Throw your heart over the fence,
and the rest will follow.
~Norman V. Peale
Summer flew by this year, like every other season before. Fall is here now, the leaves are changing and so is my life. Again. But, let me back up to springtime. The flowers were in full bloom in Connecticut. I was deep into researching and working on the first draft of my third novel. Mr. Lane and I were enjoying our life in the charming village of New Canaan, a few blocks from the train station to New York City. Our children were grown, and we had a beautiful grandchild, we traveled to see as often as we could, and quite the tranquil existence in our storybook town whenever we were home. But life for us is always changing, always has been, ever since we met. In fact, we'd both just moved to Atlanta from other states before our first dance together at a bar called Timothy John's in Buckhead. Neither of us were the least bit interested in a relationship at the time, both on the rebound, hearts mending after foolish choices. But, we danced the night away, anyway. We were married two years later and had a new baby by the end of our first year. Then we transferred to Stratford, then Seattle...and Saratoga Springs, Lacrosse, San Ramon, Irvine, Ridgefield, Antwerp, Chagrin Falls, and finally New Canaan. So, 32 years into our life together, when the company reorganized, we embraced the change once again, and found for the first time, after all those relocations, we could choose whatever we wanted to do, go wherever we wanted to go. Maybe even retire early. So we decided we would go somewhere where we could think about our future. But where? After some thought, the answer came easy. We chose a town near our kids on the west coast. Somewhere with trees. And seasons. Flagstaff. An untamed western town full of backpackers and eccentric hippies in an area we hardly knew, but thousands of miles closer to all three of our children and their families. We made an offer on a place we'd only seen once while visiting our sons and a few weeks later we sold all our furniture to the man who rented our townhouse in Connecticut. We packed our clothes, books and files and hit the road to Arizona. It was a quiet drive. Both of us lost in our own thoughts. Were we doing the right thing? Were we too young to retire? Could I really give up writing? When we arrived in Flagstaff, we swapped out some of the furniture included in the sale to make the home our own. The kids came for visits and we spent plenty of time with our grandchild. We golfed. We read thick books. I set up my writing space (even though I still wasn't sure if I wanted to write anymore). We took road trips, charged up our cameras, snapped plenty of photos on nature hikes. We spent lazy afternoons in nearby Sedona, lunched at the beach in Southern California, and enjoyed quality time with friends and family. A few months later, we were still having fun, living the dream, but secretly, we were both feeling under-challenged. After working so hard for so long, we both felt, well...restless. And honestly, by then, I had started to wonder if Flagstaff might be too remote and maybe just a place to get away to and spend time with family. Meanwhile, it was out now that Mr. Lane might be available. One day while golfing, he asked me if I liked Pennsylvania. Of course, whenever Mr. Lane asks me if I like a particular place, it usually means he's been offered a job. I finished putting, and then told Mr. Lane, of course I liked Pennsylvania. Who wouldn't? After all, they have Philly cheesesteaks and Hershey chocolate. So, by summer's end, we were happily un-retired. When we told the kids, they were not surprised, and in fact, had all been wondering how long our 'retirement' would last. By the first day of fall, we'd moved cross-country again. And guess what? I'm not going to quit writing. In fact, I have plenty of stories in mind after taking the summer off. Mr. Lane started his new job and I found a home for us, a townhouse north of Baltimore just over the state line from Pennsylvania. And of course, now we have a vacation home in Flagstaff. Life is indeed, a series of changes not unlike the seasons. My Life on the Lane is full of new ideas, winding roads, falling leaves, mountain homes, harbor cities, fresh crabcakes, small towns where the air is scented in sugar and spice, and the people are so nice, farms with fresh apples and sweet corn, horses and cows, tidy brick row houses with train lines to cities steeped in history and stories, plenty of new stories to be written and yes, more life experiences and happily-ever-afters to experience...change is indeed good, after all.