The Year Before

~ an occasional diary of 2013.

It’s April and we’re planning our first garage sale this coming weekend! A few friends have already come and bought some items. It’s nice to know that some of our treasures will be enjoyed by people we know. I’m alternating between putting price tickets on items, and taking old bank statements to the shredding place I’ve discovered. Yes they now know me there!

We want to start moving things, but we also have to keep the bed, and a few other items so the house is not totally denuded, and we can still live here.

You meet some interesting people when you have a garage sale! We’ve been hearing stories about “collections I have had” and “the FBI is helping me with this scam someone’s trying…” We sold lots of items, and now the house is looking a little lighter. I think we can count that as a success. Next step? Keep putting pictures on CL, see what we can sell there. Paperwork continues to need clearing out.

It’s the middle of May already! Time to get some hints and tips on transatlantic cruising, which lines and ships might be good for us. We’ve never taken a cruise before, and have never really considered cruises, but now that we’ve discovered the idea of one-way repositioning cruises, it sounds like a really good idea to combine getting from here to there, and accommodation, food and entertainment in one easy, interesting package.

ocean

Well, that was quick! One catch-up lunch with two friends from the travel biz, and we’ve booked our transatlantic crossing! We’re excited that our plans are moving ahead, and looking forward to everything.

7 June 2013: Am I going to miss the garden? We’ll be picking our first ripe homegrown tomato today! I enjoy the garden a great deal, and love seeing things grow. The downside is all the work involved. Yesterday I cut back all the shrubs in the front. On balance, I’ll be ok without a garden to maintain. I know we can find farmers’ markets in many places.

Garden

18 June 2013: I’ll be taking a few pieces to an auction house this week. Some of our possessions “should” make more at auction than on craigslist or a garage sale, so we’ll be trying that. Fingers crossed!

27 June 2013: Time to kick back and relax for a couple of weeks, and not worry about selling furniture or mowing the lawn. We’re heading to Belize to scuba-dive and leaving friends house-sitting for us.

SeaLife DC1400

31 July 2013: Back from Belize and happy to find that most of the items we sent to auction have sold, and for fair prices. A few more pieces are planned for the next auction in August. Now that Chris is no longer working, we’re back to planning with a vengeance! We’ve made lists and assigned ourselves tasks, and we’re constantly posting pics to craigslist to sell more things. Lots of guitars and a motorcycle as well as the usual furniture and accessories. Going to move this into high gear now!

11 August 2013: oh there were tears yesterday when we sold the bike: me not Chris. We’ve had some fun times on that Concours.

Concours

We’ve taken it to Yosemite, on a lovely long trip to the Grand Canyon, Bryce & Zion, and surprised the heck out of the porters at the hotel in Vegas when we loaded all our luggage onto it in the morning! Lots of short rides over to the sea, and long rides into the mountains. It’s seen Shasta and Oregon. I’ve fallen asleep on the back many times, during the boring bits of riding. We fitted a cupholder once for fun, and made people in a sports car laugh as we passed them on 85, with me sipping coffee on the back 🙂  We’ve chatted and exchanged comments on the scenery through the intercom that Chris installed. And now it’s gone to a new happy home, with a very enthusiastic new owner 🙂 I was hoping for a quick last ride up to Alice’s Restaurant for brunch one morning, but it was not to be.

We’ve also had several friends “put their name” on lots of furniture, for a bit later when we’re ready to let it go. Things are moving along!

17 August 2013: Met with a realtor on Thursday, nearly ready to sign a contract, and we’ve decided to put the house on the market in mid October. 8 weeks to go, and so much to do! We’ll need to do some interior painting, and Chris is steadily painting the exterior of the house. It’s beginning to get real!

26 August 2013: We’ve signed up with a great realtor – Julie Wyss and the paperwork has begun! Margo the stager has been round and given us valuable advice on how best to present the house for sale. Luckily the “de-clutter” mantra is simply more of what we’ve been doing for months now. Got to get things moving! I’m turning vinyl into mp3′s, so we can still have music, and then the records will be going into the next yard sale. Chris has sold a couple more guitars, and is now busily painting the outside of the house, while I’m planning on the interior rooms that need painting.

29 December 2013: We’ve been on the road for just over a month now. Since the last entry in August we’ve been so busy with getting the house ready for sale, and getting ourselves ready for travel, I haven’t had time to update this diary. The house was in pretty good shape, but we wanted to make it as perfect as possible, in order to sell quickly and for a good price. We put down immense amounts of bark to cover any bare earth. We powerwashed, and painted inside and out, cleaned gutters, and took down our pictures and photos to de-personalize the place. Margo the home-stager came and worked her magic, photographers came. At the end of October, we went away for a long weekend, and left our hardworking realtor Julie Wyss in charge of the open house. A few days later we received several good offers, one of which we accepted, things are moving!

We had a wonderful “not really goodbye party” with more friends than we knew we had!

There were a few negotiations along the way to finalizing the house sale, but on 27 November we successfully closed escrow, we moved out and the new family moved in. A major part of our plan had been achieved.

We started on our journey with the car stuffed full: the one suitcase and one carry-on each that we had allowed ourselves, had grown to include a couple of rucksacks, canvas shopping bags with overflow items, a picnic cooler of some essential kitchen things, oh and a couple of pillows and a rug, just in case! We have to get rid of more things in the months and miles on our way to Florida!

We began the journey with one last drive down the stunning Highway 1 and Big Sur coast of California. Then we turned inland to enjoy beautiful, peaceful Joshua Tree national park, and headed to Las Vegas for a couple of weeks of paperwork. There will be regular blog posts on our travels, as we go. This is the last entry in the diary of 2013.

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