With the help of friends, all my earthly possessions were loaded into the back of a 10-foot cargo trailer. For a while there, we looked a little like the Beverly Hillbillies. (In fact, when it was obvious my mattress and box springs weren’t going to fit, there was a brief discussion of attaching them to the top with the rocking chair, and one of us could ride up there.)


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Hubby would have enjoyed the challenge – he who loved puzzles and Rubik’s cubes and whose life’s work was to solve problems for an entire company of computer users, and keep the large IBM 360 running.

It was hard getting the crew to stop for lunch – these friends who did such a fabulous job with hardly a square inch wasted. These good people to whom I am indebted for far more than just today’s packing up.


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It ended up being one of those mixed-emotions days. Relief to be finished with the paring down and packing up. Anticipation of how the journey ahead will unfold. Gratitude for these good friends—and so many others—who have shared the load of these past few months. A tug of heart-sadness because a ridiculously happy stage is coming to an end.

Leaving Bend is a setting aside of Hubby’s and my life together. Belonging to a fabulous community of cancer-kicking heroes. Serving alongside some of the best people I’ve ever worked with and for. Hiking and snow-shoeing in our beloved Cascade Mountains.

Full years. Proactive living. Not taking anything for granted. Counting blessings every day. Every day. I don’t know how many times my first waking thought was of gratitude for one more day with Hubby; one more day in which he was able to propel himself out of bed on his own steam – because who knew how many more there would be.

And yet in the mix of today’s emotions, absolutely no regret over making the decision to move forward. Gary and Carolyn, I can’t thank you and Sam and Sam (not a typo) and Kattaryna and Lynn enough for your effortless fitting of every puzzle piece into the trailer and the backs of our vehicles. You rock. As friends. As movers and packers. As Beverly Hillbillies.

Later, as the January sun disappeared and wintry chill took over, I sent this photo to Daughter Summer. “View from my little yellow chair by the fire,” I texted.


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She responded: “I like what you’ve done with the place.”