Planning our Great Escape - Breaking out of the box - CycleBlaze

January 23, 2018

Planning our Great Escape

A progress report

It's only been a week and a half since we returned from Hawaii, but in that time we've made great progress on our plan to sell our home and hit the road.  We've accomplished a lot, made some key decisions, and fleshed out the plan in general.   With each passing day we can look around the house and see more evidence of change everywhere we look.  And every time we talk about our future lives, we seem to have clearer, more concrete plans in mind.  So what are the high points?

Decluttering the house

It's incredible how fast crap piles up, isn't it?  We live in a fairly small space and we're not particularly materialistic; but over the course of fifteen years it just happens.  Everywhere you turn, there are possessions and junk that you don't really need any more and haven't looked at for years.  We came back from Hawaii with decluttering the house as one of our top priorities - partly in preparation for the move, and partly to prepare for bringing a real estate agent into the picture.

We have made great progress in the last ten days.  We've reduced our book inventory by more than half, and made about a half dozen trips to Goodwill and other drop sites.  Every day we're taking another pass, and finding another pile that we can shove out the front door.  And, in doing this, we're gradually getting clearer heads about how much we can't bear to part with and will need to place in long term storage.

A good start. These have all gone to the public library, and there’s a different mountain here waiting for shipment.
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The map library s one of the hardest for me - so many memories. Actually, these are the keepers.
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Putting our home on the market

This is another project that is moving right along.  We've found our agent, and had an initial consultation.  Later this week we'll meet again and start closing in on some key topics: asking price, when to list, and how to prepare the place for the market.  We're anxious to have this discussion, because we should end up with a clearer picture of how our daily lives will be affected in the coming months.

This is a stressful process though, one neither of us enjoys.  It brings back to mind what it was like when we sold our house in Salem fifteen years ago to move up here, and what it was like searching for our new home.

As part of the decluttering project, I found photos we took of this place on the day we first saw it.  We loved it then, have loved living here, and until recently always spoke of this as the place we would grow old in.  We're excited about our new plans, but have bittersweet feelings about leaving here.

This was then: Riverstone, 2002. Our agent and the former owner. And we think we have a cluttered place!
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This is now: Riverstone, 2018
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Probably my favorite corner of the unit. Pretty great place - I’d buy it!
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The archival project

Alot of our clutter consists of photographs, souveniers, maps, playbills, books and music that are an important part of our personal memories and our experiences together.  We seldom actually go back and revisit much of this, but when we do it triggers memories that we've not thought about in years.  What to do when you need to downsize?

Our solution is to create a digital archive.  We're digitizing our old photographs, taking photos of belongings we're getting rid of, typing up old journals into CycleBlaze and the like, and then tossing out the original.   This won't be the same of course, but maybe we'll find value or comfort in scanning through these old photos down the road, reminding ourselves of books once read, plays once seen. 

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Et cetera, Et cetera, Et cetera

There are a lot of other topics and decisions we could talk about here, but here are some miscellaneous decisions we've come to that we're happy about.

Bikes

We've got three bikes each now: our Bike Fridays, our new Surly and Rodriguez that we got last year, and the Cannondales that preceded them.   Two decisions to report on this front:

We're donating the Cannondales to the Community Cycling Center.  We never ride them, they're fine bikes with a lot of life left in them, and someone else might as well be keeping them limber.

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And, we're going to start over with new Bike Fridays.  We've had ours for nearly a decade now.  They have a lot of wear, and there are some things we'd like to change.  Our new ones will have disc brakes, and a 2 by 11 gearing system rather than 3 by 9.  So, I imagine you won't be seeing this pair around in the future - we'll be trading them in when we pick up our new ones in March.

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The Jetta

We always knew the Jetta was going.  We hardly drive it any more anyway.  It's old and beat up enough that we'll just donate it to the public radio station when we're ready to leave town.

We're excited about our plans for it in the meantime though.  We have two excursions in mind.  In March, we'll drive down to Eugene to pick up the new Bike Fridays, and then take a brief bike/road trip vacation in southern Oregon, maybe down along the southern coast.

Even more exciting to us though is the plan to take it up to the Canadian Rockies in mid-summer.  We're envisioning about a month-long trip to country we've talked about seeing for years but never made time for.  When we come back, we'll ditch the car, complete any last minute tasks, and then head for Venice.

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Comment on this entry Comment 6
Bruce LellmanI admire you guys for being so brave and unattached to stuff. I'm so sentimental that I'm way too attached to half of my belongings. You will feel very free wherever you ride from now on.
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4 years ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanI’m not sure brave is the best adjective, Bruce. Shortsighted, impulsive, maybe rash? I don’t know about Rachael, but I’ve always been this way about most belongings though (exhibit A: I’ve been married four times!), finding them easy to let go of. Books and the like are exceptions.
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4 years ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonBooks and Rachael are the exceptions! You guys have been together a long time.
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4 years ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesConsider passing through Victoria on your way to the Rockies. You have a standing invite to visit and stay at our place. We have 4 kids, all of whom have long since left home, and their bedrooms are furnished but uninhabited. The Grampies
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4 years ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesHey, thanks Steve. We will consider it; if not this summer in Vic, then sometime and someplace. I think we wouldn’t want to take our car across so it might not be this year, but sometime soon for sure. We have a friend who offered up the use of her home on Lopez, so we’ve been thinking around a revisit of the islands anyway.
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4 years ago
Ron SuchanekDownsizing is excruciating, until it isn't. Parting with books, bikes, cars and your home sounds nuts to most people, unless it's in service to a larger goal. Your former condo is beautiful!
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4 years ago