Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Moving Day

Over the past two days the movers came and packed up the stuff we are taking to Colorado. Well, most of it will end up in Wyoming. We spent the past few weeks sorting through our stuff and setting aside those items that we either want at the cabin, or that we want in long-term storage for some possible future use. 

Here is just some of the stuff in the living room.

It took a bit more than a day to pack everything. We are taking a lot of "little" things, many are fragile, and the packing went slowly. The guys did a great job, though. Everything was packed very carefully and they did a conscientious job of writing the contents on the box so we can more easily find things later.

We thought we had significantly downsized. And, I guess we did. But, we are still taking a lot of stuff back to Colorado. I'm not sure where it will all go. It must initially all fit in a 10x20 storage unit. I think we just made it based on pacing off the loaded truck.

The living room all packed up.

We had the boxes with stuff destined for the cabin marked as such. The white label around the corner of each box in the photo above means we want to eventually haul the box to the cabin and unload it there. I'm not sure where it will all go, but we'll figure it out. And, it will be a challenge figuring out what to do with all the packing material. I guess we can save the paper and use it to start fires, but we'll need to find a way to deal with the massive amounts of cardboard. 

Bella inspecting boxes from the kitchen.

And, here is the living room with everything gone.

We even sold a chair to the moving company supervisor, so it is also missing in the photo above.

Good bye stuff. See you in Wyoming.

The next step is the estate sale. That will be a tough one because we aren't moving our stuff. We are selling it. Good stuff, too.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Cupboards are Bare

And so is the closet.

Little bit by little bit we are letting go of this house which has sheltered us through Superstorm Sandy and various nor'easters and stifling humidity. It's been the only home that Bella has ever known. The only pool we've ever had. Good times.

But, it's time to move on. I know when we get there I won't mourn the loss of all the things that the estate sale person put price tags on yesterday. I can only hope that I restrain myself from tearing items out of peoples' arms tomorrow tearfully blurting out you can't have that, it's mine!  I find myself looking around at all the beautiful things we've collected over so many years and wonder why I didn't appreciate them more. I think it's because we had too much. I know you are thinking how can anyone have too much? But it's true. We once had too many dogs. We loved them all but we also had too many to concentrate on each and every one of them. The same with all the stuff we have. We have too much to use it and appreciate it one on one. 

The closet above with jammed with clothes we didn't wear. If you have the space to accumulate things, you do. When you don't have the space, you have to really care about each and every object you have around you (or on you!). Which to me is more meaningful than having more.

I hope we don't regret selling some things we've had with us for 25 years. I hope we don't, and I honestly don't think we will. We've changed over the years and so have our tastes. 

Even though the cabin (we need to stop calling it that!) is furnished with a ragtag assortment of flea market finds and American Furniture Warehouse, it somehow works. We don't have much closet space at all and will have to rotate clothing throughout the different seasons. But that's okay. We don't need much.

On to the simpler life ...

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Still Living

"No, estate sales are not only for those who have passed on." I overheard James telling an elderly woman who had a beautiful Irish brogue. James is running our estate sale and was explaining why the sellers were wandering about house, very much alive, relating the stories behind the objects for sale.

And, every object has a story. "That is called a 'possum belly' because of the shape of the storage drawers underneath it."

"The trunk is shaped that way so the side would fit up against the curved gunwales of old Dutch barges."

"That painting was done by Lynne's dad and is of an old cabin in the Gunnison."

It is tough seeing so many of these stories going home with someone else. But, sometimes it brings a bit of joy too. Especially when you feel the item and the person are a perfect match. In one case a young woman, likely in her mid-20s, bought several rustic antique pieces of furniture because they "spoke to her", and she was furnishing a large space. Those antiques, some of which may have been 80 to 100 years old will now go forward with her, and perhaps her children for another 80 to 100 years, and accumulate stories of their own.

The people have been wonderful. It is a bit weird to invite dozens of strangers into your home to wonder around looking at everything you own. Most wanted to hear our story, and we told them about my retirement and our imminent move to an off-the-grid cabin in Colorado, etc. And, they all congratulated us and wished us the best. One woman made a point of wishing us "the happiest possible lives going forward". 

I think the first day of the sale went well despite the rainy conditions (that everyone complained about). James is actually hoping for rain on Saturday and Sunday as that tends to shut down the classic "garage sales" (he calls them "the competition") and may bring more people to our indoor estate sale.

The second day is just kicking off as I write this. One couple is walking down our driveway, returning from yesterday, probably to buy a couple of book cases they were looking at. Here we go!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hurry Up and Wait

I am sitting here waiting for the locksmith.

Over the past week we've had our estate sale, a day of clean-out, and a day of clean-up. Today is clean-up day and it is almost done. The house is "broom clean" -- all that is required in NJ. But, we do have a cleaning service coming in to tidy up even more. There are many bags of trash at the curb which won't be picked up until next Tuesday. Lynne is out there now sorting all metal from the other trash so we can recycle it.

We are sitting in the kitchen on camp chairs around our camp (foldable) picnic table. Waiting.

We are waiting on Kurt to come do a final mow. We are waiting on the cleaning service. we're waiting on the cable company to come get our cable modem. And, yes, we are waiting on a locksmith.

Since the T@B trailer sat in the driveway for the past couple of months, I purchased a receiver lock to ensure it did not get stolen. But, when we went to hook the trailer up to the truck a hour ago, we could not get the key to work in the receiver lock. A moment of panic ensued. I called the company and they were infinitly helpful in telling me that there was no way the key was going to unlock it if the key slots had become misaligned. I screamed at them a bit. I don't normally scream, or even get really excited, but these people were pissing me off with their attitude.

So, I'm sitting here waiting on the locksmith to cut or drill it off. Then, we can complete our preparation for tomorrow.

The Closing is at 9:00. We expect to be out of town by 11:00.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Westward Ho!

Sorry, no pics tonight. We are sitting comfortably in a Comfort Inn (haha) in Clarion, PA. We left the closing between 10:00  and 10:30, went back to the house to load the last little few things and of course, the dogs and cat. 

Our closing went smoothly as we knew it would. The house's new owners are a nice young family who loved the house from their first walkthrough with the realtor. It's really nice to see their enthusiasm for the house. Without all the furniture we had in the various rooms, the house looked HUGE to us. They joked about "roller skating" around the basement. 

The thing that sealed the deal for me that we had made the right desicion came when the new owners were doing their walkthrough yesterday. We were out by the pool and the the new owner (who was holding his small one-year-old son) and he said something to the effect of "Hey buddy, we're going to have some great times here" and his son high-5'ved him. That was the defining moment for me. 

Passing it on. 

Just like the antiques we sold to some wonderful people during our estate sale. But that is a whole different post for a day when I have not been on the road.

So, good night from PA. Onwards!

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  • Definitely a good characterization of Colorado.

    Posted to: ‘Spring Snowstorm’ by Rick on 05/21/2017

  • PS, our friends in Stockholm sent us this today…could this be Colorado instead?  Or Oregon?…

    Posted to: ‘Spring Snowstorm’ by Tom Davis on 05/21/2017

  • Yep, no question, that’s a traditional Colorado spring. 
    smilePosted to: ‘Spring Snowstorm’ by Tom Davis on 05/21/2017

  • I can certainly understand how that delivery would be monumental.  I am anxious to hear…

    Posted to: ‘Miracles do Happen’ by Tom Davis on 05/19/2017

  • Many hugs from us miles away.  I understand your loss.  Thanks for sharing with us…

    Posted to: ‘Missing Hailey’ by Tom on 05/18/2017

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