Monday, January 25, 2016

Update: Officially Mobile!

It's finally official: WE ARE MOBILE. That's right, you heard me, M.O.B.I.L.E. As in go anywhere, footloose and fancy free, home-is-where-you-park, or as Pinocchio would say, "There ain't no strings on me!" We signed the papers on the sale of our house mid-November, and couldn't be happier.

"So how exactly did it happen?" That's the question we get. Once we got back from summer camps and our vacation in Yellowstone, we came home and continued our down-sizing. (It NEVER stops, by the way.) It was kinda depressing though, because we kept getting rid of stuff and weren't getting many lookers, or even tire-kickers. The people that did look at our house never had anything nice to say. It was overpriced, or the driveway was too scary, or it was too far away from town. It's like when someone tells you that your baby is ugly. Whatever the reason, nobody was biting, but we did everything we could have done. We were happy with the progress, the house looked amazing, so we just had to wait.

We focused on getting the RV ready to roll, which was another mountain to climb all in itself. (post coming later) We kept on taking bits of stuff to storage as we felt like it, wondering if we would ever sell our house. And then our realtor called; we had an interested buyer...overseas. WHAT?! Our realtor, Lynda, put together an amazing video of the house. This family saw it and fell in love with it. Within a few days, there were offers and counter offers, and finally a deal was made. The only kicker was we had to wait 60 days, instead of the normal 30, to close the sale of the house. Anything could happen, and nothing was 'DONE' until we signed papers.

For me, it was nerve-racking. I tried to convince myself everything would be alright, but there is always this chance that it wouldn't work out. It was a huge gamble from my point-of-view. In order to start this adventure we needed our RV ready to move into, and we were still a ways off. I would need to spend most of our 'Winter Stash' in order to finish it. So, if we finished the RV and these folks walked away for whatever reason, we wouldn't have enough to pay our bills for the slowest time of our year. On the flip side, if this did go through...IF...we would have a paid-off RV to live in and money in the bank, enough to get us through the slow time.

This felt like the biggest gamble in my life! I'm a risk taker, and have been for a long time. I haven't had a steady paycheck in 14 years, and I've learned to trust God has a plan that I don't always see. I'm also a family man. I would never want to do anything that would put my family in hardship or danger. I believe it's the way men are wired, to provide for their family. This was really stressing me out. I found myself sitting on the porch watching the sunset, knowing I didn't have many more there. I started getting sentimental. I kept working on the RV, kept clearing out the house, and tried to stay positive. And then it happened. We got a call from our Realtor...

The mortgage company was ready to close. Everything was ready to roll. We had a week to move out! I'll be honest. I wasn't ready to celebrate until all the papers were signed and the check was in my hand, but I saw light in the tunnel! It was happening. The trailer wasn't ready though. We had the last of our stuff in storage, closing on our house, but still needed a place to stay for a few weeks. No problem. Our parents to to the rescue!

Mid-November we closed the sale. We said our goodbyes to our beloved homestead, ready to start the next chapter. With papers signed and check in the bank, we moved into our parents homes. It was a interesting set up. Melissa and I would stay with her mom and two streets away our kids would sleep at my parent's place, and in the morning I'd pick them up and we would do school at Melissa's mom's place. Here's the deal: My parent's have a duplex, they live in one side and my Aunt and cousin live in the other side. Melissa's brother owns the exact same duplex layout 2 streets away on the same block, with her Mom in the other side. So in one duplex, you have my parents, my aunt, my cousin, and my 3 kids. In the other is Melissa's brother, his son, their mom, and us. It's like some weird version of Full House!

It may sound kinda stressful, but it worked out pretty good. We were there through Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it just felt like we were there for the holidays. Overall, it was nice. We got to spend more time with our families than we have in long time. Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, cousins...even the dogs. It really was fun, it was only for about 6 weeks. Just enough time to finish the RV.

So we moved out of our parents house, and into my sister's driveway! That's right, more family! My sister and her husband put in a pad with hookups so we can park here while we're town. While we were putting the final touches on the trailer, we were also cutting down a tree, laying a drive, and having electric installed so we would have a place to park our RV. New Years Eve was the day. We hitched up the RV and moved it across town! That's were we are currently, settling into life in the RV.

Thus begins the official next chapter. The question I keep getting is, "What's it like being homeless?" My response is usually, "We're not homeless. We're mortgage-less and debt's awesome!" In the RV world the saying is, "Home is where you park it." It's true. As long as we have each other, we are home, no matter where we are.

What's it like moving from 2,400 sq ft to 200 sq ft? We are still adjusting, and will be for a while, but so far so good! You may not believe it, but ALL of us are loving it. Melissa and I were just talking last night about how much peace we feel in our lives. It's an inspiring feeling.

We are so thankful to our friends and family who support us in this life changing decision, and encourage us daily. We carry much gratitude and thankfulness in our hearts for the Hawkins Family, yes the entire family, for helping us tackle this RV monster! She fought us everyday, but in the end, it came out magnificent! And we couldn't have done it without our realtor, Lynda Poe. Seriously. She was a-mazing.

And to the rest of you who are reading this, whether friends and curious bystanders...Thanks for the encouragement and support! We can't wait to share more of our adventures with you.