Good morning from Grand Junction, Colorado!
We rolled into town yesterday at about 5 PM (we're on Mountain Time now.)
Ah, there's so much to say. I don't know how to do it in just one post. So maybe I'll write several.
Okay, first of all... I think I will begin with the actual closing day. That was Tuesday. Two days ago. At 3:30 PM as we were driving East on the 210, we got a text from our Realtor that the sale of our house had finally recorded. It was done.
The day began in a frenzy as was expected. I was operating on 3 hours of sleep. But we had to get out of the house, so sleep was secondary. If you saw the last post, you saw the junkyard that was our driveway in the middle of the night. Well, we really didn't want to leave that for the new owners so we called 1-800-Gotjunk to haul it away. It cost us $300 to do that. It's really not fun to pay to get rid of junk, but when you're looking at a matter of hours to get rid of it, you do what you can.
Slowly the money we made on our Estate sale was disappearing. Shipping a few boxes here, a few more there. Paying $300 to have our junk hauled away. Shipping yet more boxes as we realize they won't fit in the car... in total we spent about $1,700 on this move (not including gas money to get us to Illinois.) So that $1,500 from the Making Home Affordable plan would really come in handy right about now. But I've given up on that. All there is now is looking forward.
We finally pulled out of our driveway at about 2:30 PM. I think. I didn't check the clock, I'm just estimating. It was hot. We were sweaty. Gross. Ready to be done. I had this experience of feeling too tired to even be sad. The move had taken so much out of us that we were just ready to get the hell out!
As we drove away it felt sort of anti-climactic. All this work and here we are. Driving away. I thought I'd cry tears of relief. We avoided foreclosure! Success! A celebration, right? Of course we're relieved about that. I actually acknowledged it to Bob as we were battling traffic on the 210. "Hey," I said with the little energy I could muster, "We avoided foreclosure. High five." And I held up my hand and Bob touched it. High five. It was pretty lackluster. There was no whoop of victory. Just an acknowledgement. I guess I had expected to feel anything ranging from euphoria to despair, but more than anything what I felt was peace.
And when the tears snuck up on me as we were passing Fontana, they weren't because we were leaving the house, but our community. We will miss you greatly, L.A. We will miss you more, friends. We love you.
So we are without a house. No longer homeowners. We've lifted the anchor and are setting out into the open sea. Uncharted waters. Making it up as we go. For now.
The interesting thing is this, I feel at home right here. No, not here as in Grand Junction. Here as in my own skin next to Bob. The two of us setting out together like this. We are headed to the town where I grew up. To my family... where we will feel home. If feeling at home is nothing more than a feeling, then you don't really need a piece of land to feel that way. Make sense? Yes, I know the cliche "Home is where the heart lies." I guess this is that.
So you can be houseless but not homeless. We are vagabonds. Wanderers. Transients. Well, I guess the distinction is that we are employed vagabonds, transients and wanderers (and grateful for that distinction!) Anyway, all of this is to say that it feels good. And weird. All at once. We are living what I once thought would be the worst case scenario and we're embracing it. It's not nearly as bad as we thought it would be. It's not bad at all. We're actually excited. Liberated. And how perfect that Saturday is our nation's Independence Day.
I told Bob yesterday that I kind of felt like a kid again. Is this how starting over always feels? I guess we finally found the 'reset' button.
A RECAP OF THE LAST TWO DAYS
TUESDAY: Departed L.A. and drove as far as Vegas. Saw a drug deal in the parking lot of the Motel 6 on Tropicana, quickly pulled out of the parking lot and looked for a, well, less seedy place to stay. Finally found a dog-friendly and decent accommodation at La Quinta Inn for $69 (didn't get much sleep as the people across the hall left their dog alone in the room all night while they went out gambling. Poor dog barked all night.) Highest temp: 111 degrees
WEDNESDAY: Drove north and east to cooler climates through Nevada, Arizona, Utah and stopped just over the border in Grand Junction, Colorado. We found a dog-friendly hotel on Main Street downtown called the Hawthorn Suites. $99 a night. But worth the extra money because we actually slept. Didn't see even one drug deal. And we have working wifi in the room so I can blog and Bob can work. We'll be here until we have to check out. Which is, ah, in only one hour! (no time to edit this post because I still have to shower- yikes!)
Last night we took Pablo for a walk down Main Street and ended up at a little pizza place with outdoor seating for a glass of wine and some grub. The place was appropriately called Pablo's Pizza, and yes, he acted like he owned the joint. While waiting for our pie, we paged through the local paper and came across this fascinating story about a Grand Junction native who spent the entire winter on his raft exploring Lake Powell with his dog Pepper.
There truly are all sorts of ways to live a life. Here's one:
GJ man spends winter rafting, exploring Lake Powell - Grand Junction Free Press
And this is a chalk drawing on the sidewalk across from our hotel. It's a little hard to make out, but it just seemed fitting since we are reinventing the American Dream for ourselves.
So how are you guys? What's up? Have you been following us on Twitter? I've been pretty chatty there from the road.
Oh- does anyone have any good road trip game suggestions?
Next stop: Denver! (It feels great to be back in Colorado after soooooo long! We can breathe. Fresh mountain air.)