Finally Moved In!

So this post is a celebration for us. We finally finished moving all our stuff into our new house! It’s seemed like a really long time but it’s only been three months from finding the house to having all our stuff in one place. The dogs are especially happy to be done with it all I think. They love being off leash.

Of course we are officially worn out. Lots of miles driven, not quite enough to drive around the globe but not too far off. And we have a lot of exciting things to do starting next week, this week is a designated vacation for us, especially as Friday will be our 20th wedding anniversary. We don’t usually celebrate it, having lived together for a long time before we said “I do” but it’s a decent number now and I’ve always liked emeralds so we might start now.

Ta-dah!

Last meal with our favorite son

A very long time ago

Packing the van

A few people have asked us about sleeping in the van so I thought we would show you how it works for us. Al takes the opportunity to tidy up and reorganize every time we have dry weather and an hour or two to spare. He spent a very happy three hours or so today doing it all again. It will need doing again after the next bout of rain. Something for him to look forward to!

Bungee stuff to sides and use a cargo net for the roof

Storage totes full of essentials – labeled

For bed mode, put plywood on top of totes

Mattress is 2 pieces of 4″ foam

For couch set up push all totes back, foam on back and seat

Couch set up

Bung other stuff in

Dog crates secured with bungees

You can also see Al’s backpack on the passenger seat and the first aid kit hanging on one of several stick on hooks. We have leashes on hooks too and coats etc. it’s not perfect but it works for us.

The wand chooses the wizard

Making our way into Illinois the scenery barely changed, still green, still rainy, still warm. We are still seeing redbuds (trees) and turtles on the road, still seeing ponds and lakes although this time we are crossing the Mississippi instead of the Mighty Mo (Missouri) river. Of course every time we see signs for the Mississippi I can’t help but spell it, M-I-double S-I-double S-I-double P-I. I think I would drive Al mad if I said it out loud every time I thought it, he’s trying to work as I drive. To be honest I’ve only just stopped singing songs from Oklahoma!

After a couple of nights in a dismal motel so Al can work, we arrange to see house number 7. My lucky number. Set on 9.64 acres, the single story house is modest but has been nicely updated. Just the kitchen left to do here. The land is vast, used to a back yard big enough only for a small swimming pool, this one seems humongous to us both. Seriously. The dogs get right to work and chase off a trespassing cat, she gives as good as she gets before fleeing.

The birds are different here, one is bright yellow, another the unmistakable red of a cardinal. We can also hear the croaking of frogs, ah that will be the pond!

The dogs and I head out to check out the rest of the property, covered in brambles and harboring ticks which I will discover later – eek – we bounce around the acreage. Going to need some serious lawnmower here!

And we have a winner! We put in an offer and it was accepted! Pending home inspection we have found our property!

 

House number 6

Leaving Bethany, MO we decided to head toward Illinois but couldn’t help doing a drive by of one final house on our list. After a quick phone call to the list agent we managed to finagle our way inside to take a look with the sellers giving us a tour. Agents, never let your clients do this! They proceeded to point out everything that is wrong with their property. Lovely people, very honest. The property was ringed by a railroad on one side and a busy road on the other. Even a ton of fruit trees and some lovely original features inside couldn’t overcome the water in the basement, mold and ticks. Off our list it came.

House number 5

Feeling pretty tired we headed off to the final stop for the day, a small town called Bethany. The house itself was wonderfully updated and the land around it well maintained. Unfortunately it was on a pretty busy and fast road, the dogs would be squashed within the week! And the majority of land was in a small woodland area and hills, not ideal for keeping Al and I in Brussel sprouts. The town itself was very nice and it’s a definite possibility but it’s not the right place for us.

Really nicely updated

A shared pond