September 05, 2020

We sold our house and moved across the country during COVID19. And now we live in Opposite World.

</>The idea of moving had been in the works for years (really since Amendment 64 passed) but we waited until our 6-lb anchor gained her furry halo before hopping on a plane. We were working with a realtor in California when the pandemic broke, derailing the 5-year plan we'd so carefully laid out. I'd always known that I'd have to come out of retirement to afford a higher cost of living, health insurance, and possibly a mortgage. But how do you get a job when businesses are shut down? Even if there was a stable job market, how does one move during a pandemic? Not just the physical moving part, could we house shop or find an apartment without being exposed to the virus? Some properties offered virtual showings but who rents or buys real estate without first stepping foot inside the place? Meanwhile, one of our driver's licenses expired as did one of the car's registration, and the DMV was shut down. (I could write a whole 'nother post on that alone.) The list of questions and pandemic-associated complications grew so long, we were paralyzed.

And then a crazy thing happened. COVID became the catalyst that spurred us into action.

Honeybee on crepe myrtle, neither are native to the US. Virginia is rife with nonnatives and invasives.

Had the state not been the first to legalize pot, we might still be breathing Colorado's dirty air (they don't put that in the brochure) and enduring the fry-or-freeze weather. But the Green Rush made our house the best investment of our lifetime (while also creating an impossible homeless problem for the Denver metro). Real estate is the obvious solution to the cash-only basis of the pot industry. The more money dumped into a house, the faster the money is laundered. Overpaying for and flipping a house became SOP, and housing prices have risen steadily since 2012, when Amendment 64 passed. Then COVID19 made it to the US in January, and the Denver metro saw a meteoric rise in house prices. We decided to capitalize on the situation and be one of the few sellers brave enough to risk exposure and put our house on the market. The house sold in less than a day, but we allowed additional in-person showings to drive up the offer. And it paid off. Hindsight is 20:20 so if you're looking to capitalize, too, and want to know what we learned, what we regret, how to avoid the things that totally sucked about selling during a pandemic, just ask!

We're off to a fresh start because in addition to selling our house, we got rid of 'most everything in it and both our cars. If you're struggling to declutter whether to move or to just have more space, ask questions! We Ebay'd. We donated. We gifted. We recycled. We didn't quite get to how things were when we first moved in together back in '88, when we had just two nickels to rub together and everything fit into a hatchback. But we stripped the house, indeed our lives, down to fit in a 16-foot moving truck that we would load and drive ourselves. And we're proud to say we did it without using a dumpster! An enormous feat, fraught with inordinate complications, but necessary because it just doesn't make sense to tote a bunch of replaceable stuff. Especially if you plan to move again. (2022 update: unfortunately the pandemic redefined "replaceable", so give some thought to if you'd regret letting something go before letting it go. Which reminds me: don't use Let Go. It's a terrible platform.) Anyway, back to the story…

The world is too big to spend it all in one place.

In a split-second decision, we threw the 5-yr plan to the wind, did a 180° and decided that the right thing to do was head east and ride out the pandemic, or at least the winter, with family. Two weeks in, there are moments when I wonder, "Did we make a huge mistake, giving up our 🦄 home?" We went from mortgage-free DINKs with no HOA and our pollinator-friendly yard, to living with people I barely know, a baby, a big smelly dog, and an essentially flowerless yard. We traded sun and high UV for humidity and heat index, sunscreen for insect repellent. Drought for hummingbirds! And fireflies!! It's Opposite World here. This morning I awoke achy from a bed that's not mine – yep, we even recycled our mattress – and I nearly had a breakdown. From what we eat to what we watch on TV, I am not in control of anything. We still don't have a car but even if we could leave the house, it won't stop raining. Two weeks in, and I think I hate Virginia already. I think the beehives are in a semi-dry spot but my native bee hotel turned moldy. 


Hottest August on record, most days ever over 95°F, and both 99°F and a freeze (with snow) in the 48-hr forecast. I see my friends on Insta stressing out about their bees and their gardens, and I know we did the right thing leaving Colorado. Besides, this is just a temporary home, maybe really temporary if we can't survive the Republican v. Democrat friction, not to mention they use RoundUp 😞. Hopefully we'll knock some things off the bucket list (like ride the Blue Ridge Parkway) while figuring out where we go next. California isn't off the table but the effects of climate change there are especially alarming. I'm truly worried about the welfare of my family and the people who live there.

After driving 1,700 miles across the US, we're thinking it's isn't entirely crazy to jettison the rest of our belongings (except maybe the beehives 😅) and keep heading east. Depending on how the election goes, maybe we'll cross The Pond and set up a Mediterranean apiary. Beekeeping seems hugely popular in Greece. What do you think?

#itsallabouthebees #crapemyrtle #Lagerstroemia #beesofig #feedthepollinators #abeilles #abejas #bees #蜜蜂 #bienen #μέλισσες #TeamPixel #beesandmacro #beesandblooms #Siruimacrolens #flowersandmacro #macrolove #inbloomVA


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