Friday, January 27, was a day we had worked toward our entire married lives. It was retirement day for both Dan and me. We didn't let any grass grow underfoot, once the time came. The next day, Saturday, January 28, we loaded our cars for the move to Texas. Thankfully, we had some wonderful helpers: our son, Tim and two brothers-in-Christ, Wayne and Mike. Tim, Wayne and Mike carried things down from our 4th floor apartment. Lest you think that they actually had to climb up three flights and down three flights each time, let me assure you that we had an elevator. But, lest you think that made it an easy-as-pie job, let me tell you that the apartment building is laid out in an "L" shape. Our cars were parked at one end of the L, the elevator is at the corner of the L, and our apartment is down toward the end of the other leg of the L. That meant that every trip involved quite a hike.
While the others carried things from the apartment to the parking lot, Dan spent his morning loading my car. He has a real talent for turning the interior of a car into a Chinese puzzle. Here's what my car looked like when it was fully loaded.
I'd love to say that he got EVERYthing in, but there were a few things that had to be left. The one we are most sad to have left was our ironing board. We looked for a new one today, but didn't find just what we wanted. Dan does much more ironing than I do, and he has some very specific specifications, so the hunt goes on!
We left the next morning, after loading the computers and a few other things into Dan's car. Albuquerque sent us off with a beautiful dawn - a clear blue sky playing host to a few hot air balloons.
On that first day, we drove from Albuquerque to Santa Rosa (an old Route 66 town), and then south to Lubbock. Santa Rosa has been one of our favorite NM towns. If you ever saw the movie, Cars, passing through Santa Rosa would make you think you had made a quick trip to Radiator Springs.
In Lubbock we met up with our good friend, Keith. We had a nice dinner together and then spent some more time visiting at the hotel, where Dan and I were spending the night.
On Monday, January 30, we finished our trek and arrived at our new home in Temple, Texas. This trek actually started nearly a year ago, when we began preparing our Albuquerque house for the market. We put a lot of our belongings in storage at that time, in order to de-clutter the house as much as possible. On April 22, we posted our "For Sale" sign, and by July 5, we accepted an offer. In less than a month, we moved out of our house and into a small apartment. Most of our belongings were held in storage by the moving company. We basically "camped" in the apartment for the next six months.
Only a month after moving into the apartment, we made a trip to Temple to purchase our new home. In October we came to Temple to accept delivery of our household goods, which had been in storage. While our goods sat safely in the house, we had to return to Albuquerque for several more months.
Now you understand why I say the trek from Albuquerque to Temple took almost a year. And you probably understand, as well, how excited, happy, relieved and thankful we are to be here now, living in our new house.
I can't say that the first few days of retirement have been relaxing. Besides the two days of driving, we've also had four days of unpacking, organizing, shopping and hard work. Still more to go, but we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Some wise person once said, "Be careful what you ask for." I said I would miss the mountains of NM . . . but a mountain of PAPER, in my HOUSE?! No thanks.
We keep running into things that remind us that we aren't in New Mex any more! Such as restaurant servers asking if we want regular or sweet tea, neighbors ALREADY asking us over for a Super Bowl Bar-b-q, and cowboy boots.
Today was the BEST, because we finally got our Internet connection. We were both suffering Internet and email withdrawals! Or maybe yesterday was the BEST, because we finally got to sleep in a king size bed, once again, after six months in a less-roomy one! I'm anticipating many, many more "bests" as we settle into retired life together.
Once we get completely settled in the house, I hope to get out and take some photos of the area. Stay tuned!