Virginia Adventures VII - The Ecstasy of Success, the Agony of Defeat

 We had an offer!  YAY! It was about $70K less than we wanted. Boo. We countered, came down in price.  YAY! They refused. Boo. Back to Square one.  One of the hardest parts of this, is we have to give up two of the equipment pieces we wanted to purchase, so the owners of the new place can afford to keep the Virginia property going while also having the Florida place they just bought. The whipsaw effect is the worst. I was getting all geared up to get packed and out by 11/20, and now I have all this drive and the route has been removed.  All dressed up, no place to go. Now I'm at a loss again. On the one hand, I keep packing. On the other, we're starting to run out of stuff to pack, that we don't actually need.  We've already run into the fact that some of the stuff we like cooking with is in the unit.  Thinking about some road trips. Never been to Crater lake. Might drive down to Ashland, spend the night, then go see the lake. One thing I'm looking at is the astrolo

Virginia Adventures VI - The Waiting, Part II

 Still. Waiting. We've had showings, but apparently our property is not what the buyers are looking for: either there's not enough room for their RV, or they don't like the finishes in the house (like, the baseboards, the cabinets, etc).  We've talked to a cash buyer, but their offer is SO low, like $150,000 lower than our agent says the property should go for, that we can't in good conscience accept it. We talked to the folks out in Virginia, and they need to make some choices as well. If this is going to take a while, they're maintaining two properties: one in Virginia, one in Florida. They're willing to be patient, but they're going to need to make some changes. One of the changes is to the equipment that we were getting with the Virginia property. The excavator will probably be sold if we don't get a good offer by next Wednesday.  The RTV (a little farm cart thing) will probably also be sold. Neither of these are great losses from my POV, but it

Virginia Adventures V: The Waiting

 As Tom Petty said, it is the hardest part. The house is staged. The property is fairly empty. The weather is turning. And adventure awaits, and all we need is the firing of our starting gun. That gun, in this case, is an offer on our property. It has not been forthcoming. Everyone says 'Oh, it'll sell so quick.' So far, that has not been the experience. I try to keep in mind the statistics: Oregon houses our size have been taking 30-60 days to sell recently, with some going very fast and some taking a bit more time. We've been keeping an eye on the market and the competition, and trying to find the sweet spot where we get showings with potential buyers. The Real Estate agent has been trying to soften our expectations, but mostly we thought we'd have accepted an offer and be scrambling to get packed and waiting on the closing date. As it is, we're just... waiting. It's not so hard on me or the kids: work continues, and although we are all chomping at the bit

Virginia Adventures IV: The Emptying

The farm is quiet. We'd found new homes for the rabbits, and new homes for the chickens. The same people bought both sets of livestock. When they came to help us catch the chickens, we got most of them, but one hen decided she was going to hide in the blackberry brambles. So, they left that one with us. After they left, the hen started walking around, and calling for the rest of the flock. It made me sad to listen to it. I actually stopped my cleaning and packing and chores to write a short poem. We sold the chickens today, 18 barnyard hens and a rooster  captured in a frenzied rodeo Of fishing nets and copious swearing. We miscounted. In the fading light of a summer day Over wind blowing through trees Blighted by drought, and the scrubbing My wife is giving a set of shelves I hear forlorn clucking  And the dejected scratching of one hen Left behind when the reckoning came. She enters a coop devoid of companions  No squawk or squabble, no feathered furor, Only the wind in the trees

Virginia Adventures III

Parting with friends is a sadness. A place is only a place . -Thufir Hawat Our first Garage sale is accomplished. I hope there will never be another.  It's a heck of a process, selling and haggling and interacting with many people. I think it went swimmingly, but I don't want to do it again.  We sold a huge number of items that we've held onto for one reason or another. However, when we arrive in Virginia, the first thing we're doing once we recover from the Journey is having some sort of moving sale.  We met all our neighbors during the sale we had before leaving, people we'd lived around for 6 years, but never met for one reason or another.  We've sold our whole rabbitry, and have a possible buyer for the chickens. The goats have new homes, but the horses, sheep, and llamas will be coming with us. Monday was the day for the photographer to take pictures for the real estate listing. The whole day was a whirlwind of cleaning and hiding everything we hadn't b

Virginia Adventures II

Today is Paddy and I's fourth wedding anniversary. We were married in the back yard of our Oregon property. The lead up to the wedding was very busy: trying to get the venue ready, trying to finish last minute fixes, cleaning, arrangements.  At some point, the time ran out to get things done, and there was a relaxation as we realized that, whatever wasn't finished, wasn't going to get finished, and didn't matter. We had family, friends, food, an officiant, a bride, a groom. The beauty of the day was exceptional, and we had animals and children running, a beautiful ceremony, and an excellent party. This year, we're in the midst of preparing to move across the country. We'll be leaving the venue behind, for other people to make memories. Today it hits hard, the fact of that move. So much has happened here, and while the memories will remain, the physical reminders will be left behind. There is much to do, but much like the wedding, whatever doesn't get finishe

Virginia Adventures I

Many of you will have heard, but this will be the official record that we are planning on moving to Virginia sometime this fall.  As I know details, I'll publish them here, but here's what I know so far. Paddy, Bridget our daughter, and I are into farming, and we have 5 acres of steep clay in Oregon. We've been looking for more, flatter land in Oregon, but it's way, WAY outside our price range.  Since the Oregon market is such a seller's market at the moment, we thought we could sell and get a good property elsewhere. So we started casting further afield. We came across a property in Clarksville, VA that was in our price range, and started talking to the community. They embraced Paddy very quickly, and we made an offer on the property. However, our process was just starting, and theirs was advanced, and we missed out on that one.   After that, we took a step back, thought we'd get our ducks in a row, and try again next year sometime.  Then the sister of the owne