*We paid all our bills. Replenished the emergency fund some. (It was getting a little sparse.) And we did it on a very strict budget. (Retirement pensions aren't that hefty for people under official retirement age.)
*I kept several blogs going strong. And this one? It passed 5000 hits monthly for the first time in November/December. (Thanks especially to you. Facebook friends.)
NOW ON TO 2017:
*More exercise. Less food. (Fortunately, we've got plenty of food in both the freezer and cupboards that needs to be used up. Eating less should stretch it even more.)
*Write even more -- on a variety of subjects.
*Have blog visits increase to 7000 monthly. Are there others out there interested in saving money, lost treasures and Bigfoot? I hope you'll stop by regularly -- or even better, sign up to have blogposts delivered to your inbox.
*Travel more -- and here's the good part. We have a three-step plan in 2017:
*Clean up and clear out the house.
*Put it up for sale -- and sell it!
*Move into that 29-foot trailer sitting in our driveway.
Some of Brickworks' excess inventory will be put in storage, along with a few pieces of treasured furniture and some boxes of books. (I'll keep enough for 3 or so lectures' worth in the trailer.) We'll keep a Colorado address, and stay here, mostly -- after all, the girlies are still in residence. We'll restock on books and kits when needed. And now I have the freedom to bring our home (and the Brick, plus the dogs) with us when I have a teaching, judging or appraisal gig.
If we want to head to Tucson for the citywide gem shows in February?
To northern Michigan for their incredible autumn colors?
Or an extended trip to Florida and sandy beaches, when the snow starts?
Now -- or at least, very soon -- we can.
|who knows where this road will take us...|
The drop in insurance prices for a trailer, versus a brick-and-mortar house, is great. Our utilities and heating costs will drop, too, not to mention all the little goodies that home ownership demands -- and trailer living does not.
Yes, we'll be in a considerably smaller house. But I have learned three things over the years:
*You only really live in a set amount of space, to begin with. The rest is just storage, or visited occasionally.
*That space can get messy fast. But it's also tidied up quickly.
*I don't need a lot of space to be happy. I just want to hang with the Brick and our 'kids.'
(Fortunately for me, he feels the same way.)
This upcoming change means saying goodby to some 'permanent' positions we've done for years, like playing and singing on Worship Team for our church every week. It means uprooting, at least temporarily, from dear friends. No chickens, and probably only planting boxes, instead of a garden.
It doesn't mean losing touch, though. Wifi works just as well in the trailer; so do our cellphones. I plan to keep posting in the blogs, and gathering some new friends, as well as keeping the old ones.
For some time now, the Brick and I have both felt that a special opportunity is headed our way-- but we needed the freedom to be able to take it when it comes. If we're careful, the house funds, combined with the retirement pension and IRAs (and eventually Social Security, hopefully), should be more than enough to keep us comfortably. We'll also continue to look for sales, pick up work here and there...and continue being Good Hollanders with our money.
We're looking forward to it.