Welcome, 2017

An unexpected twist in our plans to move threatened our security. Unexpected kindness bailed us out.

Well, the New Year has arrived. I’m glad it’s here. The past 12 months have been tumultuous.

In February or March of 2016, Keith and I started looking at homes in Yuma, Arizona to buy. Keith said he thought we should buy before the lease on our apartment expired in May. I agreed that Yuma was a good location and that we should buy a home. I thought I would stay in Orange County and work for six months or a year while Keith moved with our belongings to Yuma.

Keith looked at countless homes on Realtor.com and Zillow. Our friends Michael and Nelle looked at each of them for us. They chose the best three and sent us the information we needed to contact a realtor to help us buy.

We made a trip over in April to see the homes and made our selection. We applied for and received approval for a loan through the bank I’ve been doing business with for 30 years.

While packing and sorting, I realized Keith wanted me to go with him to Yuma in May. Which meant wrapping things up at work. Telling Maggie I was retiring early. Giving notice on the apartment. It was a stressful time. Maggie took the news hard.

I applied for and received approval for Social Security starting in June. It looked like everything was falling into place. We were set to move on May 26th – the house would close on or about that date. I thought I had a handle on everything. We had just enough saved for the down payment.

Then the bank called to verify my income. I had retired on April 30 and was honest with the loan officer. The loan fell through. It had never occurred to me that I should wait until after the loan closed to retire.

There we were with a lease that expired on May 27th, no job, no home to go to. I called Nelle in a panic. She said she knew of a home that had just become vacant in Yuma that we could rent. She gave me the number. I called right away. Dale was skeptical about our urgency and wondered why we needed a house immediately.

I explained our situation. He said he usually only rented for the winter. I told him we would need the house year round for about three years. He decided to take a chance on us. We agreed to meet at the house on May 26th. We loaded our belongings in a rented truck and drove to Arizona.

We lucked out – the home is beautiful. Dale is a great landlord. The area is nice and the rent is reasonable. I had a bout with shingles in September as a conclusion to our upheaval. Otherwise, we settled in and are enjoying retirement.

I guess what I’ve learned is that even when I make dumb mistakes, God is ever watching out for us. It will take us about three years to save up enough for a home – the move depleted our savings. But we are safe and healthy. The year ended on a good note. I have faith that 2017 will be a better year than the one just passed.

God is good.

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