Looking for answers to life's questions

The Next Chapter

Are you like me and always curious about the next chapter in the book? Or maybe what you’ve read so far has been a bit too intense or too mundane to make you want to read further?

Right now, I wish I could open the book and read the last page of the last chapter so I would know what’s going to happen. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been written yet. That’s my job and I’m winging it. ­

My first typewriter. 13th Christmas.

I never expected that after just over seven years I would be putting my beloved trailer up for sale. After exhaustive research and contemplation, I find I no longer have the physical or financial capacity to care for this place that has given me so much, the care it needs. ­­It was an agonizing decision and I have no firm answer to what the next chapter in my life holds. I’ve long exceeded my sell by date and that gave me time to get all my business affairs in order so my family doesn’t have to deal with it later. This will be the last detail.

I’m thinking it’s time to have a little fun, see some new places, taste new foods and let my gypsy loose again. Maybe this will turn into a travel blog for a bit.

Destined to be a gypsy reader and writer. Germany 3rd grade again.

I’ve looked at independent living facilities. Cost prohibitive for most of us especially in more metropolitan areas. My needs are simple. Somewhere to house my books and do a bit of needlework and sewing. My main requirement is living on my own with provisions within walking distance. Much more research will be required.

The time to sell is ideal. I put the house on the market 2 weeks ago and have a full price offer even after making sure the buyer was aware a new roof would be necessary. The inspection would obviously disclose that but I prefer to be up front. The time to travel is not ideal.

I don’t think anyone can see the sign in the window

I keep remembering my last husband asking me to wait a year to travel back to Germany with my mother hoping funds would be more available. I went with minimal funds. Mom was gone by the next year. I’ve learned some things shouldn’t wait.

Not allowed to put a sign in the yard.

There are no guarantees in life or in the offer on my home. It could go any direction but I’m staying optimistic. We’ve spent the summer getting everything sorted, cleaned, painted and patched. Work a little, rest a lot. It’s been a grueling summer that has hopefully paid off so I can start a new adventurous chapter. I’m looking forward to more time to visit friends here virtually and in the world.

Once the house was show worthy, I took a little time to start working on unfinished projects. I machine quilted a top that my friend Emily made as a donation quilt. Not sure who will end up with it but for now, I’m relaxing while binding it.

I also FINALLY got the hand embroidered aprons I’ve been working on ‘forever’ sashed and waiting for me to decide how to finish it up. It needs something.

A couple years in the making

I had a few dozen bowl cozies cut and ready to sew and I’m about halfway through. I waste a lot of time watching Hallmark movies so I try to do handwork then. Helps ease the anxiety.

The start. 2 layers of fabric, 2 layers of batting.

bowl cozy production

There is a lot more work to do here. Packing, dispersing and letting go. Then let’s see what the next page brings.

Are you writing any new chapters into your life?

The next best thing after finishing writing a chapter is starting a new one.Author: Chris Almeida

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "The Next Chapter" (70)

  1. Ah, Marlene, I’m so glad the house sold quickly — or was bid on, I guess I should say, since you mentioned it wasn’t final. Such a lot of work moving is. I hope you find a small ground floor space with all your specifications soon. Your quilts are beautiful. I have never quilted, but this morning I did darn the elbow of a sweater! I look forward to hearing more about any travels you may decide on. I just retired last Friday, so I’m beginning an adventure as well.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Congrats on the retirement, Lisa!! You will probably enjoy it immensely since you have so many varied interests. I can fill up each and every day with fun things. Yes, ground floor is essential since I’m not a fan of high rise structures. I’m sure you will write quite the adventure now that you have a little more freedom. Thanks for the visit. I haven’t had time to read as many blogs as I want and now I can have a bit more time for that as well. Have lots of fun.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. May the rest of your adventures be filled with good friends, human or not, old or new and may you find sunshine wherever you land.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m happy to hear you received an offer on your home, Marlene. I have a feeling you and your children will find the perfect house for you. It might take time, but it’s out there and then you can relax without the stress of home ownership. I loved the photos of you as a little girl…so sweet. Now about the movie watching…time spent watching Hallmark Movies is never wasted! Let me know where you land so I can send your book. xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am planning on sending a note soon and was going to tell you not to send anything until I figure out which way I’m going. I will probably do an independent living facility somewhere less expensive so someone other than my kids will be keeping an eye on me but I can have my autonomy. The sale of this place will help. My daughter doesn’t like my Hallmark movies so I try to watch them when she’s working in her room and keep the volume low and closed captioning on. ;/ I’ll get a note out shortly. Thanks for the visit, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just a note here, Marlene. My cousins and I have all got very different tastes in shows and films. So I went to Walmart and bought myself a set of Skullcandy headphones (under $20 Cdn) A great investment, as I can use them with the tablet, too. I’ve since seen some good product reviews on them. They have a place on one earpiece where you can press to pause a film. Anyway, just a suggestion. Then you can have the volume as you like it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m looking at them in the next week or two. I have a huge headphone that I like because they stay on but not good for going to sleep with . 😉

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  4. It sounds like new opportunities opening for you! I send you my thoughts, hopes and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Next Chapter

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  6. Making decisions on the ‘next chapter’ of your life is hard, isn’t it? I’ve been trying to figure it out for myself for the last 2 years. Still haven’t. I’m glad you got a quick offer on the house. I’ve been kind of stuck in a rut lately. Not sure how to get out.

    I look forward to seeing what you do and where you go. You know I’m always over here cheering you on! You, my friend, are my role model. I wish to be more like you. I miss the adventurous spirit that I used to have. Now I’m feeling more “old lady” than I care for. LOL

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    • I can only say I’m scared to pieces, Jackie. But my entire life has been like that. Can you imagine divorcing at 61, too ill to stand up, drive or work and know there will be no funds coming or any support. This is a piece of cake compared to that. I’ve learned that if I don’t make a decision, the Universe makes one for me. It’s easier on my terms. I guess that’s why I write morning and evening journals. To work through the stuck. This has been a long time coming. I was stunned after the diagnosis but slowly started moving forward in preparation for the grand adventure. I’m always here and I can call for free until I have to shut down my house phone. Let me know. I appreciate your kind and generous words. You still have a lot to offer the world. Don’t give up now. Sending lots of love and hugs, my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I was always scared too when I changed things up in my life. It IS scary! But also hopeful and exciting at the same time. Us Virgos are known for facing life changes head-on. I’m sending good vibes your way. Thank you for your offer of talking to you in real! I’m terrible on the phone….but…..I will keep your kind offer in mind. I would love to talk to you! I also can call for free, so even if things move fast for you and you lose your phone at home, as long as you have some sort of phone we can chat one day! I do much better with the written word but most writers do as you well know. 😉 Sending you big hugs, reassuring hugs, and lots of love!

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      • I’m the same, Jackie. Better at writing than talking. I can get flustered easily and lose words. We will keep in touch one way or the other. Hugs

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  7. Marlene, congratulations! I have the impression that this has been brewing for some time? Big decisions like this can bring on such emotional upheaval and for me seem to always make me question many things. You seem to have an excellent attitude…look to adventure and anticipate an easy for all “what comes next”. I know we all look forward to walking with you as you go forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Deb. Yes, it’s been brewing since my diagnosis. I expected to be gone years ago because it took my mother so quickly and stopped my sister in her tracks last Dec. I opted out of a transplant so that left me wondering which way to go. Having my daughter here helped balance out the financial part but not the physical part. She has Fibromyalgia so is unable to help a whole lot without it costing her. It has to be an adventure. That’s life, right? Thanks for joining me in this journey, Deb.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ve clearly given this a lot of careful thought, Marlene, so I know you’ve made the right decision. You will find just what you need, you’ll see xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Jill. As a Virgo who is very pragmatic, this is like stepping off a cliff for me but it feels like the right thing at the right time. It’s like a true test of faith for me. I’m certain it will work out perfectly.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Love the pictures.
    May your dreams come true.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A travel blog! I’ll look forward to that. I hope you find a place that hits the sweet spot for your needs and desires. Maintaining a home becomes hard as the body declines, but also as you’d like to concentrate your energies on things you really enjoy. Good luck and please continue writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Lou. This park has so darn many rules that take the fun out of being here and the house seriously needs a new roof. Apparently, the buyer has a contractor and a roofer in the family so it’s looking good. I had to make sure they knew that up front. Looks like the daughter and I will go on a slow but interesting adventure during winter and covid. How nuts is that? 🙂 I’ll probably write until the kids say I’m not making sense anymore.

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  11. Such a big, wrenching step, and you’re dealing with it so (apparently) calmly and pragmatically. I hope you find the best possible solution for your health and happiness. Is a tiny home of some sort an option, or are you simply blessed with too many books? I wish I could come there and help. I have some experience myself of stepping off a cliff with only the essentials of my previous life to keep me grounded and happy…

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so kind to make me laugh, Kate. Yes, I know you have a lot of experience walking off cliffs too. Yes, I have too many books and fabric. I’ve given away all anyone will take already. This could get interesting so I’m staying optimistic. Stay tuned. 😉 Hugs and take care of yourself and family.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is an exciting time but I can relate to a feeling of a new chapter. Did that 18 months ago and haven’t looked back. Amazing that you can embroider, watch movies and get a house ready for sale all at once. Amazing! I am so excited for the next stage and hope you find the perfect spot. Do some travelling around while you search! Good luck dear Marlene.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Amanda. I figure I can’t make a decision until I have all the information so traveling is a good way to get it. Who knows where this might take me. Your new chapter has turned out quite well. I’m assuming retirement as well as the new house are big leaps for you. Hugs to you, Amanda.

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      • If it doesn’t give you the answers, Marlene it might help you formulate the answer because you’ll see everything from a different perspective. Enjoy the journey!

        Liked by 2 people

  13. A scary but exciting time for you, Marlene! I’m hoping for wonderful times, yet, in your future. I started a new chapter a few years ago by moving near my kids in Texas and renting an apartment. The pandemic got in the way of my adjustment, but I’m hoping for clearer days ahead!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Marlene, this is a significant step on your journey. You sound wistful and hopeful. I suppose significant changes are generally a bit of both. I applaud you for moving forward with your plans, knowing it hasn’t been easy. Your garden, deck, and facade, and I’m sure all the rooms inside look terrific. I hope we can chat by phone soon. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • A phone chat would be lovely. I know your plate is on overload with all the work you are doing. Your project is going to turn out stunning. My agent comment on the laundry room as she had never seen one so pretty in all the homes here she sold. I told her you set it all up. She was very impressed. I do know how to clear and stage a house for sale. This will be the third. I will have doubled my original investment so I call it a win.

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      • Marlene, congratulations on doubling your investment. That is terrific news. You have poured so much time, energy, and creativity into your home. You deserve your success. Thank you for sharing your realotrs comments on the laundry room. That is so nice to hear.

        Thank you for your kind words on the condo project. I’m amazed at how smoothly things have gone so far. Sending love your way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been making this place better for the next person to live here. It’s what we do, try to make it better. I’m enjoying the condo photos. I would love to rent a first floor condo but here they are all 3 stories and I just can’t do that. I have found an excellent, honest and honorable realtor. Such a lovely human. Too bad we didn’t meet sooner. I hope things continue to go smoothly and then we decide what’s next.

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      • I’m glad you are in the hands of a good realtor. That is so important. My sister found a single-floor condo (twice) but you have to really narrow the search. With our aging population, it doesn’t make sense to keep building multi-story condos.

        You’ve poured your heart and soul into your place and it shows. I hope you get top dollar, then find a special place to call your new forever home. xo

        Liked by 2 people

      • First offer has their loan falling apart already. Got a second one yesterday from a librarian with a dog and 2 cats. We all want her to get this place. My realtor has worked very hard and is very caring. For me, forever is going to be a short run so where I end up just needs to be a gentle spot. Wondering about Sharon a lot. Love and hugs to you all.

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      • (((Marlene)))

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  15. Congratulations on selling the house. Moving is a lot of work, but it is very rewarding once the work is done. Hope the next chapter is great.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You are such an inspiration to us all, to be proactive, think things through , and decide and act upon the need for the next chapter. I am in my next chapter, adapting to being a widow. It’s the one that comes after which will be harder. To stay where I am or move myself? The very best of luck and may that gypsy spirit of yours triumph. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hang in there, Cathy and watch for synchronicity. It will lead you where you need to be. There is no rush for answers. It took me a couple of years to get here. I’ll keep you in my prayers too.

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  17. Ah well I hope you keep the pages turning for a long while yet. Its great to see the works in progress and I don’t suppose you’ve reached the bottom of your stash of swatches and cutoffs. This house could be covered in a home cosy many times off from Linda’s cupboards. Looking forward to the next instalment…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Geoff. No, I have not reached the bottom of the pile and have given away so much over the last 2 years already. I’m hanging on to the rest to see if there will be more time to complete my to-do list. I could insulate walls with books and fabric. Magazines went first so the floors didn’t go through from the combined weight. I’m gathering it in one room and will photograph what hasn’t gone into storage yet. It’s embarrassing the amount. Did you know quilting books weigh more than regular books??? It almost broke us trying to get it in the van to storage. I will probably require a first floor unit when I find the next place. I’ll keep you all posted as event occur.

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  18. hi hi Marlene. Bittersweet I’m sure. You’ve poured so much love and muscle into your place. It does take a lot to maintain a home and yard not to mention the outlay of funds to keep it that way. You’ll have the freedom to do what you love, be it travel or writing. I hope you’ll find a cute little main floor suite where you can nurture a few pretty pots and have a view of trees. I do worry about the security of a main floor suite. I hope you son can set that up for you.
    Always wishing for the best for you my dear. Huggaroes all the way xK

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Kelly. Everything will work out perfectly. I have no doubt. I always wind up somewhere safe. I’m on the ground floor here and have never felt safer. Just the right spot will pop up in exactly the right time. I was always fixing this place up for the next person anyway. We are all just borrowing space anyway. It’s better than when I moved in so I’ve done my job of always leaving a place better than I found it. And now for adventure. 😉 I’ll keep in touch. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Everyone has said what I was going to say – I look forward to your next adventure, whatever that might be. And to have your home sold quickly is a bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keep your fingers crossed for this to complete. So many hoops for the buyer and I to still jump through. Park approval of them and the home inspection by a professional. We are busily packing and purging still while trying to live in here. I’m waiting for the synchronicity to show me the way to go. Thanks for stopping by, Catherine.

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  20. Thank you for the update, Marlene. It sounds as though you are well-prepared to make the most of the next phase of your life. I, too, am getting set up for the next phase of my life. Last month, I retired from my career in higher education administration to write full-time.

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    • Congratulations on the retirement, Liz. I’m so happy for you. I like your version of the next chapter better. I am hoping to have more time to read and write when I no longer have to try to keep up with the work on this place. It’s been fun but it’s time to simplify. Looking forward to seeing what retirement brings to you.

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  21. The next homeowner of your place will certainly enjoy the fruits of your labour. I mentioned security as there’s been issues here in Edmonton. In multi-family units, be it condos and/or apartments, there’s a lot more foot traffic than you may be used to seeing at your current home. I don’t want to be a negative nelly, I just want you to be safe from any dubious characters that may be lurking and waiting for an opportunity to take advantage of an open patio door. 💛💛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for caring about my safety, Kelly. My kids feel much the same way. They are very particular where they let me live. 🙂 Everyone that has seen this place has loved everything about it. Just getting the deal done is not so easy. The first offer is crumbling and a second is on the table. I have to trust the process. I’ll keep you posted. God help anyone coming through my patio door uninvited. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Hey Marlene! This all sounds like a mix of exciting with a dose of scary. I truly believe all great adventures involve both.

    A friend of mine often uses the word “coddiwomple.” It means to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination. We might not always know where the path is leading, but we’re on the path! Cheers, my friend!!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. MARLENE!!! I absolutely love your spirit, fun, sensibility, and outlook on life. Have you officially sold your home yet? Signed on the dotted line to that full price offer? Will you stay with your daughter? Maybe with Suzy Q? What about a first floor apartment? You could rent and then travel, let your gypsy loose again, read, sew, and watch Hallmark movies. How much time do you have to find a place? This new chapter is very exciting. On a side note, I will be on the Kelly Clarkson Show this Tuesday , October 5th. 💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am taping all her shows, just in case they move it somehow.I’ll be watching. I have only signed an offer. These things take time and the first offer has started to fall apart already at their loan level. The still need to get past the park as well. They do a background check and you must qualify as to adequate? income now. I couldn’t qualify if I were buying here now. Neither could more than half the people here. My daughter won’t let me live alone due to my health so we probably won’t have the expense of rent until we are done traveling. I couldn’t live with Suzy Q. She’s renting a room from friends and is exceeding difficult to live with. We wouldn’t remain friends living together. I’m looking at independent living facilities.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the update, Marlene. I care. It definitely sounds like an independent living facility is your best option. Keep us in the loop on what happens. Hey, a travel blog sounds wonderful!

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Marlene, it takes courage to close a chapter in one’s life and head off into the unknown – kudos to you for taking the step! It’s great your house sold quickly and I imagine a lot to sort before the move. I understand you have family and friends around to help which must be reassuring but yet it falls mainly to you. Your positive attitude is commendable and I applaud your approach to life! Yes, do travel if you have an opportunity but yes, it is in the hardest of times. Your words have given me inspiration and strength this morning … a bit of a kick! My latest new chapter is becoming used to a house of two, my son left for university two years ago but with everything was home for much of last year and only really moved away late summer. I’m SO proud of him, happy he’s flourishing in his new chapter of life but blimey, at times miss him so much the pain is physical. Luckily we message and chat lots and seeing him next week. I’m thoroughly enjoying more time for my own projects! I love your quilts and needlework, such a gift and craft. Never stop this! Take care and good luck! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and your kind words, Annika. The house isn’t quite sold yet. The first offer was falling apart and a second one is waiting in the wings but there are no guarantees. It’s a hurry up and wait kind of thing. We just have to go with the flow. Makes things very tense for several more weeks or months. I understand how much you miss your son. Yes, that missing can be a physical pain. I usually only see mine once a year now but we talk everyday. I’m glad to have my daughter with me full time while she works from home. I’ll keep crafting as long as the eyes hold out. Let’s hope this crazy virus thing ends soon. Take care and keep writing. Hugs.

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      • mandy809 said:

        I feel stagnant in my life. I have felt that way for so long, it seems like a lifetime. Somewhere on my journey, I have lost my way, I have lost myself, and I have no idea who I am anymore. I’m unhappy with love, my finances are horrible, I haven’t any friends. I long ago lost my spark. I’m on disability and I have become a hermit… again. Now, I worry about keeping Medicaid! Something’s gotta give!
        Your humor and spirit caught my eye and my heart. I too am in search of it all, but at least you are doing something about it! I hope you are doing well, and the house is sold, or near it. Thank you for your story.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for stopping by, Mandy. I’m sorry you are in the midst of a struggle that seems to have no end. I’ve learned a lot in my many years and I know perception/attitude make all the difference. We always get more of what we focus on so I have to pay careful attention to anything good in any moment to bring more good into my life. We are in the process of packing out more of the house today, leaving only basics until closing. Then off to another adventure in life. Without a sense of humor and adaptability, I would be sunk. I would like to write a whole book about how I stopped struggling and let the river of life carry me on to sweeter and sweeter spots. I can share how I got here but we each need to do our own work and find our own path. I can plant a seed or shine a light. but you have to do the heavy work.Sending virtual hugs.

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      • mandy809 said:

        Thank you ☺️💗

        Liked by 1 person

      • mandy809 said:

        Virtual hugs 🤗 enjoy your next adventure! Thank you for reaching out to me!

        Liked by 1 person

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