We are making good progress packing up the house. All the rooms, closets, and drawers are nearly empty except for the kitchen and bathroom. I am leaving those for last. After that I will have to work on the back porch and basement. I’m not sure how much progress I can make on the basement, but I want to at least get started. I also want to do a little yard work. I have so much to do.
The only room in the house that is getting more full instead of more empty is the living room. I have pushed all the living room furniture to one end of the room. At the other end, boxes are creeping away from the wall and consuming floor space like a monster. Poor Danny has less and less room to navigate. However, Kee Kee loves to sleep in empty boxes and Timmy and Little Bear are enjoying climbing the mountains of boxes and hiding in nooks and crannies. Luke just enjoys cuddling with JJ.
It’s rather interesting watching our lives get reduced to boxes in the living room.
As rooms empty and boxes accumulate, JJ says he is getting really excited. He sort of fluctuates between excitement and nervousness. I mean, what if it’s not a change for the better? What if he doesn’t find friends? I told him that we know what to expect where we now live, but the really wonderful thing about the move is the possibilities it opens up for us. We have a chance at a new beginning–we will have no personal history up there and the future is filled with mysterious possibilities to explore. It’s like the poem Bilbo Baggins recited in The Lord of the Rings:
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
And there’s also a different version of the poem that Bilbo first recited in The Hobbit. This version reminds me of the many places of natural beauty we can explore in the new location.
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.
Last week when EJ and I opened new accounts at the bank with branches both here and there, Anne, the Branch Financial Sales Consultant, told me that she would help me set up on-line banking once the accounts were all set up and we had received our ATM cards. I finally had time yesterday so I drove into the bank. (Ok, I didn’t really drive “into” the bank, but into the town to where the bank is.) Anne was busy but the branch manager sat down with me and helped me set up the on-line banking and learn to use their ATM. I felt a bit like an old lady who needs her grandchildren to teach her how to turn on the DVD player, but I have never done on-line banking before and we almost never use an ATM. These newfangled technologies change all time so it was good to get updated. I think it will be handy to do on-line banking with EJ living in one place and we in another.
When I look at real estate sites, especially those with maps, I think “Somewhere in this area is our new home.” That is exciting. I don’t particularly enjoy packing up a lifetime of possessions in our old house, but I get excited at the thought of unpacking and settling in a new home. Building the new is more enjoyable than deconstructing the old, I think.
Yesterday afternoon EJ drove to a couple of possible houses that we had found on real estate sites.
The first house was a foreclosure on 8 acres selling for $54,000. In 2011 it had sold for $176,000. The realtor had told EJ that it was a tremendous bargain. EJ couldn’t find the house so he called me. I’m EJ’s “hero support”–when he needs info or directions, he calls me and I looked it up on the Internet. I saw that the house–as well as a few others–was actually on a drive off the main road. EJ said the actual road was a private road and very rough–a person almost needed four-wheel drive to travel on it. He decided not to try to go on the smaller drive. He said it was too wild of an area and the road too rough and “adventurous” so we crossed the house off our list.
The next house he drove to is actually his favorite of the houses available on the real estate sites. It is a house on 3.7 acres for $65,000. It has a basement, garage, and two pole barns. I think the kitchen is cheerful. EJ said the place and the neighborhood looks nice. He called the realtor and made an appointment to look at it on Monday. The problem is that the house is a foreclosed manufactured house so it might be difficult to get financing. Also, it is sold “as is” which is sort of scary.
We are hoping to find a three bedroom house that isn’t too close to the Emerald City (where the taxes are higher). However, because the area gets tons of snow, we don’t want to live too far away either. In the summer, there also will be lots of tourists which will increase traffic and could make getting to work time-consuming. I told EJ to remember that summer is “tourist season” and he doesn’t even need a license. JJ laughed and said that I was very terrible.
EJ grew up on a farm so living in a town has felt too restrictive to him. I also want to have more space. Therefore, we want to have at least a couple of acres–more would be better. We’d like a finished basement or a garage–or both–so EJ has room for his “guy stuff.” We don’t have that in our current house and it’s been a frustration because EJ has no area to putter. We also don’t want a house that will need a ton of work. We are moving to “vacation” area so when EJ is not working, we’d like to be able to enjoy our surroundings rather than have to always work on a house. However, we would like to have a chance at being debt-free so we don’t want a really expensive house. It’s difficult to find a house that fits all these parameters. I know, I know, we could loosen our restrictions, and we have looked at houses with less land or for more money. But having a small lot feels intolerable and slightly more expensive houses (up to $110,000) don’t look much better than the less expensive houses. We do find houses, but they are usually either manufactured houses or foreclosures. We don’t mind either, but we are unsure how to get financing because sometimes banks are reluctant to loan money for them. That’s one thing EJ will need to discuss with the loan person up in the Emerald City. We probably could find a good house if we had time, but it’s expensive for EJ to live in motels and we all want to be together again ASAP. We are praying that God helps us to quickly find the house that is “just right.”
EJ is driving down today to spend time with us. He should arrive at mid-afternoon. He will return to the Emerald City on Sunday. I can’t wait to see him.