Thursday, December 08, 2022


Not sure if I can type with my pinky finger bandaged or not but I am going to try. The vegetable peeler mistook my pinky for a carrot. But I'm going to give it a go. 

I think the best place to start is with New Jersey. We lived there for 10 years and really grew to love it. We loved the small town feel of our town—West Milford—the people, the culture, the countryside, the ethnicity of it all. Yet, as much as we loved it there Rick was wanting to retire and one of our dreams was to live at the cabin full time. No way could we retire in NJ and keep our beautiful house with the pool. It's an expensive state to try and retire in. Our property taxes there were $17,000 per year! And, those of us who know us best know that the cabin held a special place in our hearts and lives. We made the 3 day cross-country journey every year, sometime in the spring and somtimes in the fall to spend two weeks there.

So we retired to the cabin. Our cabin on 73 acres of high prairie, off the grid. In winter, Colorado did not plow the dirt roads leading to it, so the best way in was through Laramie, WY and then south to the border. Wyoming plowed to the state line but it was 5 miles further to our cabin. Did you know that the wind blows in Wyoming? (Understatement there!) It deposits snow that is so deep and drifted you can't get through. We did buy a track vehicle, but still we had to park our truck at the state line at a "neighbor's" and leave it there. We toughed it out for a little over two years before we decided it was a good idea to buy a house in town and keep the cabin for weekend getaways. Off the bucket list. Live at the cabin full time.

Moving back to a place you haven't lived in for 10 years creates a few problems. The whole Front Range of Colorado had exploded in population. It was pretty unrecognizable from the place we remembered. People were ruder. The building of houses, stores and shops, restaurants was non-stop. It seemed as if every week there was yet another cornfield or vacant piece of land that had earth movers crawling all over them tearing up the earth to build more subdivisions where every house looked alike. Where would the water come from for all these houses? Colorado gets drier and drier every year and water is becoming more of a problem.

Traffic was terrible. And most of all, where was the culture we had in New Jersey? Colorado was so, well, white bread. It had been (as us older Coloradoans say) "Californicated" and not at all like it used to be. It was not the Colorado we knew.

Our old friends? Well, as you would expect they had all moved on. Many of them had become grandparents and were totally immersed in them. Can't say I blame them, but it wasn't really our thing. We lost them before when they had children in the first place, and now again it was a repeat of that all over again. Not having children is for sure a lifestyle choice. We had no idea how much that decision would affect us in the years to come. Neither one of us has any regrets. 

The cabin's spell on us had started to wane. Our beloved cabin was not the same after having lived full time in it for 2+ years. It was no longer a getaway place, but somehow had become less of a getaway and more of a second house. I think we ruined it by living there full time. For several years the forest fires made the air outside unbreathable. We could not have campfires anymore. Our lovely pine trees that used to surround us had all given up the ghost to the wretched pine beetles. Now dead, they kept falling over and creating more and more work for us to keep our walking path free from fallen trees. It was ugly. We lived in fear of our cabin going up in flames, or even worse that they would save the cabin but the property surrounding it would be nothing but a burn scar, rendering our property's value next to nil. We decided to sell, which we did at a really good price. That helped us to buy our house here in North Carolina. Neither one of us regret our decision, even though the cabin was integral to our lives and all the dogs that were basically raised there from puppies. It was time.

We've done many moves and have never regretted any of them even though some of them have been difficult, like moving to a foreign country and learning a new language where our vocabulary was reduced to that of a 2-year-old. We adapted ourselves to whatever environment we were put into and learned so much from those experiences. Those experiences shaped us into the people we are today. I would not trade those years in Europe for anything. 

To sum up the question WHY:

Our move here was basically driven by unhappiness where we were. We wanted back some of what we had in New Jersey. Life is way too short to stay where you are not enjoying it. So if you are just hanging around waiting for something to happen differently in your life, make that scary leap and JUST DO IT.

This was a sign in the Dublin Airport:


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2023 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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