I have just finished what is probably my most brilliant and entertaining post to date, explaining why we have postponed our move to San Pedro, Belize, from today to Monday, Feb. 17. It was a post filled with wit, charm, clever turns of phrase, some bona fide insights into the human condition and much self-deprecating humor.
Then Microsoft shut down my computer so it could update its lame-ass Windows operating system.
It is 6 a.m. and I no longer have the will nor the fortitude to try to reclaim all that prose.
Thanks, Microsoft. I can’t wait for my new Chromebook to arrive so I’ll never have to deal with you again. (And don’t begin to think that the discrete little countdown message in the lower right hand corner is enough of a warning when a writer is in The Zone.)
Here’s what’s up.
We have two ways of looking at this. One, Rose and I are still way ahead of our original schedule which had us leaving for Belize on March 1. In a fit of giddy optimism, and not a little naiveté, we reset the clock for Feb. 1. Then reset it again for Feb. 7 and recently decided that the departure date would be Feb. 12, our second wedding anniversary.
So, now it is to be Monday.
The second way of looking at this is that we are being extremely responsible in making sure that we leave with our American house in order, so to speak – both literally and figuratively.
In fact, we have both spent an enormous amount of time putting our house in order, as we make it rental-ready. Here is the short list of what I have done in recent days (and trust me, Rose has done much more):
1. Spread one cubic yard of rain-sodden black mulch around trees and plantings to beautify the yard.
2. Expend two boxes of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponges removing scratches, splotches, scrapes, smudges and mysterious stuff from all walls, doors and woodwork. (These sponges are brilliant.)
3. Help super-handyman Victor remove old window-frame lumber from the backyard.
4. Paint walls in upstairs office.
5. Rebuild screens for two downstairs windows.
6. Install five smoke detectors and two carbon monoxide detectors.
7. Install three new toilet seats.
8. Replace six broken handles on a built-in desk.
9. Install clothing rack in a bedroom closet.
10. Replace sliding door handle and lock.
11. Patch holes in walls
12. Spackle dog-mauled front door in preparation for painting.
13. Paint front door.
14. Replace failing fluorescent lights in garage.
15. Replace air filters in ventilation ducts.
16. Install metal transition strip between hallway carpet and bedroom tile floor.
17. Sell and help remove a washer and dryer.
18. Sell and help remove two couches.
19. Move two bookcases to the buyer’s house.
20. Post a Ford SUV on Craigslist for sale.
21. Haul SUV-load of bagged trash to landfill.
22. Cap the gas pipe in the laundry room.
23. Sort through two dozen old paint cans for what’s salvageable, recyclable and disposable.
24. Number, inventory and stash 15 20-gallon plastic bins of possessions into storage.
25. Gather toxic household products for disposal.
26. Remove picture hanging nails from walls in all rooms. Spackle in holes.
26. With the help of our friend Tom, and a borrowed truck, we moved a five-piece desk set to its new owner’s house; moved a heavy metal sculpture to a local winery; and brought two truckloads of household goods and clothing to a local social services agency.
This hardly exhausts the list and doesn’t even include the massive amount of work that Rose has been doing — including painting; packing and sorting out of home goods for disposal or storage; tax document preparation; and arranging for the property manager to rent the house. We’ve also both been working on setting up banking for ease of operation from overseas. And both Rose and I have worked on the sale of her property in Lake Tahoe.
So, for the time being, our life has been more “Love It Or List It” than “House Hunters International,” but these things must be done.
And to think that the original conversation a year ago went something like this:
“Let’s move to Belize.”
“How about March 1?”
How naïve we were back then!
Now we’re also watching the Mother of All Winter Storms moving into the South, threatening to grind airplane traffic to a halt between Texas and Miami, the two gateways to Belize.
So, Monday is looking good. Real good.
Tonight we’ll celebrate our wedding anniversary here, maybe with a picnic on a blanket in an empty house, rather than on an airplane bound for Belize.
A little disappointed. A little frustrated. Yes. But we’re long past the point of no return and I can almost taste that first Belikin beer.