Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Back to my Blog---With Big News---atleast for us, its BIG

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.