Saturday, April 14, 2007

We Want to Buy Your House!

"We've been all over the website featuring photos of your home; and now that we have seen it, we want to buy your house for the price you have asked," a couple from Houston offered Ed on Sunday, April 1st. This was no "April Fool's Day" joke. We accepted their offer and six days later signed a contract to sell while seated around our wobbly oak kitchen table.

I felt stunned at first, especially when I learned that the closing would be April 30th! Even though I had been packing and sorting for awhile, I had recently slacked off. We will have just several days after closing to vacate the house. And, during most of those days up to closing, I will be in New York City or Miami on business. So now what?

Grandma's precious Blue Willow dishes from Easter dinner did not go back onto their illuminated perch on the china closet shelves. They went into dish packing sleeves from Office Max to be stored for Suzie, just as they had been stored for me when I was attending college. Ketchum client files from 2001 - 2005 filled the Whitehouse trash dumpster with a direct shot shoved from the attic floor cavity. Private Motor Coach, Inc. files and important documents went into labeled portable files for placement in a storage bay of the new motorcoach. And, if clothes in my closet pre-dated the opening of Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I bagged them for Goodwill.

Telling the family meant a phone call to Mom asking, "Can I store some trunks of keepsakes in the basement?" Chris congratulated us and said, "Mom you deserve to be free. Congratulations!" Suzie pondered where she will find housing for the summer after the resident halls close at the university. And, Ed contacted Hoffman Coach in Claredon, PA to close the deal on a new motorcoach since he had sold "Patty's Charm" when he attended the FMCA Convention in Perry, Georgia in March. It's all a go! He has delivered "Patty's Charm" to the new owner in Georgia and flew to Pittsburgh to get our new house on wheels.

The new owner and their contracted house inspectors arrived on Thursday of this week, and reminded me about the broken front window - a casualty from stone placed in orbit by Ed's weed whacking; the stove burner that doesn't work; the beginning of wood rot on the colonial porch pillar; and a few other minor things. Who doesn't have a few itty-bitty things wrong in their home? The house goes "as is." Take it or leave it!

And as I pack more boxes and price for the garage sale, I heard a country song play, "I am the happiest girl in the whole USA!"

Monday, April 02, 2007

Good to Go For Ten Years

With each trip to the mailbox, I wondered "Will my new passport be here today?" At last, it arrived and I am good to go for ten years - expiration date 2017! My previous passport was due to expire in April 2007 and had not been used for any extensive international travel, only the occasional border crossing to Canada to visit Ed's family in Ingersoll, Ontario. The renewal process proved easy enough. The biggest delay was waiting for a good hair day to visit Kinkos and pose for the passport photo. Now, the robin's egg blue colored sweater, long hair and copper frame glasses will be my image seen at every border crossing when Ed and I take our motorhome to Central and South America. Before applying for my new passport, I noticed some interesting data in the October 2006 issue of Travel + Leisure Magazine. "Fourty-seven percent of travelers polled in the "Passport Patrol T + L Poll" like their passport photo. I like mine. Fifty percent got a passport before turning 20. I got my first passport at the age of 21 for travel to Israel. And surprisingly, only 25 percent of Americans have a passport. At last I have mine in plenty of time for our planned RV international road trip.