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.