Apologies for the long delay in blog entries, but as you will see the time since our return to the U.S. in July has been extremely busy and life altering. Our last entry detailed our time with daughter Shadee and her father in Germany and our exploration of camper vans as an alternative to tent camping. We want to explore Europe over the next several summers with something of the comfort we seem not only to desire but need as the years advance upon us.  Crawling in and out of a small tent just proved to be too hard to sustain for long.  Could it be that we are just a bit creakier and older? Tent and Kangoo  So before leaving Europe we found what we thought was the perfect camper for us and plopped some Euros down to secure it until we could come back. Once in the U.S. we quickly headed for Santa Fe.  Our house had again been on the market for sale and we had hopes that perhaps this year it would finally sell.  And about two weeks after we returned an offer was made and we accepted. Of course we had regrets about finally leaving for good the house we have owned for fourteen years.  It is featured in several books on Santa Fe as the classic traditional house, and certainly drips with charm and character.

The front gate as you enter from the street

The front gate as you enter from the street

A bit of the garden looking up at the patio

A bit of the garden looking up at the patio

The entry with the Amazonian pots

The entry and kitchen to the right

The dining room with a fire blazing

The dining room with a fire blazing

The living room looking out on the garden

The living room looking out on the garden

But given our fascination with travel and the encroaching years, it was simply time to move on.  Those of you who haven’t seen the New York Times article we were featured in might want to have a look.  It pretty accurately characterizes the sort of life we want going forward. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/business/increasingly-retirees-dump-their-possessions-and-hit-the-road.html?ref=business&_r=0 Once it became clear that the house sale was going to close, we began the long struggle to empty it of all of our possessions and to literally dispose of them as our intention is to travel most of the time for the next period of years. Some of the furniture, particularly those pieces Bonnie had from her days in Iran, were packed away in a POD and sent off to daughter Leila in New Jersey. POD in street

The POD being loaded and on its way

The POD being loaded and on its way

And while the new owner of the house bought some of the furniture and furnishings, most were simply trucked off to a consignment store in Santa Fe for what we hope will be eventual sale.

Carefully taking down the Amazonian pots

Carefully taking down the Amazonian pots

Jose and Javier carrying out an armoire

Jose and Javier carrying out an armoire

The consignment truck nearly loaded

The consignment truck nearly loaded

The only pieces of furniture we decided to keep were two small end tables and the rocking chair Dave’s mother rocked him in as a child. But that still left fifteen boxes of books and all the assorted clothes and bedding and treasures we wanted to keep.  These kept us busy and exhausted for days and days packing all into boxes, and Dan the Van demonstrating his trucking capabilities with countless trips to the storage locker we had rented in town. In the end, all went into a twenty by ten foot space.

The storage space before Dan's entry

The storage space before Dan’s entry

The walls were lined with boxes almost to the ceiling and there, nestled in the midst of it all with two to three inches to spare on each side, squeezed Dan.

It was so tight that the only way out was to crawl out the back

It was so tight that the only way out was to crawl out the back

End of an era

End of an era

When the door came down and we wheeled our suitcases out to the street and friends who generously gave us a ride to Albuquerque for our flight to New York and beyond, it was certainly a major turning point in our lives. Hardest of all about leaving Santa Fe, of course, is not having the house as a refuge to come back to and to share times with the wonderful friends we have there.  They are what matters the most to us about Santa Fe.  They have so enriched our lives over the years we have spent there and they will certainly be missed every day.  We will be back, will share times with them again and again, but not as residents of that amazing city that glows with history, creativity, curiosity and diversity.