Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wow!!  What a crazy last few days it’s been!! So, I’ll just backtrack to bring everyone up to date.
Tuesday evening was a very rough one for both Mike and me. Time was running out to get things done and there was still much to do before Ara, Mike’s daughter, arrived with the moving van in the morning.  Needless to say, when the van arrived at about 9am, Mike was still clearing out his desk and other stuff.

But, with the help of a wonderful local young man, Justin, we managed to get the truck full and loaded by about 2:30pm. What a marathon!! We sent the truck on ahead of us along with Justin to Spokane for the unloading in a storage unit for Ara.

It still took Mike and me another 2 hours to get his truck loaded with what we could get in it. It still wasn’t enough time to do all I wanted to do – like clean out the refrigerator and scrub the house for the new owners. However, they kept telling us to just leave it and not to worry because they were chomping at the bit to move in the minute we were gone, which they did.
Off to Spokane we went (our 3rd trip in a week – 2 ½ hrs one way). We were on autopilot at this point and exhausted mentally and physically. We didn’t even have time to say good bye the right way to our pets – Bodie & Mittens, nor to take one last look around at our place to have a moment of silence and bid adieu. Just not in the cards…just keep moving on.

By the time we arrived in Spokane, Justin and the gang had already unloaded the van and all that was left were the last items in Mike’s truck. Yea for our older bodies!!
It was time to head to Ara’s home for the final unloading of items she was keeping at the house and to have wine and beer. Deserved all the way around!! Amazing how good it tasted!

After a good dinner at Dewey’s, Mike & I headed to our now “new home” – hotel beds! The first night of many where “HOME” will be wherever we lay our heads for the night.

Thursday we decided that the car was way too full of stuff to haul back east to Denise’s (my daughter in CT) so we headed to UPS and shipped 3 large heavy boxes. The car finally had some room! Still with a truck to leave behind at Arden 2nd Hand for consignment, we headed back to Colville. Once we dropped off the truck and finished paperwork, the car was once again way too full!  Oh well, we’ll deal with that on Friday.
Our wonderful friends, Tina & Don, made a generous offer of letting us stay at Don’s log cabin on the Kettle River for our last few days. It couldn’t be a more fitting place for our initial transition!! Going from our beautiful log cabin in the woods on the Kettle River to a cozy log cabin on the Kettle River was just the ticket. The only difference is that this place is on small acreage in a small community with neighbors and strange people noises. Still a beautiful place to be!

As I’m writing this on Sunday morning, I’m sitting in a camp chair overlooking the river flowing by and an eagle flying overhead to roost in a tree across from me. Oh, and the neighbor is weed whacking away next door!! So much for the quiet peaceful moment. We WILL get used to it, as I’m sure that will be more the norm than the exception in our future.
We did go back to the house Thursday evening to collect a few items still remaining. The new owners were well on their way to moving in.  Mike & I wish them all nothing but the very best in a beautiful place that is now theirs to create their dream vision. LOVE you guys and see you next May!!

Friday was spent in Colville running last minute errands and my office throwing a wonderful summer potluck lunch for us. THANK YOU all!! I'm going to miss each and everyone of you!!

It became apparent, however, that another trip to Spokane was necessary to deliver thee remaining family items to Ara. So after a beautiful Friday night at the Rockcut Blues Festival, which is why we are still here, we made another trip (now our 4th in a week) to Spokane.

However, this actually gave the opportunity to see our dear friends, Leslie & Mike, at Deaconess Hospital. Leslie had had surgery on Friday and we knew we couldn’t leave without seeing her in the flesh that all was good with her. Yes, her surgery went far better than anticipated and all is good!!
Back to Barstow at the cabin and then to a leisurely dinner at Tina & Don’s with all garden food. Yummy!! Thank You so much for all of your friendship and generosity!! Saying “See you later!” was very difficult and some tears were shed.

Off to the last night of Rockcut Blues, where we met up with the new owners of our place. It gave us a chance to introduce them to more of their new neighbors. It was a great evening under the stars with good music, dancing and time to say “See you later!” to many friends.  It appears most are very jealous of us and can’t wait to hear how it all goes for us. EVERYONE is invited to come visit us wherever!!
Today is being spent by sleeping in a bit, having coffee on the river’s edge, writing this so that I can post it when I finally get internet service, good friends – Linda & Alan – coming by for a bit of lunch here and then off to say some more “See you laters”.

Tomorrow morning, Monday, July 30, we get in our car with what we have left to carry across country and we head to Vancouver, BC for what has now turned into 4 nights there. I’ll explain that later.
So, again, for now – see ya!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's Time!

11:00 PM, Tuesday evening, July 24th

Wow!! What a day busy with packing, cleaning out important paper files, and packing!! Hard night for both of us. Each with our own memories as individuals and each with "together" memories. We want all of our friends that are reading this blog to know that we enjoyed having them here at "our" place. A place that we both created together. Certainly not the place it was when I first arrived. But, a far better embelishment of what it was meant to be.

The stars are bright, the hot tub was refreshing and soothing, the promise of sleep in our own bed for the very last time.... NEVER to sleep in this bed again! Goodbye my friend, goodbye my home, goodbye my/our life here.....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Final Full Day at "Home"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I don't know if another large tree being down over the driveway last night is a "sign" that we're doing the right thing or it's trying to tell us not to go!  Whatever, we're going so there!!

This time it was dark when we got home and we were tired and had a few nips, so it was a royal pain in the arse!! Mission accomplished, however.  Again, THANK YOU, buyers for leaving your chain saw!

This is our last full day here. That's really hard to say and as I'm writing this my stomach is in knots and my vision is getting blurry. Our friends just came and got our leather sofa so tonight we sit on camp chairs.

They also took away our precious wood carved statute of native Alaskan woman holding in her arms like a babe, a salmon. I gave this to Mike for an anniversary present many years ago. She graced our garden and watched over us lovingly. She was one of the first things I saw every morning, as she stood right outside my home office window.  You will LOVE your new home!! I promise!

The rest of today will be spent packing our actual suitcases and loading the car up with what we will be taking with us on our US cross country journey. Also, it's a survival method so that the "stuff" doesn't get packed in the moving van tomorrow and ends up in storage in Spokane.

All of our household goods and furniture are being given to Mike's daughter, Ara. She will need it shortly. Ara, Azi and Robert will be here bright and early tomorrow to load it up. As soon as we head out the new owners will begin moving in the front door and making this their home. We are so lucky to have found wonderful folks that we know will love this paradise as much as we did!

Needless to say, this is a tough day.  So I'll end and begin what needs to be done....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

ANOTHER harrowing wind storm last night!! Blew all of the fans out of the windows!! We layed there praying we wouldn't have to deal with downed trees again today. We have absolutely way too much to do!

I think I've given enough of the story up to now, so I'll now share our itinerary.

We will first be taking a 3 month cross country US trip to see family and friends and to do some of our "bucket list" items that we just haven't gotten to yet.

On Monday, July 30, we get in our car and head out of town. First to Spokane to see a dear friend who'll be having surgery on Friday. Have to make sure we see her in the flesh and that all is good!! From there, we make our way to Vancouver, BC. There we will be spending a couple of nights and watching the Festival of Lights on Wednesday evening, 8/1.  The Festival is always held at the end of July and has been on our bucket list. 3 different countries every year put on a fireworks competition. This year is Viet Nam, Brazil and Italy. We're seeing Brazil.

We have to be in Seattle by 8/4 because we board Holland America for a week Alaskan cruise!!! Why not?? I've never been and have always wanted to go.

Once back on 8/11, we head south to Portland and Eugene to see friends, Crater Lake, and then the coast to SF and more wonderful friends in the wine country. We also hope to catch up with our grandson, Azi, in Modesto,CA.

Continue driving down the coast, which I've always wanted to do and Mike hasn't done for a long long time.  Our final destination in CA is Carlsbad where Mike has family.  We are excited because a good friend of mine has asked us to house sit for 3 weeks while they're gone on a mediterranean cruise and to watch their adorable 4 lb yorkie - Bear!! So we're all set for a short respite of the traveling.

From there we head east to Bryce & Zion, Tuscon, NM.  Family and friends along the way. Over to Carl Junction (Joplin), MO to visit my brother and his wife, my good friend, Linda. First time at their home for me. But we love to travel and take vacations together, so I'm glad I get to see them in their own environment.  Mike got to see them last year when he drove through when he was working on the southern storms.

Up to Chicago for more family and friends, Upper MI with more friends, over into Canada again to drive to Niagra Falls, which Mike has never seen.  Plan to be in CT by mid October and be with my daughter and her family.  Mike also has quite a bit of family in the area, so we can't wait to see them again soon!!

On November 4, Mike & I, and my daughter and family get on a plane and head to Aruba for a week of true and total relaxation!! Hopefully, we'll be teaching our grandson, Peter, to drive stick shift.

On November 11, Mike & I fly to Panama City where we'll be for 3 months. On February 7, 2013 we fly to San Jose, Costa Rica. On May 1, 2013, we're back on US soil and land in Spokane to visit for several weeks with good friends. A high school graduation the end of May in CA and another high school graduation in CT mid June, as both of our oldest grandsons are graduating!!

From there, our plan is to head to Ecuador & Uruguay for 3 months in each country.

Well, there you have it in a nut shell!!  My head is spinning!!  We have all of our plane tickets already and if you think you can't do it -- the plane fare for all of this for EACH of us was ONLY $1,450!!!  Not bad!!

Until later....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Only 4 Days To Go

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Happy Sunshine!!

Had a harrowing storm yesterday in Spokane, which then tracked Sand Creek Rd!! Good thing Mike & I decided NOT to stop for dinner and drinks at our favorite hang out - Northern Ales.

It's funny that when a storm like that hits, the first thing we think of is whether or not there's a tree down on our driveway either keeping us in or out. Well, at least this time, it was still daylight and it wasn't cold, rainy or snowing!!!

YUP!! A nice big tree was down over the driveway. And, guess what?? We had sold ALL of our saws at the auction we had last Saturday so.....thank goodness the new owners had left some behind in one of their load drop offs and Mike knew where they were.  AND, they had gas!!! Yippeee!!

So in pretty short order we were back up at the tree and Mike began sawing away - oh, Thank You Jeff that the saw was also sharp!!  I helped only by picking up the limbs and tossing them off the driveway.  Mike did ALL the hard work!

It's now Sunday, July 22, 2012....

Even though we had a contract on the house by early May, there were still a few contingencies to it so nothing was "for sure".  So until we had actually closed and it was a done deal, not a word of our plans were uttered except to a few very close friends who've actually known from the beginning. And, of course, family knew. Thank You Alan & Linda, Mike & Leslie, Kim & Randy, Tina C and Tina M for keeping mum on the news!

One BIG reason we didn't want to count our chickens before they hatched was that if word got out AND it didn't happen, my business would have suffered. As it's turned out it's been a terrific time for my business and I'm going out with a bang!

Once the closing of the house took place with all parties present at the table, the real work needed to begin. It had been agreed to that we would be completely out of the house on July 25th. Needing to deal with 37 years of stuff was going to take detailed orchestration!

We scheduled an auction for Saturday, July 14th; we began sorting and deciding what to keep, what was going to whom, and where would we store the few things we wanted to keep. It's been a painful but cleansing process.

The several days before the auction was spent bringing as much as possible out of the shop onto the lawn, setting up tables of stuff, sorting tools and just plain realizing how much we had and wanted to dispose of. Then came the rains!! Storms of a magnitude that we hadn't seen in years especially at this time of year!!

So, even though everything was covered as well as could be, we didn't sleep for several nights while listening to the hard pouring rain and wind.  AND, the worst was the night before!! Truly an unbelievable storm!

But with the morning dawning the clouds parted and the sun came out and people began to arrive by 8am. The previewing was supposed to be a 9am -- HA! People ALWAYS show up early. Well, they came and came and came! At one point, we had well over a hundred people here. But best of all, they bought and bought and bought!!

At 6pm we finally just stopped! Everyone was fried after a very long hot day. But the coffers were full! And, very little was left!!  A truly successful day!! Thank You to all who contributed to our day and thank you to those that came to say hello and goodbye! So many of our past clients came and it sort of felt like a "client appreciation" party. Nice, very nice!!

Well, today will be spent like yesterday and the day before....packing, doing a little real estate, washing for one last time, cleaning as we go, packing some more. Our dear friends, Alan & Linda, are due to arrive to help today. That will be much appreciated!

Ciao for now or now I must start saying Hasta Luego!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Good Morning!!

The day has started out with a bit of rain. Oh well, we're off to Colville & Spokane to do more delivering of our "stuff". Shedding more and more each day. We will truly only be left with the 2 suitcases that we are allowing each of ourselves for this journey.

To continue what I started yesterday, once the seed was planted in our lives as a real possibility, we continued to do research and, at this point, have decided that Costa Rica & Panama in Central America and Ecuador & Uruguay, in South America, fit our criteria. So based on these 4 countries, we developed a plan of action as to how to make it happen.

After a very harrowing but successful unpleasant event in January, 2012, we began to put things in motion. Mike began cleaning out our "RESOURCE" shed. When I first arrived here, it was nothing more than junk to me but, alas, as the items in that dark pit began to save us time and time again as we needed parts to fix this or that, I became a believer and dubbed it the Resource Shed. When you live miles and miles from a hardware store and a trip to the hardware store means at least 3 hours out of your schedule and life, the Resource Shed became an even more important part of my life.

It took Mike 3+ weeks to sort through it all - true garbage, metal, recycle, & keep. When all was said and done, he had a full truck load of metal! He thought, hey, if I get enough to pay for the gas in the truck to haul it to Kettle Falls, I be lucky. Well, there was gold in them thar metal!! He walked away with $284!! With more than enough to cover the gas, he went and celebrated with himself and had a beer or two at Northern Ales - one of our favorite places to hang out!!

By Easter, we felt we were "close enough" to put the house on the market. As Mike and I have been in this business collectively for over 55 yrs, we think we know a thing or two about how it's done. So we put the house on the market at a price we could live with but was agressive, which is needed in this market. And, voila!! The 3rd buyers to look at the property bought our lovely paradise!! It will now be their paradise!

As of Wednesday, July 25th, Jeff & Jodee Granville along with their 2 beautiful children, Logyn (6) and McKoy (2) AND Wendy Granville & Steve Partridge will be coming "home". Jeff and Wendy are brother and sister and hale from Anacortes, WA. I know I butchered the children's names, so I apologize now.

There is so much more that has happened behind the scenes that I'll probably address later but just know that no move much less a move of this magnitude carries lots of emotional baggage for everyone!! Mike, as I've said before, has lived on this beautiful land for 37 years. This WAS his dream!! This was where he thought he would take his last breath of life. Never in a million years did he or anyone else think he would ever make the decision to agree to do this journey.

For me, having moved 31 times in 30 years, and having packed up my life and carried only what I could get into my car 12 years ago almost to the day, to move out here blindly to be with Mike, this isn't as harrowing. However, this IS my home! I've forged a beautiful life here with work and special dear friends. This ain't so easy for me either!

I'll end with you all just knowing that Mike & I are doing this TOGETHER, hand in hand, hearts blended in this fantastic, exciting adventure! We are young enough and very healthy - so let's do it NOW before we can't. 

Have a GREAT day!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 1 of My Blog

I should have started this blog when the thought of doing this journey first entered into my head. That would have been back at Thanksgiving, 2011. It began to formulate as a way of dealing with many unpleasant matters that were happening in Mike's and my lives.

So I set out to gather and research the idea of us moving to somewhere where we could live debt free with at least the standard of living that we currently enjoy for less on a monthly basis, a stable government, and much less expensive but really good health care.  If we could find such a place, maybe this wasn't going to a futile exercise.

YES, we do enjoy watching House Hunters International. And, YES, it did feed fuel to the fire! And, YES, we do subscribe to International Living. It was ALWAYS a dream of ours to be able to spend 6 months in our own nirvana here on the Kettle River in our beautiful log home and 6 months living somewhere most only dream of going to.

This dream of ours was no longer possible with the current economic situation. or the other had to go.

In early December, 2011, I sat down with Mike and told him I wanted to make a proposal to him. That I wanted him to let me present the whole matter to him and once he heard it, had time to digest it, had time to let it all sink in, then he could say whatever he wished.

Being the gracious and kind friend/spouse that he is, he did just that! So, as I would present any Listing Presentation, I began my presentation with the overall concept, documentation and supporting research results that I had gathered, and layed before him the logic of why doing this journey made so much sense for US!!

With a deep breath and pregnant pause, he looked me in the eye and said...YES, it makes sense and I concur.  WOW!!!  I NEVER expected that at all!!

Mike has lived on this beautiful land for 37 years. He built this home with his own hands and love!! Since I've been here (7/2000), we've created a truly beautiful oasis and embellished upon what was already here.

I think I'm going to stop now as I've gone on too long.  I'll write more in a bit when I can.

And, so the story continues......