Ending One Chapter and Beginning a New One
In 1978 my husband, Terrell and I left Florida to help my father build his home in Virginia after he fell from the roof during repairs. As we drove into the majestic mountains, Terrell turned to me and said,
“I’d love to live here.”
One weekend we drove to a local tourist attraction on the Blue Ridge Parkway for some of their famous Buckwheat pancakes. As we were enjoying our meal a couple approached us. “Are you Terrell and Diane Jones,” she asked. Much to our surprise, the couple had come to one of Terrell’s lectures a few years back. We invited them to sit with us, and when they left, they invited us to their home in Floyd County for dinner that week. While at the dinner, we met another friend of theirs who had just bought a home on the mountain but wasn’t able to move into it for some time so asked if we’d be interested in house-sitting. We agreed and moved in for a summer. We fell in love with the area and ended up buying a old 200-year-old Chestnut log home. Well, the rest is history. We sold that home some years later and moved closer to Roanoke to a quaint cottage on 50 acres.
When Terrell passed away in 2002, I moved off the mountain to Roanoke to be closer to my sister. I loved living in Virginia, but after 40 years I felt it was time to return home to my roots in Florida. It was a bittersweet transition. Leaving dear friends and most of all leaving my sister was emotionally difficult for me. However, the excitement of entering the next chapter of my life kept me on track with my move.
Being alone and dealing with the downsizing and decluttering was physically taxing, especially with two months of that time in a cast up to my knee. I broke my foot in three places, but I wasn’t going to let that stop my determination to complete my tasks. Although there were some very slow days, and a lot of pain, my goal was to accomplish one thing each day, something I learned from my dear life-long friend, Jo. She suggested that method while I was going through my mother’s things after she passed. That motto has become my mantra. “Complete one thing each day toward my goal.” And so I chipped away at this project of moving with that in mind. Slowly, but surely the job reached the end goal. I had done it!
Now, it was time to make my move.
Nothing seemed to go as planned and challenged everything I believed. It was as though the universe was fighting me and didn’t want me to leave. But I refused to accept that idea. I chose to see it as confirmation why I needed to go. I’m in my 70s, and the cold weather affects my daily living. With medical issues being exacerbated by the cold, I knew I had to go south before I was unable to. So in spite of all the setbacks of 18 inches of snow and sleeping on the floor for two nights because everything I owned was packed in the moving van, I trudged forward. The moving van sat in my ice-covered driveway for two days. When we decided to give it a try, we sled out on the ice as we drove out. It was a 740-mile trip and 14 hours of driving. And unfortunately, we arrived too late at our destination in Florida for the guys to unload the truck. The next evening when they did unload, we were unable to return the van to the Budget lot until the middle of the night. With very little sleep, we had to get up at 3:30 a.m. so I could get my driver to the airport by 4:45 a.m. We made it, but there wasn’t enough coffee to keep me going when I got back to the house, and now all my belongings sat in the middle of the place with only paths to maneuver.
But that’s okay! I am thrilled and excited. That was the ending to one adventure, and I’m ready to embrace with joy, the next chapter in my life!
We all have challenges in our lives, but it ’s how we respond to those challenges that dictate how we live our lives.