Tuesday, April 9, 2019


In yet another change, the house closes on Friday, the day we leave for Blandon, all of us, this time, to see Cara and Colin and Dylan and Brittani and our darling Iris.

Trying to finish out the work week, pack, get all the last minute preparations done, meet with our friend who's taking care of the cat, fitting in the appointments with the lawyers, plus we've still got one truck, an air compresser and a rollaround tool box to get out of the garage before they take possession on Friday.

Feeling a tiny bit harried.

We won't be back until the 22nd, so happy Easter everyone!!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Funny Story

Tim and I had a house on the market now since last fall. It's a very nice house, and I've posted pictures of it before, but it didn't sell. Winter is not a good time to sell a house.

The septic system needed replaced. We knew that. We had an inspector come out and tell us that we needed not just a septic system but a sewage treatment plant, since there was a small creek (with a stone bridge) in the side yard. We winced a little but set the $18,000 aside for the project. Permits take a long time in coming and the federal government shutdown in the early part of the year delayed DEP even more.

The realtor came to us and wanted us to lower the price. (His contract was half over.) Tim looked at the number of showings and said no. We had a steady stream of people looking at the place. He felt quite strongly that the right person would eventually look at it once the weather got nicer, despite the septic issues. After all, we had the designing of the system done. We had a contractor lined up to do the work and we had the money to pay for the project. It was just a matter of time.

I became aware of a pretty big need in our community, something that was kind of eating at me. I felt like I wanted to help. I'd been praying about it earnestly but in truth, I didn't feel like I could talk to Tim about it, Money was tight. We had money that we didn't dare touch and he was already at work on the sweet Craftsman bungalow, something which was going to require money to continue. In my prayings, I said, "You know, if this house sold, I could talk to Tim about that money without feeling bad, God."

Three days later, I came home from work. The realtor had called Tim. We had a couple who wanted the house. The realtor said, "Well, this has certainly come out of left field."

We were both a bit shocked, me, because I had prayed a prayer, him because we weren't expecting it.

The dicey bit is that they had a federal loan which required the septic to be complete before they would finalize the mortgage. We still had not received the first permit (three are required). We didn't hold out a lot of hope on this deal to be sure.

The next day, the first permit arrived.

The people contacted the realtor and said that they could get the loan BEFORE the septic was done.
The closing was set for April 7th.

Sunday morning, before church, I sat down with Tim and told him what I'd done, about my prayer and my promise. To his credit he wrote out the check on the spot.

By Wednesday, that deal imploded.

The buyers explained that they'd have to get a construction loan from the bank to get the mortgage before the septic was done. They gave two options: that, number one, we'd allow them to rent the house until the septic was done (something that could take months), or number two, pay them $3000 to get the place remortgaged after the septic was installed, to take that mortgage from a construction loan (higher interest) to a conventional mortgage.

Tim found that the people were being sued by their previous landlord and had just settled last month. (Tim is a man who dots all his i's and crosses all his t's). He also thought it was a bit demanding that they wanted us to pay for their refinance. He said no. The realtor tried to argue with him. Tim decided the realtor was not on our side, not really. I mean, say that the house deal (for whatever reason) fell through. We'd have people in our house that we could not get out. Furthermore, if they were not nice people, they could do quite a bit of damage to the place. We'd be stuck.

Tim said no, multiple times. By Friday, he was telling the realtor to put the house back on the market after the April 7th deadline. When I got home from work, he said fiercely, "The deal is done! It's fallen through!"

God confuses me sometimes. I mean, I prayed. I thought we had an answer. We gave in good faith. I drove to my son's and DIL's house alone, wondering about things. At the end of the five hour trip, I'd decided that, simply put,  if that door was closed, there was no sense worrying about it. I took a deep breath and refused to worry about it.

Next morning, in the middle of my getting acquainted with my youngest daughter's significant other, in the middle of admiring my grandaughter who was in the throes of teething, but still gorgeous to behold, I got a phone call from Tim. The people, deciding that Tim had been pushed too far, decided to go for the construction loan after all, which meant that they could move in right away. We'd simply reduce the price of the house by $18,000 and they'd get a construction loan. When the work was done, they'd pay to remortgage the house themselves.

Shocked, I said, "I thought the deal was done." He said, "I did too."  I guess the buyers were pushing to get whatever they could. When they realized that Tim wasn't going to blink, they backed down.

So that's where we stand now. The house closes at the end of the month, when we get back from another trip, as a family, to Dylan and Brittani's to see Cara and Colin once again before they head back over to the UK. They are spending the summer traveling through Spain this year.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

How Did We Get Here?

Tim went up to see an estate sale. Remember Roger, the story teller? He's quite a tinkerer (like Tim) and Tim was interested to see what kind of things Roger's family had for sale as they prepare to put his log cabin on the market.

He came back with quite a collection of stuff. One of our first projects at the retirement property is to build a garage with an attached equipment shed for the tractors and the dump truck. I successfully lobbied for a greenhouse to come off the side of it. Roger had a very nice greenhouse, and Tim came home with some triple walled poly carbonate panels.

He also got some very nice tongue and groove panels for interior walls of the house itself. He's on his way back up with the truck to load up. He talked about some bead board. All these things are new and unused and going for practically nothing. I told him that he might as well pick it up. We've got storage for the items and we'll certainly be using them.

It's funny to consider it. Retirement has always seemed like a far horizon. Now all of a sudden, we're actively working on it. We've got the land. We've got the producing well, which will provide us with free heat and a small quarterly stipend.  The garage work will begin this summer.

We're looking at a time line of 3-5 years.

It's a bit of a jolt to put the numbers to it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Lottery Winner

I'm tired. Just got home from a trip to see Cara and Colin who are staying with Dylan and Brittani. Bonus is that I got to play with the baby. Oh my goodness, she is adorable, for all that she's teething and miserable.

The trip home was long and tedious. Wind gusts coming from the west at 50 miles an hour. Once I hit the interstate, those gusts nearly blew me off the highway. The tractor trailers were swaying in the wind. It was a tense hour and a half portion of the trip as my car rocked and veered.

When I finally got off the highway, my shoulders and arms were tense and tight. My back was killing me. I stopped at a convenience store to get an iced tea.

I pulled in about the same time that an elderly lady pulled in next to me. She got out of her car with a fist full of scratched lottery tickets, presumably winners, to take into the store. The wind gusted and lottery tickets were everywhere. She screamed.

I helped her chase down her tickets. I fished one out from beneath my car. She wasn't sure how many she had started out with. Even after I handed her the ones that I had found, she was scanning the parking lot for others.

I went inside and got my tea. She came in as I was headed to the register and she thanked me again. "No problem, I said, "but if I were you, I'd cash those in and not bother buying any more today. Just doesn't seem like your lucky day!"

She agreed with me.

I walked out to my car and backed out. She came to the door to make sure no other tickets were hiding beneath my car, and then waved gaily as I pulled away.