Andrea and I have been fortunate to live in several locations where we have made a multitude of friends and worked with highly valued colleagues. We were born and raised in the state of Georgia. We lived in that state until we graduated from college, married, and moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I began my doctoral studies in biochemistry. We left Chapel Hill for my post-doctoral studies in New York City, but lived in Yonkers. Euclid and Willoughby Hills, Ohio, were the next places we lived, when my research laboratory was in Cleveland. Six years later, we moved back to the New York City area, where we lived in Rye, and I worked again in the city. Another six years passed before I left academia to work in the pharmaceutical industry in Research Triangle, North Carolina. We once more lived in Chapel Hill, this time for fifteen years.
Andrea and I resided from 1993 to 1998 in Weston, Florida, an outstanding planned community in Boward County to the north of Miami. We relocated to Weston from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in conjunction with my change of employment in the pharmaceutical industry. I worked in Miami—and for most of the time we were in South Florida, I tolerated the one-hour one-way commute. The fishing was great in Weston.
After I severed official ties with the pharmaceutical industry, we moved to unincorporated Franklin County near Lavonia, Andrea’s hometown in Northeast Georgia. I did not define myself as retired: I simply changed careers to become an author of novels, a newspaper columnist, a blogger, and an appointed official in the Franklin County political system.
We lived happily in Northeast Georgia until 2010 when we moved to Austin, Texas, where our two adult daughters and two of the world’s greatest sons-in-law—Anne-Marie and Jeff, Christina and Kelly—lived in close proximity. Andrea and I told ourselves we wanted “one more adventure,” this time to be near family. We enjoyed our time in Austin except for the abysmal traffic congestion and oppressive summer heat. As with all our moves, we were fortunate to locate a nearby and excellent church home, Berkeley United Methodist. Andrea and I soon became active members of this fellowship. Andrea devoted much of her energy to the United Methodist Women and I participated in facilitating an adult Sunday School class and other activities.
Andrea suffered a serious stroke while she, Christina, Kelly, and I were on a small boat tour of the Galapagos Islands in August 2013. The odyssey of transporting Andrea to the Metropolitan Hospital in Quito, Ecuador, where she received outstanding medical care over ten days and then back to Austin, could be the subject of another blog post. Andrea stayed in a rehabilitation facility for the better part of a month and then we brought her to our Austin home. She’s made a remarkable recovery but remains significantly mobility-impaired. I had some modifications made, chiefly in Andrea’s bathroom, to facilitate keeping Andrea in the house. I became adept at grocery shopping and developed a repertoire of meals I could cook in addition to my prowess as a griller on our Big Green Egg.
After a while, it became obvious that staying in our home was wearying on Andrea and me. I had to call Emergency Services a few times to help Andrea after she had fallen. We, and the family, agreed Andrea and I should move to a first-rate South Austin assisted living facility in Oct 2015. We sold our Austin home for a good profit: The Austin real estate market has been booming for the past five years. Moving to the assisted living facility was the right thing for us to do at the time. We experienced some difficulties with the new arrangement but acclimated reasonably well—for the most part. I have appreciated the help the staff provides to Andrea.
The Next Adventure
Kelly is a licensed practitioner of traditional Chinese Medicine and a gifted acupuncturist, as I know from direct experience. Christina is a well-recognized yogini who conducts workshops in her and Kelly’s San Marcos, Texas, “compound,” throughout the United States and other countries, and through her on-line workshops. A few years ago, Christina was invited to present a workshop in Buena Vista, Colorado. Kelly went with her to help with the workshop. They resonated with being in Buena Vista and bought a small cabin in the city where they have been spending three to four months each summer. Neither Christina nor Kelly easily tolerate the hot Central Texas summers. The only way Andrea and I get through these summers is to stay in air-conditioned surroundings except only when absolutely necessary to travel somewhere, e.g., to a medical appointment. The winters in Austin, however, can be delightful.
The Next Adventure
A few months ago, Christina and Kelly decided to move all their business interests to Buena Vista. They purchased a large modern and well-apportioned home with a “parental suite” on the first floor, and invited us to live with them. We accepted, a move that Anne-Marie and Jeff fully supported. Andrea and I move to Buena Vista November 16, and our belongings should be along two days later. I’ve contracted with a medical air ambulance service to take Andrea to the new home. I will accompany her on the Lear Jet ambulance. Yes, expensive but we’re blessed to be able to afford the service, which will relieve many of my anxieties that would occur if we tried to fly commercially. A moving company is scheduled to appear in our apartment on the same date for a “packaged” move.
We face a grand adventure with this pending move, an adventure we did not foresee but that’s life—where the unexpected can provide new opportunities. I don’t think our move to Buena Vista is on the same level as Abraham and Sarah’s journey in their old age to the Promised Land according to God’s directions. Even so, I expect our move will be life-affirming and, hopefully, interesting. Thanks to Christina, we’ve located a new Methodist church home that gives every sign of welcoming us into its fellowship. All of our moves have been made easier because of the Methodist churches that readily incorporated us into their fellowships.
I intend to keep writing and communicating on Facebook, via email, etc. I hope I will have even more time to write than I’ve recently had at our assisted living facility. I still have an important item on my “bucket list:” Publication of a new novel on my 80th birthday two years from now. Who knows? I may add a new item: Publication of a novel or memoir on my 85th birthday. After all, “it ain’t over until it’s over,” and even then I expect more adventures.
Our new contact information is:
Buena Vista, CO 81211