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  • Writer's pictureChristy

What If...

Two weeks ago, my husband and I were coming back from dinner in the dark. As we turned onto the familiar side street in the direction of home, a flash of turquoise caught my eye in the headlights. I pulled over to gander at the collection of items set out for bulk trash. The most promising treasures were two wooden spools painted the same shade of teal as our new Adirondack chairs. Ryan and I looked at each other.

"Do you think this is here for the taking?" he asked nervously, scanning the area as if we were thieves on the prowl.

"I'm sure it's out for bulk trash," I reassured him, and we loaded the two spools into the back hatch of my Subaru. We even looped back after dropping them at home to see if the small grill was worth salvaging (it was trash for a reason).

On Friday, as I drove by that house once again, I noticed the for sale sign out front. I understood then why a mound of discarded items was sitting on the curb. When I got home, I looked up the list price of the house. These days, my husband and I are on a constant market watch to estimate our own home's value. What caught my eye when I pulled up the property map, however, wasn't this home, but the several for sale for what seemed like steals.

It set my wheels turning. More than once, we've contemplated selling our house for top dollar and moving to a smaller one, or even (half jokingly) out to the camper. What if, I thought to myself, we could sell our house and cut our mortgage in half with one of these smaller homes? We could save money and downsize at the same time. I filled out an instant offer from Open Door and was pleasantly surprised by the value we'd receive for our home; plenty to pay off our Hamilton property and other debts, leaving us to start saving more for our hobby farm dream.

I texted my neighbor, thinking my harebrained idea would be met with ridicule. "Do it!" was her response. So then I texted my husband, expecting even more resistance. "I like it!" he quickly texted back. Was I the only one whose "logical" brain was ready to poke holes in this plan? And almost instantly, I did. With it just one street over, I toured one of the small listings, only to learn wood rot and other potential hurdles would mean cash offers would be the only way around an appraisal (of which there were several already, the tour assistant informed me). Ah well, I thought, the dream was nice while it lasted.

That evening, on our drive to the land, my husband posed an alternative: what if we sold the house and moved to an RV park, purchasing a new, larger camper to live in full time? Knowing where his power of persuasion would lie, he reminded me that this new camper would be another source of lodging for my future retreat dream. Once again, I crunched the numbers. With lower monthly park rental, we stood the chance to march toward our hobby farm dream at an accelerated pace. But...the space, or lack of it. The more excited he grew about this idea, the more nervous I became. I thought of my Brave Kind/writing nook, my morning routine space, and most importantly, my yoga mat. Then I realized, this dream is nothing if we aren't in it together.

On Saturday, still hemming and hawing over the idea, I cued up a yoga sequence on "clarity" in my online studio. As I worked my way through the poses, including the challenging, twisty, eagle pose, I couldn't help but tune in to the chorus of birdsong surrounding me. The overcast day created the perfect ambient temperature, with cool breezes tickling my face. Everything unrelated to this space, this future home, fell away.

When I went back inside to find a journal for an online meeting of my yoga studio, I flipped through several papers tucked between the pages. One of them listed out several calculations, aptly titled "move now"and "move 5 yrs." The "move now" scenario noted "list in May" and "stretch carpet" as next steps. These weren't, however, the numbers I crunched on Friday. The worksheet was from two years ago, when Ryan was miserable at his job and we debated moving to Hamilton full time, me working remote and commuting to the airport. The timing, both of finding the worksheet and the timing the exercise was completed two years ago, seemed impeccable. We even have an appointment for new carpet to be installed in the bedrooms on May 19th, a decision made weeks ago.

I have no idea what the next few weeks will bring. Several things must fall into place for the numbers to work out. There are still plenty of pros and cons to weigh before committing to such a massive downsize (an ornery, sixty-pound dog being one of them). What I do know is that, just like I learned in early recovery, God will bless or block this decision as long as I ask for guidance. So far, it seems as though the trail of clues, from a simple discarded table to a two-year old worksheet, are pointing us in the direction of our dreams.

"Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today." -Benjamin Franklin

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