Sunday, November 1, 2020

Remind me again why we're moving?

In response to my last post, "Hell is Bureaucracy" – in which I had something of a temper tantrum about obstacles we've experienced – a number of alarmed readers expressed concern at the timing of our homestead sale. They urged us to renege on our agreement with the buyers and stay where we are – safe and secure, away from the potentially explosive results of the election.

Don wrote the following post in response to these concerns.


There have been a few people – not just here on Patrice's blog, but also among our family and friends – who have questioned our decision to leave our established homestead of 17 years … especially in these "consequential" times. Some have said we should call it off, that we should simply hunker down and not sell.

So let me try to explain our reasons.

First and foremost, for those who suggest we call off the sale of our homestead: We won't. We've already given our word to the buyers. I wish I didn't have to explain any more than that, but in these days of more "liberal" interpretations of what we consider to be fundamental truths, that might not be enough. For us, our word is our bond.

While we have no legal reason we can't pull out of the sale at the 11th hour, we certainly have a moral reason. The party buying our place has placed their faith in the value of our word. They have already left their home in a far-off state – leaving their own place behind them – and arrived here in Idaho with all of their belongings.

In Patrice's last post, she related how we attempted to buy an inexpensive mobile home as temporary housing, and at the last minute – the 11th hour – the seller withdrew. We were understandably upset when the seller reneged on the mobile home sale, since he broke both his promise and a contract. And that was only an inexpensive mobile home.

Now imagine how our buyers would feel – coming to a strange place with everything they own in a cramped trailer, with no family or friends nearby, hoping for safety and security of the new home they were promised – if we suddenly and capriciously changed our minds and made a bad-faith decision at the last minute not to sell?

And imagine how WE would feel if we broke our word in that manner?

But putting that aside, there are a number of other reasons why we don't regret our decision to sell our homestead, even during this awkward time.

One of the most important is economic. Despite the relative difficulty of finding a new place, it's not impossible. Just today, I did a quick Zillow scan and found at least four properties that look interesting. When we finally have cash in hand from the sale of our homestead, we'll be in an unbeatable position to jump quickly.

We still have the remnants of a mortgage on this place, but when the sale is finalized, we'll be in a position to buy (or build) our next place mortgage-free. We'll have a homestead without debt. I can't even begin to tell you how important this is to us.

Another reason for our decision to move is more visceral. We've learned many skills over the years we've lived here, and we've figured out how to do things faster, better, and cheaper. Our current homestead has been a 17-year practical master's-degree program in self-reliance, prepping, construction, farming and country living.

In other words, we've done about as much as we can on this homestead … but we believe we can do even more and even better with a cleaner slate. And while we're both 17 years older than we were, we feel perfectly confident on our abilities to raise one more barn and set up one more homestead. However, that happy fact comes with a deadline – so if we want to do it again, and better, we have to jump now.

Finally, we've "been hearing the wild geese honking in the sky and wondering where they go." Both Patrice and I come from foot-loose families, and the past 17 years here were as much about giving our kids a stable place to thrive and grow as they were about building the homestead. Now that our kids are out making their own way, we're itching to see what's on the other side of the mountain. We aim to find out.

I agree these are consequential times. But I recently wrote a couple of articles for Backwoods Home and Self-Reliance Magazines about the pioneers. These were whole families who also lived in consequential times, but headed west anyway, often against the advice of family and friends. These folks often left behind snug, secure farms to chase the wild geese. My ancestors were among them.

For these reasons and many more, we're not afraid of making the attempt. We're looking forward to it. Despite the relatively minor hiccups we've experienced so far, we're eager to move forward. As we keep saying to each other, "It's an adventure!"

We don't know what lies around the curve in the road. But we promise to keep all of you in the loop every step of the way.

See you on the road.


  1. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. I firmly believe this has happened in God’s perfect timing. I wrote a reply to one of the commenters who couldn’t believe that you were moving now, but I didn’t publish it. I knew he or she would just reply back, and I’m not going to argue with a complete stranger online. Like my grandma said: If you wallow with hogs, you’re going to get dirty.

  2. I agree that your word is your bond. You are both getting older and if you are going to do it it must be now. The wife and I moved at 65 and there were a number of good years before the bodies kinda quit working. Good luck to you both!

  3. We moved to Idaho not knowing a soul eight months ago at a bit older than you. We are trying to beginning gardening all over again. Change can be hard but worth it. We have constantly said to ourselves that it is an adventure. I am excited for you. Eventually you would be too old to do this just as we will. Enjoy your last great adventure!

  4. I would not suggest you break your word at all. But, a signed contract, if you had one, would be very difficult to break, would it not?

  5. I've had people with a purely legalistic view toward life consider this Darth Vader-esque "altering of the deal" to be a thing they should be able to get away with.

    Somewhere in their upbringing, they've conflated the law with the totality of being right, both in its omissions and commissions, rather than merely being the law.

    Deals with these kinds of people are essentially garbage because there's no way to cover every possible contingency with such people, and I consider myself lucky whenever I discover this earlier rather than later.

    Although some of this involves extremely cheap people believing they can weasel their way out of prior arrangements, some of this also involves power moves performed by people with severe character disturbances.

    That's as good as any other explanation of the strangely disruptive and disturbing proceedings you experienced with the toss-holes of "Lot X".

    1. Our HOA voted to remain beyond its corporate expiration date by voting new rules and forced that violation down our throats in order to continue embezzlement, fraud, extortion and theft and violate that contract..?

  6. It is good, in these times (really in any times) to honor your word. Ultimately nothing but good comes of it.

  7. Your audience knows you're good for your word and the trolls don't care.

    We've always known you're not the jerk listing your mobile home 2 or 3 times a year for 'entertainment' and can imagine the thought and planning you've put into this move, whatever the reasoning.

    Your explanations, while appreciated by your regular readers, are certainly not expected or required. We'll look forward to your recounting of the process and the challenges and successes once you land and begin the next stage of this journey...however you wish to share them...


  8. This New York liberal is also downsizing (and frankly the whole process is driving me crazy. I'm an active, not passive, person and to sit waiting quietly while my buyers dork around with their mortgage is enraging). But even we liberals keep our word.

  9. Keeping your word isn’t a political persuasion, it is a moral one. I’m deeply conservative myself. I dare say lately I’ve looked at the “Right” and wondered what happened to us. People have lost their ever loving minds.

    I pray your situation clears and you are able to progress to your ultimate goal. Blessings to you,

    Ouida Gabriel

  10. God has a plan, he always does, however I do wish we could at least get a hint. What blesses one blesses all, think of all the people involved and the blessings they will receive. Maybe you will be on hold because your perfect place is still in the works. You now have a place for a short rest and over wintering, enjoy it.

  11. While I don't agree with your decision to move during these uncertain times, I wouldn't have done it unless the Lord tapped me on the shoulder, I do completely agree with your keeping your word. A person's word is their bond and once you break it you can NEVER get it back. I also think that God is guiding you in this and who are any of us to argue with God?

    1. And remember, our homestead was up for sale LONG before this whole pandemic nonsense hit.

      - Patrice

    2. True, but I was thinking more about the election and probable after effects that could tear the country apart.

  12. I admire and respect your decision to keep your word to your buyers. May you enjoy the adventure and may God bless you as you go!

  13. Those are the best darn reasons ever for forging ahead. God Bless and God speed.

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, AK

  14. The real estate prices in Idaho are completely crazy now. Places that sold for 200,000 last year are being snapped up for 400,00 now. Our realtors can't get enough listings to sell anything and there are 3 or 4 buyers looking at each property. Realtors are now making big money.

  15. if ya wanna follow the honking like the wife and I are planning...
    cash out a GOOD newer truck and a new/almost new travel trailer that is just big enough to be confy without being a pain to tow, and GO.
    we are planning on spending 10 to 12 months just wandering around the country, off the interstate system, going when we want, or not, and as far as we want...or not each day. if we find "the place" we will consider settling. other ways, we keep looking.
    if the truck and trailer are paid for, they can tell us to move on, but we will always have a "roof over our heads"