Saturday, April 25, 2015

Buying and Selling in Three Days!

The old.
I haven’t written in a while. I've been too busy. As far as my “Fitness Journey” is concerned; I have relapsed because I have been too busy to get to the gym. I do what I can at home and try to make good choices in what I eat.

Let it not be said that we do anything without research. Jerry said one day that he was ready for a condo. I said no—I wasn't. But after a few hours of thought, I sat down with him and said “This is what I can do and this is what I cannot do.”

So we started looking. We found two communities we were interested in. The new condos were beautiful. We briefly considered the HECM loan, but decided it was not for us. It was much study before we decided that. That involved our trusty financial adviser; who also sat down with us and figured out how we could do this. (This is not to dis the HECM product, it can be good for some people.)

Therefore, we had plenty of meetings and appointments. We finally decided which community we wanted to live in. It comes as no surprise that we are moving back to the community we raised our children in. Once that was decided, we talked with the saleswoman about specifics, but we needed to sell our home.

This condo builder builds to the drywall and the customer comes in and picks out what they would like. We did some of that before listing our home, so we had a general idea of what we wanted.

We called the Realtor that sold our last home in 2008. She sold it in a terrible market, after it had been listed over a year. It’s a better market today and she would get the job done.

She listed the home on a Friday afternoon, and Friday evening I fielded three calls to show the house the following day. I was flabbergasted! Even more so, the first person to look at it gave us a full price offer without a contingency! Our Realtor came over on Sunday afternoon and we signed that contract; and then on Monday we went to the condo salesperson and signed our contract with them. This is a contingency in case something falls through, but that is unlikely.

The new!
Buying and selling in three days. My head is spinning. This is a good time to have a partner, who looks at things through another pair of glasses, to see all the paperwork. Although I would definitely say that no one in this transaction was pushy. We all want what is best.

We don’t do this every day. But once we decide on something, we go for it. The end result will be lovely to look at and our lives will be less complicated. We would like to be able to just go on a vacation at last moment, although that won’t be happening this year! We will have enough room to entertain, and enough for the kids to visit. That was my first desire. I couldn't go back to a 1200 square foot living space.

Although we lose our basement, and I am working on that as I write this, our first floor living space jumps from 1550 to 2050 square feet. I think we’ll be fine! Much of this is in the kitchen, which will be the family joke as I am not a big cook. They are building me a desk in my kitchen to have all of my computer and office things together (my books will be in my bedroom closet). There is a sun room which my husband thinks that he is going to claim. We’ll see about that.

So, I have much work ahead of me. And during this process, we also begin the work of our next class reunion also, so there will be more about that later.

Until we “connect” again…..

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Choosing The Road Less Traveled

I live near a busy interstate highway. I mean VERY busy! And while I am thankful for President Eisenhower’s vision of the national interstate highway system in general (no pun intended), I hate driving it. I mean I HATE IT!

Sometimes, I must. It is the best route to visit my children, who live an hour away. One evening, while my husband and I were coming home from visiting them, I counted 157 trucks that we passed, and I think close to 300 trucks who were coming towards us, all in the space of approximately 60 miles.

This interstate was built during my childhood. We had relatives in the city that my children live in now (still do, actually) and we drove there often. I remember taking parts of the “new road” and then having to switch to the “old road.”

Today, the “old road” is quiet.

And folks, I drive it whenever possible!

Not only is my blood pressure profoundly reduced, I get to enjoy the scenery and it takes me back to a calmer time in life, not only mine, but life in general. Life before trucks (most goods and services were shipped by rail, and that’s another blog).

Much of the drive is rural, and I enjoy that scenery. I pass by the old motels that once were busy to travelers on the old road. They don’t set empty, but the parking lots are filled with trucks and I will draw no conclusion as to whether these are long-term “renters” or construction workers, or what have you. The motels show their age, but I can visualize when they were nice establishments. Pools have been filled in. They are simply a place to stay now.

There are several camping parks which were “resorts” back in the day. Families were content to have a camper and go for a week. There were activities at these parks. Today, there are campers there—but likely folks rent the space and keep their camper there all year long, instead of having to travel with it. Today’s residential codes prohibit campers from sitting in driveways. I have no doubt that there are some inhabited twelve months of the year.

I drive through the small towns, and yes, I have to slow down. Visible from the road is a school where my son played basketball, and I drive by buildings that were once “inns.” One is still in operation, the others are private residences.

There are some not-so-attractive scenes also. There is an agricultural business that supports the nearby university. There is an auction house for farm machinery. These aren’t so visually pastoral but are needed by the agricultural community. I pass by many farms and are reminded that we cannot build communities on all these farms, or we will lose the feed and by-products of the farm production. Farming is necessary, and I don’t say that because I married into a farm family.

I drive through the “largest” small community, and the cemetery that my great-grandparents are buried in is there. I don’t stop, but I know it’s there. I didn’t know these great-grandparents, but I know the stories. I feel a connection.

There are places in the road where I can visually see the parallel interstate and see what I am missing. I smile. By driving the old road, I can relax and truly enjoy the ride. Honestly, I drive 75-80 on the interstate because I have to keep up with traffic. On the old road, I do 60 at night, maybe push it a little during the day. The difference is in my stress level, and that’s worth a few extra minutes.

I can actually drive to my mother’s apartment without driving an interstate at all. I usually choose to drive it for about 5 miles before getting off. I take the old road to that “large” small town, take a state route north to a country road and drive east into the thriving new area that she lives in. I am glad she lives there because of all the amenities that are close to her, but other than a couple of school zones, I have no traffic issues between home and her place. It is glorious!

I know that there are roads less traveled all over our country. Sometimes, we should just be in less of a hurry, and allow extra time. It definitely makes a difference in how I feel at the end of the day! I bet it would yours too.

Until we “connect” again…..

As you have probably figured out, the “old road” is The National Road, US Route 40, which parallels Interstate 70, one of our major east-west routes. You can have it!

The gravestones of my great-grandparents and two of their children.

My great-grandfather John Bundy Hoover outlived
his wife and two children.
 (actually three, one not buried here)
Nathaniel Thomas Hoover. He lived only six months
without enough nourishment.
The family lost a mother and child in 1907.
The following year, they lost a little girl.

My great-grandmother, Rachael Garrett Hoover.
Note the date of her death. She died two weeks after
the birth of her last child Nathaniel. She gave
birth to ten children. Seven survived to adulthood.