We just got a contract on our house! Even though it was only on the market for 26 days, we’ve been rather anxious about the sale moving forward in a timely manner. Thank you to everyone who supported us through prayer, and thank you most of all to God for sending us a buyer. Closing date is April 16, which means we hit the road April 17!
Looking back over my Watchmaker’s Pulse posts, I decided to re-visit one that I made almost exactly one year ago, called Our To-Do List. The following is a re-posting of that information, with updates shown in red.
It’s my intention, once 2018 rolls around, to establish a more regular cadence to the material I produce for The Watchmaker’s Pulse, but until then, I’m just using the site(s) to experiment and practice some of the tasks that I have planned. This is what I was referring to in an earlier post titled The Framework is Coming Along!. A lot of details have to be figured out before The Watchmaker’s Pulse is fully up and running, which will be after my actual retirement date of Dec. 21, 2017. (The retirement date remained valid!)
With that in mind, I wanted to create a “to-do” list here, both for my reference, but also to highlight for you more of the plans that I have. I welcome feedback and comments.
- Prepare our house for sale. Not a minor task, it includes
- Remodeling the kitchen – DONE!
- Remodeling 3 bathrooms – DONE!
- Updating electrical and lighting from the original 1965 configuration! (about 1/10 is complete now!) – This primarily involved updating plugs throughout the house. I didn’t complete any more of it, other than what was included in the above remodels.
- Tearing out all the upstairs carpet which covers beautiful hardwood (1/4 is complete now!) – DONE!
- Refinishing all the hardwood in the house – We didn’t get this done.
- Tearing out carpet on the lowest level and redoing wall and floor coverings there – Nope
- We also have some cracking in the garage and lower level concrete, inadequate insulation, and no lawn sprinkling system. We’re still unsure if we’ll try to rectify any of these or not. – Repaired some of the cracking.
- Replace the front and back doors. – DONE!
- Clean the HVAC system. – Nope.
- Determine when and with whom to list the house for sale. – Highly recommend our real estate agent, Brad Herman. He’s a great Christian man, and he was a pleasure to work with!
- Get rid of stuff. We have been in our house for 31 years. We’ve also lost all 4 parents in the last 9 years, 3 of which have been in the last 2 years. We have a lot of their stuff packed into various places in our house. We also have 2 adult children who no longer live with us, but whose apartments don’t have room for stuff which we still have – not to mention all the “non-junk” stuff with memories attached that we have to figure out what to do with. So, we will be:
- Selling anything which might be useful to others, except I HATE THE PROCESS OF SELLING THINGS! – Because I hate selling things, I only managed to sell one bed frame on Craig’s List. We have a few items which we might still try that with, though.
- Giving away anything which might be reused by someone else – We’ve made at least a dozen trips to a donation station to donate many items.
- Throwing away things (sorry… landfill… I know) – We made one trip to the dump, and used the two free special trash pickups allowed by our city. Beyond that, we managed to fill up a roll-off dumpster as well.
- Somehow archiving, through pictures, scans, etc. those items which have sentimental or practical value but which may be too voluminous to keep – I lost count after about 12,000 items scanned, but I managed to do that many before we had to stage our house for sale. The rest of the items are stored in boxes in the “to be scanned” category. The scans are all housed on a hard-drive, additional thumb drives, and backed up on the cloud as well.
- Keeping stuff in a rented storage unit that we might eventually want in a small apartment in the future – We utilized a 10′ x 10′ storage unit. The next step is to retrieve all that stuff and bring it back home in preparation of our next phase. The small apartment idea has changed a bit… see below.
- Keeping the stuff we’ll want designated for use in our not-yet-owned RV – We own the RV now… see below.
- Change our residency. I’m learning from a number of full-time-RVers that certain states (e.g. South Dakota, Florida, Texas) have set their laws in such a way that works better for people without a permanent residence location. I’m still investigating that, along with its impact on taxes, vehicle licensing and insurance, and voting. – We have opted for Florida. The biggest reason for this is the (unanticipated a year ago!) upcoming wedding of our son, Matthew, and his fiance’ Jordan. We are thrilled about this. They will be married this Saturday at Applewood Baptist Church. We have decided to purchase a house in Florida (Orlando area) and Matthew and Jordan are going to live there and use our furniture as they begin their lives together. The idea is that as time progresses and they get a bit more on their feet, they will either buy the house from us or buy another one, in which case we’ll rent it out or sell it or retire there ourselves. That part of the plan is still to be determined!
- Change our health insurance. I’ve been fortunate to have insurance coverage provided by employers for nearly 35 years. In November/December, which is the standard open-enrollment for insurance, we’ll have to make a decision about our health care moving forward. – We did this, but have been shell-shocked at the expense of it. We may be re-assessing our selections and options as time progresses.
- Figure out mail handling and banking. I haven’t researched either of these much at this point, but we’ll need to ensure both are set up in such a way as to be fully accessible and functional from the road. – Banking is figured out. Mail handling for the time being will be handled by our new Florida tenants!
- Make sure we leave necessary paperwork in order. We need to update our wills and life insurance policies and make sure necessary people know about them. – DONE!
- Get necessary medical and dental work taken care of before we leave, along with a plan on how to communicate with our doctors while on the road. – DONE!
- Obtain an RV which will suffice as “home” for the foreseeable future.
- I’m leaning toward a Class A motorhome. Gas or diesel?
- Darlene (my wife) is leaning somewhat toward a 5th wheel trailer.
- A standard trailer is still not out of the question.
- Whatever we end up with, we really want it to include: a king-size bed, an oven, a bathroom with shower and toilet in the same room (as opposed to across the hall from each other), a length of about 35 feet or less, a couch, ample storage, and a functional and comfortable secondary vehicle either towed or used for towing. Additional preferences would include a dinette with chairs (rather than a booth), an oven, a residence-style refrigerator, slide-outs, an awning, outside kitchen, fireplace, ceiling fan, solar capability, and a means for Darlene to continue with her love of jigsaw puzzles. – You can read about the rig we purchased on our Motorhome page.
Specific to The Watchmaker’s Pulse, I need to:
- Design a more permanent logo. When I created this site, I threw this together…, and , but would like to engage someone to create a more refined look for me. – I’ve updated the logo to this and this. I’ve also tentatively created a business card, but haven’t printed any yet. Lastly, I purchased “vanity” license plates for the motorhome that look like this.
- Similarly, for my videos, I’d like a theme. I’ve worked with some ideas but would like to engage someone to help me create a more defined, professional theme. – The videos can be seen on our YouTube channel. Please subscribe!
- Also for this website and the associated sites, I’d like feedback and help in refining the theme and continuity of the products. – Still seeking comments and feedback.
- Purchase necessary equipment for planned activities:
- Internet and data coverage sufficient to keep us connected on the road. – DONE!
- Adequate video and still photographic equipment – DONE!
- One or two new laptops for each of us to use – DONE!
- Decent video editing software – DONE!
- A dashcam for in-motion driving video – DONE!
- A drone for aerial photography – This is still on my list.
- Necessary tripods, audio, and storage equipment to support the video and audio creations – DONE!
- Memberships for any necessary activities, including national and state park passes, fishing licenses (yes, that too), campground or travel memberships, TV coverage – Haven’t done this yet (except the national park pass).
- Create a few sample videos and get feedback on them on our YouTube Channel – DONE!
- Figure out potential podcast formats and methods – I’m not sure I’m going to do this now.
- Develop ideas and sample modules for The Watchmaker’s Pulse Academy, a planned for-profit homeschooling resource center – This is still on my list but has taken a back burner. I have a potential inroad into this in the works, but nothing I can share with you right now.
- Figure out the best approach to engage with and inter-relate the various social outlets connected to The Watchmaker’s Pulse, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. – Still grappling with this.
- Identify missing elements from The Watchmaker’s Pulse idea and develop those. This might include speaking engagement activities, RV-park ministries, publications, other product lines, business cards, advertising, financial support options, …? – I have some new ideas based on some blogs I’m following. More on that later.
- Plan out our initial route and destinations – East, to New England and eastern Canada this summer, south and west next winter, and then, God willing, Alaska highway next summer.
- Convince Darlene that she really does want to participate in these videos – This is the hardest one of all!
I realize that I may not have thought of everything yet, and also that God could very well change the course of this plan, but this will at least give you an increased understanding of what we think lies ahead for us. – We have four weeks to close on our house, purchase the house in Florida, finish packing all our stuff, get it moved to Florida so Matthew and Jordan can set up the house the way they would like it, and start the trek eastward. I’m bringing the motorhome back home today (it’s been in storage during our renovations and staging of our house for sale) so we can start preparing it for travel and living. Pray for us! April 16, here we come!