The last couple of months were crazy. I wanted to write here a number of times, but had neither the time nor the energy to assemble something cogent and appropriate for this space. I brought Older Son here a couple of weeks ago to help get my house ready to sell. I put it on the market about a week ago. I received an offer greater than my asking price with no conditions on the first day from the first viewer. Now I’m waiting for the appraisal and inspections to confirm that things are moving forward.
In the meantime, Older Son and I worked on some things inside the house, worked out, and hiked the areas nearby. I love to walk my Girl out in the sagelands. It’s one of the things I love about where I live. So, we do that a lot, usually a couple of times each day.
I called the realtor (one I know and trust) and set up a meeting. She and her Nevada broker visited my house, took a look around, confirmed their comparative analysis, and I filled out papers. After learning that they shot the images with a mobile telephone, I offered to reshoot the interior with a “real” camera. They accepted my offer.
So, read a bit about doing the shoot, which confirmed my understanding of the problem. Older Son and I set up everything (tidied up a bit), opened the blinds, turned on lights, and made sure the Girl remained out of the frame. (As an aside, she seems to always be in my frame, whether I intend for her to be in the image or not. How does she know where I’m pointing my camera?)
I post-processed the images, which turned out fairly well. I might want to add a speedlight to the setup for my next shoot (provided I get one) to fill in some of the darker areas of the frame, but I thought the captures were professional-grade. I packed up the frames and sent them to the realtor for review and use.
They took them. The listing went into the MLS system on a Friday night. I received three or four calls Saturday morning about visitors and said “bring them on!”
The first family that walked through the house sat at my dining table and wrote an offer. Their realtor sent the information to my broker and I reviewed the offer that Sunday afternoon. Monday morning I drove down to her office and reviewed the offer with her. “There is nothing here to counter,” she told me. I signed the contract.
Now I wait for the appraisal and inspections to be done. Once that hurdle is past, then the next one will be completion of their financing. They are pre-qualified for the mortgage, so I’m not expecting any problem there.
What then? Well, I am looking at a travel trailer. If my 4Runner can pull it, then I have a small house that will shelter the Girl and me. I have plans to travel to Texas, Missouri, Washington, and Pennsylvania this summer. I have some work to do and that will provide me with a bit of income that will preserve my savings. I plan to travel a bit, spend some time in each place, work with words and cameras, read, and write.
That’s the plan. God will decide whether I make the plan or go in another direction.
So, about that video clip at the top of this entry. We’ve been out and about a lot the last couple of weeks. I’m challenging this old body to walk hard and in the hills. Saturday we walked 6-1/2 miles in the sagebrush. A couple of the hills were tough, but doable. So, Sunday morning we agreed to take a short walk over on the Silver Saddle Ranch. There is a 1-1/2 mile loop that is pleasant, not steep, and visual.
We started down the path and walked to the first break in the trail to the east. Another faint trail lead ahead to a ridgeline that looked interesting. “What do you think?” I asked Older Son. “I’m up for it.”
So we headed that way. One crest led to another and I looked for a path along the Mexican Ditch that would take us back to the 4Runner. I couldn’t see anything on the ground, so I loaded Google Maps on my phone. “We’re about 2,000 feet from Mexican Dam. Want to go there? I think there is a crossing of the ditch at that location, but I can’t remember for sure.”
“I’m up for it,” Older Son said. The Girl said nothing, but gave her approval to go anywhere. So, we stayed on the deer trail.
About 75 yards from the dam, the bank we were sidehilling steepened substantially. There seemed to be a path along the ditch and I headed for that. Unfortunately, it lead into some Desert Peach that was too thick to push through. I looked at Older Son, “It looks like we’ll have to climb.” I started up the bank, which was too steep to walk and had to be climbed. The first handhold of granite I grabbed broke apart in my hand. Everything I grabbed to stepped on disintegrated into coarse sand.
I stopped, looked back at Older Son, “This DG is treacherous. We’ll have to be careful. Or we can go back.” He just smiled back at me. It was a long way back over rough terrain. We were only a few feet from the headgate for the Mexican Ditch and an easy walk back to the 4Runner. I realized that there is a life metaphor in this experience. We had come almost three miles to this point, to find ourselves faced with a few yard of very difficult terrain. How much like life is this… the path is sufficiently challenging, but passable until one comes to a very difficult stretch. Sometimes one can see ahead to the goal, although the crossing is dangerous.
A decision is required — to go forward, to turn to look for another path, or to go back. The path back is difficult, but known. The path ahead is treacherous and getting across is uncertain. The risk of a fall and injury is real. So, what should be done?
I elected to push ahead. I began the process of testing each handhold and foothold before trusting it with my weight. All the calisthenics and walking prepared me for the push up the slope, which really was a climb and required all fours. The Girl scrambled up like a four-wheeler, negotiating the DG without difficulty. Her grace and power were apparent and beautiful. I love to watch her move.
I found a bit of break in slope that permitted a sidehill crossing. We were about 20-feet above the ditch. A fall would have resulted in injury and was not an option. The last ten feet or so were sheer and there would be no stopping or breakfall.
After about 20 minutes we completed the crossing and dropped down onto the path. We backtracked over the headgate to the Mexican Ditch and puttered around the Mexican Dam for half-hour or so. Then we headed back to the 4Runner to return home.
What was intended to be a short walk turned into a five-mile hike and an adventure. The life metaphor of the final few yards to Mexican Dam were not wasted on me. We walked back to the 4Runner, talking part of the way, reflecting part of the time.
When we arrived home, we were all exhausted. The cumulative effect of lots of exercise wore on all of us. We ate a bite of lunch then everyone crashed for a nap. It was a great hike and a wonderful experience.