Last year was brutal. Circumstances finally led us to rethink our priorities and make some very hard choices. We chose to sell the house, leaving behind our cherished yard that Todd had put so much work, love, and care into for 15 years. It was our sanctuary, our inspiration and for the most part, a lot of our entertainment! There, we had the opportunity to experience things we would never have had the chance somewhere else! And, the opportunity to share them here!
A few highlights…
We raised the Whootoos (baby quail)….
and desert tortoises….
Met the 3 little javelinas…
We witnessed nature in action, only some see on TV….
And we learned so much about the desert and the creatures that live there! It was an amazing 15 years!
January 15th, we put up the For Sale sign and held our breath! We had no idea where we would go. All we knew is that we needed to ‘down-size’.
First, we looked in the retirement community of Green Valley. Both Todd and I are finally coming to terms with our senior citizen status ;). But, folks in Green Valley don’t like yard work, so finding anything with a yard bigger than the area rug in our living room was a challenge.
We had 5 dogs, two desert tortoises, 3 chickens (And Todd’s brother) that were going to move with us. So we started looking at property outside of town with some land. We looked at manufactured homes East of town. We traveled down miles of bumpy dirt roads, through washes and gulleys, trying to find a place with ‘potential’. But, most of the homes we found were rat infested, falling apart, or next to something even worse…beautiful land, but a little too ‘whiskey-tango’, even for us.
We were getting so angry and depressed. It’s a horrible feeling knowing that you are moving on, with nowhere to go! We just kept trying to put our faith in God, knowing that he would lead us to where we needed to be!
Finally, we started looking the other direction- South.
To Elephant Head…we could actually see it from our old house-
It’s a small community of about 100? homes. Maybe less. Some beautiful big homes, some manufactured homes- all on 4+ acre plots of grassy, mesquite studded land. All set against the breathtaking backdrop of Elephant Head and the Santa Rita Mountains. It felt right!
And that’s when the miracles started happening!
A manufactured home appeared in my daily real estate search. It had been on the market for some time, but I hadn’t previously seen it! When we drove out to look at it, it was only a 20-minute drive from our old house. No dirt roads, all paved. The home itself was great (except for the questionable shade of green in which it had been freshly painted).
Larger and newer than our old house…. and on 4.5 acres! Perfect! We made an offer on the contingency that our house would sell within 6 weeks….Auuugghhhhh! The stress!!!
Our house had already been on the market for 2 weeks. We had several lookers, but no bites. We started getting even more nervous. Were we asking too much? Was the yard too much? Hmmmmm. One week after we put the offer on the new place- They found it! The people that walked into Todd’s Backyard and fell in love! The couple made a full price cash offer!!!!!! A miracle!!! I was happy I had the opportunity to meet them- They are wonderful people 🙂
But then, the real madness began. If anyone has ever bought and sold a house at the same time, you might know what I’m talking about! We had to close on both houses within 3 weeks. Paperwork! Scrambling! Packing! Cleaning! It was a whirlwind of chaos. Finally, on Feb 28, we took one last look at Todd’s Backyard in the mad rush to get out- the deed had recorded. It was no longer ours. We closed the doors and moved on. We didn’t even have time to cry.
Of course, the day we moved is the one day of the winter that decides to unleash it’s cold, unholy wrath. Rain, sleet, and snow accompanied us to our new home.
But, we made it!
It’s been almost 2 weeks since we have been in our new home and dreaming about what’s in store for the next chapter of Todd’s Backyard.
I’m not sure, at our age, if it’s the wisest project to take on- It’s a raw, wild and a blank canvas…
But, there is sure to be plenty of material to photograph and to write about as this next chapter of our lives unfold! We can’t wait to share it!
PS- Unfortunately, a few of our family members didn’t make it. We decided to find a home for the chickens, as the logistics of moving them and setting them up was just too much. And most unfortunately, our dear Baily and Bizbee were not able to handle the stress of moving in their old age 😦 But we look forward to new additions to the family…perhaps a goat?…mini horse?…who knows!