I was over 70 when I decided to start over. My husband of about 25 years had died a few years before and I was sick of caring for the three acres on the top of a hill in the mountains in New Hampshire. Don’t get me wrong. I loved it there. I loved the people, my neighbors, my friends, the community, my two jobs, my clients.

But I had a hankering. I had always wanted to write. I had always wanted to live on the ocean, or as near as I could get. And I had always been drawn to the rugged coastline of Maine.

I decided to investigate the possibilities and went online and found a place in Falmouth. When I arrived to check out the apartment, there was a Dunkin’ Donuts at the end of the street. I took that as an omen.

When my husband was alive I joked that if you gave him directions to your place from the Dunkin’ Donuts in your town, he would find you. And at his memorial service, we didn’t have those dainty little sandwiches that are always served but Munchkins from Dunkin’s. It seemed only fitting.

The next omen was that my veterinarian in New Hampshire just happened to know the vet who owned the facility right around the corner from where I would be living and highly recommended him. And the last one was that the groomer for my dog told me where to get my car serviced – and my car at that time was a Saab – and you know they don’t make those here in the U.S. anymore. I didn’t even realize she knew I had a Saab, much less would know someone in Maine who still had a dealership.

I downsized. I got rid of most of my husband’s things, my family’s things and many of my things. I donated to charities, gave to his family and mine, threw stuff out. In spite of the truckloads, I have more to sort, yet I have created a fresh and distinct energy.

I have crawled out of my cocoon here in Maine and it’s the best thing I could have done for myself. I’ve made wonderful friends here. I write because I can, I dance and sing because I love to, I do tai chi because it’s good for my health and I began a small business because I wasn’t busy enough with all of that. Never let anyone tell you it is too late to start anything. This butterfly is just now spreading her wings.

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