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Will Work for a Home

The house on St. Simons has been rented since late May and we’ve been staying with friends in Stockbridge while I’ve been working on his house.  We got there and I worked for 14 days putting in a total of 122 hours both on exterior and interior repairs.  I helped the owner install two garage doors, I rebuilt a double exterior door jamb and re-installed the door.  I had to re-side an addition and that included removing all the rotten existing siding and trim before cleaning everything up and installing some new hardiplank sheet siding.

Most notably, I spent about 70 hours remodeling his master bath.  ‘Master’ bath is a stretch, the bathroom is only 5′ by 7′.  Bathrooms are interesting because they are pretty small (in general) but they require a lot of detail in a small area.  I demolished the existing fiberglass tub/shower enclosure, removed all the drywall, removed the linoleum flooring and we installed porcelain and marble tiles, new moisture resistant ‘green’ drywall and wainscotting around the bathroom walls.

I was really hustling to get as much accomplished as I could before my flight to Arizona.  I didn’t want to leave the home owner in a lurch for a couple of weeks until I got back.  The last few nights we late nights.  I had to time the drywall finishing, mortar for the tile, and grout for the tile to be the last tasks for the night so they had time to setup so I could keep working the next morning.

The owner decided to install a claw foot tub in the bathroom and it was promised to be there before I left, but of course it hadn’t even left the factory by the time I was wrapping up.  At least he will have a vanity and toilet until I return to install the tub.

In the end, I made enough cash to pay for the balance of the boat.  I wired the money to the documentation service the day before leaving.  I have enough cash to pay for the immediate expenses related to the closing but not enough for the transportation costs.  That will likely require a couple more weeks of work to make up the difference.

Is it worth it?

I get two common responses when I talk to people about our plans.  Most notably, they all have been polite and no one has come right out and said, “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?”, even though I suspect there are more than a few who think that to themselves.

Sounds like an Adventure

That’s for certain.  We are certainly tapping into unknown territory here.  There is a very fine line between unrealistic expectations and a possible, if not extreme, reality.  An exciting part of this whole endeavor is the stretching of our own experiences and into the unknown.  While nothing ever turns out like we plan, it is our ability to adapt and overcome that is our greatest skill.

I’ve also found that by pushing yourself into unknown territory the most exciting opportunities emerge.  If you do not have a rigid image of self that is defined by a specific occupation or lifestyle some truly amazing opportunities present themselves.

An important note.  Our expectations are not rigidly fixed on one picture of how things are going to turn out.  I’ve found that can only lead to disappointment.  Instead we like to allow for the possibility of MANY different positive outcomes.

For example, if we can get the boat back to Georgia- that’s great!  If the boat ends up staying in Sonora, Mexico and we can live on it part of the year- that’s great!  Maybe we end up sailing the boat south from Mexico through the Panama Canal and up the leeward islands- that’s great!  Maybe this transportation experience will open new doors to offer the same services to the other 1000+ Gemini Catamaran owners out there who want to move their boats overland- that’s great!

Well, it’s certainly never boring.

That’s definitely true.  In lieu of excessive capital all I have to leverage is my skills and my time.  Some would argue that the time value of money formula would point to me working in a position that maximizes my hourly earning to capitalize on my skills and just pay for the services which are not my specialty.  What fun is that?  What do you learn by doing that?  Granted there is less risk, but I want to stretch my skills and experiences to open up to new opportunities that may present themselves.

You can’t win the Lottery if you don’t buy a ticket

This is your life passing you by.  I’d like to ‘do’ as many things as I can while I’m able.  Ironically, the trend seems to be moving the other direction.  More and more people are spending a greater percentage of time indoor,s involved with the internet or television than with real people.

The waters fine.  Kill your television.  Cancel your cable and step outside.  Smell the roses and get outside and take a walk.  I’ll see you there because there only be a few of us outside and we’ll be hard to miss.  That’s OK.  I don’t like crowds anyways.

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4 comments to Will Work for a Home

  • BrokeNotBroken

    I get two common responses when I talk to people about our plans. Most notably, they all have been polite and no one has come right out and said, “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?”, even though I suspect there are more than a few who think that to themselves.

    I will guess that most people you run across will think you are crazy, lazy, or just not thinking things through. I will guess that most do not think about living any differently than everyone else is living. My anecdotal evidence. I just had a conversation with someone that I respect very much. He is 51 and his retirement just got hammered. His viewpoint is that he will now work until he dies as he can’t “afford” to retire. I realized that he probably makes around $150k per year and he has a house with probably $200k in equity. If he had $0 now (which I doubt) and lived off of $50k/year, in 5 years he would have $500k saved (not counting interest). If he then sold his house, he would have $700k in the bank. He would be 56. Then I thought. with $700k what kind of life could he live? How much does it cost to hike the Appalachian Trail? How much would it cost to backpack through Europe? How much to live in Fiji for a year, or sail for a year? With no imagination and lack of willpower to do something differently, I will probably find him still in his cubicle at 56, plugging away at some Excel spreadsheet complaining about how he “can’t” retire.

    Keep the faith my friend, I think you are on the right track.


  • big cheese

    Luckily I think we work too hard for people to think of us as lazy, but crazy and even irresponsible are definite options.

    There’s that old saying- When you stop beating your head against a wall it sure does feel good.

    I feel like that’s exactly what we did. No point in trying to force a square peg in a round hole and we can’t deny that we are not getting any younger. Why continue to beat my head against the wall trying to emulate a concept (retirement) that I have no hope of fulfilling?

    My hypothesis is based on the age old concept that ‘Art is long and life is short’.

    “If we fail now, it will be a failure of imagination.”

  • Davina and Matt

    Congrats on paying off the boat! Glad to hear the gemini worked out for your family. My husband and I are dragging the kids to Jacksonville this weekend to look at a gemini ourselves. Finally found one close enough to GA at a good price that we can make a trip to step foot on one.

    Have two offers on the house, we wouldn’t walk away with a dime but if the bank accepts the offer we can move forward with our dream and right now no amount of money could keep us away…

    Keep up the hard work! Enjoy yourself as much as possible and keep writing the blog….it keeps us inspired! Hopefully we will be on the water soon, too!

    d. and matt

  • big cheese

    Davina & Matt-

    Good News on the house! It’s a tough pill to swallow, but working to tread water for 5-10 years just to catch up from where you stood 2 years ago is a lot of life passing by while you’re healthy and strong.

    Let me know what you think of the Gemini. Especially since you have kids as well, it will be interesting to hear you’re perspective.

    Thanks for the support!