‘Change is the only constant in life.’
Was it only last July that we turned our lives upside down by deciding to sell our U.S. home and live full-time in Greece?
Was it only last year that I showed you photos of our ‘summer of slogging’ and made jokes about living out of that corrugated metal storage unit we’d rented in the Seattle suburb?
|Filling up the Storage Unit - July 2017|
One Year Later. . .
|The Stone House on the Hill - far right|
being ‘homeless’ in America.
Having no address to call our own, coupled with ‘living out of the storage’ unit (as I had quipped last summer) wasn’t working. That fact became real clear after our visit in the Northwest last January.
We got rid of one temporary address during that visit. Our friend's graciously loaned us another. Our visits to the storage unit were bleak. Seeing our life’s accumulations – the stuff special enough to have kept -- stuffed into stack and piles, boxes and bags was nothing short of depressing. We began calling it ‘the morgue’. It made us feel dead. We knew it was time to regroup.
Time for change -
‘And suddenly you know;
It’s time to start something new
and trust in the magic of beginnings.
-- Meister EckhartSo for the past few months, while I’ve been telling you of the wonders of Greece, we have been conducting a long distance search for a ‘seasonal home’ back in the States. (We would have once called it a ‘second home’ or ‘vacation home’ but the industry jargon has changed over the years.)
With no immediate plans to give up full-time residency in Greece, we needed a place for our belongings and a place to stay when we go back to visit. Someday perhaps it would serve as a full-time home when health, age, or immigration rules (or a combination of them) prompts us to leave Greece.
In keeping with our downsizing philosophy, we set out to buy a condo in the same Seattle suburb we’d left last year. Unfortunately for us, it is the suburb that continues to make headlines as being one of the hottest (high prices and selling quickly) housing markets in the nation.
With condo’s selling within five days of listing, we picked up our pace. If a ‘possible place’ came across the screen, we’d contact good friends back there, asking them to drop what they were doing to race out and see it. They’d report back and with the time differences, we’d have about 48 hours in which to make an offer. We went for two and lost out. The market was limited and the list prices the baseline for a bidding war.
The process got real tedious. It was time to expand the search:
|Our old home was Kirkland, just north of Bellevue, a Seattle suburb|
Now she wanted to sell. We were ready to buy.
New adventures. . .of sorts!We're heading to Manson, Washington, an unincorporated town in Central Washington nestled on the shores of Lake Chelan.
|Manson and Wapato Point on Washington's Lake Chelan|
|A portion of Lake Chelan from the town of Chelan - Cascade Mountain range|
|A portion of Lake Chelan from The Butte|
|Manson Washington - apple orchards and vineyards|
The vineyards have given rise to wineries, and the wineries have opened tasting rooms. New seasonal festivals related to the wine industry now fill tourism event calendars for this part of Central Washington.
|Benson Vineyards - Chelan Washington|
The similarities are many between our Greek and new U.S. home. In many ways it will be village life, as it is village life here. The main thoroughfares are two-lane roads. Agriculture and tourism blend to keep the areas vibrant. Much like our Agios Nikolaos, Manson village has a few restaurants, a grocery store, and bars. It does have a post office.
Wenatchee, like Kalamata is here, will be the hub for major shopping, health care and each city has a regional airport. Both are about an hour's drive away.
Our new U.S. home, is walking distance to the village and to the lake. We’ll be surrounded by vineyards and wineries.How much better a location could we have found?!
|Surrounded by wineries - a perfect location|
Our airline tickets back have been purchased, a moving company has been hired, we are synchronized to move ourselves out of ‘the morgue’ and to Manson this fall. It took three months last summer to get us moved out of our old life and we’ve scheduled three weeks this fall to get us moved into the new. I’m certain with all the offers of help we’ve received from friends and with a bit of that Chelan area wine – we’ll be able to pull it off.
Oh. . .did you want to see the house? Well, here it is:
|Our new home in Manson|
|Our front porch|
|A toast to a new address|
Thanks for being with us as we travel this ex pat world! Safe travels to you and yours ~
Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday –
Best of Weekend
This looks like a lovely house and spot for your American home. Trust in the magic of beginnings! (love that quote)ReplyDelete
Isn't that just the best way to approach a new beginning?? Thanks for following along on this definite boomer adventure! xxDelete
Congratulations. I am amazed at the romance of your choices. A chasm of a difference from ours! I guess we made healthcare #1 among our criteria.ReplyDelete
Actually health considerations were high on our list. We are close to Seattle and all the major health centers there like Fred Hutch, Virginia Mason and Swedish. Wenatchee has a large medical center and even Chelan is building a new large state-of-the-art hospital. When compared to our volunteer operated, donation-purchased ambulance that serves us here in Greece, this home is in a medical mecca!Delete
WIshing you every happiness in you new home! It looks warm, cozy and just right!ReplyDelete
It is far more welcoming than that dark, dreary morgue of a storage unit - that's for sure!!Delete
That is lovely news and it looks like a gorgeous house and lovely views. Very cold looking area though!ReplyDelete
We both were born and raised in Eastern Washington so know the cold winters that exist there. That's why Greece remains our full-time home and Hawaii timeshare life our winter get-away and this one a 'seasonal' home! Thanks for stopping by Jan.Delete
Having lived in Tonasket and Wenatchee I know this area and like it much. Congrats on yet another house purchase.ReplyDelete
Thanks Gaelyn. I forgot that you were familiar with this area. It is beautiful and provides some wide open spaces still. I anticipate that when we do need to leave Greece and its spaciousness, we will need to see the sky, big long stretches of sky! Thanks for the comment!Delete
This was an interesting read. Thank you for sharing your journey. Most only dream of what you guys are doing! Congrats on finding your US residence. You’ve got some really gracious friends there, you know!ReplyDelete
We are blessed with fabulous friends on both sides of the pond! Our family is few and far between so friends really do make up our world and we don't take any of them for granted. Thanks much for your comment!!Delete
Yay! Congratulations! I'm loving having a home base again and now that we're settled in, it's time to start thinking about where to next, along with the absolute joy of our new grandbaby.ReplyDelete
I had to giggle about your single story home (for boomers) because as much as we wanted a single story home they are few and far between here on the east coast and so not only did we not buy a single story home, we bought a home that has two flights of stairs. If we're on the main floor, we either have to go up, or go down, to use the bathroom. Ha! Ha! But, we love the house.
Congratulations again and happy moving! I have an inkling of exactly how you're feeling just about now. :) Well done!
I was thinking of you two when I wrote this and knowing that you would understand. Actually all the condos we looked at did have one or more flights of stairs and in each case, those friends looking at them would note, "someday. . .you know" Well I have so many flights of stairs here that I am hoping not to need that flat house for many years to come. Hugs to you role-models! J.Delete
Your new house looks perfect for people our age. Our "seasonal" house has lots of stairs, so not too well suited to growing old(er) in. I hope the move from the morgue doesn't prove too arduous.ReplyDelete
Hopefully moving from the 'morgue' won't be as deadly as downsizing was last summer! I suspect there will be more downsizing and discarding to come but it is amazing how a year away from it all lessens the emotional ties one has to 'things'.Delete
Hello, Your new home is pretty. I have been to Lake Chelan and to stay overnight at Stehekin. It is a beautiful area! I was wondering if you were near any of the wildfires in Greece, they looked dangerous. Happy August, enjoy your day and week ahead!ReplyDelete
I remember that you did visit there! And Stehekin is one of my all-time favorite mountain getaways. Thanks for asking about the Greek fires. They were close to Athens and we are about a 4.5 hours drive from there; located on the 'middle finger' of the Peloponnese. The fires were deadly and tragic. The death toll had hit 100 the last time I saw any reports. See you soon over at your blog!Delete
Wow, Jackie, the Bungalow (as we Brits call them) looks wonderful. And yes, you're quite right that 'boomers' need one level -- things can get worse! Sounds like the ideal spot to be. Good luck and enjoy. Best wishes to you both.ReplyDelete
Well, the practical side of us 'daydream chasers' came out and we realized that what will likely cause us to leave our Greek home will be an inability to handle the stairs. . .so the logical purchase would be a flat house. . .and the good thing about it, is that it seems so much bigger than it is by being on one level!Delete
Nice looking digs! Congratulations :-). It is a pain in the ass with the address thing back in the U.S and continues to be for us but there is so little left that it works. My husband says if we ever move back to the U.S, we can move into the rental property that is single family, but it's in Houston and l never want to live there again. I told him..never.. we either move to Rome and his family or Nigeria with mine :-)ReplyDelete
You nailed it with 'pain in the ass' and US address complications. How in this techno-based world we live in can physical addresses be so important?? I envy you your family destination choices, Rome or Nigeria sound like places that would appeal to our vagabond hearts. And I envy your family ties, we pretty much are without ties.Delete
This looks like the best of both worlds - a home in Greece and a place to stay in Washington wine country. You're going to have a wonderful time!ReplyDelete
Fingers crossed that we have found the best of both worlds! Thanks much for the visit, Karen!Delete
Your new house is so pretty. Boy, talk about living a dream...living full time in beautiful Greece and yet, having a beautiful home in the states.ReplyDelete
Oh, and there's no rhyme nor reason to making a wire wreath...just note in her pic that Carol used several strands of wire and twisted and turned to make it all look rustic...a big circle of wire formed into a heart and dried roses attached...not sure how she attached her flowers...mine, I just stuck the stems thru the wire...ones I had trouble with, I pulled out by trusty hot glue gun !! They are fun to make and you just put your spin on them.....when you get yours made, post about it with a pic so I can see....xoxo
I was just reading your latest post and then popped over to Carol's to take a closer look at her heart. I will give it a try and post a photo for sure!!Delete
Another new beginning. The house you have purchased in the States looks beautiful. I wondered how long it would be before you had a foot in "both camps" again. The best of both worlds I think. Enjoy. And have a great weekend!ReplyDelete
It would definitely have been easier to pull up stakes at age 20-something with no ties, investments, retirement or health care to keep one tied to the homeland. . .that is for sure. Hopefully, a foot in two worlds, with one a much smaller one than before, will work! xx J.Delete
Congrats, Jackie! It looks like a spectacular place to live! Happy you will be able to enjoy those precious things you've put in storage. Again, you've made me think about the practicalities of expat life!ReplyDelete
Ex pat life is a good one but it just isn't as carefree as some would like to think it is. I'd still recommend it highly. . .never a dull or slow moment!!Delete
My how time flies, Jackie! Your seasonal home and location are wonderful and I imagine that being surrounded by vineyards and wineries might prove to be beneficial as well as remind you of your Greek ties. There are so many considerations to living as an expat that don't even begin to occur to you until you're off and well into the adventure. I empathized with your tale about the necessity of having a US address and thank my sister every time I write for letting us use hers as this is the only way we can keep US bank accounts, credit cards and investment accounts. It's absolutely nuts how difficult the regulations and bureaucracy have made what should be a simple choice. Your solution for enjoying the treasures you've collected is terrific and what a rich life awaits you as you enjoy the best of two continents!ReplyDelete