Late in the evening on Friday, March 17th, Kathy and I left for our longest RV road trip to date. After 14-15 hours on the road we spent our first night in Amarillo, TX, followed by 4 nights outside of Winslow, AZ, 4 nights in Las Vegas, NV, 2 nights at the Grand Canyon, 4 nights outside Scottsdale, AZ, one night in Tucumcari, NM, and one night in Tulsa, OK.
Getting back on the road was exactly what we needed.
We had a rough go with the RV last year, starting with a break-in and vandalism that took forever to get repaired, and ending with a trip to the Smoky Mountains with an 80% repaired RV, and mechanical problems with the motorcycle we planned to ride the whole time we were in Tennessee and North Carolina, but couldn’t.
This trip turned out to be fantastic, and exactly what the doctor ordered.
Our new GMC performed flawlessly for over 5000 miles with 17,000 pound behind it, and the minor issues we had with the Harley-Davidson were handled quickly and relatively effortlessly. All of the RV parks we stayed in were awesome, and they all had one thing in common: Even the RV park in Las Vegas had a remote, private, and quiet feel, and the people that we met were friendly and kind. Our nights in Arizona were stellar, with amazing sunrises and sunsets, and a view of the stars the likes of which I had never seen.
We arrived home on Tuesday, April 4th, our 13th wedding anniversary. We came home from the south. We live 20 miles or so south of the nearest metropolitan area, and a few miles short of the first heavily populated area on the way to downtown. So, the first thing to hit us was not the return to city life. The very first thing to smack us in the face was “subdivision life.” After 18 nights under the stars, returning to a row of houses built 20 feet apart, surrounded by cars and people, was a major buzzkill.
This wasn’t exactly an epiphany. It was more like a strong reminder of what we’re about, and where we want to be. We’ve been on a lot of trips over the last 5 years, and we’ve talked about how we’d like to move to pretty much every single one of them. The last trip was different. We visited areas we’ve never been to, seen things we’ve never seen, had excellent weather while winter still lingered at home. More than that, we enjoyed a level of peace and contentment we hadn’t had in a while. We’ve been ready to make some kind of change for a long time, pretty much since our only child graduated from high school in Spring 2013, and started attending Mizzou that Fall. We just “haven’t.”
This trip forced us to reevaluate… Life.
A series of events between our return home on April 4th and Saturday, April 15th led to a conversation between Kathy and I that ended with me saying “I think the only way for us to fix this is to move,” and Kathy replying “Yes, I think you’re right.”
On Monday, April 17th, I made my first task list entitled “We Will Move in 2017.”
The first 3 things on the list were what we considered to be the 3 biggest obstacles that could keep us from taking this idea any further. These had to be knocked out before we could make a commitment to move. These tasks were:
- Find a realtor, and see if we can get enough for our house to sell it and move.
- Find a financier, and see if we can get funds to buy a new house.
- Contact a roofing company and find out if the cost of replacing our roof will prevent moving forward.
On Friday, April 21st we met our realtor.
Major Task One done.
On Saturday, April 22nd, we bought our first stack of boxes to start packing.
On Monday, April 24th we met our contractor and filed our claim for our new roof.
Major Task Three done.
On Wednesday, April 26th, we had our loan approval and a green light to shop for a new home, and “the train left the station.”
Major Task Two done.
We’ve spent the last 5 weeks doing what our real estate professionals told us to do, getting the home we built 15 years ago ready for the market. That’s all we’ve been doing. We’ve been doing our jobs, and working on the house. Packing, cleaning, repairing, painting, cleaning, painting, cleaning, painting, packing, and more cleaning. Chopping trees, getting rid of trash, giving away furniture and clothes, burning wood, mowing, trimming, landscaping… cleaning, packing, and painting. We haven’t been watching movies. We haven’t been riding the Harley. We haven’t been going out to eat. We haven’t been counting down the days to our upcoming South Dakota and Wyoming RV trip because we cancelled it to focus on selling our home and finding a new place to live. We haven’t been hanging out with friends, and we haven’t seen much of our family. Our dogs having been going nuts watching us tear the place apart, and put it back together again.
Today we received the Gold Star that we’ve been working so hard for: Our agents gave us a For Sale sign to put in the yard when we’re ready. It’s already in place.
Our house officially goes on the market 6 days from now on Friday, June 2nd, with our first (and only, hopefully) open house on Sunday, June 4th. Interest is very high. We know of at least 3 interested parties, and one person that looked for a house near here for 6 months, finally found one a month ago and closed on it last week, and wishes he had known our house was coming to the market. We, like everyone else, hope our house sells fast. The market temperature, early interest, and a shortage of homes (especially kick ass ones with 3 car garage, 1300 square feet of custom deck, and a movie theater), are pointing to a quick sale.
We don’t know where we’re going to move to, but we know we’re moving! We are going to stay in Missouri, and we’ll probably be just another half-hour or so farther away from the city lights. (We’re ready to move to Arizona personally, but not logistically.) We know exactly what we want, and that’s a story for another time.
Now that we’ve “let the cat out of the bag,” we’ll probably be sharing more than we have for the last 5 weeks. Or, maybe not. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and an emotional roller coaster to ride for a bit while we work our way through offers, contracts, appraisals, inspections, moving arrangements, and all that jazz.
Some good news for our friends and family: The last time we did this was in 2002. We were all 15 years younger and in very different places than we are now. We had a massive turnout of friends and family back then to help us move all of our stuff into storage while we lived in Mom Sparks’ house for 2 weeks, and then again after we closed on our house and moved all of our stuff from storage into the new place. We’re going to do the very best we can to avoid that this time. We’re not going to put you, or ourselves, through all that this time if we can help it. 2 Men and a Truck (or 12 Guys and 3 Trucks?) will take care of the bulk of the move, and the Denali will take care of moving “the garage.” Hopefully, in about 45 days or less, we’ll be inviting y’all over for some BBQ at the new place after we’re all moved in and ready to make you comfortable.
It’s been a good 15 years here. Of course I’ll be sharing memories, but not now. Going down memory lane isn’t the most fun of processes when you’re selling your home. My kid’s childhood home. The home I proposed to my wife-to-be in. Home of the WGB Express. Hammy, Doobers, Grizz, Bear, Shadow, Pixel, Erie… you can see why I really can’t go there. There will be plenty of time for that later.
Forward. Every Day Counts.