I sold my townhouse! I will tell you about that in bit, but first some realizations and excuses for not writing to you sooner.
It Feels Like Going 90 Miles An Hour
My son contacted me with an "I love you" text and an "Are you OK?" text because I had not written a blog post in a while. How wonderful is that?! I called him and we caught up with some of our news. Feeling loved, I realized I had not talked with him since Christmas time! Life moves fast.
Winters are always bustling in Florida. It is the peak of the Snowbird and visitor season, January - March. People come that I only get to see during this time, and so I am active with dinners and rides and gatherings.
Friends from my years in Waukesha, WI sometimes contact me when they are in Florida. I jump at the chance to connect with them and share some of the beauty of this part of the country. I drove to Tarpon Springs to visit Kathi Seiger from Waukesha. Another day I met up with Diane and Rick Frowein that were vacationing in Kissimmee, FL. It was my first time in Kissimmee, and though I didn't like the higher population and traffic in that area, I really enjoyed our visit and kayak ride through a natural area. I vowed to return to the area someday to camp and do some birding, hiking and biking on the trails in the nature preserves east of Orlando.
Then there is all the Snowbirds! There are opportunities to dance, go birding, connect over a cocktail.
And I am still working a few hours a week. No wonder I haven't had much time for making my reservations and planning my trip for this coming summer.
Signs From Heaven/the Universe/George
So, I decided to sell my townhome and move (hopefully) into a villa in Windermere. I had gotten a price from a realtor in November, I decided to try to sell it on my own first, since the market is hot.
I listed it on Zillow and MLS for the price I was given in November. So many friends told me I had not priced it high enough.
I got lots of calls from realtors and investors, but the first call I got from a potential buyer was interesting... their last name was GEORGE! I thought that was a good sign. They were downsizing. They wanted to see the place.
At the time, the people renting my house had contracted a light case of COVID and were isolating. So, I waited until they were feeling better before asking for a date to show off the place to potential buyers. I decided as long as I was showing the place to the George's, I would keep it open for a couple ours and promote it as an open house.
The second call I got was from a guy in New York with a verbal offer to buy (unseen) for the asking price. I told him I was going to wait till after the open house to give him an answer.
The third call I got was from a couple from Waukesha, WI!! They had been visiting a relative in Windermere and fell in love with the place and wanted to live here. Wow! They gave me a verbal offer above the asking price. I told them also that I would wait until after the open house to give an answer.
I asked for their offer in writing, which they delivered.
Open house day I got to meet the George couple. Nice, they liked it. I told them I had other cash offers on the table, they also made a cash offer. I went back to all the buyers and asked them if the offer they cage me was their best offer because I had three bids on the table. (I did this upon listening to the advice of a friend who is a realtor, thanks Friend!)
The couple from Waukesha won the bid. And it turns out that he and I were in Toastmasters (a professional leadership organization) together 30 years ago in Waukesha. Wow, so many signs to tell me I am making the right move. And it is a good thing, too. Because I am a bit scared to be house-less.
We set closing for two weeks after the tenants move out, April 15, 2022. That way I have time to sort through stuff, and haul stuff into storage or charity and give the buyers a chance to claim some things. I already promised I would leave them the antique bed.
On one of the birding walks I got to meet-up again with one of Cindy's friends, Connie. She has been living full-time in her van. I asked her about residency and being able to vote while living that way. She gave me information about Green Cove Springs. It is a town in Florida near Jacksonville that has a mail-service business. The mail service house has all the instructions and help for establishing an address to not only receive mail, but be able to use the address for voting and ID. If you are interested, it is St. Brendan's Isle.
In the meantime, I have friends in Windermere keeping their eyes and ears open for the next villa that might be coming up for sale. And I have been too busy to make all the reservations needed for all the places that Lilac and I plan to stay in the coming year.
Starting the Travel Plans
I like to launch my trip up north with a social event. A couple of times I went to a Sisters on the Fly camping event to launch my journey north. This year I am joining a bicycle and kayak event near Live Oak, FL. The Suwannee Bicycle Association is hosting a Pedal and Paddle for four days. I start camping there on April 27th.
Then I will zig zag north. I want to do a couple of the trails I didn't get to last fall. I think the Pine Creek Trail in Pennsylvania and the Virginia Creeper in Virginia and maybe something in western New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and into Wisconsin. If you would like to meet up along the way, let me know. It always makes the solo times more enjoyable when I know that I am connecting with friends in a few days. Let's ride, hike, kayak, bird, dine or happy-hour together.
This Page of History -- In the News
Don't read on, if the news of the day is stressing you out. I am just trying to give some perspective for those of you in the future reading this entry.
Yes, we are experiencing a real-estate bubble or recovery, we don't know yet. The number of cases of COVID is trending down. The CDC has eased some of its recommendations, saying that the precautions should be localized to the areas according to the number of cases they are experiencing. I and friends have found ourselves once again sitting inside restaurants... feeling a little uncomfortable... a little scared... but celebrating and hoping that our vaccines will protect us and those around us at the same time.
A convoy of truckers that are against any COVID restrictions (most of them are gone now) are entering DC to protest. And all that seems silly now because... about 12 days ago Russia attacked Ukraine. Images of the destruction of modern cities and neighborhoods are coming through to us via the news and social media. The whole world, the web, the cell phone systems, our monetary systems could be at risk of attack.
We citizens of the world do not know yet if this is the beginning of World War III. So far, the NATO nations have been inflicting financial pain on Russia and sending weapons to the Ukraine. You know better than I do, what happens next.