I made my first Santa Fe transition almost ten years ago when I moved here from Oakland, California. I had made several trips and was leaning toward moving here when I met my sweetie at Harry's Roadhouse. He was shy and cute and had a southern accent. We made plans to go dancing two nights later. I was cat sitting at the time and planning to leave a few days later. Before that happened, I was offered a temp job for which I had previously applied and a casita for short term rental. I appreciated driving to work in light traffic after so many years of hard commuting. Steve and I saw each other often and I was happy to live in a town where I didn't hear gunfire at night. I had been looking for a man with a job and a house and a full head of hair for many years.
I went back to California to rent out my house and over the Thanksgiving holiday, I got a job selling art at Shidoni. Steve helped me moved into my apartment near the Plaza on January 1, 2008 and I started work the next day. I loved selling crafts and sculpture, but it didn't pay well, so I got a job with the the State. Six years later, I was laid off when the grant I was managing was not renewed. By this time, housing prices in the Bay area had gone back up so I decided to sell my Oakland house in the summer of 2015. I had it staged and it sold quickly. I had just given notice on my apartment with plans to move in with Steve when my elderly father started needing more care and I made multiple trips to the Phoenix area. I was busy and retirement seemed to just happen.
I didn't feel the full impact of living with Steve until my father died at 98 in the summer of 2016. Living with someone again after so many years alone is quite a challenge and the environment is completely different, beautiful and very quiet. In contrast to my downtown apartment where I would see neighbors daily, it's possible to go days without seeing a neighbor.
Meanwhile, it took a while for me to figure out how I wanted to spend my retirement. During my working year, I had written many poems, essays, stories and the first draft of a novel and it took months to organize it all. I'm working on editing the stories and submitting them for publication.
It has been so satisfying to enjoy Santa Fe's cool summer mornings and not have to race off to Oakland or Phoenix.
If you'd like to share your transition experience(s), please email a draft of your transition narrative - limited to 300 words if possible - to Membership Co-Chair Lynne Frimond