A New Life

I heard the click as I closed the front door to my house for the last time.  I was closing the door on the past and opening another door to a future filled with anticipation.  I am starting over, now that my house belongs to a lovely young couple who will fill it with their own beautiful memories.  I am free!

I felt giddy, rather like a colt just let out of the barn.  I began singing as I cruised down the highway on my way to a new home, a new life.  I smiled, “It’s different now,” I thought, “you have a new career, a home of your own and a nest egg to keep you comfortable.  What more could one ask.”

As I begin my new life in Boardman, the small town that my husband loved so much, I find myself truly content, once more.  I have come full circle.  Back to the town where we moved in 1953, when the population was just 153 people.  Boardman has grown so much in the past few years and is still growing.  But, I remember it as a small, yet, warm town with people who would welcome a new comer with a friendly “Howdy”.

When we first moved here, there was a post office, two small grocery stores, a hardware store and a few gas stations along the highway. There were two restaurants.  One was the Hitching Post, owned by Joe and Alice Tatone and the other was the M & M Café, run by Maxine Crowder and Mabel Peck and housed in a trailer, where they sold terrific, hamburgers.

Flock’s Watermelon Stand stood at the entrance to the trailer park where we lived.  During the summer, you couldn’t ask for a more interesting place to sit and enjoy a big slice of watermelon and watch the world go by.  What memories this place brings to mind.

Although the town has grown, the warmth is still here and I have been welcomed back as though I had never left this sleepy little town.

My new life gives me the time to write about the adventures of living.  No more caregiving, no more bills or property taxes that emptied my savings accounts, no more sleepless nights tending to the needs of others, just silence.  I sit at my computer and the only thing I hear is the tick, tock of the clock on the wall and the occasional chimes that ring out the hours of the day.

Solitude!  There is much to be said for solitude and the time to explore your thoughts.  As I reminisce about my late husband, and our life together, I remember only the good moments and not the long illness that kept him bound to his chair in front of the television.  Rather, I think about the hours that we spent with our family, water-skiing and picnicking on the Columbia River.  Sweet memories of boating up and down the Columbia, spending lazy days in the sun on a tiny island, before the John Day Dam was built and the pool made all the islands disappear.  Those were wonderful times.

I’ve had some interesting experiences in my lifetime.  Now I have a whole new life, speaking to others about care giving and traveling the length of this wonderful country of ours to promote my book and seek out new adventures to write about.  It’s hard to believe I can still find so many stimulating events and wild adventures to fill my life…but I can!