The Final Move

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Not long now until we make our final move, and I know its going to be a good one!

I’ve enjoyed everywhere I’ve ever lived. Shildon, Butterknowle, Summerhouse (all in county Durham), Brompton-on-Swale (North Yorkshire), Blandford (Dorset),  Dortmund (Germany), Worthy Down, (Wiltshire), Chatham (Kent), Parker and Franktown (Colorado), but it’s almost time to retire and live out our dreams.

Abruzzo is calling, and the call is getting louder.

 

 

 

 

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The Big Adventure!

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It all started in March of 1994! My daughter watched a show on TV called “Wish You Were Here.” It was presented by Judith Chalmers and was all about a train ride through the Rocky Mountains from Banff to Denver. “Oh mum, what a great place to have and adventure,” she said. She was eight years old at the time.

As a family we loved to travel, but we’d never been to the US. “Looks like fun,” I said, “Lets talk to dad when he gets home from work.

We moved to Denver in January of 1995, less that a year later. My husband left a great career with the Bank of England and started work as a consultant with a company in Golden. He travelled with work so through him, my daughter and I travelled too!

The first six months were rough. We were living on one salary instead of two. I had to make new friends and the culture in Denver was much different from what I was used to. So was the language (believe it or not) and the food. Now people knock the food in England, but I missed the Indian, French and Italian Restaurants, which weren’t so good when we arrived in Denver. Denver has come a long way since then and the restaurants are great here now, but back in 1995, that wasn’t really the case.

I couldn’t work for the first couple of years because my visa wouldn’t permit me to. I couldn’t even do Charity work. How ridiculous is that!

Here we are in 2017. I live in Franktown, a beautiful rural area, with a view of Devil’s Head Mountain and Pike’s Peak. My daughter is happily married and lives in Dallas, she’ll most likely have a family of her own soon.

I still strive for adventure and love finding new places to explore, but I guess moving to the US was my big adventure, and I’m still enjoying it. Maybe one day soon we’ll actually take a ride on that train, after all, it’s what brought us here.

ALWAYS the Optomist!

Tomorrow will be better.

Do you feel like you say this to yourself on a daily basis? I do!

Does life seem to get more complicate as you get older? Mine does. Why is that?

 

When I moved to the US from England I planned on getting a little part-time job. Not sure what happened, but this cartoon pretty much hits the nail on the head.

As well as having a demanding full-time job, I have a home with three acres of land, I am a fiction writer and I manage my husband’s small business.

 

All this is fine as long as there are no hiccups. Last week there were lots of hiccups. My office moved to a new location, yes moving is always stressful.

 

 

 

I drove a different route to get to my new office EVERY DAY, in search of the shortest way. I did find it, but it meant paying to use the toll road…..AHHHHH!

 

 

 

The office movers broke my NEW computer.

My file server at home broke.

I found bat in my house (the brown furry type).

My patio door started leaking.

How do I handle the added stresses  – you got it! Picked myself up and shook myself down – and kept my wine glass full. (filled to the bloody brim)

 

Parker Colorado – Moving Day

On December 9th 1995 we moved to our new home in Country Meadows, Parker Colorado. I had been back and forth to our new home several times during the week with bits an bobs, things I could move in the car. It was so exciting, a brand new house and it was our home. It was much larger than the house we owned in England and had a beautiful big light airy kitchen with a ceramic tiled floor. I was so happy.

Joanna was even happier.

As it was December, the very first thing we put in our new house was a Christmas tree. We assembled it and decorated it and there it stood, alone in our new living room, majestic in its serenity.  It was really hard to sleep the night before the move. Lester has stayed up late packing the moving truck and early Saturday morning, we made our first trip to Parker.

A solitary Christmas Tree

We were one of the first to move into our Court, some houses were in the process of being built and there were still some empty lots. Lester backed the big rental truck onto our new drive way and we started to unpack. It was a wonderful day!

We were soon joined by our good friend Chuck. I gave him the biggest hug because without him, we wouldn’t have the house. He helped make it all happen.

Not long after our other friends, Judy and Bob, showed up. I don’t remember ever being made to feel so welcome. Was it just because we were British, and people enjoyed our accent and thought we were funny? We had made more friends in less than a year in the US, than we had made in the whole time we lived in England and we were enjoying it immensely.

Joanna, Judy and I drove into Parker and purchased a selection of culinary delights form MacDonald’s, which we still enjoyed back then. It made a satisfying lunch.

It was an exhausting, but rewarding day. Joanna’s bed was delivered the same day. A California redwood cabin bed with a matching desk and chest of drawers. For the first time in her life she had a bedroom that looked like it came from a magazine. Her bedding and curtains matched, it was fabulous. For a short while she was the happiest girl on earth. When the truck was unloaded for the last time, Lester took it back to the rental office. Joanna and I just enjoyed the novelty of our lovely new home. The house below is not the one we bought, but is almost exactly the same, on the same street and built by the same builder. Looking at it brings tears to my eyes as I remember just how excited I was when we moved in.

When Lester got back, I opened a bottle of wine and we just enjoyed being there. Some moments are hard to describe and that was one of them. We had been in the US for less than a year and struggled to get used to a new way of life. Joanna had mastered the school system and was excelling in her classes. We were surviving on one pay check as I couldn’t work yet, but we were doing it. We knew there would be other battles to fight, but for the time being, life was good.

 

Almost home!

The container ship "APL Turquoise" o...

Our worldly possessions were on a container ship on its way across the Atlantic

When I say almost home, I mean we moved into our new apartment, and liked it a lot, but it wasn’t quite home yet.  It was a little bare!

We had a sofa and chair, a dining room table, a TV cabinet and a TV, but that was about it. We only had these items because we had purchased them in Colorado. The bulk of our furniture, including our beds, was in a container ship making its way across the atlantic, and due to bad weather, it was going to take a while to arrive. Being thoughtful parents, we slept on the floor and let Joanna sleep on the sofa cushions, which we spread out on the floor of her bedroom. We bought bedding, so we were warm. Our budget was tight, so we daren’t go out and buy air mattresses, we just ‘made do’.
 
We had to sell all of our electrical appliances prior to moving, as the difference in voltage meant they wouldn’t work in the US.  The apartment came with major kitchen appliances, but we had to purchase everything else. TV, video, hair dryers, radio…..the list just went on.  This is when we hit our next problem!
 
NO CREDIT FOR YOU – NO WAY – YOU HAVE NO CREDIT HISTORY!
 
You get the picture!  We couldn’t even buy a DVD player on credit, which is why we had to be careful with our money. We had to buy everything CASH! We didn’t want to run up lots of credit debt, but it would have helped tremendously to get credit on a couple of things. Yes we could use our American Express, but we only had a Gold Card, so that meant paying it off at the end of each month.  We were a little disheartened. After conquering the Social Security number problem, we thought the worst was behind us. 
  
If we couldn’t buy anything on credit how were we ever going to get a credit history?
 
It was still nice to be in our own place again, I made it as homely as I could. Joanna didn’t seem to notice the ‘lack of furniture’, and saw sleeping on sofa cushions as a little bit of and adventure.  Lester was at work all day during the week, so he didn’t notice so much either.  He also didn’t seem to mind sleeping on the floor.  I couldn’t sleep on the floor, I tossed and turned and often ended up sleeping on the big arm-chair we had bought.  I felt like those uncomfortable nights would never end, but they did.