変化: In July we accepted a contingent offer on our house with buyers from the Sacramento area.  Suddenly our months of ‘down-sizing’ shifted in high gear and frantic packing as we anticipated a closing date in early September.  But the road to actually closing the sale ended up being a much protracted and anxiety filled ordeal...

変化: By September, Danielle’s atrial fibrillation was not responding to the first-line treatments and was actually getting significantly worse.  On September 13 she had a heart ablation procedure (a two hour operation under anesthesia) at Sequoia Hospital in Palo Alto.  After an overnight stay she was released.  Now, months later, after self-monitoring and several follow-up visits, the doctor has declared the condition cured 😊

🌲🌲🌲 One week after Danielle’s surgery in September we left for our longest trip yet aboard “Stella”.  Our first stop was the Ancient Redwoods RV Park in the magnificent Avenue of the Giants.  We hiked several of the forest trails and were awed by the silence, beauty, and majesty of these forests.  Next we drove up to Burnt Ranch where we stayed several days at the home of our Aikibojitsu teacher (and founder of the art), Tom Read Sensei and his wife Marilyn.  Two of Michael's students, and friends of ours, Nancy and Alex Adams, also met us at Burnt Ranch.  We then drove to Graeagle, in the high Sierras, and stayed four days at Movin’ West RV Park.  While there we had our first opportunity to pull out our folding bicycles for some leisurely riding in the surrounding area.  On the morning of the 3rd day, an area on Danielle’s back that had been giving her some discomfort suddenly broke out in a rash, with dozens of small blisters.  A trip to the nearby emergency room confirmed an outbreak of Shingles. ☹️ After picking up some medication, we decided to stay an extra day to relax, although we did spend a few hours hiking the trail to Long Lake.  On the return home we stopped for two nights to visit the grandkids in North Highlands, parking Stella on the street in front of their house.
変化: By mid-October we were in full-swing packing up the house.  We still didn’t have a reliable closing date, but needed to move ahead without pause - only knowing that we had vastly underestimated the effort required.  The sale finally closed on November 15th:  we got the last of our belongings out of the house with just 90 minutes to spare!  

🏠🌄 For the past several years we have been researching various regions around the U.S., and even overseas, as possible retirement locations.  For various reasons, we kept coming back to the Carson Valley area of Nevada.  On December 13th we entered an agreement to purchase a new home being built in the Gardnerville Ranchos area.  It has a beautiful, unobstructed view of the Eastern Sierras and Jobs Peak, and is only 30 minutes from South Lake Tahoe.  Michael’s sister lives only 15 minutes away, and the kids and grandkids are about 2 hours away (weather depending!).  The hoped-for completion date is April 30, 2019.  As long-time residents of the Monterey Peninsula (Danielle since 1973 and Michael since 1977) we will need to return often to visit family, friends, and sunset walks on the beach.

 🚙🚌: Home Sweet Stella:  We had taken our Airstream out of storage before going to Nevada for Thanksgiving, so when we returned to Monterey she essentially became our rolling residence for the foreseeable future.  We stayed for a week at an RV park in Carmel Valley, but have since ‘settled’ in at the Chaparral Campground at Laguna Seca.  Perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley that connects Monterey and Salinas, we enjoy beautiful sunrises over Mount Toro from our front door – and sunsets over Monterey from our back windows.  Our logbook shows 3800 miles accumulated (2500 in 2018), 79 nights (62 in 2018), and 20 trips (11 in 2018).