(This article was published in Robson Ranch Views magazine, my mother's 55 and Over retirement community. She and her boyfriend recently moved from Seattle to Arizona to enjoy life in the sunshine. I took this photo of them on their new lot where their dream house is currently being built.)
Julie Stevens, daughter of RRAZ home buyers
I find myself in unfamiliar territory. Growing up it seemed I was the child my parents were always taking to the airport, saying their goodbyes as I headed out for my next adventure. I’ve lost track of the number of airport crying sessions.
Now at 46 the roles are finally reversed. My mother and her boyfriend, who both officially retired this year, sold our childhood home in Everett, Washington and will be moving to a beautiful retirement community in Eloy, Arizona. Robson Ranch has been the topic of conversation for the past two years, and we knew this day would eventually come. My mom’s dream of retiring in a warmer climate filled with luscious palms trees is finally realized.
I was filled with mixed emotions as we dove into our family memories, photographs, letters, keepsakes, life. Much like dropping your child off at college or moving them into their first apartment, you can’t take everything with you. You must let go of some of the old and make room for the new. It wasn’t just about giving things away; it was the end of our family as we had always known it. Mom was our home base, our constant. My brother and I could stop by that house anytime we wanted. She would always be there, or would she?
But now the moving PODS are packed and sitting in Mesa, the U-Haul is full, and we are pulling out of this driveway for the last time. It’s official, we don’t live here anymore. I am accompanying them on this 1,500 mile journey through four states and two time zones. They are flying south for the winter. The temperatures are slowly rising as we make our way farther and farther south. The evergreens have been replaced with palms and cacti.
Upon our arrival in Robson Ranch we are greeted by several beaming faces, their skin kissed by the sun, and an energy found in places where Vitamin D is not deficient. People are out, they’re golfing, riding bikes, playing pickleball, enjoying the lifestyle they’ve worked so hard for.
I had the pleasure of spending two days in the Robson Ranch design center and feel privileged to have had a small hand in choosing what will be my mother’s forever home. We exhausted every resource, choosing cabinets, tile, granite, carpet, doors, doorknobs and lighting. And that was just the first two days. The next time I visit Robson Ranch I’ll be walking through her new front door and feeling as if I’ve walked through it a thousand times before.
This trip is coming to an end for me, and as I prepare to board a plane home to Seattle, I am reminded of the countless tears my mother shed over my departures. My wish for them is much like their wish would be for me in this new chapter: make new friends, play nice, try new activities and experience some of the best years of your life. You’ve earned it. Be good, I tell them; call me anytime you feel lonely. Somehow I don’t think they will. So as I kiss my mom goodbye, at least for now, I am confident in letting her go.
So here on the cross streets of Grand Canyon and Agave their dreams are surely to come true.
For more information on Robson Ranch visit www.robson.com or call 1-800-732-9949