Sunday, April 28, 2013

Back on the Road

Well, this blog certainly looks pretty much dead. Not a single entry in nearly 6 months after a small clutch of posts during a vacation trip. Clearly the guy that started this enterprise simply was not in it for the long haul. Rest in peace Rainsbow Road, we hardly knew ye.

But wait, can it be? A defunct travel journal rising from the grave? Surely your eyes deceive you and yet… There does appear to be a new post appearing. What can this mean?

It means that it has finally happened. We're both jobless and homeless and proud of it. We are living in our motorhome and have been for an entire two days. Our house is sold and escrow is supposed to close on May 2. On May 3, we are leaving Southern California and not looking back (at least, neither of us is looking back while the other is watching.)

I will try to bring you up to date to let you know know how we got into this state of affairs as briefly as possible. I may fill in some of the blanks later if I'm desperate for material.

When we last left our stalwart heroes they had just returned from their trip to South Dakota last September. I went back to work in my office, seeing patients and dreaming of not seeing patients. Vicki, who had already left her job at Vitas Hospice started the process of decreasing our property holdings, ruthlessly eliminating those items in our 14 closets that we had not laid eyes on in 15 years. In around mid-December I met for the first time with Dr. José Sanchez. He and his wife, both family practitioners, were interested in taking over my practice, and I was interested in having it taken over. It seemed like a match made in heaven.

We started making arrangements for a transition, but it seemed like every time we talked about it the solution was to start the process "next week". Ultimately I decided the only way to get things moving was to set a date by which the process had to be finished and let that dictate when it would start. The date selected was the end of March. Since by this time it was mid-February, that did not give us a lot of time. The process was pretty straightforward since I was not trying to "sell" the practice, just pass it on. The deal was I would give them my office equipment, my office space, the medical group would transfer the patients to their name and we were done. On their end, they would take over my lease agreement and become the de facto custodians of my records. It seems like I should've been able to just hand them the keys and walk away but what with notifying insurance companies, vendors, patients, landlords and other odd and sundry interested parties it took what seemed like a lot of time and work.

The South Dakota House
We put our home on the market in January but got no offers for three months. I worked my last day in the office on 29 March. The next morning our realtor called telling us we had an offer on the house. After some minor negotiating we agreed on a price. The only sticking point was the buyers really wanted a 30 day escrow. In order for that to happen, a lot of things had to occur very quickly. So for the past four weeks we've been running around like mad people, throwing things away, giving things away, trying to decrease our inventory. In the meanwhile there were appraisals and inspections to be done and repairs to be made, some of which are not quite finished. But the movers arrived regardless, packed everything in boxes two days ago and hauled it all away yesterday. It's all going to a house in Lead, South Dakota, which we will be renting out to vacationers. That is another long story and I may try to con Vicki into telling it.

So two nights ago we piled into our Allegro along with a greatly diminished  but still too large subset of our personal belongings and our two confused and probably somewhat depressed schnoodles and drove to a small campground in Cherry Valley to wait for escrow to close. We went back to the house this morning and picked up the loose junk lying around. Over the past week we had collected about 10 bags of stuff we had to get rid of and it was too late to find some sucker to dump it on, so I threw the bags in the back of my Toyota and our various small accoutrements, paper supplies, duplicate tools, etc. all became just more landfill. There was also a fairly healthy collection of half-empty paint cans, flammables, pressurized spray cans and other assorted items the movers refused to deal with that had to be taken to the "hazardous waste" collection area which is only open on Saturday mornings. Over the course of a couple of weeks, 20 years of haphazard accumulation headed down the drain.

After escrow closes, we plan to gradually make our way north to meet my brother Lyle and his wife the last week of May in Portland. The plan then is to go east on I 90 back to the Black Hills to take delivery of our belongings and set up the rental home. We have thought only minimally about life thereafter and plan to travel wherever the mood takes us. And I will, hopefully, be dictating a note into the computer every few days to keep our friends, relatives and many admirers updated on our situation. Off we go!