We NEVER THOUGHT it would happen to us….
In the fall of 2019 we packed up the house, gave away all of the animals that comprised our small farm, and said goodbye to the orchard and grape vines. We were being pulled (called) to the northern Rockies and we were listening to the promptings.
Thinking the sale of our Midwestern house and property was a “done deal,” we packed up the moving truck and two trailers with the remaining possessions we didn’t sell off, and headed west on a three-day trip that would see us leave our fully prepped home of over 10 years to, for lack of a better term, start over in the old west. This move was big and it was definitely scary.
The plan we concocted was to sell the house and rent an apartment for a short time while we looked for a house to buy somewhere in the northern rocky mountains. We turned over the mental Rubik’s Cube many times and we were sure we had thought of everything. What could possibly go wrong, we though…
The first unexpected problem with our plan that we encountered was that, as soon as we got settled in to our new, temporary digs and started house shopping, we got the dreaded call – the sale of our house back east fell through as our buyer no longer had the money for the down payment.
Our family quickly went into emergency damage-control mode. We had to immediately solve the problems of lawn care and possible upkeep on a house sitting 1500 miles away from this new environment we were just starting to explore. The putting out of all those fires left us stressed and worried because winter weather was only a few short months away, and we were starting over from square one in terms of putting our house back on the market.
Winter inevitably arrived with cold and snow back east, and we had absolutely no luck in finding a new buyer. We began to pay heating bills along with a mortgage on an empty home, on top of our current apartment, and the monthly fee for the storage unit where all of our belongings sat unused. As you might imagine, the stresses related to the horrendous expenses, and the managing the sale of the house from afar, felt absolutely crushing at times.
Winter passed as the temperatures warmed a bit around Valentine’s day and we finally received the good news – we had a buyer and they were excited to get the closing done and get into their new home. We were relieved and overjoyed as everyone involved moved very quickly to close this new deal. Our family was finally going to be able to sever our connection with our old life and we were again looking forward to house shopping here in the mountains. Soon after the paperwork was all signed, the check arrived and we were saved from financial oblivion just in the nick of time. We could not have withstood all of those expenses much longer. Now, we had a financial cushion and the means to go looking for our new home.
Just days after all the initial excitement of the home sale subsided, we saw the news – Man in Wuhan China Shows Strange Symptoms – and it had already begun to spread. The wife and I monitored the situation as closely as we could via Twitter and other social media users on the ground in China because she knew what it meant if it was a yet-undiscovered viral infection. It would be the Contagion movie realized. We wanted to have as much warning as we could so we could act accordingly to protect our family.
Once we saw the first cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., we knew we had some important decisions to make. Financially (on paper) we were good – we were sitting on a substantial check for the sale of our home back east, but we were still living in a two bedroom, third floor apartment, and we were separated from the bulk of our preps and gear which were locked in a storage unit across town. We had limited inside space and no viable options for farm animals or agriculture on the property. There was no wisdom in emergency shopping for a new home. We really had no choice – we had to adapt and roll with the daily changes life was about to dictate.
Any remaining moving boxes left in the apartment from our move had to immediately go into storage. They were wasting valuable space. Next, we had to establish a supply of water in case the city-supplied system went down. Since we do rent, and it’s a fairly dry climate, catching rain was not a possibility. Besides, we left our empty water barrels back east knowing it was more cost-effective to just replace them than to pay for the necessary cargo space to move them. So, our answer was that we started buying large packs of bottled water and stacked them along the wall of the kitchen area, pack after pack until we felt we had the supply we needed to get us through a couple months of the unknown.
Next we learned via the news that there was an unexpected run occurring on, of all things, toilet paper. Luckily we had brought our whole supply from back east, since it stacks nicely in cardboard cases. So, in terms of toiletries, we were in great shape. We had enough to build thrones of TP and sit comfortably for months!
Being serious-minded about our preps and always hyper-vigilant about our routines, who would have ever thought we would suddenly find ourselves 1500 miles from the place we had called home for so long, with our supplies divided, some having been sold to save space in the moving truck, and the rest locked up in storage on the other side of the city – during a disastrous, global pandemic?
IN A MILLION YEARS, who would have thought this would ever happen to us?
to be continued…