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  • Writer's pictureKandy Thietten

2 Weeks

It has begun. We're living on the property we bought so we can fix the house. For two weeks, I've been raking leaves any time I'm not helping Abe with other projects - tearing up floors, removing staples and trim, building a wall with a door, and whatever else he needs a second pair of hands for. Both of us are sore, blistered, bruised, cut, and exhausted. And we are both feeling better than I have in a long, long time. I feel like I'm going to the gym regularly again. My blisters are almost healed, my knots are less, and I know that both of us will finish adjusting soon. We got all the flooring up, including the 70 year old carpet that was rotten underneath the newer carpet in the living room and dining room. Scraping that up was a chore. Abe has been cutting out sections of floor that need to be replaced, and he's removed everything from the kitchen, except the beautiful wooden upper cabinets that we are going to keep. Every time I walk inside, I see it in my mind the way it will look when we are finished, and I get a little bit excited.

This little town is amazing. The sign you see driving in sums it up succinctly when it says, "Welcome to Andrews: A Friendly Town". We've had people stop by just to say hi and meet us, multiple neighbors (almost everyone is a neighbor in a town of 2800) have offered to loan us tools if we need them, one even offered to let us borrow his pickup if we need it, and they don't even know us! A different neighbor asked if he could have our bags of leaves (probably 40 or 50 bags so far, mostly 50 gallon industrial trash bags crammed absolutely as full as possible) for bedding for his pigs because there's a cold spell with possible snow in the forecast, and every day people ask us if we have a job for them, whether it's landscaping, hauling stuff to the dump, power washing, or any other odd jobs. I wish we could hire them all, but we need to do as much as possible ourselves, both to save money and for the education we're getting. Abe makes multiple trips to Swinney's, the local hardware store, almost every day to get supplies that we don't know we need until we need them. That place has been wonderful! They've helped us find plumbers, electricians, an HVAC guy, and whomever else we might need. We've also had recommendations from other people. The son of the owner at Swinney's is designing the kitchen cabinets for us.

There have been a few surprises, but nothing too major. Some floors need replaced, the crawl space is almost inaccessible and we'll need to remove all the central air duct work, the laundry room drain goes straight into the yard instead of the sewer, and the water heater was built into the kitchen cabinets. But no surprise would have been the biggest surprise of all, working on a house built in 1953.

Yesterday was Sabbath. It's been a struggle trying to appreciate the Sabbath over the last 10 months because we weren't working, and didn't need a rest day. That's changed now. Friday, I thought it was Thursday all day. When Abe mentioned that it was Friday, it made my day! I love what we're doing, but we're both pretty desperate for a day off when it rolls around, and we know that we require that rest if we want to avoid burnout. We've been to the local SDA church twice. We walked in for the first time, and were a little surprised to be the only white people in the building. I would have thought that I'd feel out of place and like I don't belong, but that hasn't been the case at all. It's a new experience, being a minority (Andrews is about 60% black and 30% white), but it's just a fact on the periphery of my consciousness, not a big deal by any means. The church is small, with just a few families, but it's lovely and welcoming and kind. We're going to like it there, and I look forward to getting to know the members.

* * * * * * * * *

I'm going to lose some people here with the numbers, but I have our budget totals for the year (10 months) that we were travelling. We began this whole thing with a budget of $20,000 in mind. We realized that $25,000 was more reasonable, but I just looked at my spreadsheet and saw I still put in numbers for $20,000, which probably helped us keep our expenses down because we thought we were way more over budget than we really were. We ate out more than I was planning, had more repairs, and of course, fuel skyrocketed. While we weren't going to end the year at $25,000, we were on track for about $30,000, which I don't think is too shabby. While we intended to go an entire year, we've decided that now is a good time to stop tracking, since we're no longer traveling and everything has changed, so I'll share the 10 months that I tracked. Our total for 10 months was.....(drum roll).....$24,477.34!

Click the download arrow on the right if you want to check it out.

RV Budget
Download ODS • 31KB

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