At the time it seemed like a good idea, i.e. selling everything and starting over.
A combination of circumstances set us to thinking that perhaps living in Norfork, Arkansas, wasn’t such a good idea. First, several weather extremes in a short period of time—an ice storm and two unprecedented floods on the river—revealed just how vulnerable we were in terms of security, reliability of electrical power, and ingress and egress. Next, commercial development entered our little piece of heaven, forever disrupting the privacy our subdivision was supposed to allow. And then, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission began tinkering with the river, changing it from a world class wading river to a more readily navigable waterway via channelization. Cancer struck in 2010, and the isolation was conspicuous as few friends or family visited or assisted; of course, we did not seek help, but expected otherwise as we, especially Kay, had done so much for so many of our “friends”. Perhaps that was the last straw, because after that, my desire to live there, and concern for Kay’s isolation in the event something happened to me, stirred significant feelings of discontent. And, my brother’s death in late 2011 gave rise to a sense of urgency for “living” never before experienced.
Each year, as we traveled to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas for winter, we would extol the virtues of moving to and living in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, where Kay has many friends, the golf is great, and many small lakes provide almost unlimited warmwater fishing opportunities, and it is closer to two of our three kids. And then, when we arrived back to our house and 4 acres in Norfork in the spring, we would take a deep breath and recognize how blessed we were with our little piece of heaven on earth. In fact, on our return trip in 2013, we made a conscious decision to remain in Norfork the remainder of our useful lives, bought new furniture, and made further “improvements” to the property. But, the urge to resettle did not go away, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission continued “tinkering” with the Norfork River, and just a few short months later, on our trip to the Rio Grande Valley in early November, we made what seemed like our 4th decision to put the Norfork house on the market. Through the winter, our desire to relocate became even stronger, and we did indeed put the house on the market when we returned in the Spring of 2014. Not only did we sell the house and extra lot, we sold furniture, furnishings, and the lake pontoon boat, keeping only our clothes and a few personal things. And then, unable to find an already built house that suited us, we contracted to have a house built while we were in Texas for the winter.
We packed our few remaining belongings, moved them to storage in Hot Springs Village, and left for the Rio Grande Valley,
After a long, cool, wet winter in the Rio Grande Valley (13 days of full sunshine), we arrived back in Hot Springs Village in mid-March, awaiting completion of the new house. And, the rest of the story will follow in future blog entries.