Happy Trails, Part 107: When to take a look back?

AMARILLO, Texas — It’s been three months since we signed the papers turning over possession of a house we called “home” for 21-plus years to someone else.

I haven’t yet cast eyes on the place. Neither has my wife.

Why am I bringing this up? Retirement has brought a lot of emotion bubbling up. Letting go of a structure we had built in the fall and early winter of 1996 has presented me with a bit of dilemma.

You see, I have had no trouble looking back at previous homesteads. My wife and I recently took a quick gander at our former residence in Beaumont. I was pleased to see it so well-maintained, given that I was afraid the old street had been inundated by Hurricane Harvey in the summer of 2017. It didn’t happen … thank goodness!

When we have returned to Oregon on occasion over the years, I have driven by our former houses. I have seen the house where I lived from 1962 until 1971, taking note of how the old neighborhood has, um, “matured” over the years. I even have looked at the little ol’ house where I lived from 1953 until we moved to the ‘burbs in ’62.

There’s more: We’ve even cast wistful gazes at the houses where our grandparents lived, and where my sisters and I spent lots of time as children.

I haven’t yet been able to look at the Amarillo house. Maybe one day. Perhaps that time will arrive when we have spent a bit more time in our new digs in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

We have been in and out of Amarillo for the past several weeks, taking care of personal matters, driving around town to run this and that errand. Only once have we driven anywhere close to the old house in the southwest quadrant of the city.

I don’t think my feelings are unique. When I get around to looking back at the old place, well, maybe that will be the next rite of passage toward full-fledged retirement.

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