Baby Steps


Who doesn’t remember Bill Murray’s “Baby Steps” bit from the movie What About Bob!  That’s the best parallel I can suggest to where Peggy & I are emotionally at this moment.  On a beautiful Tuesday morning the coach is empty. There is cleanup work to do before we can put her on the market, and that will be a week or so away — we need to let our bodies rest after the last few days — but we’re living in the mobile home now.  It feels weird.  And everywhere we’re taking baby steps.  This is like living in sticks & bricks — but it’s not.  It’s different in odd sorts of ways.

I‘m not going to bore you with details of ever trip into the house with more belongings.  Heck, everyone moves house from time to time.  There’s nothing noteworthy about that process — except perhaps surviving it!  We’re doing the same thing millions of others will do this year, and next, and the year after.

Nor is there anything particularly noteworthy about moving into a larger home than the one you were living in; or in moving into a smaller home;  it’s all semantics. Life changes;  we have to change with it.  The easier we make it on ourselves the happier everyone in our lives can be.

We’re not only moving into a house, we are also sorting through the details of changing domiciles.  By purchasing a mobile home rather than a … what should I call it… a “real home” (???) we aren’t buying “real” property, we are buying “personal” property.  Those legal distinctions are a pain in the brain to me and I’ve never been a legalistic minded guy.  But we’re working through the implications of our decision.

A great many retirees have a mobile home in their winter (or summer) location and return to their domicile state for half the year or more.  We haven’t yet lived through a summer in S. Texas — so we’re unsure how the whole domicile thing is going to work for us. It’s a highly personal choice and we’re working through it.

Four or five days into this process I’m not feeling any regrets.  What I’m feeling are a lot of sore muscles and new achey joints.  If that can be good, then we are feeling good about everything that’s happened so far.  It’s time.  And we are embracing change.

We had a couple warm days and a cool day or two during which to get the actual moving of stuff done. Those warm days reminded me why we are doing this: I don’t have the stamina I did in my 20’s. I can still tote a barge and lift a bale — but don’t be asking me to do that for very long!!!!!  And even more importantly by the end of the day I’ll admit to feeling mentally exhausted:  too many things to think about in pursuit of order in my universe.

The whole “mobile home” idea is something to which people have extreme and divergent reactions.  If I were 20, I doubt that I’d even want to consider this choice.  But we aren’t 20, we are approaching 70; our time on this earth is limited and we don’t need the same kind space; nor do we lust after the latest fads in accommodations; we grew up in a much simpler time and we don’t need as much to be happy.  The mobile home we bought is 14 years old.  It’s been well maintained.  There are a couple things that will need attention, but I’m willing to tackle them and for the price we paid I think we can afford to do so without exceeding the perceived value of the unit.  We don’t really care what others think about “mobile homes,” pro or con — this solution suits what we want and need.  Any monetary excess that we aren’t spending on this house that we might have spent if we bought real estate will simply be put to other uses. And we are looking at this as a definite time-being solution.  We know we’ll move back to Wisconsin at some point.  This gives us a warm base to enjoy until we get to that point.  Of all the places we’ve been in our lifetimes — including our 5+ years full time RV’ing — this has been the most comfortable, welcoming, and affordable.

There’s no denying that Northern winters are a huge issue for me.  Frostbite early in life has made any Wisconsin-like winters too brutal for me to tolerate.  I refuse to spend Wisconsin winters (which can last from November till May) cooped up indoors.  I may huddle in the house this summer in extreme heat but I don’t expect it to be anything like what the cold does to me. Time will tell.

We anticipate it will take time to acclimate to the climate.  Everyone I know who’s moved south has said the same thing.   So…  big deal.  It’s going to take time.  What else is new.  Seems most everything in life worth doing takes time an adjustment! (well, maybe except for falling in love — people seem able to do that quickly and permanently!)

We have literally thrown all future plans out the window for the foreseeable future.  Aside from a visit from our Daughter and SIL at the end of January we are literally taking things one day at a time. I have a long to-do list. Moving out of the coach was different from any move we’ve made before. We used grocery shopping bags to carry things OUT of the coach — but when we got to the house we had to empty them and return to the coach for another load.  So you can visualize the results.  Lots of small piles in every room. Not all put “away” when they were deposited on the table, or floor — we had no idea where “away” was going to be.  So, for a few days — like today — I’ll tackle one pile at a time and try to find places better suited for whatever it was that we dropped there. Gradually we’ll work the piles down and they will disappear and order will appear out of chaos. 🙂

The worst part of the house is my office which became the dumping ground for everything not-easily-definable: computers, books, records (as in financial), tools, and miscellaneous. (I never knew how many miscellaneous things there could be!)

It’s Wednesday morning, so in 4 days we have moved in and brought some reasonable degree of order to: the master bedroom and bath, the laundry room, kitchen, dining room, living room, and second bath.  A second bedroom and my office remain to be civilized or organized or some other-“iced.”

Not much by way of images to share so I’ll used a picture from a few years ago which has nothing to do with this post. 093360786

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