Things are getting real

There’s been a lot happening in the last 10 weeks.  Let me explain.

It was a great home for 7 years. But things are changing!

In early July, Sandy was looking on Facebook and found a house for rent that looked like it might be a good fit for us.  We could have the dogs, there was a fenced back yard, rent was comparable to our current mortgage payment.  It looked like it might work for us. We checked it out.  It looked nice, the backyard would let the puppy run off some energy, let’s apply.  After a couple of back-and-forth emails, the owner said, “We are taking it off the market, the place is yours.”  Great! Oh Shit!  Now we need to get the house sold!  Don’t really want to pay rent and a mortgage.

Monday morning, I’m on the phone with the realtor and we get things going to list the house.  Now we need clean the house, decide what to take with us to the rental.  How do we get rid of the stuff we aren’t taking?  Garage sale? Auction company?  (Auction is where we landed) Regardless, we need to get things organized to sell.  Oh, yeah in the meantime, it’s time for our oldest to move to the apartment at college.  Don’t forget too, we need to study for the ASA 104 test so that we can keep the boat after two days of instruction.   July became a bit of whirlwind month for us. 

We got back from sailing, had the house cleaned and ready for showing.  Now it was time to sort out auction or move?  Let’s get things that are going to be moved into boxes and into the garage.  It was pretty amazing to see how little we were going to take to the rental, but then also how much it still seemed like we were taking.  You fill the space you have right.  We went from an almost 4000 square foot house to 1800 square feet and really tried not to take enough to fill it.

When we moved, we moved about 16 Rubber Maid tubs of keepsakes, most of them from the kids, but some of them are our keepsakes (the high school diploma that NO ONE has ever asked to see).  We knew that we didn’t have time to sort through them before we moved, so we just moved them.  We have a little bit of time to do that and have started to slowly go through them.  There were a few things that for me were easy to get rid of.  Other things, they aren’t as easy.  I mean, really, what do we do with our wedding album?  We’d like to digitize a lot of our pictures, but that’s a little overwhelming.  Some of those things that the kids might enjoy seeing later in their lives are likely going to go in a storage tub that will go probably to our oldest kid’s place for now.  Or some of my family has graciously agreed to keep a few those things for us too.

I have been asked a lot about a storage unit.  We are pretty firmly set against that.  One, we don’t want to keep that much stuff.  Two, that’s a few hundred a month and we are going to be on a pretty reduced income, so we don’t really want to spend that much to keep things.  But like I said, as our oldest gets established, he’s ok with taking some and family has agreed to keep a little bit as well.

One of things that has been hard to give up is the garden.  We had a great garden.  If you follow either of my accounts on Instagram (@the.greatwander, @jon.lever) I occasionally post pictures of the garden.  This year our tomatillos are just fabulous.  Last year, we had a great harvest, but it wasn’t until late in the season that we were able to harvest.  This year, though, we’ve been picking and picking and picking tomatillos and peppers too.  I have a gallon size baggie of jalapenos and probably three gallons of tomatillos.  If you’ve got some good recipes, feel free to drop me a link in the comments.

This zucchini got a little big, we didn’t always let this happen, but sometimes they just get big!

As we have gone through this process though, things are getting real.  We are no longer homeowners.  It was weird opening up the bank account and not seeing the mortgage the other day.  Now we’ve been looking a lot at both and  I do think that we will likely end up in a cat, but as I’ve looked at monohulls…for the money there’s some really nice one’s out there that are a bit bigger too.

Timing is a question I’ve been getting a lot lately from friends too.  When are you going to buy the boat?  It’s probably not going to be until April or May.  If we buy a boat too early that’s X number of months that we have to pay storage fees, whether or a slip or a place on the hard.  The other thing is that we didn’t get to do any backpacking this year, because of Sandy’s knee surgery, so we’d like to go backpacking this year before we jump on the boat.

We met with the O’Kelly’s again and talked a bit about the boat buying process.  We were thinking we were looking at a 4-month process, but they reassured us that it was really only about a month to six weeks from the time you make an offer to closing.  So, that gives us a little more reassurance to that we can wait for awhile to get super serious about buying one.  As they pointed out, the right boat is likely to come along at the wrong time.  It might be three months too early or 6 weeks after we hoped to buy, but as Megan said, “Go with the green lights”.  When things are going right, move forward! 

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