Well, first I guess I want to bring you all up to speed on some pretty major changes in our world. Some of it has been reason for our “Blog Silence” as well.
Late last year we decided we would “test the market” on our rental property in West Des Moines. It was spurred by a request from the realtor that sold us the place as he wanted to show it to someone looking for similar property, and asked for a favor. When we did show it, we started to think about where we were, what we wanted, and figured it couldn’t hurt to test the market… Well, we did, and ended up selling the building, and closing in April.
No snow on the ground when we moved.
That spured a move to Downtown. I have always wanted to live in the heart of the city, not that Des Moines is that big of a city, it has a nice downtown. We are renting a loft on the southwest side of downtown now. Derek will put a few pictures in here. It is about the same size as our apartment in WDM, but one room. Its been a little adjustment, but so far I think we both like it a lot. For us, it would be the perfect apartment if it had a bedroom, but it will do for now. In a perfect world, if we were to buy a condo, it would need to have indoor parking, as well as a little more room, so not sure we will be here long term.
View of building from street
Our front door – not sure why we have a porch light for the hallway?
View of new home
View from deck
We are on top level – second from the left
Kitchen / Living room area.
View down Mulberry street from shared deck.
Shared deck on top of the building.
View from back of loft to deck.
Odd photo – mirrored wardrobe closets on both sides, into shower/sink area with lav in the very back.
View from the left of deck
So, the building was sold, our tenants were a little upset with us… Business is business, but I did feel bad. I don’t miss being a landlord. I worry when I don’t have shit to worry about, when I do I worry about everything… Derek didn’t mind it so much. Really in the end I am glad we did it, and glad we came out OK, even if we hit some bumps in the sale at the end.
The sale was really the prelude to the next big news, as we wouldn’t have been able to do it without it, or winning a large sum of cash… We sold the motorhome. Yes folks, we are done camping for the time being.
Reasons are both lifestyle and financial. The truth is after we stopped full-timing, we didn’t use the camper as much as we wanted to. It was a great full-timer rig, but as with all class A diesels, they are expensive to maintain. They also deprecate at a unbelievable rate, and once they reach that magic 10 year old mark, they are really not worth 1/2 their book value, simply because no one can get financing on them. Add to it that about the worst thing you can do to ANY RV is to NOT use it, and we had a problem. Last year we took it out 3 times? That was 3 really expensive camping trips!
So, the house sale allowed us to pay it off. We ended up selling it (giving it away) to a really nice young family that will love it as we did. They have plans to remodel it and make it all new again. We got a little more than the dealer offered to buy it back, and we are happy it went to people who will enjoy it.
Nice photo of MoHo the day we sold it – before the new owners arrived.
Last photo of the MoHo as the new owners drove turned onto I-35 North and we headed South.
As far as camping goes, while I miss the “Good ‘ol days” of the “Midwest RRV” Chapter, and camping almost every weekend, we really didn’t have the time or (me) the drive to go much last year. The other part comes down to that we don’t know many people in general here in DSM, and those we do know are rarely here, or always busy. I never did care for going camping alone, as we just sat and stared at each other, we can do that here… So for right now, as we enter this “redirection” phase, we are camperless. If we get the itch again we might go look for a small trailer, but right now we are thinking it might be more fun to travel via hotel and airplane and see some places we wouldn’t get to on the highway…
And with that big news, the little Jeep that rarely could is also gone as of last weekend! The Jeep was always supposed to be a transition vehicle for us– It met my demands of being Diesel, 4×4, and towable. It was a good car for a couple years, and got us through, but the repair bills in the last few have gotten ridiculous. It was an oddity, and it was hard to find qualified people to work on it, and the Chrysler dealers here were bought by a conglomerate which completely ruined them. After bad dealership experiences here, I doubt I will ever look at another Chrysler product again… Anyhow, we went out car shopping last week with the idea of a large SUV. I compromised and removed Diesel from my list of must haves. We were looking at Tahoes, but my heart skipped at the used cost of them, in not great condition they were still way over what I was willing to pay. I had initially discounted the Toyota 4Runners because we both pretty much loath the Camry’s we often get stuck with at the rental car places, mostly because they are built for little people, and are among the most uncomfortable cars ever built. A friend told us to go drive one if we could find one… We did, in Ankeny at Karl Chevy. We found a 2013 Limted. It was a super clean car, and drove really well, but also had a pretty high price. He wasn’t going to deal much on it, and frankly it was just a bit more than we needed and we didn’t want to borrow money on it… Then he pulls out this 2010 SR5. Not quite as many toys as the limited, but loaded for an SR5. It had all the stuff we wanted. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the color, it’s black… But a very clean car, and drive well. Its significantly bigger than the Jeep, and comfortable for a longer trip. Now we are downtown, I walk to work a lot, so this will fit the bill for now, and should cut are maintenance costs significantly. But yes, I gave up my diesel (Why Toyota does bring their excellent D-4D to the USA???), and my winch (That might be back?)… Derek said I’m becoming more “normal”.
Okay then. That’s the big news, we are settled into our downtown loft, and have sold off all our crap again. Why? I think we both needed some excitement, and we also wanted to align ourselves to become as flexible as possible. I’m really leaning towards making another big jump here soon, long the lines of moving to a warm weather state, but that will all depend on employment opportunities, etc…
So the title, I am sure you all noticed that it says Farewell… Well, its been 9 years (yeah, really!) nearly a decade of blogging and adventures. Well, as the last year or so prove, our hearts really aren’t in keeping this blog up. As all things do, this must come to an end as well. Derek and I want to thank all of you for checking us out, keeping up with us, etc. We started this mostly as a catalog and communication tool when for family/friends back when mobile internet was hard to get. It resulted in meeting many really cool people from all over the country (and even further). So sadly, we won’t be updating this any longer.
We still want to keep in touch, so reach out to us on Facebook, or if that isn’t your thing drop a line to the blog email address with yours, and if your not a robot, I’ll send you our private addresses. If your really old school I might even write you a letter once in a while 🙂
The plan is to keep this URL active and keep the blog up for at least a year yet for archival purposes. We will likely burn it off to disk after that, but feel free to use it for any reference you need. Of course, its still our content, if you want to use any of it, please ask permission first.
That said, FAREWELL great readers, and I leave you with wise words from Andy in The Office:
“I wish there was a way to know you were in the ‘good old days’ before you actually left them.”
John & Derek… sk..sk..sk