December 2, 2017: I've Been Everywhere, Man...


Sorry about the cover picture. It's the best I had from our Top 10 day in Flagstaff. And in all honesty,  I had to Google "Snapchat Filters" to figure out how to create this picture. Then...wahlah... I am a deer or a dog??

Garrett and I are in Flagstaff, checking it out. I am feeling like a senior in high school, touring schools and narrowing down final decisions. We are going through the same decision process.  Kind of. No school, though. Basically trying to figure out commonality in where to live post-kids.

What we have found is this is an easier decision for Garrett. He has a master spreadsheet that lists comparison of cities in the US listed by major categories of importance to us...days of sunshine, inches of snow, recreation, cost of living, median home cost, etc...

Easy, peasy for Garrett. We can narrow down by a spreadsheet.

Sandy...not so much.

Our breakfast conversation was a nice point of clarity as we visited our city #2, Flagstaff,  on the spreadsheet.

From a statistical standpoint Flagstaff has a TON of days of sunshine and although higher home value than Omaha, an eclectic city with lots of possibilities.

Hmmmm....

Garrett follows a spreadsheet. Sandy goes by her gut.

As we enjoy a perfect breakfast before a day of hiking, the music overhead blares "I've been everywhere, man..."

Johnny Cash got it right...

"I've been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert's bare, man.
I've breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I've had my share, man.
I've been everywhere."

This opened up a great conversation with my open-minded hubby.

"How many places have you lived since birth?" I asked as we ate our green chili breakfast burrito delight.

Garrett released both hands as he counted his homes from birth, spanning from California, Indiana, Texas, Virginia, Philly, Denver to now, Omaha. 19 homes over 52 years of life. It took two hands, redo, and recount to get to the final count of 19.

And then there is me.

50 years old. 3 homes.

Iowa, golden Remsen memories, in one home for 19 years. 4 years of college living and then two homes. 10 years in the first home and going on 17 in home #2. 

Garrett's 19 homes in 52 years to Sandy's 3 in 50.

Garrett has home court advantage. It is all about the city. For Sandy, it is all about the home.

I often tell Garrett, he has lived a nomad existence. I can't relate to that. I find a heart and soul in a house. I find the heartbeat. I love the home. Garrett loves the place.

Garrett has watched my stance first-hand over the last few months since he has moved to Omaha. I love the little pieces of my home and of my city. I love my routines and being a part of the routines of others that happily live in our home, whether it be Grant or the dog or cat. There exists a heartbeat to our home. From memories to every Christmas decoration to the flow of our home daily life.

Our conversation over breakfast this morning was spot-on. A reconciliation of our feelings and what drives these motives. Grant is six months away from graduation. My last little heartbeat will fly from the nest. My little home will be completely different from those days of playing daily neighborhood whiffle ball in the backyard. I embrace this and know it's time to move on.

But it's tough. The heartbeat in the home still beats strong. Just like my three homes to date (note that my childhood home burned down and we have all moved on), all were a wonderful piece of my life journey, but now is our time to expand. And no better person to guide me than my nomad husband. He has this gig down. 

"Sandy, time to let the stuff go. New chapter!"

My husband is so good at pushing me out of my comfort zone. Though, it has been good for him to see firsthand how much I love my simple life, the biggest gift he has ever given me was moving to Omaha and allowing us to live a traditional life and finishing off my last years with Omaha as our home with a 'bang'. 

Our House is decorated to the hilt for the holidays this year and the heartbeat of our home is beating strong. I constantly think about the prospect of this being our last Christmas in this house. My family's first Christmas in this house was Grant's very first Christmas in 2017. A fast 17 years has passed and much has changed.

We have had great memories in our little home on Elm Circle. And now it is time for a new chapter. Time for Mom to let go. We can pass on the good karma to the next young family.

Wherever and whenever life brings us to somewhere new, I look forward to bringing a new heartbeat to a home.

Life. Love. Happiness.

A home is much more that a place in passing. A home is a place to share life and where the happiest of memories are made.

As we cherish our last in our long-time home, we will keep working through our list for future destinations. And the options are looking good....

Great memories in home #3

All smiles at Christmas 2015 in Omaha...of course!


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