I spent most of my life in the midwest, born in Nebraska, traveled around during a stint in the Air Force, and ending up several times in Illinois. In a little town called Paxton, I met my second husband. He had lived his whole life there, and had been a baker most of his life. He had the assorted jobs when he was a teenager, from pin setter at a bowling alley to working in a glove factory and a furniture factory. But by the time he was out of high school, his sister had bought a bakery and convinced him to be the baker. He spent 25 years there.
When we had been married about 10 years, my dad was in a car wreck, and the x-rays revealed a kidney the size of a football, cancerous. They removed it but he never was well after that. We thought about buying the bakery when my hubby's sister wanted to retire and sell it, but the cost of equipment that would make it feasable was so much it never would have been recouped. So we decided after much thought, to move to Nebraska to be near my folks at this difficult time in their lives.
We stayed through my dad's death and then my mom's. And then it was time to decide what to do with our lives, and retirement.
After we had been in Nebraska for a time, we sat down one weekend afternoon with a map of the US and looked for a place we would like to end our days. We decided it would have to be warmer than the midwest, not so many tornados, but still have seasons. We were drawn to Tennessee. In the center of the state is a very small town, maybe a couple of hundred people, called Bugscuffle. I kid you not, it's real. It's about halfway between Murfreesboro and Fayetteville. Not much there, would have to shop, go to doctors and that sort of thing in the aforementioned towns. Which would have meant a little driving. But all the information we could find, was favorable. So we circled it on the map and put the atlas away.
Quite a few years after that, one of our sons moved to Tennessee, an area called Edwina, near Newport. We took several trips , one by air and several by car to visit, and were awed by the mountains, and the beauty of the area. The Great Smokys are their back yard, they can look out and see them from the porch.
On our second or third trip, we looked at modular houses. And when offered a spot of land on my sons acreage, decided to see if we could sell our home and retire to those gorgeous mountains.
Surprisingly, the house sold in just a few weeks, we had thought it might take a year or so. So we were told the new owner wanted possesion in 2 weeks, whoa, fast pack and move out.
Never crossed our minds that we had at one point thought about retiring to Bugscuffle. So here we are, not in the original location, but in a much nicer area. I love the mountains, they are like protective fortresses. The wind blows over the tops, you can hear it, but seldom do we have much here on the ground. The weather is mostly temporate, we get a little snow, sometimes a bit more, but it melts rapidly and never needs shoveling. In fact, a quarter inch will close the schools because the buses can not navigate these twisty mountain roads when slick. We grow garden most of the year, have had a good run this summer and my son is starting his covered beds for winter now, planting what will grow in cooler temperatures.
It's strange to think how close we came to our "ideal" area, when we had really forgotten about choosing it so far ahead of time.
Guess God really does work in mysterious ways, it's good to trust his judgement.
I miss seeing my family in Nebraska, but don't regret moving here, have found a church I love, and a volunteer job, hope I can be able to keep going for a long time to come. God put me here, and I hope I can continue to serve Him in some way.
Blessings to you for the coming week.