Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas 2013 in the Red Rocks!

Our slim Christmas tree.

This past year has flown by and as I predicted in my last Christmas letter it has been filled with adventure, stress, emotions of all sorts, fun, and CHANGES galore.
  Mike and I did quit our jobs, sell our home, get licensed as pharmacists in Arizona, buy a  smaller home  in Sedona, liquidate several rooms of furniture and “stuff”, pack up our belongings along with Biskit and Cookie and  finally made the journey across the country in July to our new life in the Red Rocks of Sedona.  Our dream come true!
   I will not bore you with the details….because there are VOLUMES..but just say things went fairly well considering all the issues that had to be addressed.
    We have been here almost 6 months and it is beginning to feel a little like home.  It is going to take me longer than I imagined to settle in and make new friends and routines. I actually missed working ( go figure) and  found a part time job in a pharmacy close to our home. Never thought I would be a retail pharmacist again but I am getting the hang of  it and enjoy the staff  and patients. The average age of  Sedona residents is there are plenty of seniors that need medication and help.  (Me included...I am now 60 years old and Mike 65!)
     Mike has been busy working on house projects especially the yard. Just as he made our Texas  home beautiful on the outside with his gardening skills, he is on his way to making this home picture perfect! 
     We bought a jeep as planned and have had a blast exploring the countless beautiful areas nearby. Arizona is full of trails, roads, canyons, and places to check out and Sedona is THE most spectacular area to begin. 
      I have found a wonderful church home with great people and preaching that is the highlight of my week. I plan to get involved with activities there as well as joining the local camera club and learning to capture the exquisite beauty of this area in photos.
     Hopefully this time next year Sedona will feel more like the home I want it to be. We are looking forward to visits from family and friends.

Red Rock view from our neighborhood. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Finding my way.....

So much has taken place in the last few months. Moving far away from my home of 30 years in Arlington, Texas to Sedona, Arizona, trying each day to figure out my new reality..retirement / new place / new home / new climate / no job / no friends (yet)...... Great new church home however! Praise the Lord. Learned a new song (to me) in the service this week that brings me back to my foundation in Christ.

 All I have is Christ
I once was lost in darkest night, yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own a rebel to Your will,
and if You had not love me first I would refuse You still.

But as I ran my hell-bound race indifferent to the cost.
 You looked upon my helpless state and led me to the cross.
And I beheld God's love displayed You suffered in my place.
You bore the wrath reserved for me, now all I know is grace.

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone and live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands could never come from me. 
Oh Father, use my ransomed life in any way You choose.
And let my song forever be My only boast is You.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Excitement and Anxiety...

New home! 

   After the disappointment of a deal gone bad concerning the home we wanted to purchase in Sedona a couple of months ago, we have finally moved on and are the "proud" owners of another, even more perfect, home in that Red Rock town. Smaller than our current home in Texas, we have to downsize and let go of a lot of furniture, but the new place has an abundance of outdoor living areas to enjoy and furnish. Mike and I have continued on the emotional roller many things to figure out, work out, get done. I have had to constantly be reminded to trust in the Lord and not my own strength which always falls short of satisfying. What began as a dream several years ago has reached momentum in becoming a reality. We have sold our home and moving day is less than three weeks away.
  In the meantime, I have retired from my job of 17 years, visited my family in Ohio for three weeks, spent time reading great books, visiting special friends, and of course organizing all the moving parts for this lifetime transition!

Sunday, March 17, 2013


   To have and not to have. I am unaccustomed to emotional roller coasters and the mental and emotional stress that accompanies the "ride". I believed when Mike and I decided on retiring and moving to Sedona that  finding and purchasing  a home would be the easy part and the actual move would overcome me.  Not so. After more than a month, two trips to Sedona, two houses with deals, lots of money and effort, and two deals gone bad, I find myself mentally drained and darkly depressed. I had "moved" into 70 Johnny Guitar Circle. The rooms were decorated with our furnishings, filled with our art, dog beds placed, daily walk route mapped, new purchases made, construction of a deck done and I was enjoying our Sedona dream.
   Dream is the key word, followed by depressed. I have been apprehensive of moving. So much money, so many variables, so far away. Tons of prayer. After looking at dozens of homes by our self and with the Realtor, we came up with only 3 places that met our criteria. One sold the day after viewing it leaving the other two to consider.   The Calle del Norte property was being sold "as is" with many problems yet at full price. Our negotiations fell through with the sellers who are in the midst of a divorce and unable to come to terms with each other or us. Now, left with the third property, our last choice, 70 Johnny Guitar Circle.  A beautiful home, but not without issues. Lots of stairs for one, since the garage is beneath the house and a huge decaying deck that would need immediate replacement. We determined to proceed, agreed on a price with the seller and journeyed out to Sedona to finish up the details; home inspection, bank loan, insurance, and other paper work stuff.  I was excited, it was a done deal in my mind and a dream come true. I had my new Sedona home!
    The home inspection burst my bubble to put it mildly. It felt like it crushed my skull. The home, though beautiful on the surface, having many areas newly updated, was filled with rats and termites, had a badly installed roof, and an air conditioning and heating system that was over 40 years old. The rats had infiltrated the  duct work through out the structure, which meant it would ALL need to be torn out and replaced in order to make it safe/healthy to live in. YUK. That problem alone almost made Mike and I turn away from the deal. But we decided to get estimates for these major  problems and ask the seller to make allowances for the repairs.

The short answer is she said NO.

   I was shocked at this response. Who would buy a rat/termite infested home, a home with an unsafe deck, an antiquated heating system, faulty roof?   But it is her home, not mine. That is the hard part. Not being able to talk to the seller.  Not being able to negotiate reasonably....not being able to move into the house in "real time" and make it mine.
    I can't believe how hard this is for me to accept and move on. I feel deflated, depressed and REALLY tired. I feel a sense of hopelessness, a sense of needing to just "let it go"  and not able to. After all it is only a house, not like loosing a loved one, or my health, or my job, or any of the millions of really significant things in life.
   I know the answer is in the Lord. I have been relying on my own strength, intellect, planning, etc.  these past weeks. Thinking I am in charge when He is. I have not spent time with Him. Not immersed myself in His truth, asking for His wisdom and guidance and strength. I have avoided church today because I can't handle discussing my disappointment with others. Pitiful I know.
I ask the Lord for help now. To renew a right spirit within me. His Spirit that can comfort and counsel me.
 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."  Proverb 3:5 

To have and not to have. I don't have the home in Sedona, but I do have eternal life with Christ, the creator of all things.  I need to treasure that priceless truth.