Eleven years ago, we packed up our kids, books, instruments, clothes and mezuzahs (in that order) moved to Evergreen, CO from Buffalo, NY. In searching then for a new home, our primary criteria were proximity to Congregation Beth Evergreen and a safe space to raise our three children (and dogs). We consider ourselves so fortunate to have hung our mezuzah on a house with great neighbors in a wonderful community. After a decade in that wonderful home, less than a mile from CBE, Marti and I realized that it was time to down-size. Our sons, Tal and Jonah were in college, and our daughter, Michaela, was fast approaching her last year of high school. The emptying nest was too much to maintain without the extra hands. So we contacted a real estate agent and started looking for a smaller house with one-floor living, close to CBE.
After a year of searching and five offers that came up empty, it became clear that in this market we’d need to make more generous and less contingent offers to land a place. We needed to sell our house before we could do that. So we stepped up the process of prepping our home for sale. Once we did, we were under contact in three days, and faced the need to find a new residence fast. With nothing new coming on the market in Evergreen, we were forced to consider renting temporarily while Michaela finished high school. We decided to look in Lakewood for several reasons: 1) there were a lot more options for renting down there; 2) Michaela had recently transferred to a school in Lakewood, so it would shorten her commute and put her in closer proximity to her new friends; 3) it would make us more available to Marti’s mom and aging step-father who were in Lakewood; 4) while not walkable, it would still be a relatively easy commute to CBE for me; and 5) if not walking distance to the synagogue, at least we could be in a walking community.
It did not take us long to find a lovely little apartment in a new LEED building blocks from the in-laws. So, we gave away or sold pretty much all of our worldly possessions, handed over the keys to a lovely, growing family, and began settling into apartment living. It was harder than it sounds. I was more than a little concerned. I love Evergreen, the quiet, open spaces, the cool air, great trails, dog park, short commute…and I always imagined living in heart of the community I served.
Clearly, for now though, this move was the best thing for our family as a whole, and to be honest, a few months into it, it’s really not so bad. The smaller, simpler space frees up time to spend with family, and for me to do rabbi stuff. And the commute offers some rare moments of solitude to collect my thoughts and transition from one family to another.
So we’ve sold our house and moved. Now, the doorposts we enter and leave each day are definitely new. But, rather, AND, the mezuzah we kiss is the same we brought with us to Evergreen, reminding us daily of the core values that we share with our family and the Beth Evergreen community.