On May 3rd Sweetie and I will have known one another three years. From the day we met, it's been continuous confirmation of how much we have in common.
Within a week of meeting we discovered we both wanted to "move north," our passion for gardening; our mutual goals to declutter our lives; and how much we enjoy staying home. We both wanted to live near the water. We both happen to like living in mobile homes (sounds crazy I'm sure if you live in tornado alley). We both like pines and birch and maples and wild blueberries and wild strawberries. We both wanted a pole barn and a deck with a hot tub. A sauna would be frosting on the cake. Neither of us like looking out our windows at another house. We live curtain free. Our new place has all these things except the sauna and wild strawberries.
As the months passed we dared to believe that our dreams would come true. Sweetie was the go-getter; the man who believed that in spite of circumstances (and there were plenty) we could accomplish our goal. Opportunities and give aways just seem to come to him. Good Lord, he was given the mobile home we live in now - and it's not a piece of trash. I was the sceptic. I was still recovering from having lost everything so it took awhile to believe in possibilities again.
We took our first trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula three months after we met and drove around looking at "possibilities." Sweetie met my family and Dad gave his approval. I took him on a nostalgic tour of my old school, my childhood home, and my favorite restaurants, parks, rivers, beaches and art galleries. He was impressed with everything but the galleries. He's not an artist. That's okay. People are similar but they do have their differences. Yet today, whenever anyone enters our home he always points out my paintings. Gotta love him!
In three years we've made eight trips north, each time looking at real estate. To reach our goal we had to juggle multiple projects. We simultaneously saved money, we paid off debt, then established the homestead here on land he'd owned for 30 years. All the while we sorted, itemized, and repaired/replaced our combined possessions. Through it all, we've had our false starts, a few disagreements, and challenges with our health.
The key is, we've persevered.
Soon, we'll pack up the last of our STUFF, turn the keys over to someone else and pick up the keys to our new place. Our first few days in the new place will seem surreal. After all, we never expected to have what we've been blessed with.
How we live our life will not change much; except that we'll be more relaxed because we're no longer restless and yearning; we've arrived. All the scrimping, saving and selling what we can while repairing things and "cutting back" has been worth it.
When we arrive at the new place, we'll have no savings; no side jobs for extra income; no winter wood cut (average snowfall 200-300 inches); a truck in need of repair and a 500 gallon propane tank to fill. We'll also have the utility bills from this place due and the hook up fees and new round of bills for the new place - all due in the same month.
The cool thing is our preps will sustain us. I cannot stress this enough. I've read many a blog and forum about whether or not to "stop prepping" when preparing for a move. Overall, they seem to recommend NOT continuing to prep because it will cost so much to move it. I disagree. It will cost more to NOT have sufficient preps once you arrive at your new place. Call me a tin foil hatter if you like but, I'm the kind of gal who worries that the "just in time" delivery system will lock up the day after we move. I know from 40 plus moves that unforeseen expenditures crop up after a move. For me the last time it was a fractured elbow and a new muffler.
Out of curiosity, I had my son measure the square footage of our preps (primarily food) stored up north. I added that figure to what we have here. It will fill a 24x18 foot room, floor to ceiling. In other words, that's 432 square feet of food - not including what we'll have in our garden this year. That my friends, is security.