pagosa springs


Many of you have asked about our move to Pagosa Springs.   Here is the story.

We moved to Colorado when Steve accepted a management position at the Pueblo Chemical Depot.   We knew that this project would be the last, and we planned to retire in Colorado.   When we bought our home, it was with the intention that this would be our home into retirement.

We have loved this house.   I put my heart and soul into the renovations, and it has served as a place of conversations, parties, meals, sunset watching and joy.  It was our first home together, and it is where Keely has grown from a spindly seven year old to a teenager.   I have so many memories of sunsets and conversations with my mom here.  This will always be a special house to me.  But those memories are not in the house, they are in my soul.

Why move?

Because we can.   For the first time our life, we can live wherever we want.   Think about it.   At first we live with our parents, and then our residence is dictated by where we work or go to school.   For us, it was Steve’s work, and when he retired we stayed here because of Keely and their friends.   Well, Keely is living in Kentucky now.  Steve and I are both retired.

I will be 61 this month.   Steve will be 68 in November.   Any way you look at it, time is short to do what we want to do during this last chapter of life.   We are both very healthy and in great shape.  That will not always be the case.

There were a lot of new thoughts and emotions for me this year.   It’s hard to say you are middle aged when your age starts with a “6”.   I find myself wanting to do and experience, not sit and waste time.   I no longer have a child at home for the first time since I was 24.  My priorities have changed.

So Steve and I had some talks.   We talked about dreams and bucket lists.   About what is important to us, and what is not.    We both agreed we would be open to moving.   And then the search began…

Neither of us are interested in going back “home”.  Alabama for him, Arkansas for me.   While we have friends and family in those areas, we are not fans of the weather.  At all.  Of course there are other factors, but to be honest the south did not even make the top 20 of places we would consider moving to.

We met a couple last year playing pickleball in Canon City.  Tori and Bill were looking for a house in Westcliff and would come down into Canon a few times a week to play.  We hit it off, and were sad to see them leave for the winter to their house in AZ.   I was surprised to see this spring that they had bought a place in Pagosa Springs.

Where is Pagosa Springs?   Wow, its in the middle of nowhere surrounded by national forest.  Tori posted on FB pictures of hikes, mountains, music festivals.   It looked interesting.

So when we seriously started thinking about making a change, we looked at Pagosa Springs.  What we saw was intriguing.

Some things are meant to be.

We drove to Pagosa Springs on a Sunday.   We fell in love with the area.   I got on Zillow and checked out property where we could have horses, dogs, and of course our minipig Noodles.  The next Saturday we were in Pagosa looking at houses with our wonderful agent Martha (who is from Arkansas by the way)

We found the perfect house.   Made an offer on Monday, had a contract on Tuesday.  That Saturday we signed the paperwork to list our house.   Sunday it was shown two times.  Thursday I had lunch with my friend Sydney who told me her friends were really excited about our house and were going to see it the next week.   I invited them over that night, they loved the house, we loved them.   They made an offer on Friday, we accepted it on Saturday.

Start to finish buying a house and selling ours?   Two weeks.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Our new home is a cabin on the side of a mountain.   The Rio Blanco is a little over 400 feet from our door.  Steve can fish there.  We have room for horses, but have also found a wonderful winter pasture for them where they can run on 125 acres and eat grass for the winter.  Be horses.

We are 10 minutes from town and all that the area has to offer.   Ski at Wolf Creek.  Snowmobiles, cross country ski, snowshoes.  Stand up Paddleboards, Kayaks, off road 4 wheeling,  watersking, hiking, and thousands of acres to ride our horses.  We have a whole new area of the country to explore, as we are close to Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.   And of course the hot springs that Pagosa Springs is famous for.

It’s bittersweet.   I’ve been packing for weeks now, and we are downsizing.   That means letting go of attachments to material things.  Photos are being sent to my kids, I’m not moving them and storing them.   Furniture is going to Kat and Keely to be enjoyed and used.

I’m trying to be very zen about this.   There are some things I will need to buy (we do not own any dressers as I built our closets with drawers and shelves) so we will use mesh baskets for clothing storage until I find what I want.   Some of the furniture we have doesn’t work in the new space.  But I don’t have to fill space with just anything, I can take my time and purchase what I truly need and love.

There is very little wall space in the new house so no place to hang art.  However, there are a lot of windows and the view outside is better than any static piece of art.   The view is art.

I’m looking forward to four seasons, a real winter with snow.  Yes snow.   We are retired, we don’t have to get out in it if we don’t want to, and we have a wood burning fireplace.   And we can always drive a couple of hours and head south to Arizona and New Mexico.

We had our last dinner with guests in this house on Saturday.   JR and Raegan are buying the house, we felt it fitting that our last meal and their first meal in the house be with each other.   I cannot tell you how happy I am that they will be building their lives together in this house.  It lets me walk away without looking back.

No regrets.   No looking back.   I am excited about new friends and experiences in our new home.  I am excited about traveling and seeing more of the world.  I am excited about visitors coming to stay with us and being able to share this incredibly beautiful part of the world with them.

I’m also very thankful.   I know how lucky I am.

2 Comments on “WE ARE MOVING!

  1. Just discovered and read a few of your blogs. Michelle – you are a superb writer and convey yourself – your personality – with incredible eloquence. I love reading your thoughts, doubts, good and bad feelings, happiness, and about your dreams. I love your life philosophy. Thank you for sharing it with others – and me.


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