Monday, April 19, 2010

We're Getting Closer!

Little red check marks on the calendar indicate that we are that much closer to Cuenca, Ecuador!

The wedding plans for our son are in place and the rehearsal dinner invitations went out last week. We also took some time to visit our son's bachelor pad in Cleveland, Ohio and practiced being "retired." We went out for breakfast, took long walks in the afternoon, slept, and went out to dinner. I think we've got the rhythm down (almost!).

Jon is a marketing specialist for Rosetta Corporation and has an interesting job -- something about being a search engine optimization specialist! The best part of being a parent is seeing them grow up, have careers that they love, and NOT living at home. Jeremy, our oldest is a high school World Cultures teacher and is looking forward to taking a sabbatical in South America next year, so we'll see more of him than Jon.

With the house under agreement and the inspection slated for the end of the month, we are now in the packing stage of our move. With four suitcases to lock and load, we have three distinct piles: to keep, to sell, and to give away. Goodwill runs are now a part of our daily routine along with the storage unit which has the things we will ship to my mom in California (mostly heirloom items). We now have a home for our cat, Bianca, and buyers for our cars (not exactly in that order).

We made an Excel spreadsheet of our household belongings and what doesn't get sold between now and May 30th, will be sold at the "Cuenca or Bust" garage sale.

We still need to make our appointment at the Ecuadorian Embassy in Washington D.C. and we will do that next week. Our paperwork is lined up and ready to go. The only little matter left is my book, which I am happy to report is going to make the publisher's deadline -- May 15, 2010! I'm ahead of my projected goal, so with any luck I'll have it done two weeks before the wedding!

My laptop crashed, so that allowed me to get a Dell PINK laptop (Mark thinks I did it on purpose!). My e-mails still need to be formatted into my Outlook Inbox, but I can live with that! But the thought that my book was almost lost, nearly put me into a catatonic state. Now I have three back-up systems in place!

Mark reminded me last night to enjoy the journey, but he's not the one with the deadline right now (he's totally retired!). So I've found a new writing place -- Elizabethtown College in the library! At this point, I need "quiet with a view" and the college provides me with both!

Oh and there's the little matter of medical insurance. Mark received his retirement package which also included his medical. We have to pay $600 a month for coverage that is not that great, so we're going to pay for it for two months until we leave for Ecuador and then discontinue it. Mark has had three major surgeries in the past two years (all related to his running/biking/triathlon days). A broken hip and two back surgeries have made us realize we're thankful for good insurance, but we were still left with whopping bills! We realize that the health care system in the States is terribly broken and won't be fixed for a long time.

Getting closer to Cuenca also means that we will be leaving family and friends behind, which is another post entirely. Most of the reactions we have received have been positive, but a few have left us totally baffled. But we also realize that the retirement we have chosen isn't for everyone and we respect that.

Until next time...hasta luego!

Connie and Mark


Nancy Watson said...

I am impressed with the organization of your move and so happy everything is moving along on schedule. Connie, Looking forward to meeting you soon.

Tom Hall said...

We have 100 boxes piled up in our condo right
now as well as furniture wrapped & sealed.
Hate this part of the moving process! Leaving for Cuenca in 2 weeks. Most friends & family
think it's a great adventure but others predict we will only last a year. Don't think so! Looking forward to meeting you in Cuenca as we have followed your journey on this blog.

Safe journey
Tom Hall & George Xillas

Susan Skitt said...

Oh what a cute picture of you both - I will miss you terribly!!!

rcrumbley said...

I'm trying to get in touch with Tom Hall in Cuenca. Tom and I worked together for many years in Atlanta and I'm very interested in corresponding with Tom about his move to Ecuador. Can anyone help me an email address or phone number? Thanks! Ron Crumbley

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