Sunday, January 30, 2022

And This is Where Things Go Off the Rails a Bit…

Four days until closing…

My dear friend offered to rent us her family home while we wrapped up our lives in Salem. Unbeknownst to her and us, as it sat empty for a year, Mother Nature moved in.

Saturday evening at 4 pm, we arrived with a truckload of belongings and started the move in process.  By 9 pm, we had the back of a pickup loaded with garbage, but the kitchen was clean and I was able to move that stuff in. John was moving things in and sanitizing the main bathroom. The spare bathroom had a thick covering of black mold in the shower.  He closed the door and told me not to go in there. John changed the filter on the furnace, it was black. We left HEPA fans running overnight to air out the must.

Then on Sunday evening at 5:30, we brought the next load. The carpeted bedroom was still musty, so I figured we would use the one with hardwood floors.  I pulled back the bed covers and there was carpet beetle larvae crawling in the bed. I freaked.  (My dear friend had no idea about any of this and I hated to add to her already loaded plate.)

John went into superhero mode. Miraculously, he was able to get a U-Haul truck at 5:45pm on a Sunday evening, actually 2 trucks, the first one had a tremendous gas leak, and I drove back to Salem to get boxes, while John headed to the rental to start loading. We moved everything out and back into our garage. We had to sanitize everything.  I was hysterical at this point and shivering uncontrollably. 

I sobbed on the phone to our neighbor and she invited us to move in with her. I also called another friend and begged for the beach house. She called me back within a few minutes and said it was ours. More crying.

At 8 pm we arrived at our neighbor’s house. I just fell into her arms and sobbed. She fed us the most delicious dinner of homemade chili and cornbread. We drove home (three houses away-we were that tired) around 10.

We had to wash all laundry that made contact with the furniture in the rental. Our bed was gone, thanks to Craigslist, so we slept on the bedroom floor.

(Throughout this whole process, we were dealing with Craigslist sales, as well. It was great to make the money, but it was another layer of logistics. We had over 130 separate sales from Dec. 5 - 1/24 -We kept a spreadsheet.)

Monday, we switched to pitch mode and just started throwing out belongings we had planned to use in the rental.  Lots of stuff to the Gospel Mission, Goodwill and a U-Haul truckload to the dump by 5pm.   I made another Goodwill drop and Bottle drop.  Then I picked up John at Uhaul, we got gas at Costco and drove home in the thickest fog we have ever seen.  L was waiting for us at the house to take a van-load of belongings she could bring to the beach. We continued to pitch and purge and then discovered the pile of go-bag stuff at the back of the closet. John put the snow tires on the car so that we could get through the pass to the Coast on Wed. More papers to pitch and sort. Working in the garage until 1 am. Freezing cold and frenzied.

Tuesday morning was closing day. Up at 7. John had to have his blood test for his physical, then to the Fidelity Title closing office where everyone was sick and mostly unmasked, then to Starbucks for breakfast, then the Post Office to mail boxes to mom (they arrived damaged and contents broken…shit), then UGM to donate, then to DW to unload a box of financials, then home to continue.

John loaded carload after carload to C’s house as I frantically emptied the fridge and freezer.  Our lovely buyers arrived at 1 and the house still wasn’t clean, but they absolved us of all obligation…thankfully.

We sat at the dining table and completed the truck sale paperwork. (The new owners even bought our pickup!) We apologized for the disarray, which they understood. They are angels.

At 2 we arrived in the garage at C’s house to unpack everything and re-sort AGAIN. Freezing cold, kind of dark and exhausted. At 7, she went to get a pizza for us all. At 8 we sat down to a pizza and salad and carrot cake. Yay, C!

From 10-11:30 pm, John did tech and I took photos of photos so I could throw away photo albums the next day.

We crawled into the cleanest bed and were joined by two beautiful kitties. Such a gift. 

John lost 14 pounds, I lost 3, our hearts had been running on adrenaline, no showers, skipped meals, my lips were split, John’s fingers were split almost to the bone, aching muscles, frayed nerves, bone tired and absolutely exhausted.

Wednesday, after breakfast, I chipped the ice off the car and took papers to be shredded, another load to the mission and picked up the WIFI hotspot from the library.  Meanwhile…John was continuing to back up tech stuff and consolidate items. We had a gourmet leftovers lunch.  At 3:30 we pulled out of the driveway to head to the bank. At 4:48pm we began the drive to the coast. We have always been homeowners. We talked about how we felt adrift, unmoored and a little lost. We never got to say goodbye to the neighbors or the house. It was all just a frenzy. Every moment was a rush to do something before something else had to be done.

Driving past Grande Ronde and looking to the south, as the sun was setting, we were treated to a herd of 20-30 elk. First time we have ever seen them there. Such an appreciated gift.

A brief stop at Safeway for fresh fruits and veggies and home to the beach. A familiar, clean, happy place. Unpacked, showered for the first time in at least 4 days (sorry, C!), drugged ourselves, and fell into bed at 10.

We are sleeping and grabbing frequent naps. We have walked for miles along the sunny, 55 degree beach. Today was rainy, so we took a guiltless break from everything. We will take this time to recover and prepare for the next part of our journey.

We are so blessed things turned out fine. The home is now in the hands of the two nicest people we have ever met. (They even have kitties!) They promised to keep the trees, too. They have our precious truck and will take good care of it. The Miata is getting a new top and lots of love from its new owner and his daughter. Our friends all came to our aid in our hour of need and we are so thankful for the love and support from everyone. Thank you. You know who you are. We love you with all our hearts.

Now, we are going to spend time with each other. :-)


  1. This brought tears to my eyes, reliving this stressful time with you and John! I believe this will all be worth it in the end. For you, anyway. I’ll miss having you as my neighbors SO much! Now, just relax and enjoy some quiet time. ❤️

    1. You are our knight in shining armor! We look forward to when you get to come to France and we can take care of you for a while!💕

    2. What an ordeal, you two have sure been busy. Wishing you both the best.

  2. We thought of you both today.

    Healing comes when you see the opportunity for growth that a painful situation has provided.


    1. Thank you for sharing that thought. We are looking for that growth opportunity!

  3. So sad to read about your horrendous selling and moving experience! Glad that you are in a place now where can recuperate and recover.

    1. Thank you for your kindness and support. We are doing much better, now!