Milestones

I hesitated to post this today, but… exactly two years ago today I had a heart attack.  The following Monday (19 May 2015), I would be in cardiac surgery for open heart, aortic valve replacement “procedure”.  (Edited – I thought today was the day I had the surgery.  My wife reminded me it was Wednesday the 13th the attack occurred.  Oh well, so much for memory, right?)
I also hesitate to use the word “procedure”, but that was their term for it. It was a mind numbing, very humbling experience to have your chest cracked/sawed open in surgery and for people to be touching your inner workings, in particular your heart.  I honestly didn’t believe I was coming out of surgery alive at that point.  I’d said good bye to everyone I could, just in case.
JoAnne and I had previously set a date to leave Colorado and move aboard Adventure on 1 June 2015. On 11 May 2015 I had turned in my resignation.  On 13 May I was driving home and experienced a heart attack. Not a classic heart attack, but a sickening feeling, nausea, cold sweats and heart “palpitations”, along with trouble breathing. I pulled the truck over, knowing something was wrong (but what, I was not sure) and called JoAnne thinking I might never see her again. I knew it was my heart, but there was nothing “classic” about what happened, and nothing I could do sitting in the truck on Highway 94 outside of Colorado Springs, 40 minutes from home and ten minutes back to work (and worse, going through security to get back in.  Then, there was the issue with calling an ambulance and eventually getting my truck home…. but I digress).
The aortic valve was calcified, and deformed from birth (I knew that part and had for a couple of years, and also knew I had a “heart murmur” all my life). I also knew that some “day” I’d have to have that “procedure” but didn’t expect it for 5-10 years.
I think the stress of selling the house, quitting my job to “retire” and getting rid of all our “stuff” probably brought on the attack.  I was, after all moved out of the house and we’d already gotten a good price, signed on the dotted line, and had gotten rid of 90% of our “stuff”, bought the boat, and we were moving aboard soon.  It was a very stressful time for all of us.  The kids too, because we’d moved in with my daughter and son-in-law and their three children, into their tiny (at the time) house.
I was terrified of the surgery and honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but you can never say something like that is routine.  Many people die on that operating table for various reasons from the anesthesia to not being able to restart the heart.
But, here I am today.  Alive, and well, and very likely in better shape today than I was before the heart attack (and don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been in ‘bad shape’, never been overweight, I’ve always exercised and even exercised the day I had my heart attack).
I went on to recover in pretty much record time.  Six weeks after I left the hospital I went back in for a check up and they released me to go back to work (with a few restrictions on lifting of course) and I stopped to visit the nurses who had cared for me so well at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs.  One nurse hugged me and cried… she told me that it was extremely rare to see a patient return looking so well in so short a time, and most of them never saw the same patients again ever, or if they did, it was due to them returning to the hospital in even worse condition.
JoAnne and I went on to move on to the boat in July 2015.  Slightly over a full month from our originally scheduled time.  Since then, we’ve had a lot of adventures on Adventure.
Today, I racked our first batch of beer made on the boat.  It won’t be the last, and we’re starting a second batch in a couple of days. (We have an ulterior motive though, we’re entering a home brew contest through Check Six  (https://www.facebook.com/CheckSixBrewingCompany/) located in Southport, NC.  I highly recommend a stop there if you like beer.
We won’t stop living our lives because of medical issues.  We’ve been slowed slightly, but getting back up to speed has been fun.
JoAnne went through her own bad experiences with cancer prior to my heart attack.  It wasn’t a cake walk either, but she’s doing fine.
I suppose, in the end of it all, life is how you lived, and are remembered.  It’s not always about how you die.
I believe that people who want to do something with their dreams need to stop right now, evaluate just how much you want that dream to become a reality.  Think it over carefully.  Judge how difficult it would be to start that dream, or the realization of that dream and then write down a plan to make it happen.
It is very, very important you write it down.  Then read it every few days.  I’m serious.  If you have a written plan to follow, you will soon discover you can break it down into smaller, achievable chunks.  If you want to set sail into the sunset, go around the world, or visit the Bahamas, or fly to Europe on a vacation, then by golly, do it.  Don’t wait for “retirement” to happen.  Because, retirement my friends NEVER HAPPENS.  It will never come for some people, they won’t make it there.  Others will be infirm medically by the time they “arrive” at retirement.
Tomorrow is NOT the day to start. Tomorrow never comes.
Right now, this minute is the time.  Write your plan for your dreams.  One year, five years, ten years – and plot your course for how you will arrive at your dream.
Make the dreams happen.  Don’t wait for them to come to you.
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House Sold; Resigning; Retirement

On the 16th of March we put our home on the market. At 1300 Mountain time on that day the house went live.  By 1430, an hour and a half later, we had four showings scheduled the first day.  Over the course of the week there were somewhere around 21 or 22 showings, there were five or six offers on the house and by Saturday we’d signed a contract.

On Thursday, 30 April 2015 we closed the deal at about 1400 local time.  We met the new owner (JoAnne had met him a couple times previously, but it was my first time).  He had some questions about the hot tub, and we eventually went over to show him how to care for it and so on.  Stopped by once for mail and met him again, and the wife showed him her garden.

Anyway, the closing went relatively smoothly.  Everything worked out for both sides.  He got a nice, completely remodeled house, we got money in the bank to fund our travels.

Yesterday morning JoAnne and I both turned in our resignation notices.  Mine to my company site program manager and her to her organization at the AFA.  It wasn’t a surprise to anyone because we’ve talked about this for so long as far as some are concerned we should have just shut up, lol.

My last day here is the 22nd of May, her’s is on the 15th.

We have some work on the truck to accomplish.  We need some front end work, new tires and the new topper should be here this week, probably later today or tomorrow.  This weekend we’re house sitting and going to go through our trailer (we’re down to a 8X4 single axle trailer) and hoping to pare down about 30% of the junk inside.  Nothing is going that we don’t need on the boat, or can’t easily replace at the other end.  We’ll take the trailer to where we’re house sitting and go through it in the barn there.

The week she takes off I’ll put the truck in for work, and drive her Jeep.

We’re going to sell the Jeep to the highest bidder after that. I also need to sell my mountain bike and my telescope.  If anyone needs a bike or a telescope, get in touch…. they aren’t cheap items though, so just be aware.

It has been raining now, pretty much for 3 days straight.  It’s appearing like it will continue through this weekend, so we’re hoping to do all our trailer work in a barn on the property we’re watching (as well as our weekly laundry) haha.

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to a Face Book Group for the Transworld Formosa 41.  The folks have been very nice, and helpful as well.  Hopefully when we get to our boat we can be of more help to them than we are now, but we shall see.

With luck, the creek don’t rise and I don’t have a heart attack we should be on the road somewhere around 1-3 June.

Last note here;  Yesterday a lady here at work told me one of our former co-workers was doing the same thing.  Selling up and sailing out.  He contacted me today.  Jim M., is looking for a sailboat somewhere in the Florida area now, and his house too, is under contract.  He’s hoping to head East from Colorado sometime around July if all goes well.

I am looking forward to meeting up with him eventually down in the Florida area sometime later this year. I sent him all our contact information and spoke to him on the phone for a short time, gave him some information about what we’re doing and so on.  It is good to see others following the Dream.

And, we have had dozens of people contact us telling us that we have “inspired them”… whether they will follow their dreams, I can’t say.  I can hope though.
Fair Winds!

Begin Countdown….

Home Sale

Today is Good Friday, April 3rd, 2015. Today is “appraisal day” for the house. The buyer has an appraiser meeting with our realtor to go through the house today to see if it’s worth all this effort.

JoAnne met the buyer last week during the inspection, who indicated he was happy with the house, it was the “best” he’d seen in the price range, and he was sold on the view, deck and hot tub I believe she told me.

The inspection went well, but they found a couple of electrical items of which I was unaware. I can fix them, but he specifically requested a “licensed professional”. While I am a professional, I’m not licensed for electrical work in this state… so, no big deal. We accepted his objections and we’ll fix them, do an inspection and purchase a home warranty on the house for the next few months. Basically, the contract is still in force, and we’re moving on with it as if going to close on the designated date.

Hence the reason for this post. C-Day (Close Day) is April 30th. Twenty seven days. That gives us another week or so in the house and then we have to move out. If all goes well with the appraisal we will pack up and move.

I’m going over this afternoon to look at a small trailer in which to place a few tubs containing what’s left of our belongings. I mean “all the junk we collected over the years”. You can not believe how much stuff we gave to Good Will, threw out, passed on to the kids, neighbors and random people walking down the street, lol.

We have essentials left. Eating utensils, dishes, cups, cook ware, a small but useful propane grill, our ham radio equipment (and not much of that is left), our instruments and clothing. That is about all we have left. All of it has to fit in tubs, which then must fit inside a small trailer, which must fit in a tiny space beside my daughter’s house for the short time we will be with her.

After close, after the dust settles, after the money “is in the bank” and after we have a few days to decompress, we will set a final date, notify our respective companies of our departure and start planning our trip across country.

If everything goes well, by the end of May we should be leaving. We should be in New York at Stony Point by not later than the second week of June. If the Marina has painted and done the jobs I’ve asked for by then, we will be ready to commission the boat within a day or so of our arrival.

At that point we plan to have a short, relatively private “ceremony” to officially rename the boat, splash her and do some test sails, plan our trip down the ICW and our first 2-3 stops along the way.

That’s the general plan, everything is subject to change, there’s always a Plan B, C, D and usually E. We have learned to not set ANYTHING in concrete and be ready to improvise, adapt and overcome. So the count down begins.

Transworld Formosa 41 – Adventure

I had a rather nice surprise waiting in email yesterday (so did JoAnne). The person who runs a Facebook Owners Page for the Transworld Formosas contacted us via email and invited us to join the page (which we did). It is interesting that he had posted images of “Duna” on the FB site the very day I was writing checks, moving money and getting things in place for the purchase of said vessel.

Kurt is the owner of one of the Formosas and there are several others on the page who also have similar (not exactly alike ) vessels. I’m sure that we will all be hearing much more from one-another in the near future. If I get the chance, I’ll post some images of the various boats here.

Contact Page

By the way, the Contact Page (https://windsoftime.us/contact-page/) has been modified with a new email address for us at the boat (which may change one more time before this is over).

RV

Last notes, the Dodge Shasta RV we bought originally for the trip has become no longer necessary. We sold it last week at a loss just to remove it from the yard and give it to someone who can (and will) use it.

Last things to do….

Somewhere along the way I got a chance to breathe and evaluate where we’re at.

Yesterday wasn’t that day though. I was finishing the kitchen counters, repainting a wall and preparing the house for going on the market.  A few days ago though, I was able to, through wheezing and coughing from a horrible cold, to examine where we’ve come in six years.

Remember we had a Five Year Plan.  In that plan there were certain things to accomplish and we did them all well before the five years was up.  That included saving money, fixing up the house, selling things (including our sailboat, dinghy, my Jeep… I hate that I sold my Jeep so soon… but oh well, it’s just “stuff”).  The plan included getting out from under debt (we did that), paid off and essentially stopped using credit cards.  We moved all our accounts to a new, investment bank, and I was able to replace our hot tub (with CASH), paid off the house (ok, I still owe a few bucks, but it’s done too soon) and set up a Home Equity Line of Credit, like a revolving charge account against the house.

We used that to get some work done.

We also used it to buy our new boat.

As of a week ago, we have our Ship’s Radio License (Call sign: WDH8090), the boat is now properly registered in Delaware, the USCG paperwork was completed and we should see that soon, we have a notarized “bill of sale” until the official paperwork arrives.

So I have only one more important thing to do.  Sell the house.  It will be going on the market late this week or early next week.  JoAnne had her 6 months check up since Chemo and she’s doing well.  I’ve got a full physical scheduled for April.  The boat storage is paid through the end of April at the marina.

I’ll be contacting the marina manager to arrange for a bottom paint job next week (to be accomplished when the weather is better there) and to have the name and hailing port repainted,,, then when we splash we’ll do a traditional renaming ceremony (no, I’m not superstitious, but you know, it can’t hurt right? :))

So, ladies and gentlemen, this is the home stretch for us. Or more accurately the “Selling the Home” stretch.

And before I close out, I just spoke to JoAnne.  She is fine with getting the house on the market by the weekend, so I’ll shoot for next Monday to give the family members a heads up (we have a son,  grand-daughterand a room-mate staying with us currently) so as not to shock them too badly, we’ll let them know tonight.  I’ll contact the broker today and get him going, give him a date and see if he wants to come back by the house and look things over or not and go for it.

…Deep Breath…. JUMP IN!

 

All done… now what?

We passed a rather large milestone yesterday with the house.  The last room was painted yesterday.  My wife painted the “Great Room”, really a family room in the basement while I was putting in the last of the trim in her old office.

Basically, all I have left of the major projects to do on the house is to put in the trim in that room this evening (and I have to do some cut in on the ceiling where she missed painting it).

Other than that, we have no major projects left.  I have a few hours of work left to do on some electrical boxes, re-installation of a handrail on the stairwell, and one on the front porch.  The deck needs a coat of paint ( a couple hours perhaps) and we have to empty the rest of the “crap” we’ve not gotten rid of.  We missed our 1 May date to finish, and 1 June date.  But we likely won’t miss the 1 July date.

Last week we purchased our “Land Yacht”, a smallish Class C Shasta RV.  It’s older, kind of like us, in decent shape for it’s age and not too many miles.  It should serve our purpose; that is to keep us out of hotels along the road trip Eastward, and get us to the far side of the country in a snail-like fashion.  We expect it to cost some cash in gasoline, but we will be just fine.

Tonight I plan to finish the trim, the paint and start moving junk out of the house to the garage we can put in a garage sale.  With luck, this weekend coming up and next we ought to be able to get together a small yard sale and get rid of stuff.  We plan to get the home on the market pretty quick after that and with luck have it sold within three months.  Maybe less.  The market is doing well at the moment, and we will see.

Now, there is BAD news from our neck of the woods.  Last Monday on the way home from work I could see a small fire on the mountain in the Air Force Academy grounds from my work.  I work roughly 41 miles from the Academy.  Fortunately the fire was contained and put out rather quickly, within I think a couple hours.  It was only about 100X100 feet in diameter as I understand it.  However, it was dry, windy and no rain was forecast for Tuesday – and conditions were optimum for a forest fire to take hold.  And it did.

On Tuesday afternoon at 1435 leaving work I saw smoke to the NW, perhaps 15-20 miles away.  That fire had apparently just started, and it mushroomed very quickly. By the time I arrive home, 30 minutes later, the smoke plume was up to 25,000 feet in height and stretching 35 miles to the ENE.  Radar was showing it was growing quickly.  I could see the smoke from my home (about 8 miles south of the actual fire) and it was being reported as “dangerous”.  They were rapidly evacuating people from the area and the fire grew rapidly.

The fire is now known as “the Black Forest Fire” and has sadly claimed two lives.  483 homes, 14,200 acres have been destroyed.  Numerous outbuildings are not counted in that count but for every home there was likely at least one outbuilding in that area, whether sheds, barns or garages.  Thousands of people have been displaced, hundreds of domesticated animals including goats, horses, dogs and cats had to be saved.  Currently the Sheriff says there is no obvious evidence of foul play, but the incident IS being investigated as a crime scene (probably because two persons were killed, over run by a fire storm it appears at this point) and they are leaving no stone unturned to find the cause.  The last I heard for certain was neither the Air Force Academy fire OR the Black Forest Fire were caused by lightning (confirmed by the National Weather Service, no lightning within 72 hours of the Black Forest fire’s start, which happens to encompass the AFA fire’s time line.)

This fire came just about two weeks short of one year from the Waldo Canyon Fire on the slope to my west.  This fire was north of me.  Both fires were with 8 miles distance of my own house (neither moved in the direction of my house though, my family was not in danger either time and most of my children were safe at their homes as well).

The Waldo Canyon fire was started by a human.  At this point it appears that so was the Black Forest Fire.  No suspects or persons of interest have been found yet.

At this point though, I think it is time to get my home on the market.  I need to sell it, and I’m sure someone probably needs a house to live in.

It’s a sad world we live in if those fires were started on purpose.

 

 

Finishing the house

We figured out we have somewhere around 24 doors in our house, counting closets, bedrooms, bathrooms and interior and exterior doors leading in and out of the house.

Yikes, that’s a lot of doors to paint.  All white.

Trim is nearly completed.

I still have a lot of little jobs to accomplish, like finishing installing a toilet and sink in the downstairs bathroom, repainting the upstairs bathroom and a few places where I need to complete the trim.  I think there are also a couple of closets that aren’t painted yet, as well as finishing the electrical part (replacing some plugs, switches and covers).

1 May has come and passed us by two days and we didn’t quite make our “deadline” but we nearly got it.  Now we’re in “Days overruns” (not costing any more at least!)

I decided to give myself two more good weekends to complete all of those jobs.  We should be done by mid May.

Now we’ll shoot for Market by the end of the month.  Time to interview Realtors now.