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Ten Things of Thankful: We Made It!


An orange sunrise in California marks the beginning of a new adventure

Thanksgiving was last week, and I missed the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop! I was certainly thankful, but we picked last weekend to move from Utah to California, and even though we didn't actually move that many possessions, a move is still a move and so the blogging got delayed. But now we're mostly unpacked and settled in and it's time to return to blogging!

We spent Thanksgiving day with John's family. The "kids table" was filled with adults, and for the first time, my sister-in-law didn't lead children in making apple and candy turkeys. With age comes perspective, though, and it was nice to gather together and reminisce. 

I'm thankful for family.

Friday morning, I woke up to a winter wonderland.  Even though I doubt we'll have a white Christmas in California, it was nice to see snow before leaving Utah.

Snow blankets rooftops, trees, yards, and the street in my neighborhood

I'm thankful for the beauty of snow. 

Though I love the sight of the snow, I was a little concerned that it might prevent my sister and me from getting together last Friday, as my street is steep and her car isn't equipped for snow. Fortunately, the snowplow came by and cleared the street and my sister came and we had a great visit.

Me and my sister, coincidentally dressed alike in black tops. 

I'm thankful for my sister. And snowplows.

After my sister left, John and I, together with our son and his girlfriend, loaded up our cars with boxes and suitcases and the odd items we thought we would need during this next year. I had measured the inside dimensions of the SUV and marked off a spot on our carpet with blue painter's tape. I figured if I could keep everything within those lines (with a few exceptions to pack in the trunk of the sedan), we wouldn't have any last-minute panicking. That was a good plan, because it helped minimize what we took, and everything we packed fit into the vehicles. 

I'm thankful for a furnished rental house, which minimized the hassle of moving.
I'm thankful for the help of our son and his girlfriend, both in loading and also in taking care of our house while we're gone.

Saturday morning we were off! The forecast had led us to believe that the storm would be done by Saturday. That was only partially true. Our neighborhood roads were clear, but as we drove south on I-15, the roads got slicker. We saw the occasional car which had slid off the road. Needless to say, we drove under the speed limit. I wasn't sad when the snow gave way to clear roads as we approached St. George. 

Anyone who has had the pleasure (?) of driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, knows that timing is everything. Sunday afternoons are to be avoided, as traffic can really back up. Apparently the Saturday afternoon after Thanksgiving is also a time to avoid. We hit Las Vegas later than planned, due to driving slowly through Utah, so we joined everyone else who was trying to avoid Sunday afternoon traffic by traveling on Saturday instead. By the time we finally arrived to our hotel in California, our normally 9-10 hour trip had stretched to over 13. 

It might sound like I'm complaining about the drive, but there is gratitude among the grumbling:

I'm thankful we had safe travels.
I'm thankful our dog Drexel travels well.
I'm thankful that because the trip was so long, it made it easier to want to just stay here in California for a while. (A really good thing, since we love Utah and we'll be living here in California for about a year!)

Even though our rental house wasn't available until Tuesday (John's first day of work), I'm thankful that the landlords let us park our SUV--which was packed with all our belongings--on the property, so I didn't have to worry about things being stolen from the hotel parking lot. I'm thankful the landlords are genuinely nice people, who I imagine we will count as friends before the end of our stay here. 

We attended our old church congregation on Sunday. I'm thankful we could see old friends. I'm also thankful for how easy it is to stay in touch with our Utah friends. I've already sent photos of tumbleweeds and recounted an experience I had in Hobby Lobby when the workers confronted the shoplifter who was in line behind me. (Rare political aside: I don't think the powers that be really thought through the consequences of the "shoplifting is only a misdemeanor as long as the merchandise you steal is valued at less than $950" law.) 

Tuesday we got to move into the rental house. It's in a rural area, where the local businesses have signs that say, "Please do not tie horses to railings." I'm not sure if the signs are just to add to the western ambience or not, but in any case, I haven't seen any scofflaws here, which is more than I can say for the Hobby Lobby in the bigger city!


The peaceful view from the rental house shows a wooden fence, with hills behind which are covered with desert trees and shrubs

We are settling in here. I'm thankful that John is really enjoying his job. I'm thankful that we are living close to the grandchildren now, and I have already been able to spend some time with them. Sunday we will attend church in our local congregation, which will help us feel even more settled. 

I think this new adventure might just work out! 😊

What are you thankful for this week? Be sure to visit the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop and see what others are saying!


  1. I'm thankful to hear things are going so well for you!

  2. glad you had a safe, if not long drive to your home-for-the-year.
    sounds like the benefits of planning and organization paid off!

    1. Thanks! We're figuring out little tweaks here and there to maximize/organize the space, but nothing that the local stores or Amazon can't help us with.


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