As I turn the calendar page over to a brand new year, I’m also getting ready to turn the page to a brand new chapter of my life.

It’s always been our dream that when my husband retired, we would relocate to someplace warm. That time is now, and suddenly something that we’ve always talked about – but that always seemed way off in the future – is now right around the corner.

We’ve researched different areas of the country, and have visited several of them. We found an area, a lake, and a house that we love in Georgia. So, as of the beginning of March, that will be our new home.

I’ve got mixed feelings about the move. On one hand, I’m looking forward to the adventure – living in a different part of the country, exploring new surroundings, meeting new neighbors and making new friends. Not to mention getting away from below-zero weather and piles of snow every winter. But on the other hand, it’s difficult to say goodbye to everyone and everything that’s so familiar and comfortable here. Technology makes it easy to stay in touch – and I fully intend to – but a video chat isn’t the same as a coffee date, and an email greeting isn’t the same as a hug.

When they find out we’re moving, most people have two questions. The first is whether we have family or friends in Georgia. The answer to that is, “Not yet,” although we’ll have close friends within a relatively short drive, and we’ll be much closer to our daughter in Florida. We’ll be living farther away from our son and other relatives here and in Chicago, but they’ve assured us that we’ll be a regular vacation destination for them, especially in the winter.

The second question people ask is if I’ll still be writing for the Villager after we move. Although I plan to continue doing the kind of writing I do now in my column, a local community paper relies on local community writers. So this, too, is something I’ll sadly be saying goodbye to. But since I now post my column every week on my blog after it comes out in the newspaper, I figure I’ll still be able to do that, even if my column isn’t published in the paper first. The question is whether I’ll have the discipline and desire to continue writing every week when I don’t have an actual commitment and deadline to adhere to. We’ll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I’m still here – and still writing – for another seven weeks. I’ll keep you posted on my activities and discoveries as we prepare for the move. I’m sure there will be times when I get nervous or apprehensive, wondering what the future will hold. And I’m sure I’ll shed a few tears as I say goodbye to the many people here who have been such an important part of my life. But whenever that happens, I’ll keep reminding myself that every ending is also a new beginning. With a brand new chapter to write.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on January 12, 2017.
©Betty Liedtke, 2017

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