Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dorrie's Birthday

Looks like Gregory and I are ready for our bike touring haircuts! Here I am opening my birthday present (The North Face Mira Vaporwick Cami).

Packing (with picture)

Mike sorting through our gear. See comment below. I forgot to attach the picture.


Mike is our master packer. The B.O.B. trailer is already situated with sleeping bags, mattresses, tent and cook set. Here he is trying to sort out where things will go in the panniers and what we still need to buy on our shopping trip to REI on my birthday, Friday, June 26th.

Bruising Nicely

Mike's foot is bruising nicely and is still pretty sore. We are hoping he can get it into his bike shoes in a couple of weeks...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mike's "Almost Broken" Foot

Early on day two of our moving sale Mike sold this enormous steel cabinet and since the buyer couldn't pick it up until later in the day Mike decided to put it in the garage to get it out of the way. Using a dolly, he tried to maneuver it over the slightly raised lip up into the garage. He hit that bump and the cabinet slid off the dolly and on to Mike's right foot landing face down. I think he was first extremely upset that he'd tweaked the cabinet that he'd just sold and bent the key in the lock but then he exclaimed, "I just crushed my foot!" My first reaction was go get an x-ray but he insisted he'd be fine. It wasn't until an hour later when he took off his shoe that he said, "I think it might be broken." Hours later we were pleasantly surprised to greet our friend Greg Kennebeck who made an unannounced visit and is here from Ohio (GK is an MD in the Air Force). His timing couldn't have been more perfect. Finally, on the recommendation of Dr. Kennebeck, Mike went to the ER around 4:30P.M. We were pleasantly surprised that he was in and out of the ER in no time but the PA that examined him proclaimed his foot to be broken and he came home in a temporary cast. He was instructed to see the orthopedic surgeon on Monday. It was an emotional Saturday evening with serious reflection upon what to do next. How long would we have to post pone our trip? Should we still try to ride across America this summer or start somewhere else? We celebrated Father's Day the next morning on a somber note and tried to keep the day low key. While keeping his foot elevated Mike watched golf and racing but he was going stir crazy watching me run around and pack. Just as he went to lay down and take a nap so he wouldn't have to think about it all, he got a call from the hospital. The radiologist read the x-ray and Mike's foot isn't broken after all! Oh Joy! That night we toasted our good fortune. The trip is still on.

Garage Sale #2 - June 19th & 20th

As soon as the house was in escrow we started selling off our possessions and we were amazed at how quickly they went. We sold our Jayco Tent Trailer within 5 hours of posting it on Craig's List and as soon as the word was out that Mike was selling some of his large tools, 3 saws went away in just one day. I think he was a bit emotional about give up his Delta Table Saw... So, as the house went through it's remaining inspections (roof inspection on Monday the 15th, the day of Gregory's party, and whole house inspection the next day) we continued to purge our home of non-essentials and things too big and bulky to store. We actually had the appraisers come through on our first garage sale day!! In Paradise (our hometown) Friday is the big garage sale day and we had them waiting in front of our home at 7 A.M. (though we listed an 8 A.M. start). We even had one woman peeking under the tarps! It was non-stop all day and Saturday was a good day as well. In the photo you will see our neighbor friend Lexi, Mike and Gregory ready to give the shoppers the go ahead. I am taking the picture from the bed of Mike's Dodge truck. He had to park it across the driveway to keep people out until we were ready. We couldn't believe how much more stuff we managed to put out for this second sale when we'd already sold so much. Where did we have it all?

Gregory decided that since his birthday is in September that he should have an early birthday party with his buddies. Since his buddy Evan (who just moved to Washington) was here for a visit he decided we should put together a party in a matter of days. Now this is asking a lot from me since I took over a month to plan his Harry Potter party! In addition I was prepping for the second and final garage sale the coming weekend. However, good 'ol mom stepped up to the plate and met the challenge. We kept it simple and it turned out great. Gregory helped with the cake (yellow with chocolate frosting - his favorite) complete with a Lego dude riding his bike! We had water play and cake & ice cream (girls got to stay for this part) and then the guys had pizza and a sleepover Monday night. The next morning it was donuts with sprinkles and we splatter painted a canvas complete with the boys' hand prints so Gregory would have a piece of art to remember his friends. It really was a terrific time.

Gregory's Packed!

On Sunday, June 14th Gregory and I got busy and packed up all of his treasures. His Grammy provided the tubs because she wanted Gregory to be completely confident that his possessions would be safe and sound in Grammy and Papa's rafters! Two tubs were devoted strictly to Lego structures (he was concerned about breaking these down) and others include his collection of shells and sea glass, his rock collection and misc. toys including his stuffed animal friends. This photo does not include 4 large boxes of books! ☺

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It is official.  Our house is in escrow and will close on July 8th.  We will begin our bicycle adventure shortly thereafter!

We thought we might list the house sooner, with an eye to departing in June, however it was difficult for Mike to finish all the details of getting the house in pristine condition while continuing to work.  Also, we decided it would be easier to keep the house in a tidy state for showing once I'd finished school.  Thus, the sign went in the yard on Sunday evening March 31st and was put on the MLS (multiple listing service) on Monday, June 1st (my last day of school).  Here Mike and I sign paper work and Mike and our good friend and realtor Scott Lewis make it official.

My house has been in utter chaos for the better part of 2009 including bathroom remodels, interior and exterior painting and misc. home repairs.  While teaching third grade full time I spent my evenings, weekends, and all of spring break, going through our belongings with an eye towards the initial garage sale to purge us of all non-essentials.  When Mike says to get ready for a sale he means business!  At our sale on April 18th one customer commented,  "How can you get rid of these things?"  Well, it is not difficult to part with "the stuff" in our lives because frankly it is just "stuff" and honestly it means another day of adventure for our family.  We're glad our things can be used and treasured by others.  Even Gregory was able to part with his toys fairly easily (it has gotten easier as we get closer to our goal).  He does draw the line at his Legos, stuffed animal friends, his shell and rock collections and certain books.  We are proud of his generosity and thrilled with his enthusiasm for an adventuring lifestyle.

Hello Friends and Family!
This is my first official blog posting.  I wanted to establish a way to communicate with you while we are on our grand adventure.  It begins next month with a cross country bike tour. We are going to follow Adventure Cycling's TransAmerica Bicycle Trail (like Mike and I did in 1994) but this time we will travel West to East and Gregory will join us on the Santana Triple. Actually this adventure began months ago when we decided to sell the house and liquidate our belongings to make this trip happen.  We had our first garage sale in April and put the house on the market June first.  It seems that our good karma continues because after only a week on the market the house is in escrow and sold to the first couple that looked at it.  They have been living in a fifth wheel for some time now so will be buying most of our furniture and have agreed to a 30 day escrow.  This is ideal for us because we hoped for a quick sale and now we'll be on the road by mid-July.  Everything is coming together and we really feel that this was the right decision for our family at this time.  Gregory is on board and really looking forward to going adventuring with his mom and dad.