When I first decided to document what “therapy” I use to decompress from a stressful job I couldn’t wait to get started. I was excited because my therapy is to create pretty cards, ornaments, wreaths and most recently paint with acrylics. When I have a particularly stressful day I love coming home and creating. It really helps me to relax and puts a smile on my face.
I planned on sharing these crafts and creations with you, which I will, but I also thought that I would share what my life as an empty nester looks like above and beyond my crafts. I never would have imagined that my life would take the turn it did.
Shortly after I began creating this blog my mother-in-law, Neva, found out her cancer had spread again and she decided that she was not going to fight it any longer. She’s been fighting breast cancer, for many years and has lived a long and very full life. Unfortunately she has been without my father-in-law for more than 25 years and she is tired of fighting and is ready to be reunited with him.
Because of this, my husband felt that it was time for us to make the move to be nearer to her, asap, to spend more time with her in her final months (I don’t blame him one bit!).
The Big Move-
Well, she lives in Tennessee and we live in Indiana and that meant a huge move! We have always said we were going to retire to a mountainside in Tennessee and live in a cabin with a great view and huge front porch. So that dream began to become a reality! Even though the reason for it was sad, I was getting excited about the move and began looking to see if any cabins were available in our price range (we are retiring after all). I found a few and when Carl was visiting his Mom one weekend he went to tour a couple of them.
He went to see cabins similar to this one! Isn’t this cool? Stone fireplace, beautiful logs, nice natural light coming into the living area and on the side of a mountain with a view. When I pulled this picture up on the computer it instantly made me feel so relaxed and happy! Well, sometimes in life you end up seeing what you thought was your dream, but it wasn’t really as amazing as you pictured it, especially upon a closer look.
Change of Plans-
Did you know that a lot of smaller cabins, which is really what we wanted because it’s now just the two of us, don’t have closets. Whaaa?! I might be downsizing but really? No closets? We do have clothes and shoes and stuff, we need closets. As our 4-year old granddaughter said, after she toured a cabin with my husband, “Papaw, there’s no closets! You gotta have closets for me to hide in”. Yes, we have to have closets for her to hide in, duh!
Another thing I really didn’t think about, because who does when you don’t currently live in a cabin, you have to stain or seal it every other year. Makes sense I guess since it’s made out of wood and it’s open to rain, sleet, snow and sun. We stain our wood deck every few years. But to stain an entire house would cost between $1,500.00 to $3,000.00 every other year. We are planning on retiring and as my Dad often says “I live on a fixed income”, yeah what he said! That kind of expense would not fit into our fixed income budget. So that means we would have to work more than we were planning and that’s just not going to happen. I’m ready to step down from stress and enter into a calmer and slower life, so working a lot is not very appealing.
So, as with anything in life, we’ve had to roll with the punches and come up with an alternative plan. What do you do when something you have wanted for so long is no longer attainable? You pick the features most important to you and go from there.
The view is non-negotiable. I’ve told Carl that if he was going to move me away from my family again (we moved to Florida after we got married-another story for another time) that I was not wavering on having a view of the mountains. Now our focus was finding a ranch style house with a great view of the Smokey Mountains.
The next features would be a wood burning fireplace and then a big porch. Bedrooms and bathrooms are next (at least a 3/2) and then location. So the hunt begins.
It might look something like this:
This one has a great view of the mountains from the back of the house (I looked!)! It has a porch running the entire length of the back of the house. It has just enough projects left to do on it to keep us busy (landscaping and maybe a front porch) and it’s not too big. I think we would rather it be brick, but you get the idea.
Since beginning this journey, not only did the dream of a cabin change but our time-line has now changed. What started out as being a quick as possible move has slowed a bit. Like I said before, sometimes you have to roll with the punches in life. Well reality poked her head up and said “hey, you only have 4 1/2 more years to work in order to receive your full pension!”.
After bringing this to Carl’s attention, and discussing the pros and cons, his reply to me was “it’s a no brainer”. I have to work 4 1/2 more years. Hmmm. It’s okay, I was really sort of anxious that things were moving forward so fast and I wasn’t really ready to leave my job yet. A lot of people rely on me, and although I know that I can be replaced, I would not just leave my bosses scrambling for a replacement.
So, since we can’t move when we planned we will now travel to Tennessee as much as possible to spend time with Neva.
This new timeline will give us more time to find the right house and will give us time to fix some things in our current house and then put it up for sale. The market here in Greenfield, IN is really hot for sellers! Houses are not staying on the market very long, just weeks I’m told. Let the renovation begin!
From here on out I will be sharing the my pretty creations with you and I will also be documenting and sharing the journey of two empty nesters (who know just enough about DIY to be extremely dangerous) moving towards retirement. Sharing my DIY projects of the reno, sharing tips on what I learned when I began packing up the house and the mistakes I made (had to pack up my studio/craft room to gain a bedroom back-yikes!) and what you need to do to get your house sold quickly.
I hope you will come back to My Crafting Therapy and see what my passion creates (Christmas is just around the corner and it’s my favorite holiday for decorations!) and to see what this journey has in store for us! Until next time, stay relaxed:)