Ted’s essays

Dear Diary

Since it’s not getting easier to remember, I am putting the timeline down here so at least I can find it somewhere. This year has been a whirlwind with wonderful results. I guess a tornado would be a more apt description.

Missy, we aren’t in Kansas anymore.cabin 8x

Wednesday, March 6th, Missy comes home from her job saying she can’t take it any more. She will go back to Corrections. I remind her that will mean graveyard shift in an unfavorable medium security unit. She says it is preferable to being buried in work with no light at the end of the tunnel.

I cogitate a bit and spend some time on the Internet Thursday finding ONE affordable, acceptable place, in Conner, Montana, worthy of further research. When Missy gets home I offer her a different way out, and lay out the massive downsizing, belt-tightening plan.

She loves it. I call Mack & Carol requesting they go see if this cabin is worth my coming up to look at it.

Friday evening Mac and Carol report back, “It’s small”.
Clean, tidy, SMALL, beautiful river view, SMALL, nice guy owning it, It’s small, …

Saturday morning I fire up the 48mpg Honda CRX of questionable reliability and marginal brakes. I have a glorious run up the marvelous mountain roads, setting a record that won’t be matched – the 8 hour trip takes me 5!

A near endless treat of curves connected by short straights up, down, by rivers and ridges with almost no traffic at all. It’s been over a decade since I’ve had an opportunity to drive like this. I didn’t dare stop for anything and risk breaking the spell. I surprise us all by arriving at Mac and Carol’s (The Lodge) Saturday afternoon instead of evening.

Sunday I look at the cabin.

It’s small.

It’s perfect.

Bob Trowbridge and I shake on it. March 10th: It’s ours. Everything that follows is just details.

Mac solves the riddle of renting shop space for my tools with a great partnership. The new barn he was going to build someday would expand to be a shop that I would equip. He and I design the layout of tools and equipment. Construction begins right away. His neighbor, Merle, solves a major riddle of moving logistics with free storage space in his hanger that we don’t need to vacate until October.

I hire Curt Ray Realty on March 13th to make it all happen. I head home on the 14th. The mountain route is closed by snow. I have to take the boring, slow way home.

April Fools Day I bring the first load up to The Lodge and the hanger. This begins a steady stream of round trips with the pickup dragging my new, old, cheap trailer up and back almost weekly.

April 19th I pay my first Montana household garbage collection bill and my first rent payment to the property management firm for the dirt we now occupy and utilities they deliver.

Somewhere in all this, we cleaned up and sold a house in Kuna, Idaho. Though I don’t have dates for anything but the escrow-closing check, I know it did not happen too soon or too late. We couldn’t have moved any faster and we didn’t have to wait. No minutes to spare on either side. EVERYTHING worked in our favor… and I particularly want to thank Ma Nature for here cooperation.

May 28th: U-Haul day. The big truck overflows. Missy runs back to U-Haul to get an additional 2-axle enclosed trailer AT closing time. We stuff it full too and end up giving some leftovers to friends and neighbors. It is official. We kiss Idaho goodbye. Nothing there belongs to us any more.