Sunday, December 5, 2010

three weeks out

Well as of today, it’s three weeks until we depart for Los Angeles International Airport, with luggage, carryons, and three animal carriers. In two weeks from today, we will have a 20 foot container dropped off on our driveway with two days to load it. Today Cindy is picking up our renewed year long Visa’s, and we’re getting really close to critical point on a lot of fronts. We have a portion of our items inventoried and packed for the container, another third is in the garage awaiting being photographed and packed, and then the remainder is in the house breeding in cabinets. I fully expect to be surprised by the amount of unaccounted for items. I’m really not worried though, as when the container is filling up we will weed out the least needed items, we already have pruned our belongings to essentials.
We have revised and re-revised our plan for months on end, from renovating for the Gites, to renovating the house to have a couple rooms to let as a bed and breakfast, then doing the renovations for the Gites the following year. The budget has been an interesting cornucopia of numbers throughout this process, ebbing and flowing as the plan evolves and the housing market continues its freefall. We have fine tuned our financial exposure to the point where Cindy and I can talk on the phone and quote the different item costs on the three page spread sheet from memory. I think I am at the point where my biggest focus is on what has to be done prior to the container showing up, the animals have their required shots and implanted microchips, we have loads of packing material in part thanks to our new neighbors that just arrived from the Ivory Coast. I am still working for the same company that I was employed by when we left for France for four months last year; it’s hard to stay focused when my heart is elsewhere, but they have been so good to me that I maintain a high level of quality.
We still have our cars to sell, find good renters for the house in Topanga, celebrate Caleigh’s fourteenth birthday, slog through Christmas, ho, ho, ho. And to top it off the equity loan is slowly finalizing itself, we still have the little battles like the value of our house via the appraiser, where he got his values from was a complete fiasco, and the comps were from another community, so that affected the loan amount. The required amount we need for this little endeavor will require the loan supervisor to relook at the comps we submitted, and hopefully jog the amount upward a little. But anything worth having is worth fighting for, we have our sights focused on the life we want and I think we will get there with a lot of effort and a little luck.
Cindy just called and told me that when we applied for the year long Visa renewal and the original visa extension permit, they approved the Visa extension permit. That is quite a bit of good news, as we can hopefully then apply for the Carte de sejour (yearlong resident visa)have the local Marie (mayor) stamp it to renew it annually, which is much easier than going to the Prefectionaire and resubmitting reams of documents, that all have to be less than 3 months old. Ever try getting an original copy from Maine of a birth certificate then have it sent to France, sure it was surprisingly easy from California, but I can’t even imagine the process from overseas.
As I said it will take a lot of effort and a little bit of luck, just like life.

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