Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sale Pending

Seeing is believing!! The two words we have been waiting to see for several years. SALE PENDING. We have had the inspection, the appraisal, the termite inspection and have passed all test with flying colors. The buyers have been approved and their loan has been sent to the underwriters. Now all we have to do is wait for August 14th.

We have been busy going through drawers, closets and anywhere else a pack rat might think to put things. One of the goals we have for fulltiming is experiencing history up close and personal. To be able to see what we have already learned while in school or in our reading. In doing so we have decided that we didn’t want to loose our own personal history. With that in mind we have sorted through things to see what has importance and what is just “stuff.” It has been an interesting trip through the years. Last night I found, not that it was actually lost, our wedding book. That was fun! It is amazing how young we once were, LOL. We also have a few pieces of furniture that have been in the family for many years. We will keep those. We rented a climate controlled storage locker and have been taking boxes and pieces of furniture over there for the last few days.
We have planned a yard sale for the weekend of August 8th and what doesn’t sell we will give away or send to Goodwill. Our son will be taking several items and when he gets those things out of the house it will make a huge difference.

If you never part with the past. How will your life have any room for the future?
Ashleigh Brilliant


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Never Over Until the Fat Lady Sings

We have managed to check off three hurdles in one day. Our inspection went very well considering our house is 35 years old. We ended up having to replace a few bad boards on the trim by the roof which we knew were bad and in need of replacing. The termite inspection was on the same day and that also went well. No signs of termites. At the same time our realtor came by and told us that we had two calls to see our house and one was a repeat visit. She went to the bank where the buyers were getting their loan and asked the status because she didn't want to miss another sell. They approved the buyers loan and it has been sent to the underwriters.

Monday morning the appraiser came to the house. They measured and took pictures and we should be hearing from that today or tomorrow.

You just never know until the "fat lady sings." It appears she is now warming up for a great song!! Stayed tuned for the last hurdle.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Inspection Day Is Coming

Tuesday is inspection day!!! We have spent the entire weekend cleaning and throwing away junk. It is so overwhelming to think of all we have to do by August 18th. I decided to start with the obvious - junk. I have gone through closets and drawers looking for stuff we don't need, haven't used and don't want any longer. I was so surprised when I saw all the trash bags waiting for the garbage man Monday. I guess after spending 35 years as a teacher you learn to hold on to almost everything because you just might need it one day. You should have seen my classroom when I retired!! Now, don't misunderstand, I am an organized pack rat. Everything is tucked away neatly in a drawer or closet just waiting for that special day when they're called up for active duty. It is funny how when you have a deadline you are able to let go of so much more.

Tuesday the inspector comes! As I started my purging of junk I also decided to clean. Really clean. I dusted baseboards, chair rails and those awful louver closet doors. I cleaned the bathroom, mopped the floors and tried to find every dust bunny I could. Mike blew off the roof, checked the crawl space area, mowed the grass and blew off the driveway. We both went through the house looking for anything that might not pass inspection. Our roof is only 4 years old so that should be ok. The heating and air conditioning system was replaced about 5 years ago along with all the duct work. The hot water heater is about 6 years old. We have had the house painted within the past 5 years, all appliances are new except the refrigerator. Everything appears to work. There are a couple pieces of wood on the roof that will probably have to be replaced. I honestly think we have done all we know to do. Mike and I know that there will be some things to do, after all the house is 35 years old. Now we wait again.

So wish us well as we open our house for inspection!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Between Two Worlds

We have been on this roller coaster of achieving a fulltime RV lifestyle for quite some time. Even before our house went on the market, Gerri & I felt we lived between two worlds. It is a strange feeling, being in one world and wanting to be a part of another different world. THEY ARE TWO DISTINCT WORLDS. Though we have maintained our commitments in our work and relationships, we no longer feel a part of this present world. I go through my daily routine, see other people going through there’s and sometimes wonder why. To us, it seems empty and pointless. Although I know for them it is not, but for us, we see a different purpose. We have reached that fork in the road where we have successfully raised our son, with the help of God, and now he is stepping out on his own. To continue this direction, I ask myself why? What is the purpose, what is the achievement, where is the fulfillment? For many people, there is purpose there. For us, there is a freedom to be had, but not a freedom just to be free. A freedom to give of ourselves without the stress of meeting company goals or an indifference to people due to job demands. We long to be free to see this great country, but also free to genuinely meet people, to listen to them from the heart and get to truly know them. This country is full of incredible people with wonderful stories. We cannot wait to start this journey. But for now, we have learned to be content in this state, making the best of it and knowing this too shall pass. We all must live in the present but plan for the future.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Contract On Our House

Well . . . . . Where to begin?? After having our house on the market for the past three years you begin to think that the sign in the yard is part of the yard art. As with everyone going through this process it can really grind on your nerves. You get up in the morning and after eating breakfast and getting dressed you make your tour through the house to make sure things are in order just in case someone might want to take a look. Well, Thursday was no different. I did my normal and usual stuff and decided that since it was so close to the fourth nobody would be looking and I would meet Mike for lunch. Then I got the call. Somebody wanted to see the house for a second time in about an hour. That is when my melt down occurred. I lit the candles, ran the vacuum, dusted, cleaned the tub and grabbed our Shih Tzu babies and off we went for yet another "road trip." To be honest you begin to get a little numb after three years and don't really think much about it. Later that evening we got the call from our realtor that the folks had offered us our asking price with us paying closing cost. In this market the seller paying closing cost is pretty standard. We have our house priced right. We have lowered the price a couple of times and quite frankly it is about as low as we felt we could go and have any of this make sense.
We were shocked! Wow, it has been a long journey to even get to a contract! Of course, we have to get through the inspection and the appraisal. Our realtor feels good about both of those happening without a hitch but you never know in this market. It just "ain't over till the fat lady sings." So now we wait for the events of the next 30 days. We are scheduled to close on August 14th and move out of the house by August 18th. We have crossed a huge hurdle.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

HAPPINESS: 3 amazing tips from the world's oldest case study

We’ve all heard countless studies, articles and TV interviews on happiness. But the other day I stumbled upon something that is just now being revealed to the media for the first time.* It's a 72 year old study that began all the way back in 1937 when 268 Harvard University sophomores were asked to participate in a study measuring “a formula-some mix of love, work, and adaptation-for a good life.” And while many of those who were college sophomores in 1937 are now dying or in their fading twilight, this study continues to be diligently maintained to this very day.And never before has science been able to report such fascinating and thoroughly time-tested results on happiness. Following are 3 powerful lessons from this study.
1. Have a Healthy Outlet So many of the people in this study seemed to have all their ducks in a row. In their prime years in the 1950’s and 1960’s, they were making big money in powerful careers. They had beautiful families and lived in idyllic neighborhoods. Oddly enough, later in life, many of these fortunate people ended up breaking down mentally and physically. Why? If one didn’t have a healthy outlet for their fears, nerves, and struggles, it was only a matter of time before repressed demons erupted to the surface. The happiest people in this study had a healthy outlet. They were altruistic or had a rich sense of humor. They funneled their issues into sport, “their lust into courtship.”It’s something important to consider. As the study proves, a human being can get away with sustaining daily nerves, fears, and doubts for a number of years. But ultimately, such a nervous nelly will crack. If you haven’t already, develop an outlet…find a sport, commit to helping others, lighten up, and laugh more often. A wise one said, "A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs, jolted by every pebble in the road." 2. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously This study, as reported in Atlantic Magazine, was summed up beautifully by the journalist Joshua Shenk: “Herein lies the key to a good life--not rules to follow, nor problems to avoid-- but an engaged humility, an earnest acceptance of life’s pains and promises.”In other words, one can only carry the burden of a big ego and lots of pride for so long before your proverbial knees will buckle. Don’t take life too seriously. We all have weaknesses. Do you really want to battle your dark side year after year? Or might it just be time to lay down your arms, take a deep breath, and enjoy life. It’s shorter than you think. 3. Happiness Must be Shared The other night I was watching the movie adaptation of Into the Wild, the true story of Chris McCandless. Fed up with the rat race, McCandless graduated college in the early 1990's, left his worried parents in the dust, sold all his belongings, and ventured deep into the Alaskan wilderness. Before dying of starvation, he seemed to regret his isolationist ways and wrote these last words in his journal, “Happiness only real when shared.” According to the 72 year old study, McCandless was spot on. In the study, those who spent too much alone time ultimately struggled. The happiest subjects in the study were those who sustained meaningful, healthy relationships with friends and family. One can never give enough hugs, say enough "I love you's," and send enough "I miss you's." As I emphasize in my book and to my own crazy self each and every day: Livin' the good life is not fancy trips, and expensive jewels, and high brow country clubs. Rather, livin' the good life is livin' the moment!*This study was reported in the media for the first time by ATLANTIC MAGAZINE, June 2009

by Yeah Dave (David Romanelli), on Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:29pm PDT

I thought this article expressed so beautifully what "happiness" really is. I also think that it is important to keep these thoughts in our minds as we try to balance all the things going on in our world today.

Be happy!!