We moved here in N0vember 1989 on a whim. We had five children and I left my military career to start a business in Colorado with some friends.
We bought a house and I got a “temporary” job in my normal field of electronics and radios. The business never worked out, the first job didn’t work out and we struggled to keep our home; but we did. I rejoined the military as a Reservist to finish my 20 years (I did 26 years total with the military). In the mean time I have been a teacher, electronics technician, computer systems administrator and a “security engineer” (unlike “sanitation engineer” this doesn’t mean I do “security” and I’m not a “security guard” – instead I use my electronics skills and other skills to maintain an electronic security system and keep the customers happy.
JoAnne didn’t really “work”; she was “just a mom” – a phrase which I am sure pisses off a lot of moms. Moms are some of the hardest working people on the planet. They are cooks, finance managers, taxi drivers, food provisioners and do many, many other jobs that those of us who do not stay home with the kids on a daily basis have no clue about. JoAnne has worked in fast food restaurant management and retail sales now for many years.
Both of us are tired of working for someone else, spending so much time apart and so much money taken from us in taxes to pay for those who live on the “Government dole” After thirty seven years of working for the government and having them take and take and take from us, we’re tired of giving.
In our nearly twenty five years here in Colorado we’ve lived in the same house–a record for both of us now, to have lived in one house, in one city, in one state for so long a time. We made friends and lost friends, had many jobs, climbed mountains, camped by lakes, traveled the Western United States from here. Our children were raised for the most part in this home in which we live.
Last night it suddenly hit me, even after planning and working for the past five years to accomplish our goal, that we were actually about to accomplish our goals.
We have an incredible view of the mountains and a pretty house. Over the years we let a lot of maintenance things slip simply because we were both working long hours or just too tired to do much when we got home. I suspect we’re both going to miss that view of Pikes Peak out the back windows, sitting in the hot tub as the sun sets on Friday nights having a glass of mead or a beer, chocolate covered strawberries and awaiting the stars to begin twinkling.
A lot of memories are in that house, some good, some bad, but they are our memories and the good part is we can keep those memories.
Our children are all grown up, moved away; they all still live here in Colorado and have their own children and lives to live now. We think that none of them want us to leave because they will miss us and yet they all have come to accept the fact we’re going. JoAnne and I have accepted that we’re starting a new life now one where we will count on each other even more than we ever have. A life that will, if we do things right grant us vistas that will rival the view of the mountains out the back yard. This life will have dangers and it will have it’s moments of safety.
We plan to leave this life of working constantly and just enjoy the years we have left together.
When we first came up with the idea of moving to a sailboat and cruising around the world or just to some foreign port there was a little trepidation. Though we are both world travelers now and can handle “culture shock” and not speaking the language we do get along well with people and enjoy traveling so putting the two things together was perhaps more difficult in our minds than it will be in fact.
I don’t think either of us is quite ready for an offshore passage yet, but we’re ready to try it. In the coming months we have to sell our home — with luck that process will start in less than a couple of weeks when the finishing work is competed. After that the next part of the process is locating the boat that is right for us to begin our travels. Once we do that we still have a long journey to “get there”. We have to fit out the boat, use it and practice sailing some more, get used to the “Rules of the Road” again (been some time since we were on the ocean now) and we have to plan our first few months out. Many cruisers will tell you not to plan too far in advance and we do understand this, but we want at least to know where we’re starting and have an idea where we need to be in hurricane seasons and winters now.
We are going to miss Colorado but we will probably be too busy to miss it much. Our grand children are another story. We will miss them immeasurably.