When there’s no going back, the only way to go is forward.
After making the decision to move from Colorado to Oregon, and then selling our house as quickly as we did, there was no time for doubt or regret. We had moments of grief about leaving Colorado and those we knew. And now, ten weeks since making the decision and two weeks after arriving to this coastal community, we can reflect on how easily everything has unfolded. (CLICK HERE FOR MORE ABOUT COOS BAY.)
First we decluttered and put a few things into a storage unit. Then, due to the hot real estate market of 2021, our house was under contract within a few days of listing it. That’s when the packing fun really began. We ended up filling ten U-Haul storage boxes (like pods) to be shipped to a new address when requested. The process provided us with a few box bruises, increased muscle strength, tested our balance, and provided the knowledge to utilize moving tools to make it easier on our bodies. (Think “shoulder dolly” straps.)
On closing (departure) day, I pulled away from our former home in the van, pulling a small cargo trailer (with a few important boxes, suitcases of clothes, and the motorcycle), and Mike followed behind, driving a 22-foot cargo truck with large, heavy furniture that wouldn’t fit into the other ten storage boxes.
We arrived in Coos Bay after three-and-a-half days of careful, slow driving and no known mishaps.
Along the way we received a call that one of Mike’s siblings had been admitted to hospital with serious pneumonia. As a result of this illness and other eventual complications, she made her transition a few days later. She had just sold her house and was also preparing to leave Colorado for good. That memory will always be a part of our move, too. She will be missed.
Children, grandchildren, friends, and new acquaintances greeted our arrival with smiles and open arms. Family members also had arranged a large storage unit for all our road-weary belongings. Its size was more than adequate for what we brought with us. The other ten storage boxes will be requested once we have a new address.
We stayed at a hotel the first night of our arrival. The next morning, before taking our belongings to the large storage unit, a scary incident occurred involving one of our dogs.
As we were trying to load up once again and get to the storage unit to unload the motorcycle and other items, Casper somehow managed to get free of his leash and took off running through traffic. I tightened my grip on the leash to our smaller dog, lunged to grab the escapee, and fell over the cargo trailer hitch, bruising breast tissue and sternum bone. (Nothing fractured.) Traffic slowed or stopped as Casper made his way through two lanes of traffic on Highway 101 toward the intersection, where he paused to consider his next step.
Mike and I were running down the sidewalk after him, calling his name, and dragging little Zoey in the process. Casper made a right turn into a lumber yard. Then, with the help of lumberyard employees pointing out the direction, Mike managed to corner him between piles of wood. I threw the leash over the fence, and we brought Casper back to the hotel. A dreadful incident had been averted. I’ve been triple-checking the leash clasps ever since. Apparently, double-checking wasn’t enough.
It only took about an hour to unload the moving truck, cargo trailer, and van. Thank goodness I hired professional movers to assist. While one of the straps holding the motorcycle in place had snapped, the bike had managed to stay mostly upright. The surrounding boxes gave it some support. We had more than enough help to get the unloading done in record time. Both the rented cargo trailer and the moving truck were returned to vendors within hours of unloading. Whew!
The next step was to move into the guest room of Mike’s son’s house, retaining a few boxes with day-to-day items until we find our own place. They made space for our stuff in closets and cupboards and refrigerator and shelves. We are grateful to have such a welcoming place to reside while we search for our “forever home” one more time. It’s comforting to be surrounded by people who care about us and are willing to share their home with such generosity.
Almost immediately we had appointments with our realtor to tour home options in person. We had done several virtual tours with them, even placing long-distant offers on potential homes, but nothing had solidified.
However, within a week of arriving, we placed a contract on one that appears to meet all our requirements. It will need some minor repairs, but is practically move-in ready. While the house is much older and smaller than the one we just sold (think 1960’s mid-century modern), it suits this next phase of life as we learn to embrace a more relaxed lifestyle. With the formal inspection already provided by the seller and the appraisal waived, we pray that the closing will occur sooner than currently scheduled… perhaps before the end of 2021. It’s possible… and what a nice Christmas gift that will be (photos coming later).
Meanwhile, we’ve been focusing on moving funds from Colorado to Oregon, updating medical options, staying healthy, and driving around town to get familiar with the area. On one of our driving outings I backed into the steel edge of a low-hanging mall sign and put out one of my van’s rear windows. We also have an appointment with a body shop next week. The sign had no damage whatsoever.
Mike’s car is scheduled to arrive Monday afternoon, thanks to a former neighbor who was willing to drive it West and deliver it to us. Thank you, Alec! It will be easier to drive Mike’s car on these narrow streets than my big van.
With the major tasks complete, we find ourselves sleeping long nights and sitting… a LOT! It’s a good activity for me as my sternum is still a bit sore from the fall on the hitch. And now, each of us has a sore shoulder from yesterday’s COVID booster shots.
I’m finding it easier to meditate and have started reading again (a practice I put aside a few months ago). We’re getting to know our two young grandchildren and reconnect with their parents. We’re exploring decorating ideas for our new home, too. Then, once we take ownership of the property and the ten U-Haul storage boxes arrive with the bulk of our belongings, it’s back to muscle-building, balance-testing, and lots and lots of steps for a few days.
At some point we’ll visit the beach; it’s only about 15 minutes away and vast. The bay waters are just down the hill from here and visible from everywhere in town. The dark clouds of winter have arrived. Evening fog fills the gaps between evergreens on the hillside to the west. The air is moist; winter rain is predicted. It’s a great time to be indoors, writing, sharing this adventure with you.
We made the right decision. The only way to go is forward.