You may read the title of this post and think “It isn’t the end of the year. It’s the middle of June!” You would be right to think this and yet it is the end of our year in Ohio. When we leave for North Dakota this week, we will be lacking two weeks to the end of a continuous year in Ohio. This is significant for us because it is the longest time we have stayed in Ohio since we retired in 2014. So it seems appropriate for me to summarize how we have spent this year in Ohio.
When we drove into Ohio on July 1 last year, we had no idea we would be selling the RV and buying a house. John and Jackie started the ball rolling when they announced they had bought a new house and would be moving. Tom and I had our summer job canceled by the pandemic and we felt stuck at Cross Creek Camping Resort where we were paying $1400 for our RV spot for the month of July alone. We didn’t know how long the pandemic would last or when we would feel safe traveling again. For what we were paying per month at Cross Creek, we could be paying a mortgage on a house.
After talking about what we wanted (and didn’t want) in a house, we called John and Jackie’s real estate agent. With our priorities in mind, we found and quickly closed on a small one-story house outside Westerville. We love our house and have enjoyed living in it even more as the year has gone on. After 10 months, we feel like we are just getting it the way we want it.
One of the benefits to our house is its convenient location less than 30 minutes from John and Jackie and less than an hour from my parents. We have taken full advantage of their proximity during the last year. They were our corona-bubble. We spent at least one day a week with John and Jackie and at least two days a week with Mom and Dad. It would have been a very long winter without them close by. Tom and I are used to keeping busy and their “to-do” lists helped keep us moving. We did lots of outside projects as long as we could and then played games and enjoyed take-out meals together when the weather got bad.
On days we were at home, Tom and I developed a routine. I spend a couple of hours writing every morning and then we worked on the house or other projects in the afternoon. In the evenings we watched football or streamed a movie. I am going to miss that routine as we resume working in the national parks.
We completed some big projects such as furnishing the house and landscaping at John and Jackie’s. We spent time exploring Delaware County and having adventures with Mom and Dad. Most of all, we found blessings in big and small things and appreciated our time with the people we love most.
The last year was challenging and difficult at times. But it also had so many rewards. I haven’t spent this much time with my parents since I got married and stopped living in their house. What a joy it is to discover that they are just really fun to be around! The same goes for John and Jackie. It has been a great joy to spend this concentrated time with them.
Now it is the end of our year in Ohio. We are packed and ready to head to North Dakota. A new adventure awaits! But we are looking forward to coming back to Ohio in the fall and enjoying all that the area has to offer post-pandemic.