That’s What I Get for Planning

Today’s plans didn’t work out. I did not move the shelves and I did not get the antenna pipe stuck into the ground.

As I was going outside to get into my my old truck to go the storage unit, my wife said that there was a puddle of water in front of the sink. The person that installed under sink plumbing cut a piece of the drain tubing a bit too short and the connection between two pieces eventually pulled apart. When the sink was drained, the water “missed” the drain pipe, went onto the cabinet bottoms and then onto the floor. I looked at the piece that pulled out and it had cracked, so I couldn’t just put it back together and wait for a more convenient time to fix this.

My “pile” of spare parts is still in the city, so I had to go to the hardware store to get the needed parts. But, the local hardware store is closed on Sunday. The nearest hardware store that is open on Sunday is in the “larger city”, which is a 30 miles/48km from home.

Cleaning up the water spill, driving into the “larger city”, and installing the new drain tubing took a couple of hours and during that time the afternoon thunderstorms started. Moving bare wood shelves in the rain is not a good idea and I don’t like digging holes while standing in the rain, so we went to plan B.

Plan B is moving furniture around in the new home’s living room to find the most pleasing and optimum arrangement for everything.

As part of plan B, we also put together some bookcases so we can take our books out of the boxes in one of the bedrooms and start reestablishing our library. It is *SO* nice to have easy access to books.

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.

Excitement, Worry and Possible Courage

Today, we drove to what will be our new home town and made an offer on the house we are hoping to buy. The offer was accepted, so we have somewhere to live “on the other end”. The sale of our current home will be complete at the beginning of May and the purchase of our new home will be complete 3 weeks later.

I have lived in the “hot desert” for almost 60 years…nearly my entire life. My wife has lived in the hot desert for 37 years. For me, city living has been the case 43 years and for my wife, 45 years. Before that both of us grew up in tiny towns out in the “middle of nowhere”.

We will still be living in the desert, but it will be a cold desert. Each year, the hot desert has one or two days below freezing and many days above 115F/45C. It has never been below 20F/-7C. The cold desert will have high temperatures, at most, around 90F/32C and many days with low temperatures around -5F/-21C. The lack of “water falling from the sky” is pretty much the same for both places…just a few inches/cm of precipitation per year.

While the move, and achieving a near lifelong dream is exciting, I’m also a bit sad. I will be leaving what I’ve known for my entire life for something new.

I also have sense of foreboding and I can’t shake it. I’m not even sure what it is that I am worried about. Is it ET’s (twin sister) leukemia and my not being as close as I’d like in case she needs help? Is it something else? Am I just imagining things? Am I just sad about leaving a familiar situation? I don’t know.

I do know I am worried about ET, but I don’t think that is all the worry that I have.

I guess courage is not a lack of fear and worry but forging ahead despite the fear and worry. So, I guess I’m sort of courageous.

Someone is Sniffing Glue

For the past couple of weekends, we have been driving around to look at existing homes and vacant land in the more rural areas of the state.

We set our budget at around $500,000.

The *only* property within the above price range was a 22 year old 1400 square foot single wide manufactured home on 1/4 of an acre. The pictures in the listing made it look wonderful and the photographer should be commended for their abilities. Unfortunately, reality was something different from the images.

The property has been on the market (with no price changes) for about 11 months and, according to the neighbors, the place has been unoccupied for over 3 years. One end of the structure has sagged by 8 inches. The roof is leaking, and one corner of the structure will need to be completely replaced because of the water damage. There is evidence of mice infestation (12 dead mice in a bathtub was a clue), with many holes chewed into the walls and a lot of insulation pulled from the holes. The septic tank has collapsed. There is no well. There is no electrical power to the property. The asking price for the place is $465,000!

We raised our budget to around $550,000 and there were three other properties in the new price range. All were in worse condition than the $465,000 one.

I mentally added up the upgrade/repair costs for each of the places and I came up with around $80,000 to $150,000 for the repairs to bring any of the places to even minimal living conditions. The prices include me doing all the work that I can do…roofing, wallboard, leveling the home, electrical wiring and so forth. I can’t drill a well, nor can I dig the ground for a new septic system so those would be left to the professionals.

The real estate agent warned us that this is the area’s slow season for property being put up for sale and that everything currently listed for sale was left over from last summer…and added that those owners were “sniffing glue or something”. She said things would improve in the next month to six weeks and to be patient.

In the meantime, we will sell our current home and then live in the truck camper for a while. When the right place does show up, we will be ready.