Friday, October 19, 2018

The new chapter begins: Life at the Lake

“Life is not just the passing of time. Life is the collection of experiences and their intensity.”
                                                    -- Jim Rohn

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River walk downtown Chelan, Washington
It isn't so much about the travel as it is about the time spent in a place. And it isn’t as much about the place as the people who make up your world. Travel, time spent, people and place all contribute to our collection of experiences.

These aren’t new insights for us, but they’ve come to mind often during the month that we’ve spent in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

In the last couple posts about the purpose of this trip – to replant our roots in the U.S. -- I’ve been focused on the 'facts and figures' of ex pat life - making a case for having a foothold 'back home'. Truth be told, though, there's an emotional side to the story as well:

P1090306 This October has been an almost mirrored reversal of our activities last  October when we boxed up our U.S. life and moved to Greece for a full-time ex pat adventure.

Back then we put our U.S. life, in a manner of speaking, into a storage unit; a place we quickly came to call ‘the morgue’. (You can probably see why from the photo). Coupled with our downsizing efforts, it became a  climate-controlled somewhat morbid reminder that we are boomers who have a much shorter road ahead of us to travel than we once did.

While we were eager to pursue our daydreams – a pursuit we heartily recommend – leaving one life for another does pack a wallop of emotions. Closing one door to open another can be tough.

Opening Another New Door

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Wapato Point Lake Chelan, Washington State
But in our case, by closing a door we've opened two new ones! We are now at home in Greece most of the year and at home – for a bit of time each year  -- in Manson, Washington. The door has closed permanently on the ‘morgue’ and we’ve got a whole new lifestyle to live.

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Lake Chelan from The Butte, Washington State
The weeks we spent moving into this new lifestyle had been a good reminder of how blessed we are to have special people at both ends of our horizons.  Long-time friends, those we refer to as our 'friend family' back in the U.S. welcomed us with get-togethers, offers of accommodations and help with moving chores. We had others make the trek to Manson to welcome us to our new life there.

Meanwhile back in Greece we had a cadre of relatively new friends who've become equally special to us, who stepped in to keep an eye on our life there. We were extremely grateful to them and their efforts when the ‘Medicane’ (Mediterranean hurricane) hit our area of the Peloponnese only days after we arrived in the U.S.

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"Life is the collection of experiences" and friendships

”Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels and what one achieves.”
                                     -- Jawaharlal Nehru

Life at the Lake

There is no doubt about it, we will again be 'living differently' as we plant our roots in both a Greek hillside and a small village in Washington State. While we are eager to return to our Stone House on the Hill, it is good knowing we also have a Life at the Lake.

I promised you a home tour last week so come, take a look at what we've been doing the last few weeks to create that new life:

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The Scout on the front deck - sunset over the Cascade Mountains
We are as settled as one can be after three weeks. Thirteen days after the moving van had pulled away, we emptied our last box. (Our downsizing had worked – we were surprised to have a number of empty cupboards and shelves.) The walls seem rather bare.

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Shelves and not boxes are much better displays of memories
This home – in keeping with our downsizing emphasis – is smaller than our Kirkland home yet it is larger than our Greek home.  It is also a 'boomer home' a rambler built one level. As a result, it feels very spacious. In fact, it feels downright enormous!

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The amazing change - old things do fit in new places
The Manson house is furnished with many inherited items belonging to parents, aunts, uncles and friends who are no longer with us. Others, like the items on the built in shelves, were collected on our travels. All of these were considered ‘life treasures’ and spared the discard or give-away down-sizing efforts last year. Now they’ve come together in new spaces so we have a wonderful hodge-podge of  mis-matched furniture and memories of  people and places; our collection of life experiences.

“Learn to appreciate what you have, before time makes you appreciate what you had.'”
                                                          -- Unknown

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Guest bedroom is ready to welcome friends
We’ve got a guest room and the welcome mat is out.  There are more than 30 wineries and vineyards now in the Lake Chelan AVA so we hope our wine-loving, lake-loving friends will make the journey to see us while we are in residence.

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Using those Greek 'do-it-yourself-' talents we've developed to make our bed
We used some of those skills we’ve developed in Greece to set up the master bedroom. We'd discarded our bedroom furnishings last fall. Using those 'do-it-yourself-skills' we've developed in Greece we met the challenge of assembling an iron bed frame. By downsizing, old pieces got new homes. The rattan furniture in the photo had been in our family room and with no family room now, it went to the bedroom. It was souvenir we bought ourselves and had shipped to the U.S. from Bangkok, Thailand some 30 years ago. We are glad we didn't part with it.

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The Chelan Room - the den
A third bedroom has become a den known as the 'Chelan Room' as we’ve filled it with furniture and photos collected by The Scout’s family who came to this area a century ago.  His grandmother (who may have provided his travel genes) traveled by ferry boat up the Columbia River to arrive in Chelan. For those familiar with the area, they homesteaded an area now home to Bear Mountain Golf Course.

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Washington State's Columbia River
“. . .your soul knows when it is time to close a chapter. . .’
                              -- Unknown

While the quote is apropos, we think the soul also knows when it is time to start a new one. Thanks for being with us as this chapter begins.

As always we appreciate the time you spend with us and we’ve also appreciated all your comments cheering us along in this new twist to the journey.

Safe travels to you and yours and next week - if our travels go according to plan - we’ll be writing from The Stone House on the Hill!

Linking with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Best of Weekend

30 comments:

  1. How lovely to be mostly settled in your new lake home. How nice to have two places in the world to call home.

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    1. It seems odd, but Greece really does feel a bit more like 'home' than does the Manson house even when there we are surrounded by our eclectic collection of things acquired over the decades. Maybe if we were to spend a year there, as we have here, it too would feel more 'home-like' but it sure looks like home when you walk through the front door! Thanks for stopping by Jan!

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  2. I thought about moving to Sorrento because I love it there so very much. My husband was Ok with getting a small place, even went with me to look at some places. Then he said, "You know we'll have to come home for football season, don't you?" We laughed and laughed. I know exactly what you're saying. But I know I could never give up Texas full time. I think you guys rock big time. Life is an adventure and you've certainly lived an adventure. I love the Pacific NW almost as much as the Italian coast, and I've threatened to move there, as well. Happy travels, you two.

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    1. Oh Marsha, then you can appreciate that I signed us up for cable television - including the extra football package -- and it was hooked up while the moving van boys were still unloading us. . .and then for the three weeks we were there: It. Was. Football. One Saturday we had the tv on from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. never leaving a football game behind. Now that we are back in Greece we feel we at least got 'our fix' while in the States! Hope to get you to Greece or the Northwest sometime when we are there so we could finally meet face-to-face! Take care. Happy autumn!!

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  3. After living in Europe for a bit now, I agree with you, the space looks enormous but you have managed to make it look very cozy. I love the porch outside and nice to have memories displayed in the house rather than the morgue.. Haha! Our temperature controlled storage unit did notning to stop the moths from eating my beautiful rugs! So glad you have a foot in both camps!

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    1. Well we are back in Greece in our teeny-tiny house with teeny-tiny cupboards and closets and it feels just right. It does feel like home. . .the Manson house looks like home as it is filled with our belongings but with only three weeks in it, it still felt somewhat like a new timeshare experience! ha-ha, the life of a bag-lady!!

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  4. A mew collection of people and experiences. /we begin ours in January! I love following your different way of living.

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    1. It really is a whole new world of people just waiting to be met and experiences waiting to be had. It keeps life exciting, doesn't it?!

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  5. New beginnings and with some stunning scenery to enjoy. I hope you are happy in your new home.

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    1. It is nice knowing it is there when and if we need it. Thanks for the visit!

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  6. I have never been there! Would love to go someday! Have a great week!

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    1. Hopefully you'll make it to this part of the Pacific Northwest one day!

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  7. There is never a dull moment with you, Jackie! I hope you enjoy this new chapter of your life on Lake Chelan.

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    1. No it could slow down just a bit and I'd be quite happy - or get back into a pattern of routine travel outings and not downsizing or moving projects!

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  8. It's nice that you have held onto your life in the States. Now you have a real home to come to instead of that morgue. Beautifully done decorating it.

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    1. I am surprised at how comforting it is knowing that I have a 'there' as well as a 'here'! Thanks much Mary!

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  9. It sounds like you've settled into a wonderful life, a foot in two different worlds.

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    1. Well it is a stretch, but I think it is the right one. Time will tell. Thanks much for stopping by Martha!

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  10. Living with one foot in each land does sound wonderful... as I count my years living in Eastern France, part of me would love to be back in Canada. I wouldn't want to live there all year, but the warm half would be wonderful. However familiar France is to me (I'm part French) my many years in Canada also make me feel homesick and in retirement, without a job to pin me down here, I begin to wonder... and you've done it so clearly it can be done!

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    1. Yes, Leyla, it can be done. And once it is done, I can honestly say, it feels good to have two worlds in which to live, have friends in both and enjoy the cultures of both.

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  11. I often think it would be fantastic to have two homes. For the time being we are still pondering whether a little condo 'landing pad' can even be considered one! Time will tell.

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    1. As my neighbor in Greece, who keeps a foot in Great Britain says, it makes for an 'active retirement'. There is always something to be done somewhere!

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  12. You have the best of two worlds -- literally!! Your new home is lovely!

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    1. Thanks Marilyn. I agree with your observation. We have two great worlds to call ours!

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  13. There is something comforting about stamping your personality on a house. We moved house almost a year ago. We are putting the finishing touches to a few renovations and each time we change something the house becomes more 'our home' and less just somewhere we live.

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    1. It is funny how two differently furnished homes and two decidedly different places can feel like home when you've put your personal touch on them. I understand exactly what you are saying, Lyn!

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  14. Your "home" on the lake looks lovely in every way. It must have been nice to unpack your boxes and find the treasures you had packed away last week. Do you find it a wrench to be skipping over the Atlantic to and fro? Which place do you prefer? I can understand though it is still good to have a place to call home stateside. I haven't visited in a while, so it was good to catch up today. Happy travels! And thanks for visiting me last week!

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    1. At this point we prefer or have chosen to spend most of our time in Greece. I did enjoy the 'creature comforts' of a dishwasher and clothes dryer in the new place and we like the space to spread out as well there. It is one level and this one built on a hillside so I suspect it won't be too many years before the tables turn and we 'old folks' will be wanting to spend more time in Manson than the Mani for conveniences alone.

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