The only way to describe our voluntary long distance move (Denver to Sedona) as a retired couple—86 and 75 years old—is “stupidity,” “craziness,” or “dangerous.” On the other hand, improbable circumstances and unbounded curiosity had followed us through 50 years of marriage. A marriage that began with Scott, a single man of 35 proposing marriage to me, a 24-year-old twice divorced single mother of four—he adopted my children and became their loving father… read more. Therefore, in our way of thinking, our stupid, crazy, and dangerous move was just another adventure to savor in our last years together. After all, neither one of us are “in the box” thinkers.
Moving to a warmer climate had fueled conversations between us over the past 6 years, most often during snow, blinding blizzards, and patches of black ice, from which we both had suffered falls. Nevertheless, thoughts of being further away from family, leaving the church we had attended since 1975, not having four seasons, and moving to a new environment were but a few of the reasons we decided to stay put.
Every winter, especially when the winter season seemed to drag on we sniveled, “I’m grumpy, cold, and suffering from cabin fever. What are we going to do about it? The garage is filthy with black snowmelt from the car; we get it cleaned up just in time for the next snowstorm. Why don’t we become snowbirds? Oh right, we can’t afford two households. Maybe we could rent a small place in Florida for the winter. Except it’s so humid, and we had enough of that in Seoul.” However, for the most part I would say, “I don’t want to leave my sister.”
Sounds crazy, but my sister was the one constant in my life since I was born. She had become my best friend in our adult years, in spite of a few arguments, and the one who knew me as well as Jesus, who loved me the way Jesus does—except for the fact that she was a human—and Jesus is God. Nevertheless, we were soul sisters and as our faith in Jesus grew, we became sisters in Christ.
Her passing into the arms of Jesus last year (May 20, 2019) shook me to my core. My heart had never felt so crushed. It seemed as though a part of me had flowed into a ravine of unimaginable grief; sorrow so great that it consumed me.
However, as time passed, my main reason for not moving out of our comfort zone had vanished, and in fact, I felt compelled to leave my melancholy and misery in Colorado.
Spending hours on my computer to check out the plethora of warm climate homes for sale shocked me, because most of them were either a 12×60 foot mobile home, or unaffordable 3,000 square foot mansions, neither of which we wanted. However, when a small stucco house in Sedona, Arizona rose up from the depths of real estate listings to my screen, I saved the website listing for the house and looked at it several times a day, every day. I felt as though that small stucco house was already mine, even though we had never been to Sedona, Arizona. A few people we knew had annual vacation rentals in Sedona, and many more had raved about the stunning beauty of the resort town. A week or so went by, until finally I yelled at Scott, “Come look at this!” He came over to my computer, and viewed the pictures of this house.
“Do you want to drive to Sedona and look at this house?” I asked Scott.
We sent a brief text message to our children, boarded the dog, and took off.
After driving through Oak Creek Canyon and into Sedona, the only thing I could say was, “This is like Estes Park, but several notches above!” Scott agreed. We met the realtor the next day, and she purposely took us to approximately ten homes before taking us to “my house.” All the while, my mind kept seeing the pictures of the house I discovered online. In a raging downpour, we finally walked down the stone path to the front door, and we walked inside.
I loved everything about it and so did Scott. By the end of the weekend, we were driving back to Colorado as the new owners of the house on Whippet Way in Sedona, Arizona!