About seven years ago, I decided to relocate. Retirement was right around the corner for me, and at the time, I was living in central Ohio, in a rental apartment.
If I'd wanted to, I probably could have spent the rest of my life in that apartment, in the small town of Washington Court House, Ohio. But I really wanted something of my own. I wanted freedom to do whatever I felt like doing, in my own house. I wanted to find something more affordable and I wanted to get away from the brutally freezing winters that exist in that part of the country.
It's easy to put off things when there's no immediate need. But for me, the need arose.
My daughter, son-in-law and grandson all decided to move back to Florida! We'd just moved from there to Ohio, but things weren't working out for my son-in-law. It was hard for him to find a job and the side of his family that lived there, weren't every hospitable. It seemed like no matter what he did, things just wouldn't work out. Even his car broke down and was too expensive to fix, and I had to drive him everywhere.
Finally, they decided to go back to Florida, but I didn't want to. I stayed behind in Ohio, not really knowing what I was going to do next. None of us ever really liked Florida. We hated the weather and the incredible amount of bugs and the low salaries that you had to accept, to work there.
But I didn't realize until after they left, how lonely it would be for me. They were all the family I had, and now, they were gone, too.
It took me three months to get out of the depression that situation caused. Then one day, I came home from work and just broke down into tears. I remember asking God to help me, somehow. I didn't know how I was going to be able to live through the pain. It just felt like too much.
Finally, I stopped crying and just decided to give up. Everything in the neighborhood that I looked at, reminded me of them. Before they left, they lived right across the street and I could see their house through my living room window. But that night, I drew the curtains so I couldn't see anything, and just tried to shut everything out.
I decided to go to the one thing that made me feel less alone - my computer. I turned it on and the very first thing I saw on my homepage was a beautiful picture of an apartment complex in Evansville, Indiana called The Timbers. All the buildings looked like little castles and the grounds were maintained so perfectly, that the neighborhood looked like a park.
The ad went on to say how pleasant and friendly the people were, and encouraged readers to call the complex for more information. Well, I called them, that very night and asked what the availability was. They said that they had an apartment coming open in about six weeks. It was in my price range -- in fact, less than I was paying currently, and they accepted small pets, so I had no worries about what to do with my dog.
I worked for a national retailer and I knew I'd have no trouble getting a transfer because one of their stores was in that town. I couldn't believe my luck!
Six weeks later, I was in Evansville, settling into my new apartment. I had no furniture of my own when I left Ohio. I only had "stuff" (which I'd jammed into my van) so the apartment was pretty bare for awhile. It took me a couple of years to fill up all the spaces. But that didn't really bother me.
At least I was free of stress and I didn't have to look at things that made me sad. It was beautiful there -- tree-lined streets, nice people, peace and quiet and close to shopping and work.
I spent four years in that apartment until I finally bought a house of my own, and I never regretted leaving Ohio. Not being in the same environment where the memories were too painful, really helped.
Everything was brand new and nothing I looked at, reminded me of anything. It was a fresh start and I thanked God for leading me to that place, before I'd gone crazy.
My luck stayed pretty positive after that. Two years later, my family moved to Evansville, too. And now, we all live in the same house together, in a little neighborhood on the east side of town.
I don't know what it is about this town, but there are places you can find, that look like picture postcards. The neighborhood I live in is one such place. Everything is neat and clean and the streets are all lined with trees and flowers.
The people here are kind of mixed in their attitudes. Just like in most mid-western states, there are pleasant people and grouchy people. But I make friends very easily, so that really wasn't a problem for me. I talk to people who are friendly, and just try to help the ones who have problems, if I can.
All in all, it's been pleasant and I've never regretted the move. Evansville really is a nice place to live, no matter how old you are. It's clean, it's peaceful and it's beautiful.
It's the kind of town I've always wanted to live in.
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