The question had been asked before “why don’t you move here?” Here, being New York City. It was on December 26, 2017 that I decided to answer that question for myself instead of laughing it off. Why don’t I move here? Why don’t I move here? Why don’t I move here? The question morphed into what was keeping me in Greenwood Lake? I mean I had responsibilities at church and taught one ballet class but that commitment was up in June 2017. I had amazing neighbors and great friends but was all that enough to stay. A friend commented “you don’t really live in Greenwood Lake, you sleep there.” True statement. After thought and prayer, the answer I got was nothing. Not really nothing but nothing that couldn’t be changed or wouldn’t last if I moved. But first I needed to know my daughters’ thoughts on selling their childhood home. They were okay with it. It turns out one of my son-in-law’s had been wondering for years – why does your mom still live in Greenwood Lake?”

Selling a house I had lived in for thirty-five years was a taunting task. Remembering the saying how do you eat an elephant – one bite at a time, I started cleaning out. That monthly card or email from Big Brother/Big Sister or the Vietnam Veterans kept me on track. Do I have time to get together one bag or maybe four boxes by the time they would be “in my neighborhood?” Scheduling that first pick up was a small step but it got the ball rolling. By June 2018, I put the house on the market. A post it note on my computer screen stating PACK SOMETHING kept me filling boxes and sorting items. Trips to local thrift stores, giving unneeded furniture to friends, placing random items at the curb, posts on FB marketplace, etc allowed me to donate or sell items. The biggest obstacles were the attic which was full of Berenstain Bear books, American Girl dolls, Beanie Babies, Hess trucks, and September 11 items from all over the world and the basement/garage that housed tools from Bruce. My daughters sorted through their treasures and also decided which of Bruce’s things would be treasures. Shelving added to the basement at the Cabin allowed for storage of said treasures. The junkman took care of the rest.

I started looking online for apartments. Oh, my! What neighborhood? Studio or one bedroom? Doorman? Price? More prayer and pondering and then an aha moment. In April 2018, I asked my daughter and son-in-law, who lived in Brooklyn, if they wanted to pool resources for a better neighborhood and larger space with the understanding I won’t be there full time. Yes, was their answer. After a few more conversations, my daughter set out to find us an apartment in Brooklyn. My requests for the apartment were I would have my own room, could get into Manhattan easily, and it was a safe neighborhood to walk alone on the street at a responsible hour. I am grateful that my daughter did all the legwork and found us a good space in a beautiful area.

I moved out of my house in October. Grateful to have a weekend house aka the Cabin to move stuff to. The sale of my house fell through at the last moment but that is a story for another day. The apartment in Brooklyn was available November 1. Well it was sort of available, the kitchen wasn’t done (or even started). Again thankfully I had my cabin in PA. My daughter and son-in-law were basically camping in the apartment as they had to be out of their other apartment. All of that is also a story for another day.

But for now, I wonder what is the question you laugh off? Maybe it is time to ask yourself that question? I’m glad I did. Stories of my NYC adventures to follow. Definitely a learning curve when it comes to planes, trains and automobiles in NYC.

Take care. Be well. Serve Others.

Hugs, Ann