46 – The journey to simple living is anything but simple.

December  was a rough month all around. We were already behind schedule due to weather setbacks then 1st of December we got a call that Amy’s dad was in the hospital in Great Falls, Montana with some complications. In an hour, we had the truck packed and hit the road at 11pm and drove straight through arriving at 7pm the following day. Within 4 or 5 days he had turned it around and was set to be released so we headed back to Arizona. 3 days later, the same call again so we hit the road once more. We lost him right before Christmas and didn’t feel right leaving mom to spend her first Christmas alone after 50+ years of marriage so Amy and I spent the holidays in a small Northern Montana town called Cut Bank getting ma settled. Literally a “One stop light town”.

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This was my first time experiencing a “real” winter. The record low on this trip was -48 degrees with the wind chill. It’s a misery I honestly did not know existed. Everything, I mean EVERYTHING you do is a chore in this type of weather. Growing up in it no doubt has something to do with Amy’s ability to outwork most men I know without any complaints.

This would also be the first time in our kids lives that we have not been together for the holidays. Our youngest daughter handled the transfer to Flagstaff/NAU on her own including housing (not bad for a 17 year old) all we had to do was come home and help her move her stuff. Our oldest daughter coordinated getting our son from ASU, youngest daughter from NAU and packed everyone to my folks in Hacienda Heights for Christmas so they would all be together.

To say December was stressful on many levels is a gross understatement.

We were basically gone for a month. At this point, winter had showed up at the ranch in a big way. So, with a foot of snow on the ground and muddy roads we made the final move.

We had enough of a break in the weather to get settled before a string of terrible storms kept hitting one after the other. We were basically snow/mudded in at our place for 10 days. Unlimited supply of water, no power outages to worry about, completely stocked pantry- it was a dream come true. We made it.

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