Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Long Goodbye

It’s time to begin packing up our Chicago home in preparation for our permanent move to Prescott, Arizona. Our little urban oasis has been a fantastic first stop in our retirement; allowing us to enjoy all that this great city has to offer for almost four years. We’ve explored restaurants, shopped local, frequented theaters, established favorites among our neighborhood haunts, and navigated public transportation to get where we want to go. We became accustomed to walking a lot - for fun along the shore of Lake Michigan, with backpacks to pick up groceries, with tickets in hand to Wrigley Field, to the golf course with our clubs, or a few blocks to the neighborhood coffee house or tavern.
Our neighborhood coffee house.

This is where we discovered the joys of post-working life. Lazy mornings in our pajamas could lead to a long, leisurely lunch out, followed by an afternoon nap. It took a while to recover from the years of two demanding careers, but before long we adjusted just fine to being masters of our own lives. Decades of stress finally melted away. We starting sleeping better, eating better, and making time to work out. We not only lost weight, but I swear that we shed a few years.

Our retirement plan always featured Chicago as a temporary home. It’s expensive to live here, and the winters are too harsh. It’s now the beginning of the end of this lovely chapter. (Where did four years go?) By mid-April a moving van will haul our things away, and we will drive to Arizona. Hopefully we will find renters for the condo, beginning May 1st.

It’s difficult to describe the sense of loss this move will cause. We love this city, and the home we created here. Of course we can visit, but it won’t be the same. We’ll miss our friends, our favorite restaurants, summer evenings on the back porch, the cool breezes off the Lake, the excitement of an evening downtown… and so many other things.

As we get the bubble wrap and packing tape out, I’m starting the long goodbye.


  1. Interestingly, Mike and I are beginning the process of getting our Germantown house ready to sell with the plan to move full time to our mountain home. Emotional times. Constant questioning whether we will regret leaving so many friends and our home for 35 years. Still we think it is time for a new chapter.

  2. JE, what turned the tide for us was all the wonderful friends we made in AZ. Hopefully you have made some new friends near your mountain home. Nothing better than sharing opening a fresh chapter with a circle of friends. Keep us posted.