Moving to Virginia

We’re resettled in northern Virginia now and comfortably settled into my new job. After three months of moving and resettling, I’m finally back in a position to update this website.

The final weeks leaving Mississippi were chaotic, exhausting, and overall not something I’m in a hurry to repeat. It’s been 13 years since I last moved, and all prior moves were with (because of) the kind assistance of the US Navy. So this cross-country move was something “different.”

Prelude to A Move

 I received and accepted my offer letter from the new company September 13, and officially gave my two weeks notice the next day, Thursday September 14. By this time Winnie and I were already planning our move, collecting boxes, and talking to Realtor‘s about selling our house. Once I signed my letter and committed to moving, we really got busy. 

Winnie gave noticed to her boss the same day I did. Her boss was not nearly as gracious as mine; he paid her to date and told her not to come back the next day. Winnie was hurt, but it just gave her more time and energy to pack out the house.

We decided the best plan was renting a small apartment until the house was sold so we’d have time to learn the northern Virginia area and acquire a down-payment for a new home. This involved deciding on what to bring, with the expectation that we might have to rent storage space for anything that couldn’t fit in the apartment.

Over the next several days I contacted moving companies for estimates and started planning what to take and what to leave behind. The initial moving estimates came in a lot higher than we wanted to spend. After some hard discussions, Winnie and I decided to leave behind all our large furniture that had been water damaged and salvaged from Katrina. Once I started looking at the price of houses, and what we could reasonably afford to buy in northern Virginia, we also decided to leave behind a lot of gardening and workshop equipment, and lots of small items that had no real value.

One really hard decision was what to do with my project boat, the 1962 Fabuglas “Commodore” I’d been working on for three years. Bringing “Sea Dreams,” my 1977 Regal, was a given. I also wanted to keep my utility trailer, at least until we’d have our own house again. After some thought I realized that I needed to leave the Fabuglas behind.

So, I placed ads on the Internet, in newspapers, and local bulletin boards for furniture and the Fabuglas. Meanwhile, Winnie had acquired a lot boxes from the restaurant before she left, and used them to pack. I started cleaning out the attic areas of the house, garage, and shop, and sorting out what I wanted to keep.

I also needed to complete some repairs to our house, still. We officially listed our house with a Realtor Sunday, September 17. It was another deep breath moment as I committed myself to doing something I once thought could never possibly happen; sell my dream house I retired to and expended so much sweat and treasure maintaining. But it was okay.

As part of the discussions with the Realtor, Kathy, we agreed on what repairs needed to be completed before we left. The list looked impossibly long considering everything else that needed to be done for our move. but Winnie was convinced we could do everything ourselves, and she ended up being almost correct.

After two weeks of advertising our large furniture pieces for sale I’d only sold one item, my venerable drawing table; the first large piece of furniture I’d ever purchased and dragged around all over the world. But it did go to a good home. For the rest, I called an estate liquidators and made arrangements to have everything else sold at an upcoming auction.

I also sold my 1962 Fabuglas boat project – for $1.00. I’d posted in on E-Bay but had no bidders when the suction ended. Then the day after the E-Bay auction ended friends from the Camera Club dropped by. We started talking about the boat, then I offered it to them on, if they wanted to finish the project. They agreed, and they left with the boat, trailer, and all the vintage fittings I’d acquired, a vintage Fabuglas brochure, and all the pieces I’d built during the three years I’d worked on it.

My last day at work was Thursday, September 29. There was no going away party, no goodbye/good luck card, and several people I had worked with for upwards of five years couldn’t even bother to get out of their seat to shake hands as I came around saying goodbye. I did feel hurt, but the coldness and lack of civility from my co-workers was part of the reason I decided to move on anyway. My supervisors were extremely decent to me the final two weeks, even to the point of recommending and helping me copy open-source publications that would be good reference material for my future job.

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