Saturday, August 15, 2015

Final Week at Home - Alrica

For months, I have thought a lot about how to travel slowly and live slowly but the past week or so has been more of a sprint. With a revised close date on the house of Aug. 14, 2015 and hopefully final doctor’s appointments on the 11th and 12th, we had this theory that we would leave Lancaster after the Aug. 12 doctor’s appointment. That meant completely emptying and cleaning the house. My sister came up to help us for a few days with a final garage sale and to sort and organize everything that was left.

Furniture and big things were mostly sold on Craigslist or at consignment shops but a lot was given away. I hate to throw away perfectly good things so we put a lot of thought into who could use our stuff. Lots of food went to the LCCC Food Pantry, unused toiletries and random things went to Clare House – a shelter for homeless families, craft items to Lancaster ReUse, Building Supplies to Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and then there were the 18 trips to Goodwill! We also rented a 4’x6’ storage space to keep things with sentimental value or high worth, low footprint.

With my inability to drive, and our annual inspection date creeping closer, we had made the decision to sell our older car and clear space in the garage. While we knew that there would be a million things to do, we hadn’t quite realized how long all of those million things would take when most of the burden would fall on Erich. He had to do any heavy lifting, driving, climbing of stairs, and still help handle my daily needs as getting in and out of bed even still requires assistance.

When not actively working, there was also the business side of things that I could do. Things like scheduling utility shut off, change of address forms, research into trip plans . . . all leading up to the doctor’s appointments that would decide our immediate plans. The big one finally arrived on Aug. 11. Meeting with my orthopedic surgeon was everything we could have hoped for. The pathology report showed the removed cancer to be a grade 2 chondrosarcoma with clear margins. The doctor was very pleased with my healing and gave us a very manageable follow-up plan that didn’t require returning to Lancaster. Our meeting with the vascular surgeon the following day sealed the deal as he signed off on my care. This left us with just the final work of emptying the house and saying goodbye to friends.

Most of the stuff left was all the little stuff, but then there was the mattress. Sleeping without one wasn’t an option for me so we had negotiated with someone to purchase it on the day we were leaving. Then he cancelled. This left us in a very stressful situation as we couldn’t just leave it there. I posted it on Craigslist for $10 and the phone started ringing. The first person said he could be there in 15 minutes. When thirty had passed, I called to reach a voicemail that hadn’t been set up. So I moved on to the next person who wouldn’t be able to be there for several hours. The third person likewise didn’t show so onto the 4th person. Another no show and feeling desperate so I reposted it under free items and another round of phone calls ensued. This is one of those things that I think we will look back on and laugh. Who knew it would be this hard to give away a queen bed? Finally, someone picked it up, the last few trips were made, and it was time to go.

Leaving Lancaster is definitely bittersweet. So much excitement about being on the road and starting the journey, but we are leaving really good friends and great memories behind. They will all be missed. 

Leaving a day and a half later than hoped means for longer driving days but on our second day on the road, a call from our realtor let us know that we are officially homeless! Somehow for me, it makes it all so much more real.

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