Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The List-Part 1

Whenever my husband and I traveled, we would always look at real estate and the cost to live where we were visiting. It didn’t preoccupy the trip, but we always asked the question, “Would we like to live here when we retire?”

After returning from a road trip to southern Oregon ten years ago, we concluded there was no place we would rather retire than our own home in southern California. The home was built in the early 1960’s. It is a typical ranch style home. While not large, it had six bedrooms, a large living room we went into once a year to open presents on Christmas morning, a small family room and tiny kitchen.
When we concluded we wanted to stay in our home, we decided it needed a complete overhaul and spent the year gutting seventy-five percent of the house to make it ou
r dream home. And it is. We took three back bedrooms, average size 11 X 11 and converted them into a large master suite. We eliminated walls in the main living area to enlarge the kitchen, eliminated the family room making the space much more livable. Finally, we converted the former master bedroom into my office. I love my home. The space feels more livable.

Ten years later, facing retirement, we’ve concluded it doesn’t make financial sense to stay in this home. Oops! Like many in this area, the cost of living here would preclude us from doing many of the other things we’d like to be involved.

We’re in no hurry to leave. Our son is returning from Iraq soon, leaving the Army in a few months and we want to provide a place for him to regroup.

We don’t know where we want to live. On a trip back to Denver last fall, I spent a day with a real estate looking at homes in the area. Denver is where we are from, but I concluded I don’t want to go back.

We’re going to look in Texas next month. My mother lives just west of Austin. I will write later about our trip to Texas.

When we decided to leave so California, I started a list of places and things I want to do before we leave the area. I wrote earlier about going to see the poppies. That was on THE LIST.

I love to go to museums, galleries and cultural events. When my children were younger, we would visit many of cultural and tourist destinations in the area. Now they are grown and gone, so we don’t do that. It’s not a bad idea to create a list of things you want to do, even if you have no intention of leaving. I don’t know about you, but it seems like most of us get so busy, we don’t take time to enjoy the place we live, unless we have company visit.

In the next few blogs, I’ll write more about THE LIST.

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