coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Waiting Game

It is hard to wait.  It provokes a variety of emotions including boredom, annoyance, depression, anger, and frustration.  Waiting demands surrender.  If you are waiting, it is because the situation is outside of your control.  Consequently, waiting is one of those few real-life situations where surrender seems appropriate.   Sometimes to fight is to lose.  Hard thing, though...surrender. 

Like most people, I hate to wait.  I am impulsive, short-tempered, and quick thinking.  I remember when I was in the early grades at school and I would get in trouble during those group read-out-loud projects where everyone in class had to take a turn reading out loud.  We were expected to patiently wait our turn and follow the other readers in the book.  That was problematic for me.  I could not wait.  I would read ahead while others struggled with the words.  Then I would lose my place when it was once again my turn to read out loud. I would have no idea where everyone else was reading. That would infuriate the nuns.  Busted. Waiting seemed counterintuitive to me then and it still does, but there are times when it is unavoidable.  My Catholic parents might
have told me hard times are good for my immortal soul.  Buddhism would support that idea. It is the hard times that test you, challenge you, enable you to withstand more than you thought you could.  Blah, blah, blah…  I’m sick of waiting. 

We waited for inspections (general house, termite, pool) and subsequent reports the past couple of weeks.  They found some stuff wrong with the house and the pool; fixable things, but pricey.  Now we are waiting for negotiations with the bank to take place to either get them to either lower the price or fix the problems.  That means we are also waiting to know if we need to rescind our offer and move on and start all over again.  Oh, and the wifi in the vacation resort is awful - unreliable and as slow as dial-up sometimes.  We are always waiting on internet connections, or we just give up and wait until we go to M's house to catch up on Facebook or answer emails.  We are staying about 35 minutes from M and her family, so the drive there and back is all about waiting to get someplace.  We waited two days for the resort people to fix a minor plumbing issue.   A lot of our mail is still being forwarded, so we wait and wait for mail which we have to drive 35 minutes to pick up at our PO Box. We had to wait for over a week for new checks to arrive from our new bank.  Moving is rife with waiting opportunities.  Buying a house, too.  I could go on and on.  Aren't you glad I am going to stop now?

On that damn bright side, it is warm enough to swim in a pool now.  We have already been in M & MV's pool with the kids.  It is so much fun.  N is 2 years old and just as cute as can be.  He wears a little swimming tube that looks like a yellow tutu.  SOOOO hilarious and darling.  E is 10 and is growing and maturing in leaps and bounds. 
Occasionally she forgets she is a complicated, negative, goth-queen tween and manages to laugh out loud at something ridiculous and uncool.  That warms my heart. 
I hate the waiting game, but it is worth it to be with my family.  It is worth it to play with our grandchildren.  Neither T nor I are particularly mature; we splash around and misbehave like crazy with the kids in the pool.  They love it.  We do, too.   In fact, we are waiting now to go there and play in the pool today.  I can't wait.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


The general house inspection and termite/pest inspection both took place on Thursday of this past week.   Once again, it is a foreclosure.  However, it is not a Fannie Mae owned property like house #1 was.  House #2 is owned by a bank.  As with so many houses for sale down here, it has been sitting vacant for a couple of years while the bank forecloses on the poor unfortunate prior owners who bought the place during the housing bubble and then lost it when the economy bottomed out, they lost their jobs, and the banks refused to work with them to keep their house.   Consequently, you will find the disgruntled prior owners often do some cosmetic damage throughout the house before they leave.   They might punch in a closet wall, or put hand prints on the walls.   They will pull pictures off the walls without caring that part of the wall comes with it; angry and obvious things like that.   I imagine they think they are sticking the bank with repairs.   However, the banks do not care enough about the properties to repair them. 

In addition to cosmetic patching, painting, and replacing carpeting,  the house needs a new roof and the air conditioning/heating no longer works.   The bank either does not know or is remaining silent on these two big ticket issues.  Foolish if the latter, because no potential buyers will be able to get insurance or financing for a house with these particular problems.  These important bargaining issues need to be resolved during this inspection period when we have the ability to rescind the offer and walk away if need be.  If the bank will come down to our satisfaction to fully address those issues we will pursue buying house #2.   If not, we will move on and start again.   Depressing, because the house has great potential and we love the area it is in, but we no longer have time to play games.   We want to be in a house before hurricane season starts...

I enjoyed the house inspector.  He was a big guy, sweet and chatty.  Just before I met him I overheard him talking to his "Momma" on the cell phone, telling her that he loved her.   When I shook his hand, I said "I am always happy to meet a man who loves his mother."   He replied in earnest, "Well, you know they need a lot of love." 

Saturday, April 12, 2014


The NYS house closed on Thursday.  It was a bit anticlimactic since it was two long weeks later than originally predicted; however, beggars can’t be choosers.  We are happy this major hurdle is behind us now.  I try to imagine the new family taking the bundle of keys and manuals they received at closing to the empty house to explore their new home.  I hope they are falling in love with the old house, the 1.6 acres of land, and with themselves.  I hope that is what happened.   However, my bruised, anxiety laden psyche taunts me, whispering they are inside the house raving about the carpet being dirty, the lack of closet space, the inadequate lighting. Worse, I imagine the snow is now melted and the land out back is flooded, as it often is at this time of the year. With all the snow cover they could only imagine what the land was like.  Now for the first time they will see the ridiculous number of perennial garden beds we created.  Sure, those beds will be beautiful in a month or two, but in April they are wet and covered with leaves and sticks and weeds that need to be pulled.  All the beds need to be edged.  They need to figure out how to take the snowplow off the mower and put the mowing blade back on.  I cannot help but imagine they think, “What the hell?  What have we got ourselves into?  What is a weed and what is a flower? 

OK, OK, I realize we knew nothing when we were a young family and first moved in there.  We learned everything from books, trial and error, and hard work, and it was our pleasure for many years.  Working on the house and gardens was a joyful hobby.  It provided an escape from the work-a-day world and gave us a chance to build our homeowner skills and confidence. We reveled in the privacy of the setting, and communed with nature.  Every task was filled with hope for the future.  We were building the future.  It was great.   It was great when we were young like these new owners are young.  They will be fine. That particular “future” has become my past.  It is a part of my life that is over with the sale of that house and those garden beds.  I do not yearn for it yet.  I expect I will at some point, though.  For now I rarely think about it except to worry that the weeds are taking over.  

Last night we heard that we have a signed contract for the new house in Florida.   Next week we will have house, pool, and termite inspections done.  That will tell us if this house is in the cards for us.   If so, then we can start building a new future.   It needs some work, especially outside.  I have some ideas for really beautiful perennial beds.   And you should see the crazy flowers they grow around here.  Exciting.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Living Large

We have moved up in the world from the "Crack" hotel, as T likes to call the (actually reasonably nice) motel room experience we had the first week and a half we were here.  Our small travel trailer now feels like a mansion to us. The whole trailer rocks from side to side when one of us walks inside it. The first time I felt it I thought there was a minor earthquake happening. 

Some more good news: we just heard that the closing on our NYS house is scheduled for Thursday afternoon of this week.   We will be so relieved when that is behind us.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Some Good News at Last!

The movers came yesterday and brought all our household stuff and furniture to the storage unit.  All went well!  You should have seen that monster moving van make the 90 degree turn.  Terrifying.  Well, I actually kept my eyes closed, but T was enjoying it.  I have been filled with anxiety for a week fearing that truck would not make the turn and then we would have to deal with finding another unit that could accommodate a 75 foot moving van while the movers waited on the highway.  T kept trying to get me to look, but I was on the verge of hyperventilating and just could not watch.   I did watch it back up, turn around, and make that turn onto the highway again when all was done and they were leaving the lot.  Those guys are amazing drivers and hard working souls.  Of course, then T wanted me to stop watching the van so we could leave.  I have learned that you just cannot make a man happy! 

I am glad to have that behind us and to know where all our "stuff" is.  It is in a climate controlled unit inside a large secured building, so we do not have to worry about everything melting in the Florida heat.  Oh yeah, no one told us that they expected a certified check upon delivery.   After a few tense moments they agreed to take our credit card.   Just another stressed out moment we did not see coming.  We are learning to take it on the chin, get back up before the count of 10, and live to fight another round.  Luckily, boxing is our favorite sport.   In fact, I would love to beat someone up right now with a whole room full of people watching and get paid for it.   I could'a been a contender.   

Yesterday the bank accepted our offer on the house we now want to buy.  Now we have to start scrambling for lender approval on that.  We also have to quickly get the house and pool inspected because we are shooting for a closing at the end of April.

We are moving from the Red Roof Inn to a travel trailer in a RV vacation resort today.  Should be there for up to 2 months, depending on when our house closing is and what work we have to do to the house before we move in.  Most of the other people who are staying at the resort are on vacation, so I think maybe we will pretend we are, too.  They gave us a great deal and they were the only place we found to rent to us month by month, so we pretty much had to take it.   The monthly rent is 1/4 of what we are paying at the motel.  That makes me so happy.  The travel trailer seems GREAT in comparison to the motel room.  Although, the Red Roof Inn was not as bad as you might think.  Anyway, we are now off to live in sunny, concrete vacation land. 

STILL haven't closed on our house up in New York.    Getting nervous about that.