As I write this my dad is back in the hospital. He had COVID and pneumonia and he’s over the COVID, but the pneumonia is lingering. My dad is 89 and if you know me or if you’ve listened to several episodes, you probably know that I
am a daddy’s girl. Always have been. I’m named after him. I’ve always loved being named after him and it was one of the reasons that I kept my maiden name when I got married.
So, my heart is very heavy right now. I know that he’s 89 and that he’s had a great life, but I’m not ready to say good-bye. I know that he’s strong and I believe he can and will be well again.
With that goal in mind, Rick and I are hoping to be able to move him down here to Arkansas with us. This is something that I want to do for my dad. I want him to feel how grateful I am to him for everything that he did for me when I was growing up and I’m grateful for everything that he taught me.
So, why am I talking about this?
Because even though my heart is a little heavy right now with my concern for
dad, I’m also happy and grateful. I’m happy and grateful because Rick and I are in a position to do this for dad.
And it started seemingly serendipitously.
One day last March, Rick and I were out snowshoeing at our home in Colorado.
At that point, we had never talked about having a home outside of Colorado and the idea of living in Arkansas had never entered my mind.
But, for some reason on that snow hike, we started talking about what it might be like to live for part of the year somewhere else. We started researching places and nothing seemed to be clicking. Then, I booked an Airbnb down here in Arkansas for a spring trip because it’s close to my one sister and I wanted to
visit her before heading up to Illinois to visit dad. At that point, Arkansas wasn’t on our radar as a place to live; it was just going to be a 2-week trip.
Then, a funny thing happened: we started researching what we could do down here on our vacation, and we were excited by everything that we were learning. That led us to decide to rent out our home in Colorado over the summer as an Airbnb while we stayed down here for the summer to explore.
The more we explored, the more we liked it.
Then, another funny thing happened:
We were at an Airbnb and I was getting back from a bike ride and a neighbor, an older man name Ken, was out in his yard and we started talking. I mentioned that we were from Colorado and that we had fallen in love with
Arkansas and were thinking of moving here as I’d be closer to my sister and my dad. Of course, like a lot of places, the real estate market is tough here.
Two days later, Rick and I were sitting on the deck and Ken came out in his
backyard and called out over the fence to us. He said that he’d been considering selling his house as he wanted to downsize, and he’d love to show it to us. We said okay, although we didn’t really think it would be what we’d be
Then we walked through it, saw its possibilities, and its advantages: it’s on a very quiet street, we can walk to the lake, it’s a double lot, it backs to a wooded ravine, and is minutes from bike paths.
Ken told us that he’d consulted a realtor and the price he wanted. It was a fair price. We thought about it for a couple of days and then said, “let’s do it.” We called Ken and everything fell into place.
We have continued to be amazed at how lucky we were not to have to go
through the real estate wars – it just seemed to fall into our laps.
I don’t know.
On one hand, I’d say absolutely.
On the other, I’d say that over the years, Rick and I have been very intentional about living our lives and setting our direction according to our values. That’s been our strategy. We’ve never wanted our path to be such a tightrope that one thing would throw us off. We’ve always wanted margin in there so that we could respond to life’s challenges and opportunities with intention, purpose, and clarity. I believe that to do that you need margin, and you need to be laser clear on what you value. If you don’t have those things, you are left with merely reacting.
And, of course, as a daughter of a woman who was raised in the Catholic church, I grew up hearing her say: “God works in mysterious ways.” However it all came to be, I’m intensely grateful that here we are in a ranch style
home that has the room and layout to support my dad.
Now, to get him healed so we can begin this new chapter together.