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Margaret Mizushima on Adventures in Moving

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 series. You can find out more about her on her website,, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here.

Moving. The very word strikes fear in the hearts of braver folks than I. And yet…moving can certainly have its positive side.

Photos of trees by Margaret Mizushima

After forty years of living on our small ranch in northern Colorado, my husband and I have relocated to Washington state to be closer to family. It was a difficult decision and one that took two years to evolve, but at the end of June this summer, we drove away from our beloved home for the last time and headed west.

Two years before moving we began to disperse our cattle and sell some of our farm equipment. This continued sporadically until everything we kept fits into one stock trailer. My veterinarian husband retired and closed his practice the end of 2021, and we did the same with his veterinary equipment.

A year before we moved, we started sorting the personal items we’d collected over the years. The junk we’d saved in the crawl space (just in case we might need it) was pitched. Furniture that had no sentimental value was sold or donated. My book collection had to be sorted and reduced to a manageable size for packing. Yikes! We examined each object we had collected over the past forty years for one of three criteria in order to be kept: it had to be either functional, aesthetically pleasing, or have sentimental value.

The last few weeks were intense, both physically and emotionally. Family members came to help. Despite having searched for a year for just the right place to purchase, cash buyers outbid all our property offers—sellers didn’t want to accept a contingency buyer in our desired market area.

In the end, we reduced our belongings so they would fit into one container for storage. We chained it to our hay trailer, which we’ve left on a friend’s property until we can find a home to settle in.

photo of running dogs by Margaret Mizushima

And…we found a furnished apartment near our daughter’s home where we could rent week to week as well as bring our dogs. We shall be forever grateful to our wonderful landlady. Her property is rural, surrounded by gorgeous Douglas fir that smell amazing at night and a hay meadow where our German shorthaired pointers can run. We are so lucky.

Both dogs and humans were shell-shocked when we arrived at our new home in this Washington river valley. But we’ve all adjusted and are enjoying new adventures each day, such as discovering slugs the size of fat cigars, watching the dogs play in the early morning mist, exploring new trees and vegetation growing in this rainy climate. We miss Colorado and our friends and family who live there, but we’re falling in love with the Pacific Northwest.

And in the midst of it all, I wrote another book. Standing Dead will release March 7, 2023, and I can’t wait. This episode in the Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries will answer many questions about Deputy Mattie Cobb’s past when she goes undercover into a killer’s lair to try to save her family. It’s available for preorder now at your favorite bookseller. And on Amazon.

Margaret Mizushima

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the award-winning Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, police procedurals featuring a deputy, her K-9 partner, and a veterinarian who live in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more about her on her website,, or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Best of luck with both getting settled and launching your next mystery!

  2. Christine DeSmet
    Christine DeSmet

    We moved 5 years ago after being in one home that my father built decades ago. It was time to think about getting rid of stairs. I remember tossing out big bins of paper. I’d even saved some notebooks from college classes. Why??? It felt good to unburden myself of useless things. We love our new home, too, and have interesting wildlife to entertain us and great neighbors as well. Glad to hear you’re enjoying yourselves. Congratulations!

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      Yes, it does feel so good to reduce the clutter. There have been cougars, bears, deer, and elk through here, so it’s been a wonderful stay. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Avatar

    I can identify with every part of this post, Margaret. Between 2005 and 2008 I moved five times, not all of them of my choosing. Someone told me moving is one of the top ten most stress-provoking experiences in life, and I agree. But there’s a pot of gold at the end of the process, and somehow all the trials and travails disappear as the joy of a new adventure takes over. Best of luck with your new home and your new book, as well.

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      Thank you, Saralyn! It IS stressful, isn’t it? I think that’s why we were so undone when we arrived here. But healing walks in such a tree-filled beautiful valley have done us good and we’re feeling so much better. And I’m looking forward to that pot of gold!!

  4. Avatar
    Laurie's Story

    Thank you for the heartfelt and well-written post. I think about the move issue often as both my kids live out of state.

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      Yes, one of our daughters lives here in WA and the other lives in CA. We’d love to live by both of them! With remote employment, I’m hoping that our California girl gets to come stay with us often and work from our place. That is something else to look forward to! Thanks so much for your comment!

    2. Galit

      So hard to pick up after 40 years- you make it sound easy though. The part about writing another book while in the midst of upheaval? That’s amazing!

  5. Avatar

    Your new home state looks lovely. I can’t imagine walking away from everything I’ve known for 40 years, but family makes it worthwhile.

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      It was tough, but during the last few months, we started taking it as a challenge to simplify our lives as we entered that new chapter following his retirement. I think we’ll both love it as we figure out how we want to spend our time from here on. And yes, living close to family is a bonus.

  6. Tracey Phillips
    Tracey Phillips

    Margaret, I can relate! 22 years ago, we packed kids and pets and everything we owned into 2 Ryder trucks. Our move from Colorado wasn’t as stressful as yours. But I left friends and family and a sense of history in Colorado. Now that our kids have their own families, I can see moving on the horizon again. And perhaps, we’ll end up in the Pacific NW near you! And I can’t wait to read your latest Maddie Cobb book this spring!

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      Thanks, Tracey! Yes, you moved across country from Colorado too. It’s hard to see those beautiful mountains slipping away on the horizon. I have a friend who moved to Michigan and now when she goes back to Colorado, she sometimes gets altitude sickness. Interesting phenomenon, and I hope that doesn’t happen when I go back in the spring. Fingers crossed. It would be wonderful if you end up out here in WA somewhere! Lots of writing going on in this state!

  7. Sheila Lowe
    Sheila Lowe

    The best thing about moving is the opportunity to start fresh. Here’s wishing you find the perfect place to land.

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      Thanks so much, Sheila! Yes, new cracks in the sidewalk are always very interesting!

  8. Sherrill Joseph
    Sherrill Joseph

    Margaret, thanks for sharing your story. My daughter is on the other side of the country, so a move to be near her will inevitably be in my future. Doesn’t it feel freeing to get rid of all that stuff you’ve been holding on to? Best wishes in your new state. You have family there, you’ll make new friends, and you have exciting explorations ahead. Might Timber Creek “move” to Washington State??? Looking forward to your upcoming book in the series!

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      Thank you, Sherrill!! I’m thinking Mattie and Cole need to find themselves somewhere in the Olympic forest sometime. These woods are so dense and it is definitely the forest primeval out here! So breathtaking!

  9. Laurie Buchanan
    Laurie Buchanan

    Margaret — Holy Toledo! I’m exhausted just reading about what you and your husband have accomplished. Brava!

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      Thank you, Laurie! It has been so good to have a couple months to rest and recuperate. Probably why it’s taken us awhile to find our new home. We needed a break! 🙂

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      Thanks so much for checking in, Kelly! Yes, we did and we survived! lol Hope to see you at Bouchercon this week!

  10. Avatar
    Gail Meisner

    It was difficult to see you leave, but best wishes for finding your dream home. Tell Charlie hi for me.

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      Thank you so much! I’ll be sure and tell him hello. I appreciate you visiting our blog and leaving a message!

  11. Avatar
    Donna Rewolinski

    I give you so much credit. My husband and I are thinking it’s time to downsize right up until I walk through our basement, spare bedrooms, garage, and shed. I have thought to ask if we can sell this place, “as is”? You did a huge job. You are very brave. Way to go.

  12. Margaret Mizushima
    Margaret Mizushima

    Thank you, Donna! Lots of hard decisions along the way, but we’re really looking forward to the next chapter. We couldn’t believe how much stuff we’d collected in the past forty years! Once we get settled, I suppose we’ll be looking to collect more stuff! Ha!

  13. Sharon Lynn
    Sharon Lynn

    I can’t even remember what time it is and my move is in the same state. You wrote a book – you are amazing!!!

    1. Margaret Mizushima
      Margaret Mizushima

      Thanks, Sharon. I don’t know about amazing…I just keep plugging away. Ha! It was so great to meet you in person at Bouchercon. Hope to see you again at Bouchercon 2023!

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