With 3 weeks left before listing our house of 9+ years, we have been busy uncluttering and de-personalizing. Who watches too much HGTV? The house is now perfect and ready for the right family. We got our first storage unit – 6 ft x 6 ft x 8 ft. Sounds like a lot of space for just clutter. But by the time Christmas (including 4 Christmas trees), boxes of photos, boxes of snow globes and a few boxes of just miscellaneous stuff came it, we are just about out of room. So when the house sells, we will be adopting a much bigger unit.
We will also need to sell, sell, sell stuff. Lots of furniture will be going. The huge wall unit that no one will want, desks, beds, sofas, tables, lawn equipment, patio furniture, garden tools, dishes, silverware, and so much more. We’ve decided to keep a few pieces that we like and fill in the rest down there. We noticed that most of the furniture looks the same in Panama as there aren’t very many “American style” furniture stores. One store is like Ashley’s without as much selection. They have a lot of leather which I hate. David wants his tools even though everyone said leave them behind. I don’t like people telling us to leave everything. We are moving, not entering witness protection.
Moving will take place in 4 phases. Are we nuts? Who moves in phases? Phase 1 is March when we will hopefully find our long-term Boquete rental. Since the airlines allow extra bags, it makes sense to bring some awkward, heavy items and store them in Boquete for our arrival. Diving gear, maybe some kitchen appliances, anything that won’t mildew in the humidity of Chiriquí Storage. Phase 2 will be the most difficult. It involves bringing everything we think we will need – including our 2 cats. Henry is afraid of everything and Alexander is a tad overweight for the airline’s 20 lb max. I cant imagine putting them in the belly of a plane so Alex will need to lose 2 lbs by June. It will also mean more luggage and transporting it from airport to home. Phase 3 is in Nov. Royal Caribbean has a relocation cruise from Miami to Colon. It’s as low as $99 per person and you can bring as much stuff as you want. So we are planning for 1 Christmas tree and decorations, golf clubs, appliances and a whole list of things I am sure we will have by then. Phase 4 will be the container after finding a permanent place and knowing that we are staying for good. So boxes and crates are either tagged with a number and its contents or labeled “November” so we keep it separated for the cruise. It sounds really confusing because it is.
We are staying with an acquaintance, Lynne, who we met last summer. Since it’s just a short 10 day visit, her small casita in Volcancito should do fine. It is in the area we would eventually like to live so it will be good to check out the micro-climate there. Ironically, it’s right next door to the property we almost bought last summer so we can watch it for the time we are there.
Prices to buy a home in Boquete are very high. Everyone wants what they paid for their property back in 2007. Don’t we all. So owners rent waiting for the prices to climb. I hope they live that long. But that makes rentals hard to come by. Rent is cheap – if you can find a vacancy.
Our perfect home: 3 bedroom, 2 or 2 1/2 bath, beautiful view, open patio, modern kitchen, large lot, in the cool mountain breezes of Volcancito/Santa Lucia. We’ve looked for over 2 years and haven’t found anything that we like. Usually they want a lot more than it would cost to build exactly what we would want – because they built during the frenzy of 2007. No problemo. My Spanish is getting better too.
We also passed the 90 student contact day mark. 90 more student contact days is still 1 full semester but it means that it’s also just 2 more report cards and we are through – forever. If anyone eventually reads this, I have 1 piece of advice – Do Not Teach. I don’t have to go into details. Ask any teacher from K-12 in any state, in any district and they will tell you all the reasons.