I had lived through pancreatic and breast cancers. As a single mom, I could not afford to continue living in my beautiful home in Eagan. My young daughters and I found a small fixer upper in the northern metro. As an artist, I saw the house as a canvas just waiting to be transformed. And, since I was anticipating the return of my cancers, I wanted to prepare a safe place for my daughters, should one of them have to suffer through divorce. That was my first downsize: from 3300 to 1800 square feet, about nine years ago.
After about seven years of dealing with “the joys of home ownership,” and a long commute, I wanted to leave. Yes, we had a mostly re-modeled beautiful home complete with professionally landscaped gardens. But something told me I could not stay.
I began to think about my future, again. What do I want from a community where I will hopefully, grow old? How do I want to spend my time? I wanted a shorter work commute, a low-maintenance place where I could walk to church or to the grocery store. I needed nature. And a place big enough for my youngest daughter, who might be living with me during her college breaks.
The one-bedroom condo in an historic building near Grand Avenue took my breath away. It’s a completely new canvas with challenges of its own. But, I walk to church, to the grocery store. I sew. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all of the things in the 22 boxes I have left to unpack.
Marilyn (Mayr) Boros, RDN, LD lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.