When we left Boise almost five years ago we assumed we would eventually return. After thirty-three years our lives were there along with family and friends. Over time (and winters in Arizona) we gradually thought of landing in Arizona but it wasn’t to be soon. We loved full timing and had no plans to stop.
Health issues are frequently the cause for full-timers to hang up the keys. As you know, we’ve had to deal with a fair amount of those in the past six months. Even though Randy’s surgeon, the ultimate cheerleader, thought we could keep traveling, we just didn’t feel it was prudent, given the complications we continue to work through. We didn’t feel good about getting in the truck June 1st and heading out on a seven month road trip, as had been the plan. Nor did we think living in the trailer through the summer heat could be pleasant – we learned about that last September.
We still plan to wander in our trailer but decided to accelerate the plan for finding a home base in Arizona. That is our grand new plan.
Over the last months we have been looking and praying about where we should locate. Randy and I have looked at a variety of 55+ communities over the years and knew we were headed to one of those. Our rental properties in Meridian were prepped and listed for sale.
Our friends Warren and Connie showed us around their Sun City community north of Tucson along with several others. We considered their community seriously.
Our friend Beth went with us to explore another community north of Tucson. We had a fun afternoon and joked that this kitchen island was really a kitchen continent – especially to three people used to living in an RV.
Randy grew up in Tucson and had always wanted to return there. The desert is beautiful around Tucson, even having Saguaro National Park nearby. Tucson was the leader in the heart-strings, clean air and beauty categories.
Yet, we had enjoyed our times in Mesa so knew we should also consider the Phoenix area. For two people who used to drive through Phoenix during our college commute from Flagstaff to Tucson, to be considering it as a landing spot was a major mind shift!
Phoenix is the choice we eventually made – for a variety of reasons. We want to live by a major airport. Mayo is in Phoenix and will be part of our lives going forward. Randy’s brother and our sister-in-law are here. Spring Training is here.
In the northwest Phoenix area, we liked Surprise and the community of Sun City Grand. The amenities in Sun City Grand are beautiful and widely varied (like the 55+ RV Resorts we’ve grown to love).
Lake Pleasant is nearby for paddling and White-Tank Regional Park has great hiking (and campsites). The Seattle Mariner’s Spring Training facility and the very economical Sun City RV storage lot are nearby. We identified our preferred community. We just needed to find a house.
While waiting for the sales on our rental properties to finalize, we defined our basic requirements for an eventual home – two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a den, a three car extended garage and a big bathtub (one of the few things I missed from our house).
Because we want to continue to RV, we needed an extended three car garage for the big truck. It takes up most of a two car garage on its own and we intend to replace my Audi convertible.
Given our list, we saw exactly ONE house that met the criteria and we really liked it. Randy measured the garage to see if the truck would fit. We made an offer the next day and it was accepted.
Our realtor called a few days later to ask if we wanted to see the house again and Randy asked if the sellers would let him actually drive the truck in to make sure it fit. They laughed and agreed.
When we met our friends Kent and Pam in Las Vegas a few weeks ago they brought us a painting and two suitcases they have stored for us.
Darrell and Cindy brought our possessions that had been stored at our daughter’s house when they came down last week. We hadn’t kept much when we left the big house.
We have owned our new house for three days now. It has been a whirlwind, partially because we have NO furniture! We bought a few things from the former owners but are really starting over with most of it. We’re going back and forth from the house to the trailer and will be for a couple months.
Are we sad that we had to give up full time RVing and have a new plan? A little, of course. Given an option, we would never have gone through the last six months and the life changes it necessitated. But we did and we move forward.
We are EXCITED about our new home. We think we will enjoy living at Sun City Grand. Having a home base will make other kinds of travel easier. We will continue to travel in the trailer – hopefully later this summer to escape the summer heat – the same way northerners escape the winter cold.