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August 1, 2019: To the New Owners of 16706 Elm Circle

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To the New Owners of 16706 Elm Circle:

I am writing this letter as a for-sale sign is being strategically positioned in the front yard of my home. It has been nineteen years since a sign to allure new owners (you) has been placed on its grassy front. Today I find myself reflecting on the sweet heartbeat carried in walls of my forever home and all the joyful moments shared inside and out. My hope is to pay this all forward to you.

Today instead of savoring the past in my comfy chair in Omaha with three active boys buzzing around, I am in Boise with only a faithful dog by my side on a quiet summer morning. The only sounds here are the buzzing of the neighbor's mower and the many happy memories that are racing in my mind.

A typical lazy August morning in our cherished house of past would include smells of chlorine from wet swim trunks not properly placed in the washer. Towels leaving evidence of late night hot tub use and lots of wrappers with half-hearted attempts at cleaning up a …

June 27, 2019: The Boise Adventure: Boy-See

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The Boise Adventure. We are days away from the 6 month mark into our stay in Boise. What a fun ride!

I haven't been blogging much lately, and the reason isn't lack of material. It's lack of time. So much to do, so few hours in the day. This is a pattern that has been recurring in my life since childhood.

Per my mom, my youngest son, Grant, has similar tendencies. He always had great intentions with high determination, but time has never been on his side. When he was young, he and his brother would fly as unattended minors to stay for weeks in the summer with my parents in Arizona. Grant loved all of the newness of his grandparent's desert home and the resulting choices in how to fill his day.

My mom has always been keen on how to best handle both her overly optimistic daughter and grandson. She later shared with me a story on how little Grant had a long list of things he wanted to do at their home on a particular day. Mom wisely asked him to write them all down. It we…

May 15, 2019: Victims and Villains: A Fairytale

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It's been over ten years since my divorce. When I recently thought of this milestone, I was doubting my mental math. Has it really been that long? Then I remembered the faces of our three young sons at that critical point in time. Comparatively to their 19, 23, 26 year-old selves today, I know this timeline to be true.

I vividly remember picking up our youngest two from grade school on the day I filed. I was pretty sure they hadn't a clue on the news I was going to deliver. My intuition was correct. I painfully watched as they both broke into sobs following my disclosure. Grant simply cried, while twelve-year-old Ben pleaded with me.

"Will Dad still be your best friend??"

It seemed like such an odd thing for my young son to say at the time. And it has probably taken these past ten years for me to fully appreciate what he saw in his child eyes. His parents had been friends since pre-adulthood and I am sure we acted in a way that felt this way to him. The nature of a …

March 30, 2019: The Boise Adventure | On The Move Again

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Yes, we are moving again. But not from Boise. Where our last move was 1,240 miles, this one will be 3 miles. We are moving within Boise from House #1 to House #2.

When our original plan of test-driving Boise for three months turned into Garrett taking a full-time job, we found our rental already booked for time periods after our original commitment through March. Instead of going transit for these periods and extending our stay, we decided to find a new place. And after much discussion, we decided to try a new neighborhood with a different feel of Boise.

House #2 is in the Hyde Park neighborhood, a block from the Hyde Park main street. This is quite a change from our current house which is in the foothills on the edge of town. To those readers living in Omaha, this move is like going from Ponca Hills to Dundee.

Although we have enjoyed the beauty and solitude of House #1 in the hills, we welcome the change of scenery. We also welcome a mild shake-up to our newly formed routines.

Over…

March 8, 2019: Alternate Title

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Life is a combination of moments in time. How we react to these moments by our actions and words is what defines them. It’s when I act with intention and allow myself the mindfulness of the moment that I find the greatest rewards in the most unlikely places.

This story was no exception.

If I were to properly title this blog, I would have called it The F*ck Man. Apologies to anyone I am offending with the language, but I am quoting and want to keep the story real. And the man really did say f*ck a lot.

Instead I am going with an alternate title.
My story begins at the Boise airport. It was my second attempt to fly back to Omaha after weather-related changes in flights a few days previously. With another wave of storms hitting the Midwest and a connecting flight through San Francisco to still deal with, I was feeling a little on edge.
Arriving at my gate early, I made a quick call to my second son, Ben. We caught up with him giving me an update of his week. As we finished our conversation,…

February 15, 2019: The Boise Adventure | The Life of a Dog

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With Boise's typical sunny skies and high desert warmth (that seems to avoid the midwestern cold), we humans + dog are acclimating well to our new surroundings. The only difference between the humans and the dog is that he misses his snowy back yard and furry playmates in Omaha. 
I keep reminding myself that if my biggest worry over the move is the proper socialization of the pup, we are in good shape. But it doesn't stop me from feeling bad for Zekers. As his human brothers before him, Zeke really loved the open run of our Omaha yard. With the house situated on a busy path for neighborhood dog-walkers and neighboring dogs, Zeke had constant interaction with both dogs and people.

Boise is a whole new environment for him. We are living in the foothills, overlooking the city, and although our cozy retreat is perfect for Garrett and me, Zeke gets bored quickly. The quiet of our little house offers virtually no foot traffic or neighbors (and no fenced-in backyard).

An added strai…

February 3, 2019: The Boise Adventure | Getting Cultured

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Garrett humored me with his annual participation in a cultural event outside his norm. In reality, Garrett actual does this for me on a more frequent basis than annually, but his belief that it only happens about once a year keeps him joining without question and also keeps his running joke alive.

"Sandy hates to miss a party" is commonly stated comment by Garrett. I cannot dispute his observation. I really do hate to miss a good party. Or a great local event, concert, museum, play, festival, movie, organized club, trip, adventure.... the list goes on and on for me.

I love adding variety to life and trying new things. With every new city we visit, I often gravitate toward checking out the local museums or downtown festivals. Always on the lookout for restaurants and watering holes that are representative of the heart of a city, we have many times tried places and things that Garrett likely wouldn't have experienced in his life pre-Garrett & Sandy.

He tells me this i…