Our decision to do this has been met with a combination of disbelief, disapproval, and discouragement (the three D’s) from some sectors in our life and from others it has been enthusiasm, encouragement, and excitement. All of the responses are understandable and appreciated – but of course we prefer the latter. There is a lot to be gained though from the ‘negative’ reactions though – those friends and family members who have met our decision with one of the three D’s are doing us a great service. They are testing our resolve, making sure that we think through our plans, and providing a very healthy dose of realism so that we aren’t caught wearing rose colored glasses while walking around with our pants down (because frankly there are few things more enjoyable than a completely mixed metaphor).
And, with all of that, we continue on, marching towards the daunting task ahead of us. You may ask, which daunting task? Travelling around the world? Planning the trip? Finding sponsors? Figuring out the logistics? Discovering the money to make this a reality? Learning how to play ukuleles – as a family? Figuring out how to make YouTube Videos that build an audience? Connecting with our causes? Yes – all of those, but at the moment – each of those Herculean feats pales in comparison to the most immediate concern.
Is the suspense there yet? Have I built it up enough? (Drumroll please!)
The greatest challenge we face at the moment is shrinking our life down to three bags and three passports. Our immediate daunting task is to liquidate all of our possessions and to do it in the most orderly way possible. Ours is not a modest hoard of belongings – over the past four years we have made a business out of buying and selling – not just buying and selling small items – but buying and selling entire estates, massive and overstuffed storage lockers, and filling a large antique shop to the gills with books, jewelry, collectibles, furniture, and all manner of things. Our house (which I am thankful we do not own) is filled with the best of the things we have found in this business and the things we have enjoyed. We have conducted many estate sales over the years we have been here and thankfully, we have learned how to liquidate a small to medium estate in a weekend and a large estate over a series of weekends, but we have never attempted to liquidate so much as we will be selling over the next few months. Vehicles, trailers, display cases, furniture, collections of coins, jewelry, carpets, an entire library of book (because close to half of our store is dedicated to books), art, pottery, toys, dolls, and more. This is the daunting task and it is not made more simple by the rain which this year threatens to never stop for more than a few hours at a time.
We had an antique mall space in Coos Bay which I am closing down over the next few days – it was a large space, several big rooms packed to the brim. I had hoped that we would be able to sell a significant amount of our inventory there, but ultimately, even in the larger market of Coos Bay, the rain and economic worries were keeping wallets in pockets and shoppers in their homes. I don’t blame the mall which I’m sure will do better when the weather improves, but it didn’t work out to be what we had hoped. My plan at the moment is fairly simple – at the end of May there is a big citywide garage sale in Reedsport. We will sell everything that we do not need for two months of life in our house at that point. In June, I will (if my shop has not found a buyer by that point) liquidate the entire contents of our shop using our tried and true formula of 25% off, then 50% off, then 70% off, then 75% off and finally a dollar sale on inventory and a sale of our fixtures and display. It is possible that I will need to continue this sale into July.But by the end of July our shop will be gone and our little community paper will either be sold or shut down as well. In July or possibly August, we will have an Estate sale at our house before we move out and into our Vanagon for a month – at this sale we will sell anything that is left in the house or from the shop.
By September – we will be houseless, have our tickets paid for, and have our itinerary laid before us. That is the daunting task and all there is to it, is to do it.