot of planning and have a three page itinerary! However, we do have some flexibility in the schedule so we’ll see how it goes.

I plan to blog during the trip and post photos, too. I’m figuring some of this out as we go. I’ll let you know how that works!

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