Packing and Planning

Packing Play

First we play, then we pack!

These past few weeks have honestly been equal amounts of unbelievably exciting and undeniably draining and frustrating. What a funny thing it is, to pack up a life. I had no idea just how deep our roots had grown here in this Oak Park condo.

Somehow, we’ve found ourselves with one week between the buyers’ finances being secured for the condo sale, and moving out. From what I understand, this is not cause for serious alarm. But for me, this is anxiety-inducing, to say the least. I don’t recommend this to anyone unless you’re willing to invest a significant amount of money in wine :).

A number of things have made our situation particularly precarious. First, our buyers asked for an extension. Not unheard of, but the extension they asked for was two weeks later, and at the same time, they were not willing to push the closing date. So, if we wanted to stick with the sale, we’d have to deal with the last-minute mayhem.

Claire signing it at preschool. I know this school is one of the things she will miss the most!

Claire signing it at preschool. I know this school is one of the things she will miss the most!

Also, I had no idea how difficult it was going to be to find short-term housing (or how truly expensive it is). Claire’s preschool runs through the first week of June, and Aaron is committed to transitioning and training his replacement at Talaske through early June. So, we need a place for the next two months – longer than a vacation rental, and shorter than a standard short-term lease. I’ve tried all avenues to find a place for us – you name it, I’ve tried it. And here’s a tip from me to you – many of the Craigslist short-term/sublet listings are either scams or the listers don’t want to bother with showing you the place before you send in your deposit.

Luckily, in the last week and a half, I was able to lock in two firm possibilities for us, and just this week, we settled on a two-bedroom rental here in Oak Park. Nothing like waiting until the last minute! BUT, this is all still contingent on the buyers’ finances being settled by this Friday’s extended deadline. All signs point to it being fine, but there is still the possibility of them pulling the plug before then.

(Pause for more wine consumption.)

Living in bins and boxes. This step has probably caused me the most heart palpitations. Seeing things in such disarray drives me crazy!

Living in bins and boxes. This step has probably caused me the most heart palpitations. Seeing things in such disarray drives me crazy! And this barely scratches the surfaces of “stuff.”

In the meantime, we’ve been moving forward with packing up the condo, organizing everything into three categories: For the temporary apartment, for the boat, and for deep storage. All of this strategizing has led to even more selling, donating, lending to friends and family, etc.

Oh, and why not throw in a trip to Florida to do some serious boat shopping?! Aaron’s mom, Penny, and her husband, Brian, stayed here in Oak Park with Claire (such a HUGE help!) so that we could focus our time there on seeing as many boats as possible. Though the timing of the trip wasn’t ideal with so much going on, we truly needed it to recharge our batteries and remind us of why we’re doing all of this.

Over the course of two full days and more than 300 miles on the road, Aaron and I saw six boats. Most we crossed off the list for various reasons that only become apparent when you see them in person, like minimal storage or rigging issues. But one boat in particular has left us absolutely smitten. It wasn’t even on our radar – it had only been hauled out of the water the day before we were at the yard – and the broker only thought to show it to us after a boat that we had planned on seeing turned out not to be a good fit for us. It’s a big decision; the boat has its own challenges and we’re still weighing our other options, making sure that we’ve truly considered everything. But I can’t help feel a little bit of kismet. More on that boat if/when we move forward.

Tink, reviewing our placemats and napkins to see if any are worth keeping. Such a big help, that kitty...

Tink, reviewing our place mats and napkins to see if any are worth keeping. Such a big help, that kitty…

To put it frankly, it’s been utter chaos. At times, I’ve been in tears, struggling with the weight and uncertainty of it all – and Aaron reminds me (politely), this is all by choice. And of course he’s right. Despite the hiccups, I wouldn’t change our decision for a minute, and I know I need to be better at focusing on the goal.

So, hopefully, with a few more glasses of wine (I probably should switch to water at this point), I’m letting go of what we cannot control with the condo and trusting that things will fall into place. I’m putting faith in the fact that when the dust settles, the right decision about the boat will present itself.

And above all, I’m embracing the fact that, even in this step of the process, we are living life to the absolute fullest. One more week (fingers crossed)! It will go by in a blink.


5 thoughts on “Packing and Planning

  1. Just because it’s by choice doesn’t mean it isn’t hard! What’s getting me is how insanely BORING this kinds of work is. Do I really need to have an opinion about how many socks I need for boat life? Is this why I went to college? End game, end game, end game………..


    • Yes!!!!! Exactly!!! Does I really need to be organizing food storage containers?! All for the greater good, though – you’re totally right. End game, end game, end game – and then these steps in between don’t seem so crazy :).


  2. Oh gosh. I can’t even imagine! But like you Jeep saying end game end game end game!!! And think if all the wonderful memories you will be creating!!!


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