Tag Archives: moving

We’re on our way!

We’re on our way to Mexico!

Friday didn’t go as smoothly as I’d planned, but we stayed flexible (and tried to be patient), and it all worked out.

The movers were supposed to be at the house by 8am. They were going to get all our remaining furniture and stuff out of the house (and transport it either to the donation site or dump), so the maids and carpet cleaners could do their thing. They, however, were down a truck and couldn’t get to us until 2pm. Panic!

Just then, our lawn guys arrived. We asked them if they would like to earn some extra cash. What lifesavers! They emptied out entire house into our yard, so the maids and carpet cleaners could work. They are not only fantastic lawn guys — truly — but fantastic people, as well.

The maids came on time, and did an amazing, thorough job. The carpet cleaners followed, and again, great people, great job. The movers showed up at 2:00, and made quick work of the load. (Honestly, I wasn’t mad at them. It wasn’t their fault!)

While the movers were working, I picked up the dogs and ran the final errands. We were on the road by 3:30.

Of course, 3:30 on Friday afternoon means we were sitting in traffic. Sigh. We pretended we were on Mexican time and tried to be patient. Fortunately, we were going only as far as Yelm (near Olympia) that evening.

We spent the night with our dear friend Leslie at her wonderful, remote cabin. Oh, I just loved her place! Horses and woods. I was ready to give up Mexico and just move in.

But we had places to be and people to say goodbye to. So early Saturday morning, we were off, heading south toward Portland. We met our friend Greta, and our friends Myella and Jason, at a diner/truck stop in Ridgefield for breakfast, then continued on to Hood River to say goodbye to Polo’s co-owner, Kari.

The stop in Hood River was a treat! We went to an off-leash park next to the river where her brood and ours got to have a wonderful time in the sand and water.

Jay snuggles with one of Kari’s girls

Isn’t Polo handsome?

The whole gang

After we said our goodbyes, we were on the road. We spent Saturday night in Pendleton, OR, and then today we drive to Salt Lake City.

Sadly, tomorrow Jay flies to Florida for a work-related class, and the dogs and I continue on without him. We’ll meet later in the week in Oklahoma City, and then do the final phase of the trip together.

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Getting close: We leave July 28

We leave for Mexico in just over a week.

Oh my God.

We leave for Mexico in just over a week.

We’re making a final push to get rid of our stuff — and we’re doing well. We’re donating most of it, but a few “specialty” items, like my saddle, my dog grooming table, and Jay’s games, we’re taking the time to sell or rehome.

A friend’s son has been helping us move stuff. We’ve been loading it in the trailer, and then driving it to the donation sites. This gives me practice driving the trailer. I can tell you that driving a loaded trailer is MUCH easier than driving an empty one. I can also tell you that backing up sucks worms.

I have a motley to-do list for this week:

  • Sell my saddle, our pull-out sofa, and my Earth boxes
  • Wash and repair my teddy bear
  • Check on Rosa (my retired mustang mare)
  • Pick up my new eyeglasses
  • Meet my girlfriends for a final lunch
  • Make all final purchases and ensure they’ll be delivered somewhere we can get them
  • Box and inventory everything we’re taking with us
  • Return work equipment I don’t use
  • Stop all services at this house

Next Thursday, we send the dogs to the kennel overnight, and we pack the trailer. Friday morning the movers come at 8, followed by the maids at 9, and the carpet cleaners at noon. We hope to be on the road by the middle of the afternoon.

Wish us luck!

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Working the checklist: Bought a trailer

Spent yesterday in Marysville buying a cargo trailer. It’s 5′ x 10′ — a couple of feet longer than we had originally planned. When we drive to Mexico, this is what we’ll transport all of our belongings in. The car is solely for people and beasties. So stuff either fits in the trailer, or it has to go!

As the main driver in the family, I drove home from the dealer. This was my first time pulling a trailer. (Nope, I’ve never pulled a horse trailer.)

I pulled the new trailer from the lot in Marysville all the way to our house in Fall City, which on a Saturday afternoon ensured I got lots of practice with starts, stops, merging, changing lanes, curves, straights, and TRAFFIC. (Also bumps. Lots of bumps.) It was an entirely successful trip, though, and I got lots of practice going forward.

I got a little practice backing up. Before we even left the dealer, we pulled into an empty area, and Jay taught me the principles of backing up and turning the trailer while in reverse. On the way home, we stopped at Safeway, and while he ran inside to grab a few things, I practiced parking (and using reverse to straighten the trailer between the lines.

When we got home, we decided to pull into the driveway, then back it into a spot at the front of the property. I nailed it on the first try. (Jay was very impressed. He was impressed by how well I had parked it at Safeway too, though that took me more than one shot.)

I’ll get more practice over the next month as we use the trailer to transport a bunch of stuff from the house to whatever charity ends up with it.

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Changing our address and forwarding our mail

As of June 28, we will no longer have the address we’ve had for nearly 14 years. We’re in a rental house right now, but in six weeks, we won’t have that address either.

So what to do with mail and all those other things that require an address?

The plan has always been to keep a Washington state address. We want a small (cheap!) home base here that will function as our permanent residence. Even so, though, it is, at most a physical address for those few situations that require one. We don’t plan to use it as a mailing address.

Our solution is to use a mail forwarding service for our mail. That name is kind of a misnomer, though. They won’t actually be forwarding the bulk of our mail. They will scan our first class mail, and we will look at it online and tell them what to do with it. Really, really neat service.

We drove out to Ballard yesterday and got that set up. On the way back, we ended up smack dab in the middle of Seattle Solstice Naked Bicycle Ride. Wish I had taken pictures, but honestly, I was annoyed because they seriously futzed up traffic.

In the upcoming weeks, I need to do a lot of address changes, including forwarding our mail at the post office, updating our voter registration, changing addresses at work, updating credit cards, and changing our drivers licenses. Jay can update his license online, but I’m going to go in for mine. I want to change from a regular license to an Enhanced Drivers License (which Jay already has). That will get us back and forth over the border more quickly.

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So what’s next?

What’s next? Excellent question! I wish I had an equally excellent answer.

We are going to travel — that’s a given — and we know our first stop is San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. What we don’t know is when we get to leave. Because of some… particulars… about finalizing our temporary residence visa in Mexico (and a need to return to the US at the end of July), we either leave by May 19th or we cannot leave until Aug. 1. Whether we leave now or then depends on when the house sells. We need, at bare minimum, a strong offer by next Thursday, May 11, or we officially set the move date for August.

In the meantime, we’re moving forward like we’re leaving on May 19. That means we’re working hard to get rid of nearly everything we own. Initially I’d envisioned having a giant yard sale, but that was ultimately impractical because:

  • We don’t have tables to display everything in the yard, and renting tables would cost more than we’d make in the sale.
  • The house is too small to display things, particularly since the things we can’t get rid of until last minute would be front and center.
  • We can’t guarantee a sunny day for a sale, which means even if we got things into the yard, we couldn’t guarantee they could stay there.

I nixxed selling more than a few things online. That’s a LOT of work, and it means strangers coming by the house constantly — or constant trips out somewhere to meet strangers. No. In the end we decided to share some things with friends, and then to donate the rest. Honestly, after selling the house, the tax write-off would likely be more beneficial than the ready cash anyway.

I’d hoped to find a charity who would come in and pick up everything. There are plenty of those out there, but apparently only one — Habitat for Humanity — does pickups wayyyy out here in the boondocks. The downside is that they don’t accept everything. The upside is that they’re willing to make more than one trip.

Our final plan:

  • Go through everything in the house. Divide into donate, keep, give away, and throw away piles.
  • The donate pile we have to further divide into what Habitat will and won’t accept.
  • We’re gradually dropping off things Habitat won’t accept at places that will, and we’re meeting up with various friends to give them the things they want.
  • We recognize that we want to hold on to more than we can realistically take. So we’ve given ourselves permission to be lenient in the first cut, and then when we have the trailer, we’ll make another cut. Our hope is that we won’t have to store anything.
  • On the very last morning, we’re going to hire some guys with a truck to come get the last of everything. They’ll likely have two stops to make — one last donation drop and a final trip to the dump.

We’re not getting rid of anything we’re using yet, since we haven’t decided exactly when we’re leaving. (Although, to be completely honest, I’ve given some things away to friends that I’ve needed. I’ll probably need those things in Mexico too, but I should be able to replace them down there.)

I’m rather overwhelmed at the prospect of leaving in less than two weeks, but at the same time, I’m very, very excited and more than ready to start our traveling adventure. I really hope an offer comes in!

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