And honestly, I don’t seem to have the creative energy to write anything else. I can’t even come up with a unique header photo, so I’m posting a photo of sunset off of our dock from a couple of nights ago. Again. But that’s okay. We never tire of that view.
After two months of craziness like we NEVER could have anticipated, we will be closing on our house February 1st. After five offers and four flaky buyers, we finally seem to have found a sane buyer who can follow through. The inspection was satisfactory, the survey is done, the negotiations are complete, the contracts are signed, and their deposit is non-refundable as of midnight last night.
We’re really doing this.
Living In The In-Between
The past couple of months have brought home to me how challenging it is to live in the in-between places in life. If I look at this from a philosophical viewpoint, the reality is that life itself is an in-between place, a brief bright moment between one unknown and another.
But that doesn’t help me when I’m trying to find an Airbnb that allows cats. And trying to guess when the house might sell. And juggling Airbnb reservations so that we don’t get stuck with thousands of dollars in non-refundable deposits.
All of my creative energy has been consumed by making lists and more lists, plans and more plans. Every piece of this move rests on every other piece, like a house of cards. So all of those ‘perfect’ plans I made early on have had to be adjusted and readjusted, several times.
But that’s okay. It’s all working out.
We will be in Gainesville for a month instead of two months. And just for fun, we added on a week in Cedar Key before heading back to Eastpoint to pick up our stuff in storage. Then it’s on to South Carolina for almost two months, followed by a two-month rental in our tiny house village in North Carolina to oversee the final aspects of our house build. Our new little home is supposed to be ready sometime in early June. But our rental extends through the first week of July…just in case.
The Challenge Of Trailer-Less Life
We’re dropping our trailer off in Gainesville at an RV dealer to be sold on consignment. Although our 27-foot trailer is not enormous in the realm of full-time traveling, it’s too big for us for our part-time travels. And so is our truck.
But we are definitely getting another, smaller trailer once we get settled in North Carolina. The sticker shock of Airbnbs is enough to make us certain that we will be getting another trailer. Even more problematic is finding Airbnbs that will take cats.
I can’t really blame people for not wanting to rent to travelers with cats. Even though Magnolia has turned into a well-behaved kitty, not all kitties are well-behaved. But I wish people would stop posting videos on Instagram of cats doing absolutely terrible things, even though they are hilarious and I spend far too much time watching them.
Time To Start Packing
I think back to our naiveté of January 2020, when we pulled into the driveway here to tackle rooting out and selling my folks’ place. Little did we know that our life journey would take us through a pandemic, the grief of losing both of my parents, renovating this house and deciding to make it our home, selling our home in Oregon, and stopping our full time travels. And now, selling this house that has become home and moving to a tiny house in North Carolina.
I stood on the dock yesterday evening after coming back from my long daily afternoon walk, enjoying the rhythmic lapping of the waves against the shore, the pelicans flying low over the bay, the extraordinary peace of this place. We’ll miss this. And we’re ready to move on.
It’s time to get those boxes and start packing.
This post is a masterpiece!! The only constant thing in life is change . . . and adding humor (Magnolia) and beauty (the sunset) with your last thoughts on it all (move onward soldiers!) was a joy to read Laurel. We’re all in the same rocking rolling lifeboat!
Terri, we are indeed in the same boat on this wild ride of life! Thanks so much for sharing the journey with us and your kind comments. I hope you’re making progress on your tiny house.
Congratulations, and not to frighten you … we moved in to our new place in August and are just now starting to feel settled and like we belong here. The upheaval (at our age) is real. You will most likely (as we did) get rid of the things you’ll want later and keep some things you will wonder “what were we thinking”. It will be fun and will keep you moving forward in an adventure. We keep moving physically and mentally, it proves that we are living actively and not from the sidelines. Onward by all means. Best wishes and love.
I appreciate your good wishes, Sharyn. And yes, you kinda scared me, haha. I know you’re right that it’s going to take us a while to settle in. I’m really hoping that the two months we spend in the rental in the tiny house community while we’re finishing up our house build will count toward feeling settled.
We’re in the packing and sorting phase right now, and trying to be realistic about paring down for a tiny house. I have a feeling it’s going to be an ongoing process! I was looking at my closet this morning and said to Eric, “There is NO WAY all of my clothes are going to fit in that tiny closet!” I’m so glad you two are feeling settled in your new place. ❤️
Dear Laurel and Eric
Liminal space. A time for magic, though it doesn’t seem like it in the moment. As your journey continues may your courage, strength, and compassion carry you along.
Thank you for your beautiful blog. I look forward to the further adventure.
Oh Nancy, that is so lovely! Liminal space describes perfectly where we are right now…on the threshold of something new, moving from what has become familiar into the unknown and the potential that awaits. I don’t find this a comfortable place to be at all, and yet I want to move forward. You have inspired me.
Thank you so much for your beautiful and loving thoughts. I hope you two are doing well.
Whew! That’s a whole lot of change in three years isn’t it! I’m so happy the sale of your beautiful Florida home is progressing. I love the photo of Magnolia and Eric at the table! Could you please refresh my memory as to why you are selling the trailer now instead of using it through the rest of the winter/spring before your house is ready? And yes, Airbnb’s have become astronomical–as have hotels–and the pet deposits are insane!
Janna, the last three years have brought way too many big changes in a short period of time. And I generally like change! I’m hoping that once we get packed up and the house closes that we’ll feel more at ease.
That’s a very good question about the trailer. I tried to find a place to spend a couple of months in Florida and there was NOTHING available. We might have been able to get a couple of nights here and there, but it would have meant constant moving and would have been incredibly stressful. We want to stay on the East Coast to be close to North Carolina so that we can be involved in our tiny house build starting in March. So…Florida made the most sense for the rest of the winter.
It’s going to be an interesting experiment staying in Airbnbs for several months. Blog posts to come, LOL!!
I love your philosophical musings on life being an in-between, followed by the ‘airbnb accepting cats’ line. I say this lovingly: Socrates meets the observations of George Carlin. Pure gold, Laurel! :). J
Aww, thanks so much, Jim! I appreciate that you enjoy the philosophical and the humorous…I need both!! Especially to survive stressful situations with some little bit of perspective and sanity. I hope you and Diana are doing well and enjoying your time in Florida!
Laurel, your move has a lot of layers and it makes my head spin to think of the structuring, and restructuring you are dealing with. I remember describing our impending sale exactly as you have – ‘a house of cards,’ with one decision depending on the last, but you are dealing with so much more. Just knowing that all of the work and plans could go up in smoke at any time was maddening, but we got through it and you will too. Being in the ‘non-refundable deposit phase’ is a good feeling. They are not likely to walk away at this point.
Just when you think you have nothing left, the thought of your new phase of life will renew your energy and propel you forward. Congratulations and good luck with your plans for the next several months. I sincerely hope it all falls into place as you wish, but if it doesn’t, I know your positivity will carry you through.
Oh, thank you for your support and encouragement, Suzanne! Thinking of our new adventures that lie ahead help me remember why we’re pulling the rug out from under ourselves, yet again. I know you understand. I don’t like things that are out of my control—I like to at least have the illusion of control, and that doesn’t happen when selling a house!
As you said, the buyers aren’t likely to walk away at this point, but every time I get a call from our realtor, I think, “Oh NO!” I guess that’s understandable given that we had four previous contracts that fell through for no reason except that the buyers freaked out. They need to stop stressing me out, LOL.
YAY! Congratulations on sticking it out and not tearing your hair out or killing each other or jumping off that lovely and picturesque dock. To be sure, more to come, but you’re moving in a good new direction and we look forward to seeing you and the little house this summer! Lots of fodder for future blogs!
I love the picture of Magnolia sitting so primly behind Eric, such a southern lady. One of our cats used to sit that way, on a chair between Dave and I and watch us eat. If he wanted a taste of something he’d slowly reach over with one little paw, touch our placemat, look into our eyes, then resume his proper posture and wait for the bean or strand of spaghetti or whatever caught his eye. Very polite. Oh, I miss kitties.
Sue, I love your description of how your cat would politely ask for a treat. A few months ago I felt a little tap on my arm, and looked down to see Magnolia looking soulfully at me. I said, “Oh, how cute!!” and gave her a tiny piece of chicken. Ha! From then on, she was relentless, begging at every meal. The turning point came when she actually managed to snag a shrimp off of my fork, LOL.
Since that episode, we have retrained her to not beg at the table. She gets a treat after a meal if she sits nicely in her chair, hahaha!!! We can’t wait to see you guys this summer! Hopefully by then we will be recovered from the insanity of selling this house.
Your eloquent words take all of us through the yin-and-yang of life’s changes. Down-sizing and moving is a bear and an emotional one at that, but you seem to be in a good place. I remember moving from our lakeside home and making that last trip down to our dock. That was tough, but we turned our boat into a fifth wheel, and things turned out better in the long run. Looking forward to reading all about your upcoming adventure. Please keep us posted. I would love to know where you will be in South Carolina–we visit there often. Joe
You’re right, Joe. Downsizing and moving is so stressful! This is such a big uprooting, and we had barely gotten ourselves settled here. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to this place…but I believe, as you said, that this is a good move for us. And we’re excited about what the future holds.
We’re going to be in Landrum. I think it’s a perfect stop on the way from Knoxville to Charleston! :-)
Congratulations! Other followers of this blog have pretty much said everything I was thinking, so I’ll leave it there…thinking of you in your version of this time of change…which is, as you note, all the time. But some times more than others.
Gretchen, I’ve been reflecting a lot on change, and how much I value flexibility in life, and how invigorated I am by change…and yet right now, I’m longing for stability. This has been a seriously crazy couple of months! I appreciate your good wishes. Hope all is well on lovely Lopez!
I am very happy you sold your home. I have a great feeling things will work out wonderfully for you. Things that are a struggle are well worth it in the end. I am excited to see postings of your new adventures. God speed.
Thank you so much, Christine. I appreciate your good thoughts and knowing that you’re cheering us on in this new life adventure. It makes all the difference to have friends encouraging us. :-) I hope all is well in your life!
That is fabulous that you sold your home .
Your new chapter in your lives will be fabulous. New adventures, etc.
I hope time passes by at a reasonable speed, you have so much to look forward to!
I know you understand the unique stress of selling a home, Kathryn. I’m so glad you sold yours, too. It’s hard to believe that we only have three weeks until closing. I need to start packing because moving-out day will be here before we know it!
“Bucket List” IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH. You can cross off “Make Sister-Wife roll her eyes” :D
Did you ever watch the series “Breaking Bad?” Everything in one of the characters houses was purple, and I do mean everything. This is how I picture your new tiny home. And I hear you saying, in a prim Southern accent like Shelby of Steel Magnolias, “These ah ma signachuh culluhs, aubazheen and lavenda!” I also think your tiny house might be done before my only-slightly-bigger one.
I’m sure you’ll love your new place, whatever color it is, and if you don’t? All the times and all the ways in which you’ve changed where you call home have also taught you that nothing is unchangeable. Turn and face the strange!
Bucket list, bucket list, bucket list, LOL. I’m trying to desensitize you, Sister Wife Joodie.
I have actually been trying to figure out what colors we want in our new tiny house. I’ve been moving a bit away from purple (yes, really). But I still like it. Honestly, I have no idea. But I guess I need to start packing instead of thinking about color schemes. I am open to suggestions.
And I feel certain that your slightly-bigger-than-tiny-house will be done before ours. It better be, that’s all I can say! Or there’s gonna be some trouble making in Sequim!
I’m going to send you some purple-adjacent stuff I’ve found on my own color journey. They’re colors I considered, too, and I think you’ll like them!
This was such a beautiful post, full of honesty and heart. I also learned a new phrase from Nancy: Liminal space, which is a perfect description of where you are.
I’m happy to learn of your home sale (whew!) and I’m very much looking forward to reading about the between times, then your move into your new home.
Magnolia is, as always, the perfect southern lady. I hope you can find an Airbnb host who will take a chance on her.
Isn’t ‘liminal space’ a beautiful, perfect description? It made me feel better about where we are in this in-between place in life!
Thank you so much for your good wishes, Janis. And fortunately, I’ve found Airbnbs that understand just how much of a delightful Southern belle Magnolia is, for an extra fee, of course. Now I just have to make sure she minds her manners, haha! I’m excited about meeting up with you in NC!
It’s certainly been a strange few years, hasn’t it? But I think by the end of this year you will be happily settled into the new place with only one (possibly no??) storage unit to worry about. Simplification and downsizing is really a process, and I don’t think it gets easier with practice, but I’m confident you will be happy when it’s all done. Just don’t buy a new trailer before you sell your current one, OK? :-)
Shannon, it has been beyond strange this last three years. As you well know! We’re really looking forward to the next few months, and ultimately, getting settled into our new tiny home. I can assure you that there will be no storage unit after we move into our tiny home! (Except a little garden shed, hehe.) Fingers crossed our trailer will sell itself in Gainesville…and we’re not planning to buy another until we get settled in NC.
It’s so weird. This post sounded so…strangely familiar.
You know I know how you feel. Like, I reeeeaaaallllyyy know how you feel. And you put into words, in ways that I never could, what this whole process is really like.
Change is hard. Moving is hard. The emotions of it all, the expense of it all, the uncertainty of it all… then add that each piece is dependent on some other piece and nothing ever goes quite as easily as you expect and, yeah… it’s hard.
But you will get through it, as will I. I think the key is keeping a good sense of humor.
Hahahaha!!! Yeah, I’m sure you find this very familiar, Laura! Except your situation was SO much more complex with moving to Portugal, navigating all of the paperwork, renting an apartment, selling your motorhome, and transporting Thor, yourselves, and your stuff overseas. Our challenges are nothing compared to what you’ve been through!
I agree, keeping a good sense of humor is key. And a good G & T. :-) Thanks for always being there to listen! 💕
Never apologize for posting gorgeous sunset photos! I take the same sort of pictures from our bluff and use them on my blog more often than not. We never tire of the view, either.
Hooray for the sale of your house!!! We’re going out to dinner with friends tonight, and we’ll raise our glasses and wish you well over the next few weeks. Oh, how I remember all the lists I created when we were selling/buying/moving to a different state. It sounds like you are more than prepared.
The photo of Magnolia in the dining room is hilarious. Looks like she’s wearing a bib and waiting to be fed. :)
On to a new adventure! Remember to take time to breathe.
Oh Lesley, thank you for your loving support! I appreciate you toasting our new adventure. I’m always encouraged by friends who have made big life changes and are clearly thriving in their new surroundings (as you are). And I always enjoy your views from your bluff.
Magnolia does look like she’s wearing a bib, LOL! She brings us so much joy, and we’re continually grateful that she wandered into our lives two years ago…she’s worth the extra Airbnb pet fees, haha.
Well, it sounds like you’re in the home stretch of this particular stage and will soon be moving on to your next challenge in life’s adventures. Congratulations!!! I’m thinking that your experience as full-timers has put you and Eric in a better position than most to deal with any issues that may crop up and the complicated logistics of the next six months. Full-timers, in particular, become adept at rolling with the type of punches that you’re dealing with now out of necessity. It’s pretty obvious that, although we may not be of much help with the mundane, all of your fans here are cheering the three of you on! Go, team!
Aww, thanks, Mary! The support and encouragement from you and our other friends really does help. I think you’re right that the many skills we learned as full-time travelers helps us to be more flexible and resilient in life in general. I’ve been trying to imagine what our lives are going to be like for the next five months without our home and without our trailer!
One of the great benefits of full-time traveling with an RV is that wherever we were, we had our little home with us. Managing without our trailer (and with Magnolia) is going to be an interesting experience!
Thanks for the updates! I have a suspicion that you are shedding some light on my future path(s) at least in terms of the emotional challenges of this type of transition. Our itch to travel is abating and a new landscape seems to be opening to us. It is becoming more important to be near our grandson in SC so we will see how this unfolds. Blessings to you both as you inhabit this liminal space. Perhaps some of John O’Donohue’s work would be good bedside material for a while.
That’s exciting news, Susie! I hope you’ll keep in touch and let us know how your life unfolds and where you’ll be. If you’ve had enough of full-time travel, I suspect your transition to a settled down life in a place you love near people you love will be easy. Thank you for your good thoughts! Many blessings to you, too, as you navigate this new life adventure.
What a relief to finally have a legit buyer! Fingers crossed for you two that the next few months go as planned. Looking forward to seeing your posts and thoughts on this next transitional phase!
Lisa, it is such a relief to have a legit buyer! I had no idea that people would put money down, sign contracts, and then bail. Our realtor said that people were falling in love with the house and making emotional decisions that they couldn’t follow through on. It was stressful!
We’re looking forward to moving forward with this new life adventure. Thanks for following along with us. I hope you and Hans and Rosie are enjoying life in San Diego!
If things don’t work out in SC, our daughter just bought a house and could rent out a room for a couple months. She has both a cat and a dog, so that’s not a problem. Nothing fancy, but a yard and a place to settle while you wait
Thank you so much, Pam! We’ve rented a cute little cottage on a farm in Landrum that allows pets…at least, it looks cute in the photos…LOL. I’ll let you know if it turns out to be a disaster. How are you and where are you these days? I’m glad to hear from you!
What you 2 have gone through and are going through in the next 6 months makes me tired just to read about it. I don’t think I have the energy to do what you have done and admire you for all your work and determination. I’m hoping everything goes as smoothly as it is possible for it to go.
Haha, it makes me tired, too, Sherry. The next three weeks will be busy with getting packed up and moved out…but then we feel like we’re going on a five month vacation! Although it’s going to be strange to not be traveling with our comfortable little trailer (AKA our rolling suitcase), I have high hopes for the Airbnbs we’ve rented. Thanks for your good wishes!
Best laid plans are destined to be changed – often! So glad you finally found a non-flaky buyer. Your “new” plans sound like a lot to look forward to! A week in Cedar Key will be great :-) I hope Pat’s little bar in the back of the antique store is still there! Enjoy your last days at your pretty Florida space and the excitement of a brand new chapter in your adventure.
Thanks, Jodee! We’re hoping that our new, improved plan isn’t going to require more changes, but if it does, at least we have a LOT of experience with change, haha! We’re excited about our time in Cedar Key. As you know, it’s one of our favorite places in Florida. And I’ll definitely check to see if Pat’s bar is still there!
I got behind a few days while traveling, Laurel, but still managed to read your blog about the home sale, for which I am truly grateful for you two, excuse me, three. So this comment is a bit late. I won’t repeat the private note I sent you about our transition, but you know we know how complex this process can be. You are a role model for me, Laurel, in your ability to move gracefully through some truly difficult stuff. I am eagerly waiting to see this come to fruition. I know from personal experience, that when the build is done and the closets are all neat and tidy and much of your “stuff” is only a memory, it will be wondrous. Ours isn’t a “tiny” home, but still, a consolidation of two homes, some apartments, and two completely separate lives with all their memories, so much of our “stuff” went by the wayside as well. I’m looking forward to hearing how the AirBnB thing goes for you, but I agree it is a much smarter move than trying to travel around in the trailer with so much going, both for you and the world in general for RVrs.
Sue, I appreciate so much your encouragement as we navigate yet another big life change. I remember the multi-year project you and Mo took on…and the result is your gorgeous home! I hope that will be our reward, too, albeit on a much smaller scale, haha. I sure hope we’re making a good decision building a tiny house.
We are apparently in the mode of turning our lives upside down by also selling our trailer. Airbnb travel is going to be interesting! Wish us luck. :-)
Congratulations on the sale of the house. Nice to know that this one is going through … and a real relief to you I am sure as you now have one less thing to worry about as you prepare to move on.
For whatever reason, 2022 was a real challenge with AirBNB & VRBO … and we don’t even have a pet to add complications. We had so many owners accept our reservation, only to cancel us later. I have a sneaking suspicion that they figured they could get more for their places since, when we were told that the cancelation was a mistake and to just rebook, the rates were higher. At least we won’t have to worry about finding accommodations for the next 180 days or so … our cabin on the ship will do quite nicely.
Good luck with all that comes with making a move like the one you are making. Once your brain is freed up from all that minutia the creative juices will start flowing again.
Thanks for your good wishes, Erin. I do not like hearing that Airbnb hosts cancelled on you! I need to put that out of my mind, LOL. Or I just need to remind myself that no matter what happens, we will adjust. I should know that by now after all of our life experiences.
How exciting that you have a six-month cruise on the horizon! I’m looking forward to following along with you on your journey. Happy travels!
Best wishes for all of your changes and thank you for sharing your journey here. Flat Rock is a beautiful community that love to visit when in the area. It sounds like you find your strength in the beauty of nature and there is certainly a lot of natural beauty in that area as well as a wonderful human community.
Hi Devon, we’re very excited about moving to Flat Rock! The combination of beautiful natural surroundings and a great community of people is what attracted us to the area. We’re very happy that it’s a small town, but it seems to have a lot to offer. Thanks so much for your encouraging comment!
Did I not say there will always be 1 in a 100! That 1 has finally entered in your life and helped you make it moving ahead as your title says. I can feel the angst, the stress, or all the things that you feel when trying to move on an initially unplanned direction . But here you are able to conquer the seemingly insurmountable challenges. Yeah! Congratulations !
You are getting closer to your dream house.
You were right, ML! We just had to wait for the right person to come along. And fortunately, we really didn’t have to wait very long…even though it felt like an eternity! We’re busily packing and saying our goodbyes to this beautiful place. And we’re very excited about our new adventure and our tiny house!
Beautiful post about change. The post brings to mind the quote “the only thing that doesn’t change is change itself,” a fact that can challenge the best laid lists and plans.
By this time, you have signed the closing papers and moved on. Lots of adventures ahead! Wishing you a smooth transition and looking forward to reading more about life in the in-between.
Hi Beverly, thank you so much for your good wishes! You are so right about change. Since we won’t be moving into our new tiny home until sometime in June or July, we have many months ahead of riding the waves of change. Right now we’re just trying to keep our heads above water, haha!!