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Every year my list of reasons to be thankful grows, but this has been an especially astonishing year!
I write this from our new home in Florida, but this adventure really began the summer of 2016 when my husband was laid off from his nearly 30 year career as an engineer at The Boeing Company, near Seattle, WA. We were caught off guard and completely shocked at first, but decided that this could possibly be the best thing ever to happen to us and that we would move forward with an attitude of eager anticipation.
We began expanding our product line in our small, traveling quilting notions business and added as many shows as we could fit in. We made a few test runs to Iowa and Texas and found that we loved road trips and headed into 2017 with a full schedule. After 2 fairly long trips, including one that took us in a big circle around the USA, we made the decision to move to Florida.
Florida! Why Florida? We are asked that question nearly every day. We often talked about selling our home (dumping the mortgage payment!) and moving...somewhere. We didn't need to stay close to schools and jobs anymore so we were looking all over Washington state. As we began traveling in the winter months and finding it a challenge to cross mountains in the snow, we also realized that it was a really long drive from WA to everywhere else in the country. We started considering every region we passed through and found several possibilities. During a long road trip last spring we visited many of Rick's family members and realized that while we'd spent 28 years near my family in the Pacific Northwest, we really hadn't ever spent much time with his family. In March, Rick's sister and brother in law told us that they were going to be moving to Florida and remembering how much we liked "Aunt Gina & Uncle Riley" who lived in the Deltona area, not to mention the sunshine and warm weather, and we looked at each other and said, "Why not Florida?" We discussed it on the 4 day drive home and by the time we pulled into our driveway, we knew we were moving to Florida.
After the moving comes the unpacking
We spent about a month coming up with a moving plan which included prepping our house to sell, how to keep our business running, a trip in the middle to Paraguay, a couple of road trips to quilt shows and buying a new home in Deltona. We laugh when people comment that we moved so fast! We worked like crazy people for 5 months to make it happen. And here we are, enjoying our new lives in Florida.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina
And my list of reasons to be thankful? Here's just a small part of it:
A husband who is truly my partner in life
Family members in Florida who welcomed us and helped us out is so many ways
Family & friends in WA who helped us pack, move and store our stuff
Experiencing and surviving a hurricane 10 days after we arrived, with minimal damage
Our old dogs who behaved very nicely on the 10 day road trip from WA to FL
A house with a pool
All of the new friends we've made at quilt shows
Safety over 55,000+ miles of travel in the past year