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Our Journey to Joy ~ Nuestro viaje a la alegría

. . .ruin is the road to Transformation! ~

la ruina es el camino hacia la transformación!

suess & ginny ~ morning we left washington

First steps for them ~ last steps for us!

We received the following letter the night a young family viewed our “for sale” log home.

“Dear Ginny & Susan,

Thank you for allowing my daughters (age 12 and 15) and I to tour your lovely home today. We felt instantly soothed as we walked into the home and were wrapped up by its incredible warmth. We three currently live in Seattle where we have lived in the same house before they were born. My husband and their father passed suddenly in a mountaineering accident 6 years ago when they were very young. and we have yet to find solid ground. There are many ghosts in our house here, and I have always known we would eventually need a change, but also knew the girls had to be ready to let go of the house that still holds some of their father.

Somehow, that day recently came-we found ourselves united in being ready to make a fresh start –. . . with a little more space and quiet but still near all of the Pacific Northwest mountains that we adore.

When we toured our home, it was the most connected the three of us have felt in a long time. We would be lucky, and grateful to make it our home.”

The 15-year-old had quite spontaneously come to believe it was finally time to move from the childhood home so full of Dad’s ghost. A move, both mom and younger sister had wanted for some time but were waiting. Waiting for the 15-year-old to join. Emotional healing from any death takes time. Losing your beloved daddy and adoring husband in, not only one of the worst mountaineering accidents ever recorded on Mt Rainier but also a highly publicized event by the worldwide media, takes time to heal. Those baby girls, only 9-years-old & 6-years-old, on the night of his death, needed time.

Simultaneous shifts occurring: we preparing to step out of the USA and the then 15-year-old: stepping out to leave the ghosts of her childhood. She scoured the internet. She discovered our “for sale” listing. She studied the area. She researched the new home. She then took her laptop into mom and said, “I found our new home. It’s time to move.”

Together all three women ultimately became ready let go and step forward into a new life.

We, in tears, read their letter and in tears accepted their offer to purchase our home as we stepped out of that Washington life.

A secret desire I held was that I did not want to move a large amount of “stuff” from Washington to Mexico. We too needed to leave the past and purge. Start over. Leave my past. Leave Ginny’s past. Leave the household “stuff” – beds, sheets, towels, dishes, glasses, bakeware, furniture, etc. My utter surprise? The mom wanted to simply “open the door and go to bed” without boxes to open, without buying new furnishings, with simple ease and peace. She too needed to let go of the past and begin fresh.

We simply sold the house quite fully furnished!

We gave away and/or sold almost everything else and loaded up our Toyota pickup with 9 boxes of research books, our large 130-pound dog, a cooler of food due to my then extensive food allergies and a few clothes. We do make a living writing historical novels, so books are required. Admittedly, 25 boxes (mostly my three kids’ childhood memories) do rest in the small-town south Seattle upstairs attic of close friends.

This beautiful young family became the WHY of that log home. WHY did we work for 19 months giving our blood, sweat & tears & money? If not for us? For whom? For them. They are now thriving. Happy. Today the mom (who has become our friend) told me “I think about you and Ginny every day too! So often I'm enjoying the house and I fill with gratitude for the two of you, for all of the beauty you created here. I've had such a tough journey with my husband dying when the girls were so young.... this home is helping me to heal on some deeper levels. This home is my cocoon. This home does not have ghosts, only promise and opportunity.”

Oh, and the house we eventually bought in Mexico? (Yep, purchased only 14 days after our arrival!) Quite fully furnished as well. Not with our desired style, however, adequate enough to begin.

Funny how life ofttimes provides our secret desires.

Before leaving Washington, what did we do to prepare? We acquired Mexican temporary residency through the Mexican Consulate in Seattle. We bought Mexican Auto insurance. Valid passports. Rabies & vaccine documents for dog. Spanish translations for any medications with accompanying documentations from the prescribing physician. We had no food, vitamins, or supplements, even “over the counter” that might be or could be considered “illegal” at the border crossing. We had a signed 2-year lease (written in both Spanish and English) for a home –yes, of course, a home that was sight unseen- that gave us a Mexican address. <- that story is for next time! Registered our trip with the State department. Obtained copies of birth certificates. Copies of marriage license. Hundreds of dollars in Mexican pesos. Print out of our route. We knew to carry toilet paper & change for toilets. Bottled waters in the cooler. We knew to ONLY drive during daylight on toll roads. We knew to keep toll receipts b/c that ensured the “ROAD ANGELS” would arrive in blue pickups and assist us with any car trouble. We knew we were prepared. Now nothing left to accomplish. . . nothing to do but drive.

Leaving Washington, after spending 10 last days together with Linnea evoked many emotions. Thankfulness for closure, grief at leaving, excitement for possibility, fatigue from packing, determination to proceed and hope for the tomorrows.

We choose to drive thru Idaho, Utah, New Mexico and then through Texas ... over 2,780 miles in 5 days! COVID concerns kept us travelling. Driving. Not much to tell about the actual drive. . .simply beautiful scenery across the USA. Actually crossing the Texas/Mexican border? That, too is the story for next time!

red dirt, Utah sky, cliff
Utah reminds me that I crave wide open spaces.

red dirt, Utah sky, cliff
Utah's red cliffs!

Yellow sign, tree, Texas sky
Texas warnings!

billboard,Texas sky,
If you see an Allsups store, ya know you're in Texas!

In the next blogs: finally deciding to cross the TX-MX border, the legless man that assisted us on the highway, the deeply touching story of the teenager who discovered our log home & her mom who bought it, the freedom I experienced losing 65 food allergies & the need of an epi-pen, the semi-truck wreck we narrowly escaped, my belief that I am made of Mexican blood … and the very first house we leased which also included a terrorist wanted in 17 countries by Interpol

& three dogs living on the roof!!!

As always, I leave you with the belief that there are adventures to be had AND hope that you too will declare to grow old with no regrets!


Como siempre, los dejo con la creencia de que hay aventuras por vivir Y espero que tú también declares ¡envejecer sin remordimientos!


P.S. Have a question? Ask!

Suess: Mexican Cell: 52-442-799-9176

WhatsApp: 52-442-799-9176 or SIGNAL: 52-442-799-9176

& of course, FACEBOOK

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Such a beautiful telling. Spirit and home are so foundational to, well, everything else! What a blessing you have given and received. Looking forward to reading the next installment!


Such a neat story about the mom and girls. ❤️


Michael Adrian
Michael Adrian

You are telling your life adventure in a a very compelling way - filled with empathy, humor, and wonder - and it's very well written (as usual). Kay and I are so glad that you chosen to share your story with a few of us in a form that we can "ride along." Good job and keep it up!




Dori Eppstein
Dori Eppstein

We don't always know the whys, do we? Especially in the moment!

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