She Said. . .
I don’t believe you can fully appreciate spring Break unless you are a teacher. I have taken a full-time long-term substitute teacher job in order to make a little extra money to put toward the house to prep it for sale so we can get on with our full-time RV adventure. All of this while maintaining my church job and keeping up with my business orders. Although the extra coin has been great, the reason you haven’t heard much from me in the last couple of months is that I have been so exhausted when I get home at night that I fall into my chair to rest up for the trip upstairs to bed. We have decided not to do this again next year, as I would like to spend my remaining time here in a conscious state! Needless to say, I was looking forward to spring break with a great deal of anticipation, and now that it is almost over, I can look back and see what I have accomplished.
First and foremost, our packed up stuff has been piling up in the garage, and the pile has been getting so big that we have been having trouble navigating around it. Shannon requested that we have our first garage sale sooner rather than later, and I recoiled in horror at the prospect of managing to squeeze that in before the end of May.
I actually hate garage sales. . .I don’t like going to them and I confess that the thought of haggling with strangers over my stuff has produced more than one nightmare over the last few months. So we made a unilateral decision to donate all of our stuff to the church yard sale in April and take the tax deduction. So far that means almost all of our books (hundreds, the remains of which can go on to be donated to the Aztec library), almost all of the bookshelves, kitchen stuff, some tchotchkes, and some clothes. My relief has been palpable. We have taken one flat-bed and at least three truckloads to the church and the proceeds will go to camp scholarships. Because I have been packing stuff up for months now, I can get rid of a box and not worry about what is in it. I still want to do a room-by-room to root out everything we don’t need for the next year, but I am running out of time.
We will still have to have one sale at the end, for furniture and whatever is left after the RV is parked in the driveway and the house is on the market. I foresee that that one will be easier, as we will be out of limbo and ready to start the next grand adventure.
All of this clearing-out has had another unexpected affect. I had been looking at rooms of the house and falling back into what I would like to do to them, more for me and not for resale. With less stuff around, and some actual movement toward our goal, I have been able to shift back into minimalist mode. . .let the next owner spend the money to improve things the way they want. I have been able to back out of new banister and loft rails, new medicine cabinets for the bathrooms, and a complete mud room remodel. This makes Shannon happy.
One of the big items on our list was a continuous heat source. We have a great pellet stove in the living room and another in the garage/workshop, and excellent solar gain, so we took out the ugly inefficient wall panel propane heater and threw it away years ago. When our realtor friend toured our house and gave us suggestions on what we need to do before we list (highly recommended), she informed us that the house needed a consistent heat source for a buyer to get financing. So, we took the saved up money and were able to buy and have somebody else install a new highly efficient propane wall heater. Big check off the list!
Eight weeks to go before I can put the teaching career to rest, 8 months before we start RV shopping in earnest, 9 months before I retire at the church, ten months before I put the closed sign on my Caballo Website, and fourteen months before we launch. Still lots of work to do, but we are closer than we were a week ago!