On January 15, 2016 I closed on my retirement home.
It’s a five hour drive between Safety Harbor and Miami. My dear friend and roommate, AD, accompanied me on this journey. We left Miami in time to meet the realtor at the property for a final walk through late afternoon on the 14th. My car was loaded with a few things I wanted to leave at the house after closing. Including an inflatable bed and linens, towels, shower supplies, etc. Technically, I couldn’t unload anything until after I closed.
The seller thoughtfully left behind cleaning supplies, bathroom and kitchen towels, outdoor furniture, a twin bed, an awsome vacuum cleaner and an assortment of other things she just wouldn’t need in her new dwelling. Duplications of things I brought from Miami. There were several keys on the kitchen counter as well. I made a mental note that I would need to sort through them and put them on rings, making sure I had a set with me later.
AD and I found a place to eat. After a couple of attempts we found a suitable motel for the night close to where the closing was scheduled to take place. It was going to be a long day. Immediately after the closing we headed south to the town of Largo to secure homeowner’s insurance from the same agent the seller had been using. I paid for the whole year the equivalent of one month’s premium for property in Miami!
I underestimated the time/distance from closing location to insurance agengy. I had to call and cancel my “orientation interview” with board members at Briarcreek. She was a little annoyed with me. Crap, hope she understands it was not intentional.
AD wanted to go to Frenchy’s on Clearwater Beach. He asked the insurance agent the best way from “here.” The office is small, no cubicles, just open space. One by one the other agents suggested the best way to go. And the fact that there is more than one location. Each had an opinion as to which was the best. AD had been there before and tried to describe the surrounding area to best assure that we would be arriving at the correct one. The congeniality in the office was such a pleasant surprise.
Eventually we found the place and parked nearby. The day had cleared enough that it was perfect for outdoor seating. Food was good. Company great. We strolled along the beach before heading home. My home. My own little piece of paradise.
Finally I was able to bring in the stuff from the car. First was to begin the inflation process of the bed. Not a big deal with a built in pump. I unpacked the over-sized suitcase containing bed linens, towels, most of my angel collection, again duplication of glasses, cups and silverware. I found it amusing that the seller and I seemed to be on the same wave length regarding thoughful left behinds and organized bring alongs.
Dutifully I unpacked the suitcase of stuff I brought and found logical places for each item. Looking at the mucous green / peptobismal pink dining room colors I quickly decided that would be among the first things to change. It was difficult to imagine what colors would work. The wallpaper is pretty, didn’t want to change that yet.
I took time to envision which pieces of furniture in Miami would be appropriate for Safety Harbor. Some of my existing pieces are large – the scale and style not compatable to my new digs. Beach chic my kids kept saying. I had a tape measure. I measured spots and places and noted the dimensions, took pictures, etc. It was clear that I had some stuff to get rid of in the next six weeks.
Although I brought a lot of necessities for the overnight stay, I didn’t bring anything for dinner. AD and I had noticed BoneFish Grill earlier and headed there for a late meal. Food was good, company even better. Our friendship is unlike any other I have experienced. After dinner we took a short walk along the strip mall before heading home. It was now dark.
It would have been a good idea to leave a the outdoor light on. Especially since I was unfamiliar with the new set of keys. Very, very unfamiliar. As a result, I didn’t have the correct keys with me. Yup. Locked out. A call to the realtor for recommendation for lock smith. Sometime later, we got inside. I did a better job making sure I had the right key in the morning. Even hid a spare.
Back the next day to Miami. AD always had a set of keys with him. Not today. Me either. Unbelievable as it seems I messed up the fricking keys again. Left Miami keys in Safety Harbor! Luckily, my son, Thom, has a set and was just about leaving his job for the evening. AD promised we would never speak of the lock-out episodes again.
So, now I checked measurements of pieces I thought would work in Safety Harbor. I had good, beautiful pieces of furniture. I had furniture in some of the six bedrooms that was functional, nice and bought second hand. As it worked out, those pieces would actually fit better in my retirement home. The dining room furniture and my bedroom furniture would have to go.
I took pictures and ventured into the realm of Wallapop, LetGo, 5miles, KRRP, close5,Varagesale and linked them all to FB. I created clever, Hallmarky ads, set prices after researching similar new pieces. I added a vintage desk and its mysterious combination of drawer opening. An antique trunk and wall hangings. Nothing. I reduced the prices. Time was getting short. I decided I would have to donate all the stuff.
My daughter, Molly, decided she wanted the art work after I told her an intimate story about one of the pieces. She lives in Montreal. Deal with that. Salvation Army and Goodwill needed more time than I had to schedule a pick up. Maybe someone will buy something. Just in case I needed a back up back up plan. I even tried to sell stuff to potential renters looking at the house. Seriously, now there must be a charitable organization with flexibilty to pick up – soon. Veterans website said only small furniture. After several attempts I finally connected with Safe Space and Habitat for Humanity.
Safe Space backed out – driver with flu. Habitat to my rescue. Driver arrived alone. Big, heavy pieces but he managed. Now both my daughters, Beth and Molly are working to change my mind, based on quality of pieces, disregarding my insistence that the scale/size was all wrong. Driver got confused, left one of the dressers I wanted him to take. Would not take the beautiful china cabinet because it takes up too much room in the store. Pieces like that don’t sell. They end up breaking them up and throwing them in the trash. Great. Leave it, then. Don’t take the table and chairs either. I’m screwed. No additional plan.
Movers arrived the next morning and loaded everything in their truck except for the handtruck my son wanted me to take.
The china cabinet was the last piece to be unloaded at the destination. The top is leaded glass and mirrors with glass shelves (removed). Still heavy. The bottom wooden, not as heavy as the top. Together the center height is 83″. Where do I want it? I looked at the driver, explained I didn’t think it would even fit. Asked for his tape measure. Barely and it would not be in a good spot.
After I explained that I didn’t really want it, couldn’t sell it or give it away. He said he could take it back. Because they are a military outfit, they would find a family who could use it. And the dresser. At that point, I didn’t care if he brought it home himself. I just wanted it to go to someone who would appreciate it. Find new pleasure in my treasure. I kept the table and chairs. Daughters rule sometimes.