April 1, 2014
I must be the worst blogger ever!! I last wrote a post on August 31 of last year! We've been very busy, but that's not much of an excuse.. I have been a regular poster to Facebook, with pictures and events, but have neglected the blog. I'll include some narrative here, in the way of catch up, and, hopefully, I'll take the time in the next few weeks to post some pictures and more narrative to the blog.
The last year, we have done little or no traveling, but have worked almost exclusively on our 'hoarder' house. More updates on that later.....
Right now, we are on our way home from our Florida get-away vacation. This is the fourth year that we have gone to Key West for a few weeks to avoid the worst of the weather in Michigan. This year, we stayed home through January and most of February - turned out it was the coldest winter and the one with the most snow since 1950!! Wow, it was brutal. We were so glad to pack up and leave.
On the way down south, we stopped at Laura and Derek's for a long weekend - caught up on loving on my two grandsons there, Rylan, turned 9 in March, and Brody, who turned 6 in January. I just wish they lived closer to us so we could see them more than 2 or 3 times a year. After leaving their house, we drove down to the panhandle of Florida. We stayed one night at the campground in the Pensacola Navy base, then drove almost to Mobile, Alabama, to look at a boat that was for sale. Left there, stopped at the Navy base in Panama City, Florida, for one night. We then made our way along US-98 down the coastline of Florida. Visited a delightful town, Apalachicola, where the fishing boats come in loaded with oysters and shrimp. We had some fresh oysters, then bought some plus 4 pounds of shrimp! Our next stop was the St.Joseph State Park on the St. Joseph peninsula. Pretty cool place -leaving Port St. Joe, you drive over 30 miles out on this peninsula, with white sandy beaches on either side.
Our next stop was Dennie and Denise Sprenkle's place in Orlando. Dennie and Dan served in the Navy together, and have been friends for many years. Denise cooked those shrimp, and the four of us plus two other friends gladly devoured them! We stayed at the Sprenkle's for several days, then headed out to Key West.
In Key West, we 'dry camp', in a field on the Navy base, with no electricity or water hookup. That's just fine, because we have solar panels on the camper to keep the batteries charged (with PLENTY of sunshine). We spend almost all of our time outdoors, so have little need for lights. We have devices to keep our electronics (phones, pc;s, etc.) charged. We use the generator for about 10 minutes each morning to make our coffee. Other than that, we are either sitting in the shade reading (we do LOTS of that) or riding our bikes to a favorite eating/drinking place or other places for our favorite Key West activity, people watching! Dennie and Denise came down with their friends, Pat and Jan, for a few days. We hit all our favorite places, had a ball with them. Things quieted down quite a bit when those folks left. Many of the people we usually see while in Key West were not there this year. So, our socializing was fairly minimal. Dan and I enjoy each other's company just fine, so we did enjoy Key West - especially when we looked at the weather reports from home! After about 3 weeks, though, we decided we'd had enough of Key West, and decided to leave on Thursday, March 27. Our plan was to meander up the east coast of Florida, spending a few days enjoying the warm weather and tourist sites.
Well, plans are just plans, and they do change. I got a call on Wednesday night from Janice, my sister, who had gone to Detroit to visit my son, Travis's family. She planned on staying at our house to insure she got plenty of rest and quiet while there. Lisa and she went by the house to drop off her suitcases, and found that disaster had struck! A pipe that runs through the attic in the ranch house, built on a slab, had burst. The furnace was not running, and there was several inches of water throughout the house. I called my insurance company, and they sent a damage mediation company to the house the next morning to begin the process.
Sooooo, we did leave Key West on Thursday, but we just hightailed it north. We stopped for one night at a Cracker Barrel (one of our favorite by-way camp spots), then drove straight to Laura and Derek's for two nights. Last night (Monday) we stopped at another Cracker Barrel (near Dayton, Ohio), and now we're about 3 hours from home. First stop? The house where we live (WERE living) to see how the damage mediation is going. All of our belongings, including kitchen stuff, clothes, furniture, pictures - everything - will be either packed up and stored for us, sent somewhere for cleaning/restoration, or discarded. They will also be tearing out damaged dry wall and insulation. The kitchen we just had redone a year ago will have to be taken apart, beautiful backsplash torn off, so that the drywall behind can be replaced. Much, if not all, the electrical wiring will likely have to be replaced. More than that, we don't know yet. What a mess!!
Fortunately, the ex-hoarder house is almost ready for move in! We hadn't planned on moving in until the driveway was poured and ready, which likely cannot be done until some time in May. But, now that we are forced to move out of our other house, we will be moving whatever we need (bed, clothes, kitchen) into the new house. We wanted to have EVERYTHING done before moving in, but that's just not in the cards, it seems!
The good news is, we have really good insurance! And, we had planned on moving out of this house anyway - now, it's being done for us. After the insurance company (Farmers) finishes their work, we will get a check and proceed to hire companies to get the restoration work done. As it happens, we have some very recent experience with companies that we've tried out! Once the house is restored, it will be ready to be rented to some lucky tenant!
And, if that's not enough, my tenant in my Ferndale house is leaving this month. So, that's the third house we have to work on!! Just minor stuff there, I hope, some cleaning and painting.
My next post, hopefully not months away, will include pictures and catch up on our ex-hoarder home - from now on, I'll be calling it the Sheridan house!