May 29, 2014

The In-Between

A village street somewhere in France.

Lately I've been feeling like I'm cheating on my dreams with other dreams.  I have had a plan of retiring to France for years.  Then I went home to Iowa for a quick weekend and now I'm dreaming of retiring there instead

I had no interest in ever living in the Midwest ever again.   I moved to San Francisco many years ago and recently went back for a visit for the first time since I'd left.  I couldn't get over how much my little hometown had changed or how the larger town nearby had changed.   The larger town is no longer dirty with old vacant factories.  Now there are gleaming lofts in their place.  There are trees in place of dirt.  There are beautifully paved roads instead of potholes.  There are new and improved venues for concerts, theater, and baseball.

I feel that half of the changes I see are the actual improvements.   The other half just might be my outlook on the world after living in San Francisco.  I now can truly appreciate clean, quiet streets, or the ease of having a car and being able to just get in an go and find parking when you get there.

I'm enjoying San Francisco, but don't want to live here for the rest of my life.  At some point I want to have a house, a yard, a garden, a greenhouse.   I want to have an art studio in my home where an easel lives so I can paint whenever I like.  I want to spend my retirement gardening both vegetables and flowers, create a beautiful landscape with pea gravel pathways, raised beds, archways with climbing David Austen roses and maybe a hammock with some cushy pillows that beg to be napped upon.   I want a French country kitchen of whites and creams with quartz countertops where I can create amazing vegan dishes.  I want fall leaves and apple season, Christmas lights on the house and drifts of snow for them to glow in, country firework stands and to play with sparklers on Independence night among the fireflies.  I want to sit on my front steps with the sun setting, hear the breeze in the trees and that late-summer sound of eeeee-ooooo, eeeee-ooooo, eeeee-ooooo of the cicada or locust, not sure which it is, that trails off into the distance.   For the record, I only like to hear them, I don't want to see them.  

I have a very fortunate opportunity, thanks to my late mother, to be offered the chance to buy the property where I grew up.  All of my new dreams of going home again can happen.   I can buy the property where I grew up and create my dream home, a place with a French Country flair.

The lake in front of my childhood home.

When I first started this post, I was torn between my dreams.  I ended it with "Who knows, maybe there will be a Door Number 3 that will come into play".  And then last night, the answer popped into my head so easily.  There is the original dream of retiring to France, and the new dream of going home.   This doesn't have to be an either/or scenario.   The new idea is to move to France sometime in between San Francisco and Iowa.   I'll be ready for a change in about 10-15 years.  Retirement isn't for 20ish years.  I can enjoy France for awhile before I'm ready to settle back home again.   


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