Understatement of the Year: 2020 Didn’t Turn Out the Way I Planned

Come take a walk on the beach

My wife and I started 2020 in northern England. We had been visiting friends. And now we were taking the train back to London. Our suitcases were too big for the train – anything bigger than a small backpack is too big. On that scale, ours were gigantic.  A nice conductor told us to hop off the train at the next stop and run with our luggage to first class where there would be room for our luggage. We didn’t quite make it to first class before the train took off again. We scrambled back on. At least there was room in the corridor to stand with our luggage. But every time somebody had to go to the WC, we had to move out of the way.

We returned to Washington State, not too much worse for wear. My wife soon headed to northern MN for time with her elderly father. I started looking for a new contract.

Then we found ourselves in the midst of a pandemic. And all Heck broke loose. I started Mother May I shopping. Mother May I Take a step forward? Mother May I bag my groceries?

Various topics became the theme of the year – Pandemic, Climate Change, Black Lives Matter.

I did find a contract six months later. In that regard I’m lucky, since many became unemployed this year. And it was a contract which I could work totally remotely. So, doubly lucky.

My personal plan was to get the house in shape to put on the market. We would then sell it and move to Hawaii. The house needed a lot of work. Plus we’d be living there for like forever, so we had to sort through stuff and figure out what we were moving and what we were selling or giving away. We got help with that. A couple would come by, pick up most items from us and try to sell them. Sometimes they made enough that they  shared some of the profits with us.

The house did sell towards the end of the year. And the new owners could use whatever furniture we didn’t want. So we got rid of even more.

But now we had to be out of the house in a month and we still hadn’t secured a place in Hawaii. Hawaii limited who could visit. Well, anyone could visit, but they had to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks. Now, you can get a COVID test and skip the quarantine. I hear that Kauai still requires the quarantine.

We realized we couldn’t make the transition to Hawaii before we had to be out of the house. So my wife went to her fathers (and sisters). I joined them later.

We lost a dear friend and a couple of relatives last year. None due to COVID.

We ended up in a place with an opposite clime to Hawaii.

I had planned to write and publish several books last year. Lack of Time and COVID trauma limited what I could accomplish on that front. I did get 5 books published. I wrote two more which I’ll talk about in a later post.

  • #99: Invulnerable (About a Superhero who is …)
  • #100: Solutions Galore
  • #101:  Graduation Day Ja Vu
  • #102: Packing Petite
  • #103: Triangulated Love

So,  my dreams didn’t come true. And I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on that. I should have been focusing on the 90% that did come true. Yet, it’s like when my wife and I were climbing Picacho Peak several years ago. Lots of people, mostly children would come by in the opposite direction. As they passed, they’d tell us that we were almost there. When we finally arrived at the top, I looked for that gnome who was people people to say that. I never did find it. We were almost at the top. We were 90% of the way there. Yet that last 10% was the hardest. Life can seem that way sometimes.

This year we plan to get to Hawaii. We took a pause for the Holidays. And I’m sure other things will pop up that we’ll need to focus on.  Now that I’ve written those two books, I’ll be editing them and getting them ready for publication. Three narrators are working on Audio Books for me. I’ll need to review their work. I also have several more audiobooks I’ll need narrated. And I should spend some time marketing my books.

Work will be busy. Long days will be normal. Plus when we move, I’ll need to find a break in the work schedule to have time to make the move.

And in our free time, of which there won’t be any, we need to find time to relax. We need to find time to spend time with each other and with distant friends and family. We need to chill out. We need to let our minds be filled with heavenly things and beauty. And if we’re shown a way to bring those things into this world, we need to do so.

And once we move, we need to spend time on the beach. Not everyone has access to a beach. But somehow they need to find a place where they can believe that they are in Paradise, if only for a few hours.

How to Find an Accessible House to Make Your Home

Whether it’s your first home or your fifth, moving is both exciting and exhausting. Finding an accessible home comes with its own challenges, but it is always worth the extra effort. Here are some ways you can make your experience a smooth one.

Before You Search

In order to lessen the stress of house hunting, first-time homebuyers should complete a few initial steps before they even begin to search for a house. Ensure that your credit report is accurate before applying for a mortgage—a high score can mean lower interest rates. When you find a lender, make sure all your important documents, including pay stubs and tax returns, are organized and ready to be handed over. You’ll also want to determine what you can afford for a home by looking at your budget and factoring in the down payment and other home-related expenses. Lastly, you should find a good real estate agent to make the home buying process go much smoother.

Finding Accessibility

Thankfully, there are more options than ever before when it comes to accessible housing. No matter what you’re looking for—an apartment, a house in town, or even a tiny home—you have options. Your state may have online resources that connect tenants in need of accessible housing with sellers or renters, and many websites have search engines that filter different requirements. If you truly are stuck, talk to a realtor in the town where you hope to move. They will have a better understanding of what is available and be able to help you find a home in your price range.

Amending a Good House into a Great One

Sometimes, the home we fall in love with ends up needing a bit of work to make it perfect. Or, maybe the houses in our price range aren’t quite right, but with a little work, it can be modified. Whatever the case may be, if a home falls slightly short of your needs, you have options to adapt it. Some changes, such as remodeling the bathroom or kitchen, can be pricey, but not all adjustments will impact your household budget. In fact, many small alterations can be easily added without much fuss. It only takes a little reading, the parts and then an afternoon to get the work done. Just be certain that you get estimates for any major repairs or remodels before you make an offer. You’ll need to factor those costs into your total budget, after all.

What to Look for in a City

Even if you adore a certain house or neighborhood, it does not mean that this will be the perfect home. Before you visit a town, look at Google Maps and see how navigable it is. If there isn’t enough information available, try the app AccessMap, which has been designed specifically for those who need disabled-friendly directions. It even shows where sidewalks are the most even and where curbs are lowest. You need to think of non-accessible concerns, too, such as crime rates, hospital availability, and whatever else is relevant to you.

Before You Move In

Before you bring your belongings to your new place, confirm that the home is secure and livable. Even if your house is brand new, ensure that it’s clean enough for your possessions. You also want to be certain that your utilities have been updated to include your new address, and that your mail gets redirected. Of course, one of our biggest priorities is home security, so give yourself assurances by finding a reputable locksmith.

Moving Day Made Easy

Moving day is exhausting. Even when we have researched which movers are best, have things planned out, and made sure the weather will be okay, there are lingering stresses and worries. To make things easier, get plenty of sleep and have snacks premade and ready to eat for you and the moving team to sustain morale. Keep lots of water around, as moving is thirsty work, and be sure you have packed an overnight bag. Even if your boxes are labeled, no one wants to spend the evening of a tiring day searching for kitchen utensils, pajamas, and hygiene products!

Don’t be overwhelmed. Yes, there is quite a lot to do, but you can get it all done with proper planning. This is a thrilling adventure, one that should bring joy, not stress.

Author: Tanya Lee at AbilityVillage.org

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Ducker Disdain’s University of Toe Snapping

Toe Snapping

Ducker Disdain’s University of Toe Snapping. In this whimsical story, we learn all about Ducker Disdain who became famous for being able to snap his toes. This is similar to children snapping their fingers. But it is much harder to do. Still, Ducker enjoyed it. But then one day he had to make a decision, he could figure out how to really snap his toes or he could put his shoes on and never go barefoot another day in his life. In other words, he could just be normal.

Now also available as an #audiobook, narrated by Jacob Shumway.

Ducker dreams of taking a class to improve his toe snapping talent. When he can’t find one, he decides to create his own University of Toe Snapping. Will his dreams come true? How? The answer lie within the story.

Overflow and Overwhelm

Overflow grew up unaware that Overwhelm existed.
Overwhelm grew up unaware the Overflow existed.
It seemed that they met purely by chance.
It also seemed that it was fate that they should meet.

Overflow and Overwhelm found each other to be repugnant.
Overflow acted like he had never met Overwhelm.
Overwhelm acted like he had no idea who Overflow knew.
But they both knew each other, very well.

Overflow and Overwhelm found out that they were related.
In fact, it turned out that they were twins, identical twins.
When Overflow looked in the mirror, sometimes he saw Ovewhelm.
The same was true for Overwhelm for they were mirror images of each other.

And here you are stuck between Overflow and Overwhelm.
How can it be that they are mirror reflections of each other?
How can they have any thing in common?
How can they be identical twins, they don’t even look like each other?

Yet there is something in you, deep in your core
This seed gave birth in you to both overflow and overwhelm
Both want your attention, but overwhelm is louder
And sometimes overflow goes unnoticed

But overflow still exists and is still as strong as Overwhelm
And each time you see yourself as Beauty
Overwhelm becomes Overflow
And your Overflow becomes increasingly strong

It can be Hard Living in Paradise

Just think – In Paradise all your needs are met and there’s absolutely nothing you can do to deserve your needs being met.
You have to play all the time. In Paradise there is no such thing as work.
It’s easy to make friends. People talk about what’s really meaningful to them.
The weather is always enjoyable.
Conditions are right for your dreams to come true.
And the more blueberries you pick and eat and enjoy, the more blueberries there are to pick and eat and enjoy.

Yep, living in Paradise can be really hard.
I wonder if I’ll be able to stand it!