Thursday, February 12, 2015

Have I mentioned...

.. that I hate moving? It's true. I really, REALLY HATE MOVING!

My youngest daughter moved back in with me after her divorce, and when I bought the "winter" house here in Tennessee she moved here full time and went to school in Nashville to pursue her photography career. My almost-son-in-law finally proposed to her at Christmas, and she be moving to Utah, where he lives, after their wedding in August. We've spent the last several weeks sorting through all her belongings and packing up some to move in the fall, marking most of it to be sold or donated. He lives in a 38' 5th wheel RV, so there is no place for furniture or much other stuff. He does have a climate controlled storage unit, so a few (very few) things will be stored there... eventually. In the meantime, until I can haul it to Utah, it's going into storage here in TN.

With her moving out, I just can't justify keeping the house here just to have a place to crash for a few months in the winter. I would have to pay a lawn care service to keep the jungle yard hacked down for 8 or 9 months in the summer when I'm gone, and empty houses seem to run down fairly quickly. I'm not interested in renting it out, as I'll be 1000 miles or more away most of the year. So, I've decided to sell the house and land here. The next door neighbor's son is very interested in it, and he is talking to the bank about getting a loan. I should know in a week or so if that will work, and I have my fingers crossed that it does. The neighbor is a very nice woman and we have a lot in common. It would make me happy to see her boy get the land.  If he can't get financed I'll have to list the land with a realtor or else try the For Sale By Owner route for a month or two first. I really hope to be out of here by late spring, but who knows.

With oil prices stubbornly staying low, my income is also staying low. I can't afford to make multiple trips hauling furniture and "stuff" north until the house sells. It costs (at current gas prices) about $450 to do a round trip, and I have way too many trips to make hauling "stuff". The antique furniture from family is a load by itself with my current trailer, the daughter's stuff is another load, the shop is a load, the motorcycle and miscellaneous yard/farm/shop stuff is a load, the camper is one trip, and the old Class C RV is another trip. Plus the household contents that I'm keeping... food, chest freezer, canned goods and canning jars, clothing, things that just won't fit in the camper. 

Dang, where did all this stuff come from!?! I swear, it breeds when you're not looking! At any rate, it all has to be out of here, so I've rented a storage unit and started boxing stuff up to store, as well as marking items for a huge moving sale. The daughters bedroom is empty other than her father's paintings and the bed, and everything currently left in the living room is to be sold or donated. I plan to have a moving sale next weekend (when hopefully the weather is a bit better) and every weekend until I sell the house. There's still a lot of "stuff" to go through in the shop and the storage building here at the house, but we made a lot of progress in the last couple weeks.

This morning my daughter packed up the car with a cooler for food and beverages, her camera equipment, her clothing and personal hygiene items, tucked her dog into the backseat, and headed north to South Dakota where she'll be checking out wedding venues and dresses, and crashing with friends/family. She posted on her Facebook page (which I didn't see until hours later) a photo of the dog looking out the car window as they backed out of the driveway, and said
"4 years I've lived here. Thank you Tennessee. As we depart one last time, I officially become homeless until August. I am met with the mix of excitement for the next chapter in my life, and the sadness that always comes with saying goodbye."
 I later told her I would be following in her footsteps soon, but I would still be homeless after August. She correctly told me I would have the camper - my home on wheels - but I've not been 'houseless' since 1989 when I bought my first piece of real estate. 

At this point I have no idea where I'll eventually end up. I currently have 5 pieces of real estate, but only one has a house (here in TN) and that will hopefully be sold. The others are too far north to park on and overwinter in a bumper-pull camper. A few years ago I was quite excited about living in my RV full time, but the continuing downward spiral of the economy makes me less than thrilled with that idea. I really want a home base, somewhere that I can garden and preserve my food supply, knowing that I have a water source, a way to heat and/or cool a dwelling,  and basically be as self-sufficient as possible.


  1. I would sell all the properties and then buy a spot in the survival zone. East of the 98th meridian and West of the Mississippi. If you want a real Winter, which I recommend as the ultimate horde stopping barrier, go North or a milder one the further South you go.

  2. You have a lot of decisions to make. I think I would live on one of the best of the SD properties, sell the others, and take the camper south for the very worst part of the winter. There are a lot of options in the southwest for boondocking which would keep the costs lower, or you could do the work/camping thing and get everything free in exchange for 4 days work a week. There are also jobs that pay a salary, but I wouldn't choose those options for myself. Or how about Quartzsite in AZ? Would that appeal to you for a few months?

    I think I'm making one "last" trip across the country this summer (I've been saying "last trip" for years now) and hope we can connect again one of these days.