Update to “Shock”

ET (“Evil” twin) used “leukemia” as a generic term for a blood/bone marrow cancer. Leukemia is (I guess) a bone marrow cancer causing abnormal production of white blood cells. ET’s bone marrow is producing abnormal red blood cells. Since the repeated tests are not showing a worsening of the problem, her doctor is going to wait 3 months before doing more tests.

So, the waiting continues. Waiting is better than the test results getting worse.

It’s Really Done Part 2

We just received an email that the property deed, showing we are now the owners of the property, has been presented to the county recorder’s office and that the keys to the house are being brought to us by our real estate agent.

So, we are no longer homeless and we are now officially writing in the new chapter of “our life’s book”.

Tomorrow we will remove the camper from our truck and start bringing up our furnishings (and antique Jeeps) in a borrowed 25 foot (7.5 meter) trailer.

I am going to make sure I bring up the dozen *huge* pots in the first load as it is “about now” to be placing plants, like tomatoes and peppers, outside.

Next Chapter

I don’t know what chapter my life is starting. All I know is that it is a new one.

Today, we signed the papers to buy the house and land where we are “camping”.

It’s customary, here anyway, for the buyers to sign everything first and then have the seller sign everything. The seller was scheduled to sign everything about 30 minutes after we finished, so I hope everything it complete.

Again, the ownership change is not official until the papers are presented to the county government (tax collector) office. This is supposed to happen tomorrow. So, even though everyone has signed everything, we still do not yet own the place yet and we don’t feel it proper to “move in” until it’s really all done.

18-7/8 acres, a 1,600 square foot house, a water well, a septic tank and a whole lot of quiet.

n Saturday we are going to remove the camper from the truck and drive back to the city. There we will borrow a 25 foot (7-1/2 meter) long enclosed trailer, load it up on Sunday, and begin moving things to the new home.

I can’t wait to get everything here.

Like I Remember

The home builder said we could stay on the property/home we will be purchasing in less than 2 weeks, so we are not having to pay for a campsite. This is nice because it saves us from paying campground fees and because we are not able to get what we need at the campground store.

Backing up a bit. The builder buys a piece of property, builds a home and then sells it, so it is not a custom home. Still, with just a little bit of work, it will be “just right” for us.


Because we do need to go into town, we are able to learn the rhythms and customs of the area.

We are 12 miles miles (20km) from the nearest grocery store and a round trip is, obviously, twice as far. This is also the closest town. There is a convenience store about 5 miles (8km) distant that sells snacks, soda, beer, gasoline, diesel and propane. I did notice flour, sugar and a few canned goods on the shelves so it is okay for unexpected needs for basic things. This reminds me of my childhood…a “sort of outpost” store not too far away and the larger but farther away stores for the “scheduled trips”.

Unlike the city, which has stores open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, most everything around here is open 8am to 7pm, Monday through Friday, 8am to 1pm on Saturday and most everything is closed on Sunday. This is how it was when I was young.

Obviously police, fire and medical emergencies are handled immediately. Also, electrical utility power, propane fuel deliveries, water well issues, and plumbing problems are considered important enough to be taken care of as quickly as possible, no matter the day or hour. But, I’m sure there would be some annoyance if, repeatedly, someone knew their propane tank was nearly empty and did not schedule a delivery during the week.

We do not have mail delivery to our street address, so we get a free post office box in town…12 miles away. Companies that do not ship via the postal service may be a problem that will need to be worked out. When I was young, if a package could not be delivered to a house (because the house couldn’t be found or the road was too poor to traverse), the package would be left at the local grocery store (and Greyhound bus stop). Everyone shopped there because it was the only grocery store and the employees would bring any delivered packages to customers. I will need to ask around if there is a similar arrangement here.

I remember my father pulling over to see if someone stopped along side the road might need help. A couple of days ago, we stopped along the road where cell telephone service was good so my wife could continue to talk with her cousin. Two people stopped to see if we needed help, so we met two neighbors.

The roads are graded dirt and there are a two places where a rain storm might flood the road and wash the roadbed away. Not far from these places is a huge pile of gravel and a privately owned front end loader. I found out the neighbors take care of these washouts even though the county maintains the road…”we can fix it faster than the county”. I’m sure the folks doing this wouldn’t mind some sort of compensation and if it’s like I remember, offering money would be insulting. So it’s likely the compensation will be offering help with a project or offering to buy the load of gravel that is along side the road. All of the people who stopped to see if we needed help had 2-way radios in their vehicles and I found out this is how they keep in contact with their neighbors. I am skilled with 2-way radio stuff, so maybe this will be my way of providing compensation.

It’s Really Done

The deed (ownership transfer paperwork) to our old house has been officially recorded at the county office and we have been paid.

The next step is, in late May, to complete the purchase of our new home. This may happen early, which is good.

For right now we are sort of homeless. 🙂

It’s Done

At 9:30am, we finished the sales paperwork for our home.

As soon as my wife gets back from canceling her gym membership, we will load up our dog into the truck (he *LOVES* truck rides) and drive off to start on our next adventure.

2 Hours

In two hours my wife will formally sell the house, that 23 years ago, we turned into a home.

We’re excited to begin a new chapter in our lives.

We don’t formally have a house to move into until later this month, so there is the worry of “if that deal gets cancelled”.

The other worry I have is for the trees and vines at our still current home…an orange tree that each year provides us with about 700 pounds/320kg of oranges each year, the huge grape vine that shades the back porch, the pomegranate tree that provides 150 pounds/70kg of pomegranates each year and has blossoms that attract dozens of hummingbirds, the peach tree that is just starting to bear fruit and three huge trees in the front yard that, I think, make the house look beautiful.

I’m fairly certain the house will be rented and trees like this require some “human input”…and it saddens me, but wouldn’t surprise me, if a “landscaping” company were called in to cut them down and remove them.

We can’t grow oranges where we are going, but apples do well there, so we will be planting apples. I also have some pomegranate “twigs” that I hope will root. I will need to check with some plant experts regarding the grapes.

The Last 48

My mother in law likes to watch the television show, “The First 48” and that is where I got the idea for this post.

In 48 hours, we will be signing the papers to sell our home. Technically, the house is ours until the papers are presented to the government office responsible for keeping track of property ownership records, and this will happen on Tuesday morning. So, technically this is “the last 72”.

Since we will be leaving as soon as we sign the papers, I will go with the reality, and not the technicality.

I had “khaki diapers”…also known as a “marine brat”. The “brat” part was part of the vernacular (I hope I wasn’t a real brat) referring to children of US Marines. My father was marine officer and moves were a normal occurrence. For me, I was born toward the end of my father’s 30 year career in the marines and I only moved seven times in the first 18 years of my life.

Since then I sort of settled down, 10 years in one place, 10 years in another place and 23 years in the current home.

I’m hoping that we can live at least that long in the new place we are buying.


At the moment, many chapters of my (and my wife) are ending. So far, we haven’t yet turned any pages to start new chapters.

Our very elderly dog had to be euthanized. It was a difficult, but not hard, decision. There is a difference. To me, a hard decision is when a difficult decision must be made and the reasons are not clear. In this case, the reasons were very clear. It is the closing of a 14 year long chapter.

Yesterday we turned in our school and bus keys at the school where we “worked”…me for 14 years and my wife for 16 years. On our last day as substitute drivers we drove kids on a field trip. We turned in our keys because we will be living several hundred miles distant from the school. It is the closing of a 14 to 16 year long chapter.

The buyers of our house want all “personalizations” to the house to be removed. So, all the things we have done over the past 23 years are rapidly being erased. The new owners want to start making the house into their home without being encumbered by what we had done. I understand this. It is the closing of a 23 year long chapter.

It feels strange living in a house that is no longer a home. In addition to the fixed appliances, we are leaving the washer and dryer. The new buyers want them. I’m not sure why because the dryer is 37 years old and the washer is 21 years old. I have maintained them well, so, even without careful maintenance, they should last several more years.. The reason I’m mentioning this is that we are living a hybrid life right now. We are sleeping on an air mattress in our bedroom, cooking in the camper, doing dishes in the dishwasher and doing the laundry in the washer and dryer. After tomorrow, we will likely start sleeping in the camper and pack up the air mattress and blankets.

We sign the ownership transfer paperwork on Monday, May 2, at 9am. Tuesday, when the documents are presented to the county recorder’s office, we will no longer own the house.

We don’t need to be there at the county recorder–the buyer takes care of that–so we will likely start the next chapters of our life on Monday.

I have pictures of the house on the day we bought it, when it was empty. I took pictures before we started putting things into storage when the home was still a reflection of our personalities. I will take some more pictures just before we close the front door for the last time.

It is both sad and exciting at the same time.


Today, we took our 16 year old yellow lab dog to the vet…for the last time. She was the oldest Labrador Retriever at her vet’s practice.

It was time. Up until today, she always acted happy to be a dog and would be excited when we would get the leashes (and poop bags) out. Today, when I got the leash out, she just lay there looking at it, not even wagging her tail. Today she would not even eat chicken.

Our daughter, when she was 10 years old, picked a young yellow lab dog out of all the dog’s at the humane society dog adoption center. We called her Gypsy.

Gypsy was found, three days earlier, tied to the front door of the humane society when the staff showed up for work. They said when they found her, she was frightened, hungry and thirsty and estimated her age to be around 2 years. No one knows why she was left, but it was better than abandoning her in the desert to die.

Our daughter is now 24 years old and living in the Northeast USA, so she had to say her goodbyes via Facetime.

We were hoping Gypsy would see her new 18 acre “territory”, but it was not to be. The injection was done at 8:03pm April 23.

We had her pack mate with us at the final moments. He, too, got to say his goodbyes. He licked her muzzle, like he always did. Obviously there was no response.

So he is now, at age 12, “the senior dog present”.

From June 2021.