Happy Trails, Part 50

BEND, Ore. — Our retirement journey has taken us to the place where our life together began slightly more than 46 years ago.

My wife and I got married at 2 p.m. on Sept. 4, 1971. Then we jumped into Dad’s car and drove to our honeymoon location in the middle of the Central Oregon Cascade Range.

But this post isn’t about that event. It’s about how I am discovering new things about our incredible journey so many years later.

We came here to visit with a couple members of our family who retired here five years ago. We have shared a lot of memories, some thoughts about current events and some views about what the future holds for all of us.

I mentioned to my cousin that he seems “well-grounded here.” I said he seems to “know the lay of the land.” He answered, “But you know the lay of the land in Amarillo, yes?” Absolutely, I answered, but “we’ve lived there for 22 years.”

We’re preparing the next phase of our life together. I told my cousin that we are preparing now to learn the “lay of the land” in a new community. We don’t yet know the precise location of where we’ll end up. We do know that we’re going to start over. We’re going to make new friends. We’re going to establish our identity among people who at this precise moment are complete strangers to my wife and me.

Does it frighten either of us? Certainly not my wife. She’s transitions well from place to place. Not me, either. I’ve learned already that I am far more adaptable than I ever gave myself credit for being. I discovered it when our young family moved from Oregon to the Texas Gulf Coast in 1984. We had a great run there. Then my wife and I moved up yonder to the Texas Panhandle.

We’re getting ready for yet another big change.

Thus, the challenge awaits.

I’ve long thought that we all need one final major challenge in our life. For me, at least, this one is it.

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