I posted this on our unencumbered joy instagram account yesterday and it seems applicable for this blog post as well. We are totally in the mad zone!
And by mad I mean losing our minds and tempers flaring a bit too. Well mine anyway (scratch that everybody’s)! I am generally a very easy keel kind of person but the moving process, getting rid of 75% of what we own, putting my childhood home on the market, getting this house ready for rental and not being able to fully use my predominant arm and hand due to the burn….well, I am a little raw emotionally…and tired, oh so very, very tired! I know from all our prior moves this part of the process is when the wheels start to come off the bus a bit….our wheels are hanging on by a thread! This is the point where breakdown occurs!
It has taken me longer than it should to put my parents home on the market. It is two hours from where we live and I have been unable to fully keep up with the yard. We have completely renovated the inside to make way for a young family to someday buy it. I just kept putting that someday out there a bit further. Maybe it is taking Australia to force me to let go? It might sound silly but the house has been a bit of a sibling to me. Let me explain that.. 2108 Brookhill Rd was the backdrop to my and my parents life and then with my own little unit as an adult with my parents. It was the only other observer of our shared life. While our home was full of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, no one else was there full time. My seeing things this way probably reveals a lot about how I always felt about being an only child. I always wanted siblings so I guess the house became an extension of my parents. It is like losing them all over again! Over the years of meeting other only children my observation is that we (only children) tend to fall into two categories. We either loved it or we desperately wanted siblings…not a lot of only kids in the middle. I always felt a bit like I was on the outside looking in, watching others relate to their siblings. And, watching my parents and their siblings as well. My mom was one of nine and my dad one of five (six if you count a sibling that died young). How could they have just one? I wanted one of those! So that is how a home can become a sibling in a weird kind of way. Yesterday, for the first time since December 1969, my parents home was empty and a for sale sign in the yard! Today, I am functioning at half capacity! Breakdown!
On the breakthrough front, a couple of things have clicked into place this week. Actually, one is my parents home. Instead of trying to do this ourselves which clearly we can’t do from Australia, we listed our home with realtor and appraiser Stuart Lee. It is nice to have someone else in charge! In addition, we averted near disaster due to missing the cat vaccination by a few days. A call had to be placed to Australia to make sure we didn’t have to start the whole rabies series over again. This would have meant leaving Sophie’s cat Karo here in Florida! Fortunately, this crisis was averted! Just as a word of caution…the pet import process is long and extensive so know this before embarking on an international adventure. We are flipping crazy for taking four animals!
The other breakthrough so far this week has been getting our Australian health insurance in place! In addition to the ease of the process, we have not had such good insurance since the 1990’s. Our policy will be costing us about $250 a month for a family of four (three of whom are women). This policy in the US would cost around $3500 a month. This is for private insurance in Australia as we, of course, do not qualify for their national health insurance. I cannot speak to the quality of care until we are there but this just confirms the insanity of our current system.from a financial perspective. I do not have the answers and I know it is complicated but this is one of those areas it seems we as Americans could improve. If the number one reason for bankruptcy in America is medical expenses, maybe we are on an unsustainable path? I share this because part of what we want this blog to be is an exploration of living in another culture and what we learn from that experience. No one country has it all perfectly right…certainly not one as divided as the US currently is. I rarely venture into politics but this is not partisan. I just want good health care at a fair price as an American. I don’t think I am alone!
On the home front, we got the Florida backyard almost sorted as well. It has been a slow building block process since we first moved in. It was so incredibly overgrown it has taken four years of steady work to connect the house to the carriage house to the laundry room to the studio in a way that fits with a contemporary home. Oh, and to build a gate and fence! Now, to pressure wash and seal the stones and I think we will be set to welcome guests to our home as a rental! There is not a single inch of this property that we have not labored over and hopefully improved upon! I hope our guests love it as much as we do and that we will attract those who will take care of our property and keep coming back every year!
Breakthroughs abound even in the midst of some breakdowns! Now, we just keep going…..two weeks out till Lawson and Sophie drive the animals to Los Angeles and Eve and I fly out to meet them a few days later! Must keep going even though I would prefer to just go home to 2108 Brookhill Road…my parents aren’t there, they are traveling with me wherever I am in this amazing world we all share….just keep going!