I know. I took the month of March off from the Blog. But I wasn’t slacking off, honest. We were downsizing. At least, that’s what I called it. I think what you might call it is achieving the total nirvana of getting rid of stuff without the accompanying guilt of throwing out PERFECTLY GOOD THINGS.
I blame my paternal grandmother for this crisis of guilt that arrives whenever I spend three weeks looking for someone to give a new home to a five-year-old Keurig which still sort of works. This was the grandmother who grew up during the Depression and considered it a personal challenge to reuse the same piece of aluminum foil at least three times and lived by the motto “waste not want not”.
Back on topic: We had to downsize because we finally sold the house on Cape Cod. It had been on and off the market for three years while we decided if we really needed/wanted to sell it. We decided to give it another try in mid-February and because we really didn’t expect it to move, it went under agreement immediately to a buyer who wanted to close at the end of March. Oops. Due to our plans to try to lead an actual life in 2022, we had ten days to clean out the house and relocate or redistribute thirty years of life before we packed up for our tour of the American Southwest.
It's amazing how a short window of time can focus your actions. My plan was to fly up to Boston on February 28 to get started deciding where everything would go. It’s good to have a plan written on paper. That makes it easier to burn when nothing works out.
I ended up getting the very last two seats on a Jet Blue flight from Tampa to Providence on March 1 at a price resembling what a private charter would have cost. For about ten percent of the sticker price I was able to rent a Ford Expedition XL which requires radar to get into a double wide parking space but is the car to have for moving stuff to your brother’s house down the street.
Booking a mover for the car (my 21 year old bumble bee yellow Honda is now in Sarasota) and furniture turned out to be easy since no one wanted to move during school vacation (they were trying to fly out of Florida on Feb 28 like me). Getting a dumpster for all the miscellaneous stuff like our twelve-year-old Weber was just about impossible. Everyone on Cape Cod is renovating the five bedroom “cottage” they bought last fall and dumpsters are all sitting on work sites. After multiple calls and some crying, Robin was lucky enough to snag the last one available on the east coast and arrange delivery.
We were planning to move the Honda, four chairs, a mirror, one sofa table, twenty boxes of books and one full bottle of Japanese Whiskey. Which left the furniture in four bedrooms, family room, living room, kitchen and all the innumerable things which make up a household. In what worked out to be a streak of impossibly good luck, our move coincided with our niece’s family purchasing a huge house outside Chicago and my brother’s family moving into my mother Leah’s house in Osterville. Even better, they all needed and wanted the beds, sofas, deck furniture, vacuums, and lamps we had to give them. Since both families have multiple small children, they were also able to take the truckload of Covid hoarded paper products I’d amassed.
The families took the bulk of the house, Restore turned up for the remaining furniture, St. Vincents Depaul of Cotuit took the household goods and 1-800-GOTJUNK agreed to take the mattresses for a price north of what I paid Serta for them.
We vacuumed the house “broom clean” (had to borrow back one of the Miele’s we gave away) and spent our last night on the Cape in the dubious Cape Codder Hotel in Hyannis. Please, do not repeat this mistake.
Now, we’re full time Floridians with four sets of china, two Dyson vacuums, enough glassware to start our own bar and a mostly empty storage warehouse. We’ll miss Cape Cod this summer but we’ll have more time for traveling, writing, boating, golfing and sweating.
The blog will be in full swing during the trip out West. We leave April 24 heading to our first stop: Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Santa Fe, Mesa Verde NP Colorado, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon (south rim—no we aren’t taking the mule ride). We’ve got hotel reservations, dinner reservations, tour reservations and a Jeep Gladiator with a winch on the front. We should be back in Sarasota at the end of May, ready to begin our new adventure.