A Long Strange Trip
For those few of you who may have noticed, I haven’t published anything for the past few months. The reason for this is because like so many of my fellow Americans, I have escaped from The Peoples Republic of California. The process has taken 6 months, so far, and has been one of the most stressful, painful experiences in my and my family’s life. It’s also been the most faith affirming journey I’ve ever taken. This journey started back in 2020, actually 2019 when the first reports about the Wu-Flu started showing up on the news. I’m not going to get into my thoughts about the total criminality and evil of the whole Covid scamdemic, instead I want to reference it in relation to this adventure. Like so many people my age, especially in California, when the Covid lockdowns were inflicted on the populace, I lost my job. Also, like so many people I accepted the governments unemployment benefits which actually, when combined with Medi-Cal gave me more money than I was earning when I was working. For a year that worked, I was able to avoid tapping into my retirement benefits and continue to pay my mortgage and my bills. Eventually the gravy train stopped, and my wife and I were forced to consider having to leave the state that has been our home for our entire lives. We always knew that eventually we would have to leave California, but our plans were to wait until I retired in 6 or 7 years and the move to another state. The lockdowns and the consequences of them forced me into early retirement, and because I didn’t have that extra 6 or 7 years of building my retirement funds, it became obvious that we couldn’t stay in California, my retirement funds would only last a few years at the most. So, in March we started seriously looking at where we could afford to live on my Social Security benefits. We had one ace in the hole to help us relocate, which was that we had been living in our house for almost 30 years and with the absurdity of housing prices in Ca. we would be able to sell our house and buy another one outright. It then became a matter of finding the right place. My wife wanted to go to Oregon where some friends of ours live, but their housing prices are only slightly better than Ca. I proposed Texas or Florida, because politically they were more aligned to our philosophy, but like Oregon, the prices were just too high. Years ago, we looked at relocating to North Carolina area, the tech triangle of Raliegh-Durham Cary area was very enticing. So with that in mind, we started looking at places in N.C. While we started that process, we began the incredibly stressful process of selling our home. We’ve been through some extraordinary stressful times during our time together, and while this wasn’t the worst, it’s something that I hope with all my being that I never have to go through again. Packing up a house that has been lived in for 30 years was, to put it mildly, a complete bitch. We had to go through all the stuff we’ve accumulated during that time and either pack it up or throw it away. It turned our home into something that wasn’t our home anymore. The things we used to do that gave us peace of mind had to be packed up so we could show our home. I started having panic attacks, something that I’ve NEVER experienced before. After going through the whole open house process, thankfully, that only lasted one weekend, we received an offer that was substantially more than the original listing price. Even that created more stress however, as the offer we accepted had a 5 day escrow, because the buyers were paying cash. The short escrow period forced us to vastly accelerate our search for a new home, instead of 2 months, we now had less than a month to find a place, pack up the rest of our stuff and figure out how to move. Thankfully, God intervened. In our search for a new home, we found a lot of places that not only were in our price range, and substantially larger than our Ca home, but also were gorgeous. Every day we would peruse the Zillow listings, looking for the perfect place. It couldn’t be to near the coast, because of hurricanes, and not too far up in the mountains because of snow. One day Marie saw a home for sale in a small town named Tarboro in east central N.C., she showed it to me. It was a bit more then I wanted to spend, but it had everything we were looking for, so I told her she should call the number and see if it was still for sale, as it had been on Zillow since January. The agent, who later said that she doesn’t usually answer Zillow calls, but answered this one, said the place was still for sale, and that even though it had been recently appraised at 30k over the asking price, the seller would probably sell for the price listed. With that in mind we flew out to N.C. to check the place out. I fell in love with it instantly, even though it was very apparent that it needed A LOT of work. It ended being that I was wrong it needed A WHOLE LOT OF WORK, but that’s a story for another blog. Still, even with all the panic attacks and stress and meltdowns, we realized that the way things were coming together. had to be Gods plan for us, too many things were lining up for us for it to be impossible that it was simply coincidences. That’s not to say that we went willingly all along the way, there were, and still are for that matter, moments where we questioned, where we doubted, where we kicked and screamed and cryed about how hard all of this was. Still, we kept on praying that what we were doing was what God intended for us, and that this was the place where we need to live. Once our house sold, I thought that maybe my panic attacks would subside, but they actually got worse, to the point where I had to see my doctor to get something to calm my nerves. The only thing, aside from reading my bible and praying, was to keep myself as busy as possible, which wasn’t very hard, but at least with some meds I was able to get a bit more sleep.
Finally, the day came when we had to say goodbye to our home since 1993, where we raised our children, experienced all the joys and sorrows of life, cared for and buried pets in our garden, (I hope the new owners don’t dig to deep in the vegetable bed, lol), the place where the energies of our spirits had to permeate every square inch of wood, stone and soil. We said goodbye to our neighbors, and drove away, me in a 15 foot U-Haul truck and two of our three dogs, and Marie in our Escape with the other dog and our cat. Our first stop was a local hotel where we spend our last night in the Bay Area, and our next to last night in California. We decided that we would take interstate 40, the famous route 66, and avoid crossing the Rockies. Our route went from the Bay Area to Barstow, to Flagstaff then Albuquerque. From there it was Oklahoma City to Memphis on to Knoxville and finally Rocky Mount, North Carolina. That 7 day journey proved to be another example of God’s hand, and I’ll tell that story in my next blog.