by Molly Greene, @mollygreene
When I listed the property for sale, neighbors, friends, and family all asked the same question, What are you going to do next? … and my reply was always the same.
I had no solid plans.
I was thrilled but there was little time to celebrate, because California escrows can be a bear for the seller. Mine was no exception. The paperwork, inspections, and questions and requests for information are endless. So I went to work the minute I accepted the offer, and the toil was not complete until the day the loan funded. That left little time to consider my options.
I had a few plans in place, of course. I’d decided to sell most of my furniture, namely the heavy antiques I’d been hauling around for decades. Since I’ve been downsizing for years in preparation, that was no surprise. I also knew I wanted a small home in a quiet place – but that wasn’t a shock, either, since I’d lived in the mountains since 1999.
An extreme change of scenery!
I assumed when the house sold I’d simply look for a local rental. Which I did, even checked out a tiny cabin for sale, but nothing appealed. So in the midst of the escrow madness, I asked my mother if the dog and I could stay with her for a few weeks in her tiny Pacific Beach home a block from the ocean.
Talk about a change of scenery! Although I was raised in San Diego I’ve been gone – aside from visits – for a while. It’s busy here, crowded. There are people everywhere. Sirens roar by ten times a day. You have to lock your doors, and if you leave anything out in the driveway, someone will snitch it. On weekends, the traffic is almost too heavy to take out the car. But Trader Joe’s is half a dozen streets away – heaven! – and the grocery store a three-minute walk. And the ocean is steps away.
Oregon to Baja – the search begins
So now I’m in temporary digs, watching Craigslist, perusing low-priced sales and rentals from the Oregon coast to La Paz in Baja. Inland Northern California makes the most sense to me, some small town closer to the ocean but not right on the coast. My nine-year-old Doberman complicates the rental hunt, of course, despite his friendly, social, loving demeanor, and I expected that.
I’ve also found that August is a difficult time to execute a move. Other families considering a change have already completed theirs – before school starts – which means rentals are scarce. I’ve searched for a Class B camper van to rent but vacations have long been booked, which makes RV rentals impossible. And it’s too hot in Baja to even consider visiting.
Meanwhile, back to work!
I hadn’t written a word on my WIP since June, but now I’ve caught up on some edits, uploaded the remainder of my backlist to Draft to Digital to complete my 2016 project to go wide, and am reveling in the fact that I don’t have a mortgage to pay for the moment.
Life is good. I am grateful!
Starting a new chapter – whether real life or fiction – is a challenge, even while it’s exciting. A new beginning brings anticipation, anxiety, and, once in a while, fleeting regret. The questions are the same: Can I do this? Am I capable? Where do I start? What do I need to cover? What actions must I take to move the plot forward? And as with any story, we’ll have to wait and see.
Have any ideas for me? Leave a comment and share!
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