The Long Road Home


Writing about the places I’ve lived, takes me down the long road home and overwhelms me to the max! I’ve moved seventeen times living in multiple states. To bring things down to a manageable number, I’ll focus on the last four.Born and raised in Wisconsin, I was never going to leave. When my friends talked about their plans to locate elsewhere, I could never understand why? I loved being with my family in this beautiful state. I enjoyed the change in seasons, the lakes, and lush greenery that offered all my favorite pass times.

Then life happened. Jobs, circumstances, and relationships took me to Iowa, Texas, and finally California. I enjoyed living in Northern California and reconnected with an old friend. We had kept in touch over the years and this time, the time was right. We carried our relationship to the next level. We married and happily began searching for our first house.


San Vicente Ave – Napa, CA

When we walked into the front door, I knew I’d live there. It was nothing but framing and concrete when we made our offer.  The builder told us that the house was already sold and we should make another choice. I told him that was fine, please just take a back up offer.

Six weeks later the Realtor called to tell us that the initial sale fell through and the house was ours. He called it luck, I called it intuition.  I just knew it was meant to be our home. So began my happiest adult memories up to that time.

A year later, our son was born while we lived in this house. We had our first dog together and I went to college for the first time. We felt blessed every moment we spent on San Vicente Ave.

After about three years, I began to feel the need to return to Wisconsin. My husband agreed or at least, was willing to give it a try. Our son was growing up and we wanted him to be able to share the people and State we loved.


Scott St – Beaver Dam, WI

Our next move took us back to my hometown. My family had heard that their family doctor was selling his practice and his home. I knew the home well and had spent blissful hours as a kid with my good friend Nancy. Her parents had built the house and I was a frequent guest. We made the offer over the phone. The doctor accepted nervously since my husband had never been inside but we assured him that we were serious.  He sent us a huge parcel the next day with pictures of each room and the outdoor spaces. After several months, we closed on the house and it became ours.

This was an important time for our family.  We helped my mom sell her home and make the transition to becoming part of our new place. She had her own area of the house which included bedroom, sitting room and bath. 

I could write a book about our family’s life in this house. Now I don’t want it to sound like it was perfect. We had our hiccups and speed bumps to deal with and despite it all, we worked together to make it work. I must keep reminding myself that this writing is about the places we lived and not so much about our life stories!

This house was built in the Scandinavian style. It had tons of windows and was built with four unique stories. I was excited because it had an outdoor pool and a great back yard. The living room overlooked the dining room and kitchen. I was scared when the boys at our son’s birthday party decided to jump over the railing in the living room onto the sectional down below. No broken arms or legs, just an almost heart attack on my part!

Mom lived with us for about thirteen years. She entertained her card group and enjoyed being part of a family again. She was a huge help with our son and helped us with starting meals and running kids everywhere. I became a believer in living with extended family. Mom passed away on Scott St. in our home. She was in hospice care and our entire extended family helped with her care.



After mom passed, we made one more move, to Colorado.  We had an opportunity there that made it seem like a good choice.  As we left our home of thirteen years, I felt great reservations. As the car pulled away, I knew we would return.

Our son finished High School in Colorado. Matt went on to attend CU and UCCS and after he graduated from college, he moved to New Jersey for his first career job.


Dana Dr – Beaver Dam, WI

In 2014 we returned to Wisconsin. We found our home and happily moved in. We are in the same neighborhood as my sister and my niece. The house fits us perfectly. We firmly believe that home is where the heart is. 


Who is Judy

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