Without a doubt, one of the things I am most grateful for is that quite suddenly and unaccountably, in June 2018, I spontaneously emerged from a years-long funk and made the decision to sell my over-sized house outside Seattle and return to New York.
The decision to move to Seattle had been made in the exact same way, astonishing everyone, self included.
Making decisions is something I’ve never been good at.
It involves worrying and fretting and foot dragging.
Except when it’s something MAJOR.
Where does this sudden impulse come from?
I have no idea
Perhaps it’s the Universe looking out for me.
Like everyone, I’ve had some bumps in my life.
But I have also had some quite amazing luck.
Once, I was on a flight that had a very near miss.
But clearly that was not my intended fate!
Sasha keeping her bottom off the ugly green carpet
The move back could not have been more stressful.
It was June and I wanted to arrive before first snow.
This didn’t leave a very wide window.
The thought of packing was mind-blowing.
Never mind finding a buyer for the house.
Or one to move into.
Sikkim inspecting the new home
Thinking back, I ask, “who was the person who did that?” It couldn’t have been me.
It was a whole other Carolyn. Too bad she doesn’t show up more often.
But I am so grateful she did, wherever she came from.
I spent a few days looking at real estate online.
In the meantime I talked to my bank.
Now there was a saga in the making!
It wouldn’t be a problem. It could be sorted out.
I’d get the money.
Dear old Tom with the toy he carried around singing to
Regular Carolyn would have pulled the plug!
Stubbornly, I battled on. I had found a nice house.
Then it was off the market, so I’d searched again.
Two days later, the nice house was back up It was meant!
The realtor told me the deal had fallen through.
The sellers were an older couple, anxious to move for health reasons. So I made an offer and it was accepted.
Then the bank started playing games. If I hadn’t known about the sellers, would I have backed out?
But I didn’t want the couple to be let down again. And I was determined to move!
So I decided to make it work, come hell or high water.
And big tax penalties.
Did I come to regret it?
Not a bit.
Except I’d rather it had gone to a different government.
19th February 2019 full moon
Anyway, all those other problems were trivial.
Compared to the thought of moving 13 cats coast to coast.
Encouragement to re-home some was offered.
When you take responsibility for an animal, you commit.
So I found a company on the ‘net that sounded OK.
Signed a contract. Just had to get back with dates.
I was thrilled to see proper snow once more!
Because the bank was being so obnoxious,
dates were very hard to pin down.
Which became stressful for all sorts of reasons.
Like booking flights and setting a closing date…
Finally, I set the dates and gave the Bank a deadline.
Maybe that’s why, in the end, having reluctantly approved a paltry loan to tide me over with expenses, the agent instead of signing the loan, told me it was cancelled. At the 11th hour. Literally.
Dear Colin loved his new home. We lost him this year.
Fortunately, I’d worked out a Plan B. Costly, but workable.
What really made me spit bullets about the bank was that they finished by more or less accusing me of having asked for something illegal. ( Bridging loans are illegal in NY.)
All I did was present my case and request guidance.
They only had to say “no”. I could’ve made other plans
Banks have always been a pet peeve.
Lily liked all the windows
Well screw the bank. We were off.
So I called the cat-moving company to finalize pick-up.
“How many cats?!” They asked.
“Em, well I sent you all the details a while ago.”
“We’ll get right back to you…”
Now I was stressed.
Fortunately only for ten minutes.
Two vehicles would accommodate 11 cats.
Willow and Sikkim were flying with us.
4th March 2019. Still loving Winter
The packing, worrying, the arrangements all had me wound up like a top, and yet I was even grateful for that.
I suffer from terrible separation anxiety, and if I had had time to think, I know I would have found leaving my old home very difficult.
As it was, on the penultimate day, I went around the garden, talking to my plants, wishing them luck and thanking them.
By far the hardest part was leaving the two stray cats.
Little One came, looking for food. She was nervous but if I had been staying, I know we could have befriended her. I deliberately did not get involved. Then Charlie showed up with her. They were obviously bonded and he was feral. So we would never have been able to bring them in.
One day they showed up with their kittens, almost as if they were asking us to take care of them and we did. The local shelter got them fixed up and homed. Charlie and Little One continued to come by and selfishly, I made Grant handle them. We didn’t want them to be dependent on food we offered nor have them come to the house when new people moved in.
But still we kept seeing them. After the big move, Grant went back to sort the house out and get it ready for sale and the two cats were still there. There were people in the cul-de-sac opposite who were keen on cats and I hoped they would look out for them. I wanted to talk to them about it but Grant discouraged me. We didn’t know them. Perhaps he was right.
Charlie and Little one were my only regret. But I was so busy and so stressed over everything else, in the end, we loaded up a friend’s vehicle, shut the front door and drove away. Fortunately, I was beyond feeling anything because normally I would have been in floods of tears which at that particular point in the proceedings would not have been very convenient.
Living in the country was liberating.
The peace and quiet were such relief.
If coming here drained my resources and half killed me physically, who cared!
Each time a new animal was spotted, I was in raptures and I will never tire of sunrises and sunsets and the wonderful sky that changes so quickly and dramatically.
Summer storms. Wonderful!
Thinking of having to spend a year like 2020 anywhere else, I shudder. I am so lucky.
Here are a few of my animal friends:
One night, after Grant had gone back to Seattle, I was standing in front of the kitchen window and felt eyes staring at me. I turned to see a groundhog contemplating the new owner. In the Spring of 2019 a doe birthed twins at the bottom of my property. Amazingly, it happened again this year, but just one baby this time.