Sorry, I’ve been busy!

24 Jul

I’ve been very busy.

Sometimes, it seemed it ranked as “crazy busy.”  I had a lot going on, then because neither one knew of issues in my life, my daughter and mother decided to surprise me one Monday morning out of the blue.

It was pretty simple, my daughter asked me to meet her at Sam’s Club (about 40 miles away from where we currently live) so that she could do some shopping there, as she didn’t have a card at that time.  I agreed, and on the designated morning, Greg & I made our way down I-10 to meet her.  We’d already wreaked havoc on her plans–she wanted to do lunch and THEN go shopping, but because of her ability to marathon shop after eating…I wanted it in the reverse.  I’ve seen her linger in far smaller stores for as long as four hours!

So, much to my chagrin that morning, it wasn’t a good morning for me, and I was barely able to walk due to a back problem that had flared up.  The only solution was one of the electric cart things, and while I’m perfectly aware that these are provided to aid people such as me with mobility issues, it’s also a matter of pride.  I really hate not walking on my own two feet, but it was just not possible to do that day.  I knew I had a very finite amount of walking before I was going to be in excruciating pain, and the cart was the only way I’d survive.

We met her there, and she was already inside the store, which had me a bit suspicious, since she had no card to begin with.  Still, I didn’t question it much, and we followed her around as she made her way to the book section.  The only item we intended to purchase was some dog food, so we weren’t really shopping for ourselves.  Being a book-aholic, I still skimmed through the books on the table for sale, until my lovely daughter held up a cook book and said that “that lady over there recommended it.”

I have new glasses, which aren’t really seeming to improve my vision, but even with that issue, the woman looked decidedly familiar.

She should have been too.

It was my mother, who lives a long ways from Mississippi…in the Phoenix area.  She had come to spend a month, and while the surprise was lovely, it also meant that we had not planned a thing for her visit, nor had we cleared our schedules of unnecessary events.  We were in the middle of house hunting too, although we had put an offer in on a house…hours from where my daughter lived. (No, we didn’t buy that house, which is a long story, and was somewhat disappointing since I really LOVED that house.)  We actually had to resume house hunting during her visit, although most of it could be initially done via the internet.  (Gotta love www.realtor.com–it saved us a ton in gas and phone calls!)

We also had events planned with Get Ready Go, our Meetup group for camping, outdoor activities, and emergency preparedness.  I did cancel one due to weather, but we were already in the area of the event, it was an hour until the event, and it was pouring rain with no sign of potentially clearing up at that point.  Two people DID show up, but they already knew I wasn’t going to be there.

In the midst of all of this, a coveted job interview for Greg from a job application that had been nearly forgotten about (it was submitted ages ago!) was scheduled, in a different part of the state entirely from where we had been doing our initial house search.  That meant switching a lot of gears to head that direction in terms of house hunting.

We didn’t find something we really WANTED, at least in the same way as the house we missed out on, but…it is a workable house that we could live with, at least for a few years.  (The house we both really wanted just needed too much work before we could actually move in, and the new location is 4 1/2 hours away from Pascagoula, where we currently live.  The logistics and the money issue were both huge concerns, because it was going to strain our budget if anything too expensive came up unexpectedly in the renovations and repairs.)

So, on Thursday afternoon, we’ll be in Vicksburg, Mississippi to sign paperwork and make our official offer on a house that we really don’t care that much for, in hopes that we can make it into a home we enjoy.  Our first visit ever was just last week to the town, and the historical buildings, hills, and river all make it an appealing location.  I don’t know for sure that we’ll end up buying the house–it’s often a long journey from making an offer to actually closing–we’ve done that process twice so far this year, and still don’t own a house!

I do have one thing to say about house hunting and real estate agents.  House hunting is stressful, you are often stuck with a house for a lifetime, even if you don’t intend it to be that way.  For that reason, it’s a huge decision to make, and lots of considerations have to be made.  Mistakes can be immensely expensive too, which just adds to the worry.  The house we decided to offer on has few of our “wants”–the yard is tiny, there is no garage, there is just a narrow grassy strip for a “driveway”, there is no fence, and the house has all of the exterior charm of a saltine cracker box.  We decided that since it had the two “must haves” of internet access (DSL via AT&T) and price, we could change the interior to reflect our lifestyle better (goodbye scarlet carpeting and 1970’s formica counter top!)  update with some paint, new tile floors, and we’d have a much more agreeable home for a 3 dog family.  The garage can’t be added–the lot is too small, but we may be able to get a permit to add a small workshop & shed in the back yard, eliminating the need to store tools and equipment inside.  (Okay, I will confess, not even my desire to protect a lawnmower from the elements is going to allow that indoors…)  We may be able to put in a patio & barbecue area for outdoor meals, but all of that lies in the future.  Right now, it’s just an offer.

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