2020s, adventure, nature, photography, travel, Virginia

Goodbye, Arizona

You might be aware that Jim and I have spent the last eight months preparing to cross the country by heading east to Virginia. My family prods me to make a post chronicling the adventure before we forget. Are we nuts? Some people think so. I can’t complain I’m bored!

September 2021. I daydreamed of living on a high hill overlooking a gorgeous view. For the past few years, we vaguely discussed returning to Virginia. Daughters and sons bore babies, four under the age of four. My son relocated to South Carolina, and his son is a toddler. Five grandsons. That’s the reason for moving back to the east coast. A new generation to watch grow up. Jim said to me, “Yes, let’s go.” So began our adventure.

October 2021. Taking advantage of the housing market, we sold our townhouse far above what we paid for it. In two days. Yes, crazy! Three estate sales later, ninety percent of our stuff was gone. I loved discovering what truly mattered to me. Donating/selling the clutter was like downing a detox drink. Clear and absolved, we tucked away our emotional treasures in a storage unit.

November 2021. The closing arrived a day before Thanksgiving. Where will we live until the end of my teaching contract? Jim happened upon an excellent 2003 Monarch Class A motor home. Should we pay cash for it and sell it at the end of May? Or, rent an apartment for several months? With a dog, that’s hard. Rent rates are astronomical here. We chose to purchase the motor home. We happened upon a great RV resort on a hill overlooking Sedona Red Rocks. An effortless solution.

December, January, and February. I needed a job before we could buy a house. How many times did we love a potential house only to give it up because I did not have a contract to prove I’d pay the mortgage? Researching towns. Researching areas. Shrinking the region of southern Virginia, until one day, I got a job offer at a high school in Lynchburg. I found a house on the edge of a neighboring town on a quiet cul-de-sac abutting a hilly cow field with the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding us.

Jim and I learned a lot about ourselves. We wanted acreage for a garden. We wanted trees and a view and a fireplace and a garage. After compromises, we bought a house with more square footage than we’re used to. It sits in the middle of half an acre. We’ll have to plant some trees and bushes and flowers. That’s fine by me. Jim gets his garden. I get the location at the edge of town with a view.

March 2022 We bought the house unseen! That’s crazy. We used live-time technology to walk around the grounds. We found a marvelous real estate agent, employed an inspector, and Jim’s son did the final walk-through making sure all was in order. Emotionally, it was painful to rely on others to ensure we were not buying a lemon. What about the town? The neighborhood? My mind was in Virginia while my body was carrying out the responsibilities of my workday. Split time is painful. Anticipation sucks. I kept my complaints to myself, for the most part.

Backyard view on top of the cow field courtesy of Jim.

It is not a fancy house. It is an affordable house that reminds me of my rural Illinois hometown. Bedford, Virginia is in the Southwest part of Virginia between the cities of Lynchburg and Roanoke (Virginia Tech University). I like it because the interior is redone with fresh paint, flooring, bathrooms, and windows. It’s waiting for our personal stamp. We bought a new fridge and washer and dryer. It makes me happy to enter my new home with the three appliances I use constantly. A house gift of sorts…

April 16. Supposed to have shoulder replacement surgery. The doctor canceled. I’ll have to take my bad shoulder with me.

April 28. Our four-year anniversary! I am grateful for Jim’s adventurous spirit and hard work ethic. How did you pack, store, unpack, arrange and make it all happen at age 72?

April 27. We sold the RV to a couple who saw our advertisement the day before. Yes, after one day, we sold the motor home 2k more than we bought it for. Crazy!

April 29. I moved into my daughter’s apartment (Vanessa and Milly) and slept on a blowup mattress. It was satisfying to discover we three girls had a harmonious time.

April 29. Jim escorted Ruby the golden retriever and the Uhaul while towing the VW Beetle. He set up the house while I completed the school year. Three weeks is my limit away from him. I don’t like being apart for that long. But, why make a mortgage payment and rent an RV lot?

May 27. It’s the girls’ turn to do the Rt. 40, 2,000-mile journey. Vanessa’s new job is the innkeeper at the Glass House Winery and B&B outside of Charlottesville. She starts on June 1st. I have a side job starting on June 1st, too, for a week grading AP history papers. We will leave Friday and arrive, we hope, by Monday evening.

Country roads take me home…

Stay tuned for new photos and posts after we settle in. Settle in? Did I tell you we’re going to South Africa on June 26? Jim’s daughter and family live by the Kruger National Park. Let’s go see the big 5!

Crazy? You bet.

60 thoughts on “Goodbye, Arizona”

  1. Sounds crazy and exciting and I think you did the right thing to be closer to Family!
    We left Denver CO for the east coast of the same reason! And it was the right move
    Hope your trip to SA is also great

    Liked by 2 people

          1. You might already know this – but the Appalachian Trail had many small
            Sections to hike – and then another bonus – Virginia Beach is close and for me that had been awesome

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember travelling through that part of the world a couple of times and the country is beautiful. You chose well. You have to learn a new dialect there Cindy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy that all worked out well and you are settling. Enjoy your trip to Africa. That’s another world and you will enjoy the experience.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. HI! Well, we lived in the Shenandoah Valley before going to AZ. We knew we wanted the state but a different region. Close to our kids but not too close! The housing is more affordable the more south you venture in Virginia. My criteria is close to a major airport, close to the ocean but not too close –honestly, we both cant’s stand crowds and overtourism, but we both like culture and variety. That’s why I picked Bedford. It’s perfectly positioned between large cities.
      Had to live in a beautiful area. We are nature freaks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So pleased to read about all the luck you have had. Selling the house and most of the contents, finding a lovely house in Virginia, making a profit on the RV. Nothing but good news! And you will be living in ‘Civil War’ country, a place of great interest to me of course.
    Embrace the joy! Best wishes always, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Wow. Mindboggling. Such changes. I’ve moved around a lot myself. I moved 9 times in one year on Vancouver Island looking for a job. I got really light – everything I owned or needed was in my little 92 Mitsubishi Dodge Colt. But It turned out out that I wasn’t supposed to be there anyway. I was trying to force it, but somebody had a different plan. When I got back to Calgary I got 2 jobs instantly. I don’t plan on leaving again. Most anything I’ve ever done has had Karmic reasons attached which I wasn’t aware of at the time. Hope you do well in your new adventure. Looks like you will.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi JC, thanks for sharing! Every tiime we tried to do something (buy, sell, arrange) it fell into place suspiciously well. I believe in God and take comfort that we are meant to go. It all fell into place.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your new place looks GREAT, Cindy: so wonderfully green. That’s a difference to (many parts of) Arizona.
    We’ll very likely be passing through a lot of VA this summer, on our way from Shepherdstown/WV to Pickens/SC. I’m looking forward to the wonderful countryside we’ll be passing through.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No, it is the only constant in life. Hey, we are almost there! Outside of Memphis, and anticipate arriving in 12 hours. Thanks for reading. (BTW, as much as all this change sounds dazzling, I am exhausted and am ready for some routine.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is wonderful! What a grand adventure with everything falling into place. That part of Virginia is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing your chronicles, Cindy. Looking forward to more once you’re settled in the house.

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  7. No more crazy than my husbandโ€™s and my move. We sold everything for 4.71 acres in the blue ridge mountains of north Georgia. We added another 6 1/2 acres to our farm this year and have lived here happily for 5 years ๐Ÿฅฐ. We also lived in Arizona! Iโ€™d say it was a spectacular choice for both of you. Enjoy every second of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Cindy, what an adventure you have had and now you are travelling to South Africa in a few weeks time. I hope you do get to see the big 5, they do not always reveal themselves. We have recently been to an elephant sanctuary and a lion conservation centre and we interacted a lot with the animals. It was excellent.

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    1. Hi Robbie, Yes, after a couple weeks of quiet, we hope to have regenerated enough to the long flight to SA. I will take many pictures and pray they don’t mind revealing themselves to us. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Cheers!

      Like

  9. What an adventure, Cindy!! Amazing endeavor! Five grandsons is certainly as good reason as any for moving, sounds like you found the perfect home! Sorry to hear about your shoulder, ouchโ€ฆ do you think you’ll get it fixed before your South Africa trip? In any case, I love your adventure-filled life.

    Liked by 1 person

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