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Rosie (right) poses with her friend Kiri as they prepare to go out to '80s night on one of her last evenings in Arcata.

Well, Rosie’s off to her new apartment in Boston and second year in her BFA program. How grateful I am that I’ve managed to arrange my life so that I could spend those last couple of days with her, even though they fell midweek.  We spent an afternoon driving to the San Francisco Bay Area, an evening with my sister and her teenage cousins eating at our favorite Berkeley Mexican restaurant and playing a rousing game of Balderdash. (This is a family of board game lovers!)

Then we got to pamper ourselves with inexpensive pedis, and wander around Berkeley checking out vintage stores, eating salads and ice cream, and generally having great girl time. More ethnic food for dinner with the family – this time Indian, something I enjoy far too infrequently. Humboldt is a wonderful community but it is decidedly underpopulated with ethnic restaurants,  or people of diverse racial backgrounds.

Mmm, that was some great Indian food!

All  in all a thoroughly enjoyable send-off, particularly since Rosie really loves these particular cousins – and mentions how much she misses them when she’s feeling homesick.

And then alas, the time for goodbyes drew near. My mood would have darkened, if not for the silver lining. In an unplanned turn of serendipity, my other daughter, Ciel, happened to be flying into San Francisco the night before Rosie left. She’d spent a couple of weeks visiting her dad in Montreal and the timing was perfect for her to ride back up to Humboldt with me!

Ciel poses for a beauty shot for Wellness blog. Still might use it.

So..one girl is off, but another is still close by. I surely have a lot to be grateful for. What a treat to have Ciel in the neighborhood – and it’s the best of both worlds. She’s only a 5-minute bike ride away, but we don’t have to drive each other back into the adolescent patterns by sharing the same house.

So, yeah. Nest is technically empty again. Just me and Tim rattling around this big old house.

But not for long. Our space will become a bit smaller within the month. A few days before Rosie’s departure I read this great post over at Live Bold and Bloom. It was all about how it’s the little actions that eventually lead to the big changes we dream of.

What was I dreaming of?

Well, now that my nest is empty I’m dreaming of the freedom to explore the world and travel more. But how to get there? I’ve been turning that one around in my brain ever since my return from Asia last Spring. How can I generate the income and free time to take more trips like that, when we have this big mortgage, this big house, and all this stuff??

Well, one idea I had was to convert part of the house into an apartment – or at least rent out the big bedroom that each girl formerly occupied during their teenage years. Right now I’m enjoying it as a huge and light-filled office. But…

That night (after reading about tiny actions) I ran into an acquaintance who told me she and her husband were looking to rent a room in Arcata. They’d only be around about half time she told me, because they divided their time between here and their cabin in the mountains. Hmm, maybe it was time for a (sort of) tiny action. I gave her my number and told her we’d been considering renting a room.

The blocks just tumbled into place within the next few days. We’ll be empty-nesters with roommates starting next month! Which will slice off more than a  third of our mortgage bill – money that hopefully we can set aside for extended travel adventures.

We’re nervous about sharing our home with non-family members. It’s been a while since we lived with roommates and wrestled over refrigerator space. But change is good I keep telling myself. Change is growth!

Bit by bit, moving forward and closer to living the dream.