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Next Stage of My Life


With regard to volunteering, Rehab. departments in nursing homes can always use transpirtation volunteers. If you are able to push patients in wheelchairs to/from therapy, your services would be very, very welcome!


I looked it up! 65 miles NW of Austin. Looks like a nice small city. I
don’t have contacts in or near Austin. I wish you safe travels and hope you
like it there.


I just wanted to update you on my progress, this weekend we cleaned out the attic, ran to the dump, and we think we are going to call 1-800-got-junk to take away a lot of misc. items.

While I am fairly young, I can’ t believe the amount of crap we have accumulated over the years! Picture frames , and cheese knives out the wazoo!



Hey Patty,

Three years ago I moved with my husband and then 7-year-old from Brooklyn, NY, to Berlin, Germany. We got rid of about half our possessions, including our car, and lived out of suitcases for two months before our stuff arrived. We had two weeks to find a place to live. (His job provided temporary housing when we arrived.) The months before and after the move were quite stressful, even though we chose it and believed in it. I had to tell myself over and over, every day, everything’s going to be okay. Change is hard but so worth it. Just get comfortable with being uncomfortable, temporarily but maybe for longer than you think. On the healthy eating topic, I found I had to make major adjustments in my grocery shopping and cooking. My advice is to keep food as basic and familiar as possible for a while. Maybe this won’t be as much of a challenge for you since you’re not moving to a different country (with different ingredients, ovens, etc.). Good luck!


I think part of my problem is that I am goal orientated. The goal this month is to get most of the furniture and packed items into storage. Next month is the floor renovations, the floors are to be sanded and refinished. April Painting and laying of new carpet. I want this to go faster as in floors and painting in march so april can be laying of new carpeting.

I hate waiting, putting off, I just want it all done.I am also stressing because hubby has to connect with the painters and make them aware of the timeline. He is at his busy point of the season. Stress again. I am trying to not pounce on the treats but right now it is really hard.



This advice may not be relevant for your geography - I moved region in the UK and the spatial issues and population density are different, but I would really recommend renting in the area you are interested in. That will allow you to scope the small stuff that matters e.g. local access, traffic pressure points at rush hour, that local chicken farm, etc! You don’t want to be rushed or stressed if this is the forever house! I ended up renting for a couple of years but am so happy that I did and was ready to go when the house of my dreams came up! I also realised that modern communities are as much virtual as geographical - the house of my dreams doesn’t have all the neighbours of my dreams! Try and enjoy the hunt - there’s no rush, and there’s no pressure to do DIY or maintenance when you’re renting. It’ll give you a chance to scope the local social opportunities!



Two years ago, I moved from NJ outside NYC (where I had lived for 30 years) to Blacksburg, VA (home of Virginia Tech). It was a move from the NYC suburbs to the Blue Ridge Mtns. of western VA. My move was a bit different from yours as we moved for my husband’s job at Virginia Tech. He had been commuting here for several years before our move, so he already knew people here. We also found a house in VA before we put our house in NJ on the market, but we had the same crazy/stressful experience of fixing up our NJ house, decluttering our stuff, packing up 21 years of belongings etc.

Although I am your age, I have a high school daughter. We actually moved before selling our NJ house so my daughter could start school. We had to store some of our belongings for a few months and were traveling back and forth 10 hours to get the NJ house ready for market. It was a difficult time. I was sad to be leaving family and lifelong friends behind in the northeast and my daughter hated us for “ripping her from the only home I have ever known”. Somehow, we managed to navigate through all the disruption, and I am happy to report that all three of us are very happy here, for many of the reasons that you mention in your post.

Some things that helped me with the transition: Blacksburg has a wonderful Newcomers Club which is made up of women/couples aged thirties to eighties, about half of them our age. There is no time limit on membership and some of the women/couples have been in the club for 20+ years. Notwithstanding this, they are very welcoming to new members! We have a lot of sub groups and I am making some really good new friends. Because of my daughter, I’ve been volunteering at our high school, but I have met women who are having fun volunteering for different social service community groups. You should see if Llano has a community foundation or other umbrella agency that knows about volunteering opportunities in the area. Finally, our town has a Citizen’s Institute which introduces citizens to the various departments of the municipality. The town wants to find citizens who are interested in volunteering on various planning committees/boards etc. It was a very interesting 10 week course (one evening a week) and helped me get to know how things work. I don’t know if other towns offer this or not.

One thing you might want to consider while you are living in your hotel and house hunting is joining a local YW/YMCA or community center that has fitness classes/art classes/knitting classes/a swimming pool etc. If you are so inclined, join a church. The local library should also be a good source of information on local activities/classes etc.

There is a great book by Melody Warnick, a resident of Blacksburg about moving and getting to love your new home. It’s called “This is Where You Belong, The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live”. This book might help you as you embark on this new journey.

Have faith and follow your heart. It sounds like you are making the move for all the right reasons. i am sure it will all work out!



There is a fantastic yarn shop in Wimberley, TX. It’s very nearby to where you’re thinking of relocating. The day I dropped by, there were 8-10 ladies sitting around a table knitting, as we do…I am sure they would welcome you with open arms, and give you plenty of advice on where to live and what to do.

I’ve been in Egypt for 7 years. The first six weeks we had only 3 suitcases and a small air shipment. I brought yarn, patterns, my needles, books and anything my cat might need. I included a few of my nice pots and pans, along with my knives. Also my pillow. Just think of the things you use every day and you’ll be fine. Enjoy your new place. Marsha


to Marsha: Well I believe I was in the yarnstore Ply and you are right, nice people.

Lisa, I am definitely going to look for that book.

Here is what is going on so far.

We are still boxing, packing, throwing stuff out, calling people to pickup items (family members) and in general running ourselves ragged.

This week we have two sets of movers coming out. The stuff that is going into storage is the Friday pickup and the 1-800-junk guys come Saturday along with the real estate agent. We had a painter come by this past saturday to look around the house and give us an estimate. We are only using two colors, a creamy light yellow for the bathroom and kitchen and neutral tan/green everywhere else. On Monday our floors get refinished, the back yard and side of the house now are hardscaped. Walls are built, walkways are now walkways, The gardening shed has been cleaned out, and today I contacted the real estate agent about various questions I have. I would LOVE a quick sale. Husband is really hating his job and will not take time off. Yes, he has the time, acting like a dodo.

I have most of my yarn all packed up. I pulled three Rowan magazines out that have special meaning to me and great patterns.

I have a plastic tote with a variety of projects, needles are in one of those bass pro fly carrying binder. I have pulled out stitch dictionaries, bought patterns off Ravelry. I am printing them out and putting them with the projects. The projects are relatively simple and hopefully some half done items will become completed items. I have to pack clothes and I am finding that a bit hard due to the weather we are having. 70s one day 30’s next. Lots of shoes packed.

so far so good!


Nearly 7 years ago my wife and I moved from Oklahoma, where I had lived for 34 years and she for her entire life to Cape Cod. We lived with her ( Alzheimer’s afflicted) stepfather for 6 months until we could move into our own place, so although our personal items fit into one room we did have the use of a familiar house. A capsule wardrobe of mix and match separates worked for us.

I contacted a knitting group through so I had a social outlet right away. Worked out great. Check out the local churches online so you have some idea where you might want to attend. Your husband should try to set up some social contacts in advance too, especially since he is retired.

I took a part time retail job for the first three years. I came from a professional job in the oil business, so I knew I would find nothing comparable on Cape. I retired at 62 instead, but the part time job was a good way to make more friends. I volunteer two days a week now in our church office, pretty easy and pleasant work.

If you are not on a tight schedule choose your route and stops to enjoy seeing the country. We made stops in Nashville and Memphis that made our drive more like a vacation. Don’t forget to coordinate with your movers, though. You will need to receive your goods at the other end, even if they are going into storage.

Start reading a local paper online, and check your weather app for your new home. You will hardly believe how hot it can be in May in a Texas. You might actually want to donate your heavy coats on the way out of town!

Get your moving estimate early. We had to purge an additional 3000 pounds to meet what I was willing to pay our movers.

A big move is exciting and terrifying. If you stay focused and organized the mechanics of it are not too hard. Texas is pretty welcoming, and the cost of living is really low. Enjoy your new adventure.


We already have the movers and they are coming Friday. The only thing left in the house will be our bed,a couple of small tables, a chair or two. On Saturday 1-800-GOTJUNK shows up and everything else goes to them. No much imho, but enough.

I have already met up with a knitters group so I am lucky there. I will find more once I get there. Where we move Hill Country, does have season and will get cold so my coat gets to stay. I did get rid of another coat, a woman needed one and I gave her mine. Both of us happy!

While I would love to take a relaxing drive through this great land, I will be driving with the cat, husband the dog. Roughly will take us four days. Given the stress we are both under, (ever increasing) I just want to get there.

On the good news front, housing prices are increasing in my area and houses tend to sell rather quickly 11-23 days. My concern is that these houses had land, garage, and basement, our does not. We are both looking to crash for a few days when we arrive in Texas.



I lived in San Antonio, TX for a few years in my late teens, early twenties. Loved it there. People are so nice, wide open spaces, and the city itself was pretty. I wish you all the best.


okay, the movers came as did 1-800-Got Junk and the house is that funny kind of empty. Everything echoes! Imagine a sheltie barking and boy is it loud. You never know just how much stuff you have until you see it getting packed in pods preloaded onto the truck. Husband said that one whole pod was filled with yarn. I looked at him and said “and the problem with that would be…” He just laughed. The floors are being sanded and refinished, tile by the fireplace being replaced, tile in upstairs bathroom being replaced. Painters come two weekends in March to paint entire house, then carpets laid down, and then on the market it goes.

I have been talking to hubby about the drive, rest stops, food for me (I am on a diet) and of course where we stop for the evening. Fun and scary at the same time.



Patty, while I don’t have any advice for you that hasn’t been already shared I just want to tell you that the tale of emptying your house and leaping off a cliff into a Texan retirement has me enthralled. Thanks so much for the updates. It’s a gripping story of courage and frustration. Can’t wait to hear how it plays out.


I hope not a lot of frustration! Just stuff happening at a quick pace. That is good. I really thought we would be be putting the house on the market in August. I think husband is so eager to move that he was far more amendable to having professionals come in and do the work. I am EXTREMELY grateful to all the professionals out there, painters, plumbers, stone masons, and a host of others. It is certainly taking the pressure off us both.



Okay, the smell from having the floors done is now gone. The painting has begun and roughly 2/3 of the house interior is painted. We moved our bedroom furniture from one room to another so now our real bedroom is going to be painted. Carpet has been ordered and we are waiting for a call back and date that the carpet will be laid down. Tile for the fireplace and bathroom will be replaced once carpeting is done. Power wash the exterior of the house once it gets warm and stays warm. The seeding of the backyard will wait until probably the end of March because we got a bit of snow yesterday.

The house is turning into a house I do not know or recognize. The funky colors are gone, the rooms are empty. It is as though the house is becoming someone else or something else. I don’t recognize it anymore. There is a disconnecting that is happening. It is like those scfi movies, series where you see the big mother ship or earth and you see the space pod, or ship disconnecting from from orbit or the “mothership” you know that they are not coming back, that its time for them to move on, have their own adventures, experiences and liftoff. That is precisely how I am feeling. I guess this is what parents of teens go through, there is a point where you have to disconnect and hope that what you have taught, how you have brought up you kid, turns them into a fully functioning adult. You hope for them to land on their feet, be successful, proud of their accomplishments and yet you are amazed by their depth and fragility.

At times, I wonder if the new people will like the neighbors like I do. I hope they get along, laugh, cookout, and eat together. We now have a place to stay in Texas, they allow animals, and hubby is very happy with this as am I. Our mind set is becoming less here in Maryland and more in Texas. We talk about Coopers (a BBQ place) and fully flesh out what we want in the next house. House will be going on the market first week in April, and yes, I will be burying St. Joseph in the front yard.

Knitting. I have packed a serious amount of yarn away. John says that my yarn filled up a pod(almost) but it makes me happy. I have a multitude of projects for the move across the country and there is a serious discussion as to where all this will fit in the car, or is it going into a pod. I have john’s sweater and a simple church mouse shawl that I am working on. Projects are super simple. No charts, or serious directions, sort of mindless knitting to calm me down.

Take care and stay warm.


Hi Patty,
Welcome to Texas! Just FYI wonderful yarn shops await you! The Tin Smith’s Wife in Comfort Texas, Hill Country Weavers and Gage in Austin, Yarnivore in San Antonio. There will be a Yarn Crawl involving area yarn stores in October.


Well I got a bit of good news. I get various feeds and this morning there was one about selling your house. Sell in spring, or late spring, and it could be beneficial. Multiple offers, and people getting more than asking price. The article then mentioned Baltimore, Maryland where things are selling very fast. While I am no longer specifically in Baltimore, it is nice to know that the market is healthy and things are selling.



In 2015, as I was recovering from pneumonia (3 weeks in bed), my husband decided it would be the perfect time to sell and downsize…
What followed was a year living in 5 different houses, 4 of which were with different friends. (I called it The Year of Sponging Off of Your Friends for 2-3 Months and Seeing If You Could Remain Friends. It worked. All friendships are stronger!)
But it was crazy!
We ended up with 2 small dressers that we moved everywhere with our “unmentionables”, a smaller wardrobe (since it was so long, we needed clothes for all seasons), and some of our food. The dog lived with our son and his wife. (The good news here was that after living with the smaller wardrobe, once we were finally moved into our new home, 3-4 more large garbage bags of clothes went to Goodwill! We found we really could live with a lot fewer clothes. Now we’re looking for smaller dressers since half our drawers are empty!)

  1. Having a few things like our own clocks, laptops, etc. was helpful.
  2. Having a place to live while looking for a new house was very helpful!
  3. If we hadn’t found the house we did, we definitely would have looked for a short term rental! (It helped that we only moved about 30 miles form where we had been living, so we knew the area.) Since we are of the “almost retirement” age ourselves, we have seen a number of friends do this type of move. The ones who moved to completely new areas were most satisfied when they rented first so they could take some time looking.
  4. If you rent, you can go smaller than you would for a house and save some $.
  5. I took my Nutribullet with me. Now that I have one, I would bring my Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker), too. So, bring along those items you like to use! The adjustment will be easier if you have some familiar things with you.

I like the ideas on ways to meet people in your new location! This will mean so much in the years ahead!

Good luck with your move! Yes, it’s stressful! Don’t punish yourself if things don’t move as quickly as you would like - there may be something really great if you’re patient enough to wait for it!


Patty here! Well the interior of the house has been painted, and carpeted. We are waiting for warm weather for the power washing of the outside of the house and the laying down of grass seeds. We are having two tiles replaced in the bathroom and in the living room title has to be extended around the fireplace. The realtor will be doing a “coming soon” sign out front, and we will have a listing locally.

We are making one room the second move room and one room is the put this in the car room. I hope this makes sense.

I hear from people that the market is starting to heat up and that it is a sellers market because not a lot of houses are available. I know townhouses are starting at 430-500,000 very close to us. Older townhouses are selling close to what we are asking for. I just don’t know how long it is going to take, and what to expect.

I am having nightmares that I am driving and the interior of my car is all dark and I can’t see my speed, or gear shift. I think this is just my fears. What am I going to do in Texas, how long will it take to find a house, how long will we be renting, what is this new life going to be like?

It will all come together, it always does.