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A Tough Three Months

The decision to move was relatively easy, then the tough part started. We had two major factors that would determine the when of our move; Jane wanted to complete the school year (mid June) and we had a house to sell.

Jane and Wags at the house
We put our home on the market in January with everyone confident of a relatively quick sale. In fact we were worried about selling too soon and having to find a rental on St. Croix until the end of June. After some initial interest things slowed to a crawl - the mainland’s mortgage problems and housing meltdown started to impact sales on the island. Months slipped by and it was looking like a June move just wasn’t in the cards. When the occasional looker came by we would get hopeful then disappointed when nothing happened. Then, in mid May, we got an offer, countered and had a deal with a closing on June 25th, just a month away.

View from our house on the North Shore
Understand that we hadn’t been sitting under the palm trees watching the sun rise and fall since January. But until the house was under contract there was only so much we could do. Now, Jane has the usual end of school avalanche of things to do. We need to sort through 37 years of accumulated “stuff” and decide what to do with it all. Sell the car and truck. Get all the documents we (and Wags) need to enter Panama. Make our travel arrangements. The list goes on, as does the ticking clock counting down to our departure date of June 26th. Yes, the day after our closing - how’s that for confidence!

The toughest part of the whole process involved deciding what to do with everything we had collected over the years - emotionally some things are just hard to part with, regardless of value. Jane’s emotions were tested, but she would always take a break and return to what seemed like a never ending parade of tough decisions. In the end we decided to give most of our major items to nieces and nephews, keep a few things (eventually to be shipped to Panama), have a moving sale and either give away or trash what remained. Jane was in charge of the “moving sale” (a chaotic week) and managed to sell $5000 worth of stuff. We (Jane is my chief gofer and board holder) built and packed the moving crates for the shipments to Vermont, Michigan and Kentucky. They were 500-700 pound wood crates jammed with stuff for relatives or storage stateside. I sold the vehicles and dealt with the paperwork and moving arrangements. Looking back, that last month is one big blur.

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