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Moving Moments

June 3, 2020


Moving Moments


By Alice Jane-Marie Massa


In the Midwest, with a guide dog, May does seem like the perfect time to move–if COVID 19 were not a part of our world. All of the challenges and complications of moving from one state to another amidst this Corona Era, I do not wish to re-live on WORDWALK. What is important is that we are here: my Leader Dog Willow and I are gradually getting settled into our new residence–so very different from our city dwelling.


In Milwaukee where I had lived for nearly twenty-nine years, the inside of our townhouse had a total of nineteen stairs; also, three stairs led to our front porch, two to the back deck, and six from the inner courtyard to the circle drive in front of the 23-story tower which was closest to my townhouse. Willow and my new home has absolutely no stairs inside nor outside. In Milwaukee, I was accustomed to hearing all of the sounds of the city–the bells of the Cathedral and other churches and City Hall, as well as various types of vehicles and sirens and, of course, construction–the reason for the tenth move of my life. Yes, the proposed building of the “world’s tallest timber structure”–26 stories–was to begin construction across the street from my former townhouse yesterday or today; however, ironically, I am told by friends that no action has begun yet.


In the small Michigan town where I now reside, the retirement community is especially quiet. While I used to know the time of the morning by the sounds of the traffic flow, here traffic isquite minimal. Mother Nature rules to the extent that I feel as if I live in a nature preserve or a bird sanctuary. All of these peaceful sounds of bird calls and songs, frogs, and other critters soothe my soul and remind me of my years of living in my Hoosier hometown. The cooing of the mourning dove which I rarely heard in the city of Milwaukee is a daily and frequent chorus for me at my “prairie cottage” and during my walks with Willow. Since just past the two cottages which are to the west of my place is a pond and then a wooded area, I do feel as if I am on vacation, instead of at my new home.


Nevertheless, on a vacation, one does not have approximately two hundred boxes to unpack! Fortunately, despite the COVID 19 situation, my sister did come from Colorado to help me with this massive move. This past Sunday, she returned to her home after too many days of our working from early morning to one o’clock the next morning. I am still amazed at how much I accumulated during my 29 years in Wisconsin: a teacher and writer can manage to save too much. Now, I am at least partially converting to minimalism–although you would not think so by looking at the number of boxes which I still need to unpack.


Throughout the moving upheaval, Willow has been her usual extraordinarily calm self. Only when the movers were packing items on May 11 did Willow show any signs of concern; after a walk on our memorized sidewalks of Milwaukee, she was much better, but did stick very close to me when we were in the townhouse. Despite being with me in my “boxland” for a couple of weeks, Willow does appear quite comfortable with her new surroundings: I do hope she will develop a love for our new place and pathways. My Black Labrador has many new doggie neighbors, and our new people neighbors have been extremely welcoming, friendly, and helpful–with social distancing. Almost all of our twice or thrice daily walks involve visiting with and meeting new neighbors. This abundantly friendly atmosphere is quite different from the city. The wonderful front porches of the cottages certainly are conducive to visiting–even with the precautions of the Corona Era. Beautiful flowers abound throughout the community and on my front porch and patio. On this absolutely perfect weather day, Willow and I enjoyed walks to the gazebo, chapel, and around the 54 prairie cottages.


The curving sidewalks have been more challenging for Willow and me. Fortunately, we are learning the lay-of-this-land. Willow and I are determined to “grow where we have been planted.” With the blessing of the choir of mourning doves around us, I do hope that Willow and I can blossom and be happy at our new home.


With thanks to all who have wished us well on this new journey,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


June 3, 2020, Wednesday




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  1. joanmyles permalink

    Sounds like paradise to me, darling Alice, may you find it a sweet haven, a place of inspiration and friendship for you and Willow, blessings and love *hummingbirds**blooming daffodils**yellow butterflies*

  2. Alice, your new home sounds wonderful. I’m glad you’re settling in and miss your blog posts. I hope you continue to be happy in your new surroundings.

  3. Dear Alice and Willow,
    We are so happy that you are settling into your new home in MIchigan! We wish you many lovely walks enjoying the soothing sounds of nature and friendly conversations with neighbors.
    Love, Mary and Ric

  4. Gina Amerman permalink

    Dear Alice and Willow,
    I’m so happy you are both settling in to your new surroundings! It sounds like a lovely little town, with much to explore! I look forward to your blogposts as you paint a word picture of it for us all to enjoy. Much love and good wishes to you as you get acquainted with the new neighbors-human and canine–I’m certain they will be thrilled having you two for neighbors! Fondly, Gina

  5. Carole permalink

    We share in the joy of your and Willow’s new home and lifestyle! Enjoy the friendliness of your neighbors and the peacefulness of your neighborhood.

    Looking forward to the time when we can visit you and Willow!
    The Morgans

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