Dan and Edna, loved the American Southwest, they spent most of their vacations exploring New Mexico, Arizona, and the entire Four Corners area.
They loved the climate, the culture, and had a passion for the geography and history of the area. When they retired, he as an aerospace engineer and she as a commercial chef, they made the decision to move from Northern Virginia to “somewhere out west”.
Tired of big city living and congestion, Dan and Edna, narrowed their choices to St. George, Utah and Santa Fe, New Mexico. They had visited both places frequently while on vacation and liked the vibe they discovered in each. There was very little crime, but plenty of restaurants, and culture to be had. Neither city had a beltway or its daily traffic snarls. Dan and Edna rented a house in each city for extended periods so they could get the feel of what it was like to live there. Unlike their vacations, this time they visited the local grocery stores, churches, and hospitals. They spoke with realtors, insurance agents and even visited a barber and hair salon. They made a point of talking with their neighbors. In the end their choice was clear to them, they would move to Utah.
Four months later they said goodbye to their friends and family in Northern Virginia and moved their life 2200 miles west. This is not meant to be a cautionary tale, and Dan and Edna remain happy in their new hometown four years later. They had done the homework necessary for a seemingly successful move. Life happens though, sometimes unexpectedly. A few months after leaving Virginia, Dan slipped in his back yard and ruptured his right Achilles tendon requiring surgery. The nature and severity of the injury dictated a specialist. St. George has a fine small hospital, which Dan and Edna had visited while scoping out the town on a previous visit. They made the decision however, to seek out a specialist at the nearest major surgical hospital in Las Vegas, two hours away. The surgery in Las Vegas was a success, but Dan’s recovery left him in a cast or boot for eight months and required frequent visits to Las Vegas. Leaving their support system behind in Virginia, all of Dan’s needs, from transportation to entertainment, were left to Edna. After eight months, Dan had fully recovered, but the injury took its toll on both.