We have moved to a retirement village, Westminster at Lake Ridge. Our new address is 12238 Cathedral Drive; Woodbridge VA 22192-2232. Our e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers have remained the same. My cellphone number is 571-215-8350. We decided to pick out a Continuing Care Facility while we were young enough to enjoy the many activities, and when it was not an emergency situation and we just had to grab whatever was available. This enabled us to pick our own place for the rest of our lives. We toured about 12 places, and then put a deposit down on two of them just based on the élan we sensed during our visits. Of the two, this was the first that called. We are in a little cottage just 50 feet or so from the main building which houses the dining room, gym, pool, meeting rooms, etc. We reached the top of the waiting list for the size cottage we asked for sooner than we expected, and it has been rush, rush, rush since then. I cannot say the process of downsizing from a three story house to this little cottage has been exactly enjoyable. We hired a downsizing company, but you are really the only one who can separate your belongs into piles of what goes with you, what gets donated to charity, etc. To complicate things, we hope to build an addition onto the cottage, which means we had to plan what goes into storage to furnish the new planned spaces. Our downsizing took several steps. Before we even got the call that the cottage was available, we started going through our stuff and picking out what should go to charity. My truck made many runs to the thrift shop! Then we started the real moving process. Our realtor wanted most of our things out of the house so it will show better, so we moved lots of stuff to the garage and basement for sorting. The downsizers started with sending our unneeded good stuff to one auction. Then they moved the things we wanted in the cottage over Thanksgiving week. Next they moved the stuff we will eventually need for the addition to a storage unit. Then they took most of the rest of the stuff to a household goods auction. Then they helped to move a bunch of stuff to charity and the landfill. Although we moved in over Thanksgiving week, we have been going back to our house to complete the process. So we didn’t exactly get to unpack and enjoy our new place at first. However, there is nothing like coming back to your new community after a long day of sorting through things, changing out of dusty clothes, sitting down at a lovely table with white linens in a nicely decorated dining room and eating a scrumptious meal someone else makes and cleans up after. Then we just go to the concert or movie or whatever that is the evening's entertainment, and go to bed to prepare for another day of sorting boxes that contain your life up to that point. To complicate things further, the contractor messed up on installing a walk-in tub we had ordered. So after we had moved in, they had to come back, take out one tub and most of the tilework, drill holes in the foundation, take out part of the drywall, and start over again installing a tub. This made lots of a mess, so we didn’t want to do much unpacking. Plus they needed access to the closets to make connections. So the place has been a maze of boxes and clothes lying on the furniture. Even if we had had the time to unpack between running back to our house to complete the downsizing process, we couldn’t have. Hubby was smart enough to insist we pack a “survival” box of some things like paper towels and toiletries, and we have been living out of that. They finally finished the construction, and we are now getting near completion on the downsizing process, so we have begun opening boxes and putting things where they belong. Every day is like Christmas: oh joy, oh rapture, shampoo and conditioner!!!!!!!!!!!! I was nearly out; glory be!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sideburn trimmer, my old friend; etc. One unexpectedly nice thing has been that the cottage has an apartment-sized dishwasher, washer and dryer. So those few things we took out always have made a full load, and always seem to be clean as soon as you need them. We have had unseasonably warm weather up to the last few days, which means we haven’t had to go digging for hats, gloves, etc. It has seemed strange to be doing Christmas activities while the roses and azaleas are in bloom all around you! Today we had enough time after our yummy brunch in the dining room to take a walk on one of the trails leading from the Westminster campus down to the Occoquan River. It was so nice seeing birds and deer instead of being busy, busy, busy just trying to make the transition from the life you know to a whole new way of living.