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Out With the New, In With the Old

Yes, you read that title correctly.   My time on Mount Desert Island, Maine and Tilghman Island, Maryland have come to an end.   The combination of my desire to be geographically closer to my elderly parents and the need to “shore up” the bank account with regular work resulted in a decision to return to my “home” state of Pennsylvania.   Specifically, Lancaster, which is located in the south central part of the state.


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ABOVE:  My new domicile


I am fortunate to be able to rent a home from some friends in a nice location on the outskirts of the city.   One of the best features is the home’s proximity to a large county park located directly across the street.    Miles of hiking trails are available, and while it is next to impossible to match the beauty of hiking in Acadia, I will at least have handy access to hikes through woods and along a small river just steps from  my door.

The move itself went very well with two round trips of a fully loaded car and a quick relocation of all my “old stuff” from the storage unit where it had been snoozing these last 18 months.


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ABOVE:   All this and more (not including the washer/dryer) went into a VW Passat for the first trip.


My two furry feline friends, Pebbles and Bam Bam, made the 3+ hour drive from Maryland to Pennsylvania like champs, napping away in their carriers until we arrived at our new destination.  Considering the last two trips for them ranged from 12 – 15 hours of travel time, this must have felt like a very short drive.


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ABOVE:   Enjoying the sunshine on the deck of our new home.   Clearly, they didn’t have trouble adapting!


One of the more interesting observations I’ve made regarding this move is my lack of interest in unpacking all of the “old stuff” I took out of storage.     Although I downsized considerably prior to my year in Maine, I look at all of these boxes and think about how I have lived without 75 – 80% of these “things” for the last 18 months, so why do I need them now?     In previous moves, you would have found me furiously unpacking nonstop until everything was organized and put away.  Now, it seems more important to explore the park, or read a book; and of course, look for a job.


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ABOVE:   A work in progress, stuff, stuff, and more stuff.   Ugh!


It is a shift in perspective that I welcome, and an indication that some of the changes in how I approach life have indeed taken root.





New Roads to Travel, New Bridges to Cross

Greetings from Tilghman, Maryland!     After two days of driving, (and surviving Hurricane Sandy) we are settling in to our new “home”.    Well, home for the next six months.    Pebbles and Bam Bam I think will enjoy it here – lots of windows and a big yard for viewing birds and other wildlife.

Finding this house was pure serendipity.    As I was contemplating the situation with my parents, and the desire to be geographically closer to them I took out a map and drew a 250 mile radius around the town where they live.    From there I looked at what locations were near large bodies of water.   The Chesapeake Bay area stood out.   So I jumped on Craig’s List and BOOM found this house.   Perhaps not the most scientific way to make a decision, but it accomplished the goal.

Below:    A reminder that life is in constant motion.


Moving to Maine last year was all about “reconnecting with life”.    This move is all about getting that experience (as well as what preceded it), down “on paper”.    I’ve made a contract with myself, and I have a few people lined up to help hold me accountable.   I’ll be writing, three hours a day, six days a week.  Yes, there will be time built-in for exploring, hiking, photography, and continued reflection, but this “new road” is all about capturing my own experience and insights.   Hopefully, it will help others going through similar experiences.   My philosophy is even if it helps only one other person, then it will have been time well spent.

I never would have imagined my life as it is now, nor would have I chosen to take this path.   But that’s the thing about life, just when you think you have your journey all mapped out – roads get closed, bridges collapse and burn, detours appear.    Then you have to take new roads and cross unfamiliar (and sometimes frightening) bridges.       But the key is to not look too far ahead, for when you do you start to anticipate, make assumptions, plan and imagine (both good and bad things).   And when you do that, you miss what is right in front of you.     I’ll never throw away my maps for they DO come in handy.   But I’m learning to cross one bridge at a time, and to not allow my mind to wander too far ahead down whatever road I’m on.

Below:  Knapps Narrows Bridge, from the mainland to Tilghman Island, my new base of operations.