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Bloganuary #3: My Last Departure

What Is My Comfort Zone?

  • home
  • family
  • friends

All Set, Ready, Let’s Go!

picture of our house in Central California
Bellavista, our dream home

The defining moment for me recently was moving to Prescott, AZ. I had lived in CA for 35 years and made friends as close as family. They replaced my family when Mark died in 1994 and Mom died in 2006. Randy, my only other immediate family member was still in Portland, too far away to leave.

Vince has always loved the high desert and had wanted to move since we got married over 20 years ago. We had a home on an acre in CA near my closest friends in Woodlake. His son in Sacramento came to visit regularly. I had no intention of ever moving. EVER!

When Vince turned 73, I noticed that the upkeep of our home was not only exhausting him, but with his never-ending projects might break the bank. LOL (We bought a 1966 Ford DUMP TRUCK as YARD ART for our new 1/2-acre garden!) And that was just the beginning of the newest ideas he had.

I entertained the idea of moving. We were in the middle of COVID.

My friends and his son tried to talk us out of it, but the more horrendous things that happened to our home in 2020, the better it sounded. There was nowhere in California I wanted to move close by except the coast. We looked at property in Sacramento and Ventura, CA and passed on those ideas.

In July 2020 our realtor agreed to go on a road trip with me to check out Prescott, AZ, where Vince and I had tentatively chosen to move. We got a 2-bedroom suite and spent four days looking at homes while Vince tended the animals and the GARDEN. We texted pictures back and forth, talked on Facetime, and narrowed it down to a few choices.

Vince made a couple of trips after that. In October, he found a condo for his sister to live and us to move into temporarily when we got there. I looked at the pictures and said yes. We started talking to a builder, then backed off until our house sold. Our house was still torn up after our ruined air conditioner/flood disaster and the septic tank repair that tore up our beautiful front yard.

Our neighbor Carmen and her sister planned and executed our garage sale, which was more like a community estate sale with me as the butterfly hostess hugging everyone who came to say goodbye. (I didn’t take the 6-foot distance seriously.)

On November, Vince drove all of Cindy’s belongings in a rental truck. Cindy and our realtor’s husband left the next day with her dog and Prius of stuff. I stayed until the movers left, cleaned what I could after the furniture and all the vacuums were gone, packed our three animals and a few things into our Prius and left my beloved home, Bellavista, for good.

I called Vince as I pulled away headed out for the nine-hour drive at 3:00 pm. He suggested that I stay at my friend, Sally’s for the night and head out in the morning. I called her and two minutes later – literally – I was unloading my animals into her guest house.

Have you ever tried to sleep with two outdoor cats and a dog in a strange house? Size doesn’t matter. Normally the house would hold 6 or more people, but my cats were not used to being inside.

After their prescribed traveling drugs wore off, they had to be with me constantly.

After little sleep, I took off for my new home in Prescott. We had no family or friends in Prescott.

The walking path at Cindy’s new home.

It was an adventure WAY outside of my comfort zone!

Peavine Trail, Prescott
Vince walks ahead as the trail nears the Dells.

52 replies »

  1. Wow, Marsha. This really brings home to me how emotionally difficult the move was. You had your chin up and your smile on and never let on. So glad you had so many friends to help you through it. It could have been really rough! I do hope to see you in Prescott. Somehow, some way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You will see us soon, I’m sure. Sorry I’m not coming out there. I canceled my flight and all my hotel rooms. With all the flights being canceled and COVID threatening to spike this week or next, after talking to you I realized it was just foolish of me to travel right now. Plus I had a miserable CT scan – the scan was fine but finding a good vein is never easy. The techs didn’t believe me when I told them they needed an ultra sound – – until they did. Once they got a nurse, it was easy. That brief experience made me realize that I do not want to jeopardize all the good work that has been done on my behalf. I don’t like to admit to being fragile, but I am resigned to being cautious. πŸ™‚ See you in the spring for sure.


    • Sarah, you are absolutely right. It is a fabulous place to live. I feel so blessed, and we are both super happy here. I was motivated by a huge supply of inertia and the love of friends that kept me in CA for so long. That and the weather and my beautiful home.

      For the stage our lives right now, this is much better. Services are all within 3-4 miles. The most we have to go is about 8 minutes from home to get anything. And many of our closest friends have visited us here at least once. We are only nine hours away by car.

      Living in rural CA we lived 20 miles from the outskirts of the nearest large town but only five miles from Woodlake where I was friends with almost every business owner in town. That had its major perks. We lived only three hours from the beach, which I loved.

      I guess you could say that I am a very blessed woman to have lived in such amazing places.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think as we get older being in easy reach of services becomes a major factor in choosing where to live. I know people over here who’ve retired to beautiful rural villages but they are many miles from essentials such as medical services. I wouldn’t want to do that, however pretty the home!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Exactly. My mom was furious when we moved there. We had been a five-minute walk away and a ten-minute drive from the hospital. She did not move with us, of course, but it was an adjustment to have us 25 minutes away.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved reading about your move Marsha. We have moved so many times that we do it without thinking but we had one move where I felt as you did and I understand how difficult it must have been to make the decision and carry through with it. Glad to read in comments that it was a good move for you and that you have made some good friends there.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As you can see, I’m surfing through your Bloagnuary posts, Marsha. If you had to move away from BellaVista, at least you and Vince chose an amazing retirement area in Prescott! This was the right call for you both, and I’m glad we were smart enough to land on a half acre at age 61. We never expected to leave Sacramento either and I was shocked when Hans was ready to move away from his beloved Delta and windsurfing lifestyle. In the new place, I’ve shoveled snow twice in two days and Hans is out now with the new snowblower! Plenty of work! I really enjoyed both your homes and look forward to when I can come back to Prescott again!

    Liked by 3 people

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Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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