My Wausome Story: Bonnie Cloer and Larry Ulrich, Retired, Relocated to Wausau from Palm Spring, CA

Original publication date: November 12, 2019

We moved to Wausau in April of 2018 from Palm Springs, California. Our move was initiated because we decided in our advanced retirement years we should live near family. We chose Wausau for several reasons. The cost of living was the best of all our choices and our daughter is a physician in Wausau. She has been here for almost 30 years so is able to give us advice on local things.

When we first met with a realtor over Thanksgiving of 2017, it was decided we should live in the city where medical care and services are nearby. Sight unseen, we purchased a home. Our daughter looked at it, but we saw it on arrival in Wisconsin in April and signed papers the next morning. Since we knew where we wanted to live, I was on Zillow daily. When our home came on the market, I called that morning. The next day we put in an offer that was accepted. It was more of a fixer than we anticipated but we love the home and the wonderful South East Neighborhood.

A few months after our arrival we both had falls. This was the beginning of the discovery of how marvelous the medical care is in the area. Larry fell chasing after one of our recently adopted older dogs and when he did not return home, I hopped in the car and went to find him. Low and behold he was in an ambulance around the corner! A neighbor was there, as his accidental fall happened in front of her house. I was to take Larry to the hospital, but then I fell out of the ambulance and broke my wrist. The paramedics laughed with me, as even in pain I could see the humor in the situation. That was a first for them. Both of us were transported to the Emergency Room at Aspirus Hospital and had the best care. Larry was very bruised and broke his nose, but I needed surgery shortly thereafter.

The neighbor, who we just met, stayed with us in the emergency room for several hours. My daughter who was seeing patients ran in and said my hand would swell and she took my wedding ring and was back to work. My daughter was working late that day and our fabulous neighbor stayed with us until my daughter arrived later in the evening. Our neighbor brought us home from Emergency. She stayed with us and her husband brought chicken dinners for us. Later, we met several neighbors after they heard about the falls. News travels very fast. People brought food and checked on us. Due to the accident we met so many wonderful people around us.

I have become very active in the organization of events for the neighborhood and also in the Historical Society. I started a group called Story of our Home. Over 125 neighbors are researching history of their homes and we have had two Story evenings so far. We hope for more through the winter months.

The dog that moved with us from California died in August of 2018. That was grief that we needed to resolve and through friends adopted two Poodle-Bishon mix eight-year-old dogs the next month. They were adopted from the Rhinelander Humane Society. They are just the best little dogs. We had said we wanted an older dog and we adopted two! They are sisters and so much fun.

Our cute home is on a double lot. We had no idea of the size even though we could see it was twice the size of the other lots on the street. It was built by a man who worked for Wausau Insurance and was an artist. He worked with wood to create inlay pictures. He also filled the yard with granite pathways. The granite came from Stevens Pointe and took over three years to complete. The paths were mostly covered with sod when we moved in. Small bits of granite were visible and that caused Larry to become the archeologist uncovering paths and steps to our small ‘forest’ in the back yard. Extensive renovations have been happening this past year with the replacement of 36 windows, a new roof, gutters, garage doors, entry storm doors and new furnace and air conditioning. We have also put in 200-amp electrical service and rewired the house, as well as had a new lawn installed. It has been a challenge, but now we have a mostly new historic house in Wausau.

This small city has so much to offer. If one is bored here, it is because one does not venture out the door. Not only does the neighborhood have activities, but the city and surrounding area has endless things to do. Concerts abound, festivals happen regularly and there is always the Farmers Market. We have tickets to the Grand Theater for several performances.

When we have guests, one of the first things I do is take them to the Historical Society. It gives a great overview of the history of the city and the farming industry here. There is our beautiful country side to show to visitors, as well.

The cost of living is a big advantage, as well as reasonable activities year-round. Our neighborhood is just the very best and I would not want to live anywhere else.

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