It looks like my wife and I are on the cusp of a new adventure! Yesterday she was offered and accepted an AmeriCorps position in the small town of White Salmon, Washington. While we had expected her start date to be Jan. 16, we learned that instead it probably will be two weeks earlier on Wednesday, Jan. 2 (or, maybe, Monday, Jan. 7). This means we have even LESS time to find Della temporary lodging.
We think we will take an overnight trip that way next week. We need to scout out the possible living arrangements. I've been doing a lot of web research, but we need to look at the housing options with our own eyes. We also need to set up a bank account for Della.
Needless to say, both of us are excited...as well as a tad bit nervous. The excitement is caused by the idea of getting to reinvent ourselves in a new locale. We've been working on downsizing our lives -- what my brother calls right-sizing -- and we're going to need to downsize in a BIG way. Della, of course, is excited about joining the Washington Reading Corps program as a tutor. I'm very confident that she will do quite well.
The nervousness is borne of several things. First and foremost is the challenge of finding adequate and affordable lodging. When you have a lot of time and money, you can be as picky as you want. When you are lacking those two things, you can't afford to be very picky at all!
Another daunting issue for us is that we will be separated for a time, maybe as much as 2 or 3 months. For a lot of couples, this wouldn't be such a big deal; it is for us. Over the past 20 years, we've rarely been apart for more than a day or two at most. Della will begin OUR new life alone. I will be stuck here in South Bend without a car (though my friend Paul has already told me that I can borrow one of his two rigs from time to time).
As has usually been the case, I will be responsible for packing the majority of our belongings that will go with us for our new life and selling or donating all the stuff that isn't going. I also get the unenviable task of cleaning up the house and property. What fun!!
The variable we are most nervous about is our three pets. Chances are great that one, two or all three will not be able to go with us. We are holding out hope that all 3 can go or, if not that, at least Lily (the xolo-dachshund) can make the move. Giving away ANY of them will be heartbreaking, but we may not have a choice.
I guess we'll just have to see.