Life has suddenly become a blur!  I think we broke a record for military efficiency and speed! 

Here is what is ‘supposed’ to happen to get ready for a PCS move, based on my understanding….First, you hear rumors of a new assignment. Secondly, you get a RIP, which is basically a form with all the needed data about the active duty member, his dependents, his current assignment, and the details of the new assignment.  The RIP is supposed to be sent 3-6 months prior to a PCS.  The active duty member signs the RIP, which is then processed through a chain of folks and departments.  Eventually, typically several weeks after he has signed it, a department creates the official “orders” paperwork that allows for the move itself to take place.  Ideally, the member then has around 90 days to go through his list of tasks that are required when leaving any station.  Realize things can change at any time, but as a general rule, the RIP means things are certain, while the orders confirm.  For example, you never go house-hunting until you have  RIP, because you want to be certain.  But you never sign a contract until you have the orders, to make it more definite. 

So yesterday, I posted about our current status about being at a standstill.  I was “looking” for a house at our new assignment, but we couldn’t take the trip because we had no RIP, and nothing in my search was looking good.  I was frustrated, as they have been promising us a RIP since November!!  Now, we are supposed to be moving in about 6 weeks, there are tons of things to do to prepare, and I could hardly do anything. 

That has all changed now!  Yesterday afternoon, we got the RIP!  We were both thrilled, because it meant things were starting to happen.  I was up into the late hours of the night reserving a rental truck, ordering packing supplies, and S and I finalized all our dates for house-hunting and leaving.  We also discussed our back-up plans in the event we can’t find a house during our trip.  I also sent an e-mail to a realtor I have been in contact with regarding a little piece of property for sale. 

Since I got up this morning, I have had about 10 e-mails from the realtor regarding the property, which I will describe momentarily.  Better yet, though, we got our ORDERS!!  I can’t believe it–RIP to orders in less than 24 hours!!  Because we have medical issues, there is more paperwork involved that we can now work on.  S and I have been burning the candle at both ends this morning!   Thank the Lord I have such independent and responsible kids, as it really pays off on days like this!  Things are happening, and they are happening fast now!   The countdown has truly begun!

So about that property I found….I hadn’t seen it before because it was out of our budgeted price range.  I decided to increase the “search” budget by $5000, figuring we could always try to negotiate.  That is when I discovered this parcel.  It is in a PERFECT location for S to continue biking to work, meaning we won’t have to buy a car and all that goes with it.  It is in a beautiful forested area with huge evergreens all around.  It is about 2.5 acres, with no covenants, which means we can have critters to our hearts’ content!!!  Dispersed throughout the trees are little open areas of beautiful green grass that would be perfect for grazing a few critters.  It has an amazing pole barn all set up, complete with interior heat, concrete floors, and upstairs rooms for….ummm….whatever!  The barn is huge with lots of room to set up little winter goat stalls or kidding stalls, an indoor chicken coop for the worst of weather, rabbit cages, and S could still have lots of room for a workshop or whatever else we can dream up.  All the utilities, septic, water rights, etc, are good to go!  Could this be any better?! 

OK, so there is one catch–kind of an important one.  We may be camping for a while.  You see, there is a 3 bedroom, 600 sq. ft. or so single wide mobile home on the lot, but we aren’t yet sure if it is in livable or safe condition.  It has a couple of unpermitted (we think) additions built on.  Even if it is liveable, it will need to be replaced ASAP.  There are also a couple of permitting issues, but those seem easy enough to handle.  If the seller is willing to negotiate the price of the land, then we should be able to save enough additional within a few months to buy a new manufactured home.  We will just have to practice living simply and somewhat rustic–ally for a while.  Terri, you want to come show me how to build an outhouse? 😉

I was trying diligently to not get excited at this prospect, but I think I am going to give up on that.  It is everything I could have asked for and more (not counting the whole house thing, but didn’t I say I wasn’t picky?!)  So, at this point, the realtor has offered to go inspect it a bit closer for us, take some more photos, and then we see what the next step would be.  This could go so many ways at this point.  The whole thing could completely fall through before it ever gets started, we could put an offer in and the seller not accept it, and who knows what else?  We would literally be spending nearly every saved penny we have if this were to go through, and it would be with faith that we would have a decent home by winter (which can be brutal and long in that area).  A lot of what-ifs and unknowns right now. 

At this point, I am just praising God that the paperwork has all come through, and I am praying for a great deal of wisdom in this decision on a house…particularly on this house that we are interested in.  God always knows best, but I fear that my emotions and desires for animals might interfere with general common sense and practicality.  I don’t want that to happen, but the more excited I get at the idea of this place, the more unstable my emotions become!   I’ll keep you posted.