Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Process Continues.....

Time seemed to slow down in early November, but Bob’s paper clip “time chain” (see Oct 13 – “Office Humor”) ever so slowly did get shorter. And now it is GONE.

His office hosted an Open House on Wednesday the 17th when about 50-60 customers and co-workers (past and present) showed up to say goodbye. Who knew he had so many friends in the business world?

After that, time really slowed down, but the countdown clock kept on ticking. Wednesday the 24th was Bob’s official last day. As the day before a Holiday weekend, we expected the industrial business to be slow, and it was. We had originally planned to leave town early so as to spend the night before Thanksgiving with Paige’s parents, but the weather turned bad, Bob was delayed, and traffic was horrible, so we called some good friends and went out to dinner instead.

Thanksgiving Day we left early and drove to Paige’s folks place in Duluth (about 160 miles). By the looks of the highway in the daylight we were glad we didn’t drive it last night. We normally play host to many relatives at this time of year, but since her parents can’t travel this year, we were all guests at a cousin’s house.

Friday we returned home to prepare for yet another party: this time it was our own Open House on Saturday evening for friends, family, and neighbors. Here is one of the table decorations:
It turned out to be another fun time with a different group of, again, 50-60 people.

So now the parties are over, the cleanup is done, and Bob’s first Non-Workweek has begun. Until Paige retires at the end of the year it is “Honey Do Time”. The house is nearly empty, but the process will continue down to the closet and nook/cranny level. One set of RV day/night blinds has been re-strung (what a learning experience!) but still has to be re-hung. Final sorting and storing of STUFF will be finished soon. The house is still on the market and we will soon be contracting with a firm to keep it show-ready for the realtors. I hope the time will speed up, back to normal, for the next month.

The countdown clock is still ticking!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

First Snowfall of the season

We have known that we would still be in Minnesota until after the first snowfall. It just came overnight.
Here is our front lawn (that is a snow-covered "For Sale" sign in the yard):
And here is the back yard:
This will become really annoying after Christmas, but the first snow is pretty to look at.  Here is another (artistic?) closeup:
The Holidays are coming (eventually) but the granddaughters are coming TODAY - all of them.  Grandma Paige wants another group baking session where the girls learn (again) how to make Lefse, just like she learned from her GrandMother. 

That "countdown clock" on the right hand side seems to have slowed down for some reason....We won't be leaving until when??????

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Paige's first post

It's my turn (Paige)!  I haven't done any posts so I'll give it a shot.

This week we emptied the house a bit more.  The 2 desks in the Family Room are gone.  That leaves a couple end tables, lamps, and papers from the desk strewn across an area of the floor.  This weekend will be spent cleaning up the clutter around the house, doing errands, and having another Open House on Sunday. 

One big errand that Bob's been looking forward to is the purchasing of a Droid.  We've determined that this would be a great tool to have as we travel in the motorhome and we need to have another phone anyway as Bob's phone belongs to his company.  I know that once we get that phone, Bob will be focused on learning all the capabilities.

The motorhome is spending time in Big Lake at our friend's son's home.  Brian is doing some carpentry work for us.  We're replacing the oven (why do I need that?) with another cupboard and a cutting board is being replaced with another small drawer.  Storage space is something I need more of.

Bob has 13 days of work left.  There is an Open House scheduled for him on November 17th.  He's been surprised at the response he's received from customers who've called to give him their regards and who have communicated that they will be attending.  After 20 years at the company, he's developed quite a list of customers whom he's helped.

Sounds like it's going to be a beautiful weekend - better get busy now!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The "END" is in Sight

Maybe this title is overboard, so let's cut it back to a "major transition" is now in sight.

This is the first day of a new month and, as the old page came off the calendar, the "end" is right there. Bob will continue working up until the Thanksgiving holiday, then transitioning into a life of leisure :-) over that weekend and not coming back to the "8-5" world; sure won't miss the AM rush-hour nonsense.  Paige will continue working for awhile, but her "End" is on just the next page of the calendar. For the month of December, Bob will be her "gopher" and "going for" all the little things that still need to be done.

It is a combination of birthdays and insurance plans that keep us in Minnesota into the cold season. We got the Meridian out of storage and brought it home for winterizing this past weekend.  There now is antifreeze in all of the plumbing; the batteries are fully charged; there's enough LP to last us awhile when the time comes to run south.  When that time comes, I expect we will need two to three days for travel before flushing the antifreeze out and taking on our own fresh water.

When we first looked into the "Fulltiming" lifestyle, we heard about people selling their house and most of their "Stuff" and leaving within a couple of months.  That must be really hard to do since so much has to be done.  We really didn't want our transition to go as slow as it has, but one bright side is the chance to slowly break the mental bonds that some of our stuff had on us.  We've been selling/donating/giving stuff away for over a year but there is still more to go.  There really is an end in sight.  The "stix and brix" house has been on the market for over a year, with no activity of significance.  Paige has found a service that will keep it occupied and presentable for the Real Estate agents, so we will leave it in their care when we hit the road at the end of the year.

Last week Bob's office sent out an announcement to all customers, telling them of an Open House for a retirement party.  The response has been heartwarming.  Many of these people are much more than customers, they have also become friends.  Also over this weekend we have sent our our own announcements for a similar going away party to family, friends, and neighbors.  All these activities are on the same page of the calendar, reinforcing the view that a lot of "ends" are now in sight.