Ending a Chapter, Beginning Another

Today our house goes on the market.

Part of me was astonished at how good it looks now with all of our stuff out of it, the walls freshly painted, the yard raked and clipped, the backyard pool sparkling.

The other part wilted as I thought about how thrilled I was when we first bought it. This was the house I would live in until I died.

Then life intruded and changed our course.

We won’t be buying another house in California’s wine country. We live in the Nevada desert now, in a place where Capt. Mark had a stroke, recovered, and now has a complete set of medical professionals in place to guide his health.

It’s not easy to leave Sonoma, a beautiful little historic town in Northern California. We lived there more than 20 years, made friends, and became immersed in the volunteer spirit of the place.

But life goes on, complete with challenges and opportunities. You can wallow in self-pity and bemoan the fate that took you away, or you can square your shoulders and move on. Change is difficult, but it’s a constant and attitude is what carries the day.

Las Vegas has a reputation that is carefully nurtured by the strip hotels and businesses, by movies that focus on a few blocks of flashy real estate, and by novelists who continue to romanticize the myth that you can drink yourself into oblivion and wake up married to a stranger.

The real Las Vegas is a family-centric city with tree-lined, pothole-free streets, tons of affordable housing, Saturday farmer’s markets in many locations, abundant public transportation, and school buses that pick up children practically at their front doors. The biggest surprise is how clean it is, even in the downtown areas.

Capt. Mark and I have never lived in a large metropolitan area. We were both born and raised in small towns and through our life together we’ve gravitated toward them. But we’re up for the challenge and will be looking to buy a house here, once our Sonoma house is sold.

Today I will allow myself the luxury of looking at the past. Working in a historic building on Sonoma’s plaza, a stone’s throw from the last California Mission, added to my appreciation of history. Making wine in a place where world class grapes are available—even to home winemakers—was an experience I can easily remember (we still have wine we made ten years ago). Looking at programs and buildings I helped to create or sustain still gives me a good feeling.

The best part of moving is knowing we still have good friends in all the places we’ve lived and we’ll be making new friends here. We’ve ended the old chapter and opened a new one and I’m looking forward to the adventure.

4 thoughts on “Ending a Chapter, Beginning Another”

  1. Just remember, when God closes one door He opens another. I believe you and Mark will make many wonderful memories in Vegas. Who knows there may be a book lingering there.

  2. Pam, as I relax in my library in this house where I have lived for 46 years, I am shaken by the enormity of the changes you are facing. Oh I know LV is a very nice place to live. Both family and friends who have moved there have sung its praises and found life there comfortable, convenient and warmly friendly. Moving forward into a new stage of life is a challenge but one I know you can conquer. Best wishes. Nola

  3. Growing up as a Marine brat and moving every two years, I developed the habit of change, and happily continued to change job, relationships, homes, states, my name, and professions (not just jobs, but professions) every two years (not all at once, though)…until about 10 years ago. And I loved it!

    Now I strongly identify with your reluctance, and profoundly wish I could, today, this very minute, move back to the only small town I’ve ever lived in. Instead, I suspect the next stop will be the biggest city I’ve lived in since leaving LA.

    I’m going to keep this essay of yours handy to read whenever I need an attitude adjustment over the next few months…

    I do admire how you’ve navigated your life since Capt. Mark had his stroke. Positive, stalwart, and wise. High five, Pam!! I’m grateful to have you as my shining example.

  4. sitting here, tired of the craziness in DC, wandering aimlessly through the internet, suddenly your name popped into my mind. Read several of your blogs and glad to see you and Capt. Mark doing well. Miss our talks of so many years ago. Still trolling the council every once in a while, Chris says I am becoming “Edgar” coming before the council to rant.

    Sounds like your next stage in life will be as exciting as the past, you have so many talents (and you were the last good CM we had here in LP). Enjoy the next phase.

    FYI, I retired 4 years ago and after two years decided I was bored so I am back strolling through the OC courthouse. Having fun.

    Good luck to both of you K


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