Today I’m embarking on a little road trip. Well, actually, it’s not that little of a road trip – it’s over 1200 miles long. For the next three days, I’ll be helping my mom make her momentous move from Ann Arbor to her new hometown of Denver.
Unlike most road trips, mine actually starts today with a flight from Baltimore to Detroit. My mom will pick me up at the airport and we’ll hit the road directly from there. The movers will already be en route with all of her worldly belongings, but we’ll have her car full of odds and ends, plants, and my one small bag. Today we’ll drive 6 hours or so and get a couple of hours past Chicago (I’ll be sure to wave at all my Chicago-land bloggy friends as we drive by). Tomorrow will be our longest day on the road, and we’ll make it through Iowa and part of Nebraska. And on Thursday we should just have a half-day or so of driving before making it to Denver. She and I purposely decided to make this a three-day trip instead of two really long days of driving. It should be much more pleasant this way.
My mom made the very big decision to move a few months ago. She is single and retired, her three children have all moved away, and she’s no longer the primary caregiver for aging parents, as she was for many years. For her entire life, she has lived within a 30-minute drive of the city where she was born, save for about six years when she was in college and working at her first teaching job. She has more friends than you could imagine, including a book club that has been together since before I was born. But she just decided that she needed to be with her kids, and since it seems pretty clear that the kids aren’t coming back to Michigan, she decided she needed to move.
She put her house in Michigan on the market – Michigan has one of the absolute worst real estate markets in the country – this spring, and was floored when she had a contract for full listing price within two weeks! She honestly thought this was going to be a process that would take months and months, but all of a sudden, it was really happening!
She thought about Baltimore for a bit, but I told her that I don’t think we’ll stay here forever. And now both of my brothers are in Denver (my brother Matt and his girlfriend Shelley have been there for several years, but my brother David and his wife Chelsea just moved there this summer from the western slope, a few hours west of Denver), and Denver has always been a place where I’ve wanted to live. So it seems that the family base is moving west.
Chelsea helped set up a tour of rental homes a few weeks ago, and after some serious possible-crazy-landlord drama and a just-signed lease broken by the landlord who was “taking other bids” (whatever that means in a rental situation), my mom found a great place to rent for a year while she figures out what she wants to do for the long haul. She’ll only be seven blocks away from Matt and Shelley (I’m wondering if that’s TOO close!) and less than ten minutes from David and Chelsea. I sent my mom a link to the Colorado Tennis Association a while back, and I hope she uses her love of tennis as a way to get connected to new people and friends. She already has at least one visit from a friend scheduled, too.
Anyway, by the time we pull in to Denver on Thursday, the movers should have arrived and unloaded the day before (under the direction of David and Chelsea). Craig is flying in Thursday evening. (For some reason a three-day road trip with his mother-in-law wasn’t appealing to him? Go figure.) And then we’ll have the weekend to help Mom get acclimated and have fun with all of us together. Craig and I will fly back on Sunday.
I have a feeling we’ll return to Baltimore with an even greater desire to move west. At least I know I will!