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My Parkinson's Journey

In which Terri shares a humorous look at her journey with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia:

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

Time to Uproot

Terri Reinhart

Who leaves Colorado to retire in New England?

Normal people retire to someplace like New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, or even Mexico. Normal people go someplace warm.

We obviously have a warped idea of what is normal.

Our kids responded calmly.

John and Coco: How about moving to Maine?

Patrick and Tamara: We’re in! We’re coming with you!

Emma: Uh, what? I thought we were just TALKING about moving.

It’s sort of a now or never adventure. After discovering the consequences of having property values skyrocket, including increased property taxes and insurance, we realized we needed to make some long term plans. We needed to find a way to cut down on expenses, earn more money each month, or take advantage of the market and sell our house. The last option would leave us with enough profit to buy a house outright someplace where houses are not quite so expensive.

After talking with Paddy, our Realtor, it all started to feel a little bit too real. Yes, she feels it is doable. Yes, it’s good timing. Now, pack up, clear out things we need to get rid of, make the house look as though no one lives there, but anyone could.

I had to slow down, just a little. I wanted something to feel normal amidst all this transition. I said yes to fostering a newborn orphan kitten. Obviously, I have a warped idea of what is normal.

It’s taking some time, but I’m warming to the reality of this move. The IDEA is loads of fun, but turning it into reality is daunting. Chris, meanwhile, is packing. All three of us have become addicted to realtor.com, looking at houses for sale in such faraway places as Northampton, Massachusetts. When I get panicky, I do crazy things like find out how far our favorite ‘houses for sale’ are from Costco. When I learned that Elizabeth Warren has an office in Springfield, MA, her office became another security point as in… Look at this house, it’s only 8 minutes from Elizabeth Warren’s office!

We’re not putting the house on the market until after the holidays. Until then, we look through the houses for sale, towns we might want to live in, and we learn.

I’ve learned that a coffee shop marked on the map in Massachusetts is usually Dunkin’ Donuts.

I’ve also learned that baby kittens are not the same as baby puppies. Though she is 5 weeks old now, I’m still cheering on any and all pooping. That will change eventually, I know. Most people don’t realize puppies and kittens cannot go on their own in the first weeks. Curly the kitty climbs up the mesh sides of the port-a-crib and mews when she gets stuck at the top. I am guessing we have maybe another few days or a week before she can escape and we have to abandon the crib. At least she’s figured out how to use the litter box.

We’re lucky. Maybe we’re getting priced out of Denver, but we still have choices. We have equity in our house. We can move and have more financial freedom. We should be able to travel more. We’ll certainly come back to Denver often. What it boiled down to is this choice: we can either plug away and figure out how to stretch and barely make it here or we can have a grand adventure.

We’re in our 60’s. If we’re going to have a grand adventure, better do it now!