I have taken a break from writing for my Freedom Blog. After over 6000 page views I hit a wall due to our cold dark winter, but a much needed vacation to sun-country helped me recover. I am back to exercising and eating right so things are looking up. It never fails to amaze me how eating right can improve outlook. It is as though our food is our medicine. Oh well, I digress.
My wife Jeannie left a week ago to go help with the arrival of our 6th grandchild
to our oldest son Jason and his wife Melanie. All has gone very well and
bonding is in full swing in Portland Oregon. I am jealous of Jeannie
getting to be there but happy for her too. Little baby CeCe VO is oh so
cute and very calm. Yay for calm babies.
So here is the next biggest news in our lives. After 33+ years of
teaching for the LDS Church Educational System I am going to retire as of July
31st 2012. I am going to live what I preach and retire before I get too
old to enjoy it.
We will be selling our home and moving to Boise Idaho to accomplish several
of my pillars of retirement freedom. 1) Lower our cost of living
dramatically. 2) Improve our health care options. 3) Get
closer to family and grandchildren. Ever since Jeannie suffered through
cancer in 2007 I have wished to move her closer to grandchildren, now that will
be checked off my bucket list. 4) Getting a home without a mortgage will
happen much quicker in Boise area where real estate has taken a huge loss in
recent years. We can buy a nice retirement home on acreage in Boise for
about 60% of what it would cost in Alaska. 5) Property taxes are much lower in
Idaho. Boise will put us within a few miles of family and a 6 hour drive
of others of our children and also my aging mother who will be 87 this May. 6) Improved
access to sunny days seems to be getting more important as I get old.
Some of you know that I had toyed with running for Alaska State political
office in the newly aligned District 26. I have determined there are good
candidates already running so I decided to pass on that ambitious goal.
The Eagle River District will be well cared for.
We have spent 19 years of my career in Alaska. It has been so good to
live in a wild and beautiful place. Our friends have been superb.
Our opportunities to serve have been exciting and challenging. I was
stretched beyond what I thought I had to give. Alaska has been very good
to the VanOrdens. We will soak every last bit of good out of our
opportunity to enjoy 6 more months in this beautiful place. We will enjoy
one more trip down the Alaska Highway, but this time in our comfortable motorhome
rather than the $300 VW Bus we drove up the highway in 1976. All together we will have a total of seven
trips over the Alcan during our time as Alaskans.
I can see that my online communications will become even more important to
me as we relocate. I hope to be able to stay in touch with each of you as
you see fit. Thank you for your good influence on our lives.