Last August my world started to shift. I had said “yes” to spending five weeks at Good Shepherd, Dunedin. This meant living in the rectory…being “beach priest in residence”…which included preaching and celebrating at the Sunday services and being a pastoral presence in the parish.
While there, my husband and I began to explore the possibility of “moving back” to Dunedin. I had served as Associate Rector at Good Shepherd from 1994-98, and loved the ministry, the people, and the wider community.
On our 54th Anniversary, we had dinner at Bon Appetit right on the Dunedin Marina. We talked about what it would be like to live down the block at Edgewater Arms, right across the street from Good Shepherd.
We found ourselves contacting a parishioner who is a successful real estate agent. That week we looked at available condos in the area, and soon we signed a contract to purchase our favorite choice. It was “executed.” And that was the turning point. We were moving to Dunedin.
That was the easy part. Then we had to get our house in Wesley Chapel ready to stage and put on the market. Since our house was twice the square footage as our condo, that would also mean downsizing in earnest. That’s when the hard work began.
We made many trips to Goodwill and the Land O’Lakes Library and to Good Shepherd’s Little Thrift Shop as we parted with our treasures. We also sold a few items and gave some furniture to a local family who had just arrived from South America to start a new life.
We also filled a U-Haul with family heirlooms and treasures that our Son-in-law and Grandson then drove up to Delaware and New Jersey to disburse to our three daughters and their families.
The good news is that we soon had buyers. The bad news is that Buyer #1 fell through, and within weeks so did Buyer #2. It was hard not to be discouraged.
But Thanksgiving week we put our house back on the market yet again, and by week end we had two solid buyers submitting contracts. Hooray!
Fast forward to December. We physically moved to our new condo and closed on our house the week before Christmas. Yahoo!
So now that the move is behind us, we can begin the next chapter of our lives. For me, that includes getting back to writing and blogging. What a great way to begin a new year!
Who knows what 2019 will bring. Just stay open to being surprised.