We have been through quite a few changes over the past couple of months.
To sum up: after nearly 30 years of living in our dream home in the woods we are leaving Morgantown.
We knew this day would come but it kinda snuck up on us.
But, why move from our Hornbeck Haven?
Over the years much has changed out on our road and in the Morgantown area.
Most would call these changes "progress". We call it a f*cked up mess. Uncontrolled and unregulated sprawl, dangerous road conditions, traffic congestion, ATV and dirt bike noise and the threat of development right on our doorstep made us realize Morgantown had out grown us. Time to move on...
When our decision to move became mutual we then had to decide where we were going to go. This was not easy. Neither Betsy or I wanted to move someplace totally new to us. A place where we knew no one and we were strangers to the lay of the land.
After some chewing over, a place popped in my head which then seemed obvious: Wheeling WV which is just 90 miles north of Morgantown.
The George H and Jane Breiding family is from Wheeling originally. The 8 of us lived there from 1950 to 1963 and then moved to Morgantown when my father was offered a job at WVU.
Many years later in 1980 Betsy and I had our first date in Wheeling and there shared our first kiss.
We returned to Wheeling many times during the course of our marriage to hike in Oglebay Park, ride the Rail Trail and visit with friends.
Although Wheeling has been on the down turn for many years there is now evidence of a renaissance of sorts. Old run down neighborhoods are being resettled and revitalized. Stable neighborhoods like Woodsdale continue to show signs of prosperity and owner pride.
Now Wheeling was looking like our next place to call home. But where in Wheeling? We started scouring the real estate sites on the web. I felt to make the transition easier a rural/suburban area might be the best choice.
But we could not find a good match in our price range and we missed several places which would have been good.
At some point we realized moving to a rural/suburban area would and/or could have some of the same issues we had in Morgantown: having to get into a car to go anywhere and also the threat of incompatible development on any adjacent lands. Most places we looked at had the latter. So, no dice - we would need to go urban and we chose Woodsdale, a turn of the century neighborhood which is part of the Woodsdale-Edgewood Neighborhood Historic District.
After we decided Woodsdale was where we wanted to settle we started house shopping.
Initially we looked at houses which were very low cost and fixer-uppers. But they proved too daunting and we knew it would be a time consuming project to get any of them in what we considered livable condition.
We did more house shopping, this time looking at places which were in "move in" condition.
One house on S. Park kept us coming back for second and third and fourth looks but it was more than we had planned to spend. But, it had a lot going for it and we decided to pursue it.
While on yet another house hunt in Woodsdale we called the owner of the house on S. Park on the spur of the moment and soon were doing a walk through and poking in all the nooks and crannies.
The house and lot had much of what we were looking for and only minor drawbacks.
To make a long story not much shorter we decided to take the plunge and after several days of thinking it over we made the owners an offer. They countered with a compromise price which we accepted.
The closing of the sale was scheduled for November 13th. When that morning rolled around we got a cash offer on our house in Morgantown. We could scarcely believe the timing.
On November the 18th we closed the deal on our house and Hornbeck Haven now has a new owner.
On November the 22nd we moved most of our stuff to Wheeling. What didn't make it would stay in the storage building courtesy of the new owner. Whew!
Now that we have closed on our new house and sold our old house it is time to go "house" shopping once again. This time it will be in Tucson and our house will be a trailer in Tucson Estates.
The timing could not have been better!
Now we can start planning for our 6 months in the Appalachians and 6 months in the Sonoran Desert.
As they say out here in the Land of the Snow Birds, "Life is Good".
Until next time...
Mike and Betsy