Monday, September 29, 2008

T minus 1 and counting

The Movex truck showed on time this morning. The movers showed up and did their thing. If I had reserved another 2 feet of space on the damn thing we could have gotten everything on the truck we had anticipated loading. As it was we made a decision to be more generous in our donation to the Salvation Army. They are scheduled to come tomorrow morning.

We close in the afternoon and head for the beach after: we are close, very close to being gone.

The Daily Husband

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A list of Lasts

When you move you get to do a lot of last things in your old house. We finished packing and tearing down furniture today. The moving van will be at the house in the morning. We're spending tonight and tomorrow night in a motel just down the road. So.......

I smoked my last cigar out in the drive last night

I took my last shower in our master bath this morning.

Vicki did the last load of clothes in the washer and dryer today.

We cooked our last breakfast this morning.

Our Sunday newspaper from the local republican rag didn't show up for the last time today.

We slept in our bed in our bedroom for the last time last night.

I took my last walk in our little stand of woods yesterday.

I wrote my last post from the comfort of my home yesterday.

From here on out, it's all about the travel, the sights, the sounds, the people, the places, my family, and of course all the good people I've come to know through blogging.

The Daily Husband

Husband note: for anyone who has moved more than a couple of times, you know how difficult it can be. My wife is a champion packer and mover. She is incredibly organized, effective and efficient at getting us ready and getting us moved. If you have gypsy blood, then a woman like mine is essential. In case I haven't mentioned it; I am blessed to have a partner like Vicki. God I love this woman.

Friday, September 26, 2008

All packed up and nowhere to go

With the exception on the desktop computer used to keep my wireless connection to this laptop up and a few bits and pieces in the kitchen, we are completely packed.

The moving van is due here Monday, though at present I haven't heard yet what time that will be. Our last moving sales is tomorrow. What doesn't sell that we don't wish to move will go to the Salvation Army. Vic made arrangements with them to come and pickup Monday or Tuesday.

Vital communications with utilities are complete. We've seen the settlement statement and the closing is set for Tuesday afternoon. We even made reservations at a local motel for a couple of nights. After that we intend to spend 2 days on the coast before we visit my son Jason in Alpharetta, GA next Friday.

I wrote my last post for my political blog today and Vic packed a couple of small things and that's it. WE'RE DONE. Poke us with a fork baby, we just need the stuff put on the truck.

My melancholy side is being activated by the rain and stormy weather, but I must admit that I'm ready to get out of here too. We have lots of friends and family to see, places to go and people to meet.

I'll do my best to post while traveling, but Vicki has already put me on notice that this trip is about us and not about documenting it. So..........

OK, that's it from me.

The Daily Husband

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just Two Weeks left in the Tarheel State

It's raining today. The precipitation started last night some time. I heard the distant thunder and the pitter-patter of raindrops on the skylight.

We will be closing in exactly two weeks. I am still feeling some sadness about leaving this beautiful country. North Carolina is a gorgeous place to be. I will not miss the humidity, the bugs and the awful economy though.

I read this morning that things have a way to go before we see the bottom of the drop in our economy. We will weather that storm with friends and family in Arizona. There we will not have a home that is depreciating each day. Instead we'll be sitting on a modest amount of cash in the bank. The experts I've read say we're lucky to be in the position we're in. Liquidity is the best posture they say. So why do I feel sad to be leaving?

I guess it's the country boy in me. I found out that I'm not much of a southerner anymore and yet I still want to hold on to the belief that I am just a good ole country boy at heart.

Turns out that I'm somewhat more informed and enlightened than my chosen peeps. It gets harder and harder to care about NASCAR, Football, and reality TV when your country is in the crapper.

So I'll miss this time we have spent here in spite of the backwards politics, the low living standards, and the rest of the crap that comes from an economy built on WalMart.

I can look out back and see the lush greenery that makes up my backyard and pretend for just a minute that I'm back in Alabama on my Uncle's farm. My Aunt just made cornbread and we'll be having it with butter and fresh milk from his dairy. When the rain stops I'll take a couple of the dogs and go for a walk in the woods. Later I'll stop in at my Dad's cabinet shop. The smell of fresh wood, Formica glue, sawdust and the fire in the pot belly stove will greet me. A plane or router or saw will be screaming as Dad runs wood through it. He'll stop to smile at me, tell me what's going on and ask if I want to help.

Yea, I know we're doing the right thing here. It's my responsibility to look out for my family and make the best financial decision. And I know the future holds many happy days with friends and family out in Arizona. It's just that the damned ole country boy in me will miss the rain, the woods and the memory of a life so pure and simple that it seems like a fantasy now, instead of my real life history.

We'll be going by my Mom and Dad's graves in Verbena, Alabama on the way out to Phoenix. Maybe I'll see a couple of my many relatives there and reconnect a little bit. Maybe we'll just slip into town unnoticed, visit their graves, lay some flowers and leave.

Did I mention it's raining today. Rain makes me somewhat melancholy. Turns out I'm kind of a moody prick and the rain really brings it out in me.

The Daily Husband

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Things are happening fast around here.

Our home had more visitors today than it has since we moved here.

The morning started with the septic people coming to inspect and pump our septic tank. The buyers had decided to have that done at the time it was inspected. A very good sign they are serious and on the ball.

Next the home inspectors showed up. Shortly after that the buyer (just the husband) made an appearance. Then came the realtor with some papers she forgot to have my wife initial.

We all hung out for a couple hours while the home inspection was completed. It seemed to go smoothly and I don't believe there were any big issues that arose.

Vicki came home around 4 and we called the realtor so she could come back by with the papers that needed Vic's initials. We had a nice time with the realtor and I encouraged her to tell her friends about our furniture and TVs for sale.

We are hoping to move as little as possible this time. While we're not willing to give away our stuff, we are going to make some folks very good deals on things like a bedroom set, a living room set, a couple of TV's and various other things.

When Vicki is home next week we will begin to pack in earnest. Right now we're just doing the obvious and easy. Pictures that have recently come down from our walls, some tools I will no longer need and office supplies and files were the first things attacked. Later comes clothes, dishes, bedding, towels, and the multitudinous other possessions with which modern man and woman surrounds themselves.

If we have good weather this weekend we'll hold the first of two or three moving sales ( according to how much stuff sells) and send as many items down the road that way.

It is just beginning to dawn on us that our time here in Hickory is coming to an end. The house is close to perfect now, (oh, there's still the odd bit of landscaping and painting the new owners will do) so it must be time to go. With us it always works this way; when the house gets just right, then we sell.

And it is all happening at a breakneck pace. Each day sees our home become more and more impersonal. Each day it is less of our home and more of just a nice house. The subtle and pervasive shift from the feeling of pride of ownership to the wish to be gone already is starting to take place. Things I thought about doing no longer matter. They are simply not my problem. This feels mostly good. I am now able to begin to think in a completely new way. The constant thoughts of improvement and maintenance that pervaded my thinking will change to thoughts of travel, adventure, reunions with family and paying homage to my folks graves in my Dad's small town in Alabama.

I guess I'm ready for the shift in thought patterns. Who says old people aren't flexible? I know we all like our routines, but most of us are willing and able adaptors as well. Vicki and I will adapt to our new situation (homeless with a little money) and know it's better than what the eventual alternative here would have been. (Homeowners with too little money)

Events have a way of working out for the best for us. There must be a reason why we're being called back to the desert. Perhaps like Moses we're destined to 40 years there. If that's the case then it means we have at least another 15 years. That would put me at 74. Man does that sound old.

If I'm fortunate enough to last that long I hope it's in good health with my wife at my side. We have many more places to see, friends to make, wines to share and stories to write together. It looks like this is the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

The Daily Husband

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Moving Husband

If you read my last post then you know I got after it in the basement. I ended up pulling an all-niter to get the drywall up before our last showing on Saturday and it payed off. The house is sold. The couple who purchased it need to be in by the end of the month, so we're going to have to work hard to get moved in time.

The really nice thing about this whole deal is that the buyers are really nice folks who appreciate what we've done here and the potential of the property. The husband is retired and will spend a good deal of time in the yard gardening; there's plenty of space for that. The wife is still working and our location will insure her a short commute.

We feel very fortunate and blessed to have sold in less than 30 days and to have gotten just 3.5% less than asking price. I attribute our luck to hard work by Vicki in keeping the house clean and my efforts to finish the basement and give potential buyers a look at a home with no work to do.

The wife in our buyer's couple commented that they had looked at many nice homes, but none as clean and neat as ours. Sometimes the simple stuff counts. Clean freaks attract clean freaks I guess and it certainly works for me. So Vic gave notice and will be home next week packing, packing and then packing some more when she's resting.

I have some work to finish up in the basement and the garage for the new owners. In addition we'll be holding a couple of moving sales and consolidating, sorting, donating, throwing out and giving away what items we don't want to take with us.

I spent most of today making arrangements with movers, storage facilities in Phoenix and helpers to unload our stuff into storage when it gets there. We will follow some time later. I want to take my better half to the beach, see some of the kids, and visit my Mom and Dad's graves in Alabama on the way out to Arizona.

How many more posts I will be able to write is up in the air. If I'm able I'll post from on the road and include some pictures. We'll just have to see how it goes.

The Daily Husband

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Order and Conformity in a Chaotic World

What you are viewing is a picture of furring strips on the wall for finishing my basement. They are set on 16 inch centers to accept drywall. Since we put the house up for sale it dawned on me (somewhat later than earlier) that in this market a finished basement would be helpful in selling our home.

The reason I show you these pictures is to illustrate that order and conformity have their place in our personal universes. In my little corner of reality my days are spent improving our investment and working to make our home show better and sell quicker. Had the previous owners not allowed morons (with apologies to Dianne who says her entire home was built by morons) to finish the basement the first time, I wouldn't have to be redoing it now.

You see the paneling that was originally applied was done so poorly and with no thought to the moisture issue in the basement that all of it on the outside walls had to be removed. Of course it would have had to have been removed for the termite treatments anyway, but that's another story.

So here I am at this late date establishing 16 inch centers for framing and drywall, redoing the electrical outlets, (the yellow blobs you see on the wall in the first picture are holes that were punched in the block to allow large metal electric boxes to be installed) and repairing and retiling the suspended ceiling.

Order and conformity play a large part in good construction. Perhaps you can notice the haphazard framing behind the washer and dryer. It will require some adjusting and adding to before I can put up drywall. I'm leaving that till last because once I pull the washer and dryer out from the wall and disconnect them I want to drywall, finish and paint before moving them back. All that needs to happen as quickly as possible once they are out of service; my wife thinks she should be able to wash clothes and I agree with her.

This last picture is the other plumbing wall that I attacked first. With the exception of finishing the corner bead on the windows it is ready to mud. I'm not looking forward to that. Of all my skills, my drywall mudding ones are the weakest. I guess you just have to do it more frequently to get good at it.

Then of course there's the sanding and painting. First a primer then another coat. I will prime and paint the remaining paneling to match and hope the outcome is acceptable.

Wish me luck in finishing this project and making it look right.

The Daily Husband