After I retired on January 29, 2016, we spent as much time as we possibly could down in Ocean City! As I mentioned in Part 9, we no longer traveled on the weekends, and if we had to go back to Mineola, we did so during the week. We’d spend a day or two at a time in Mineola, and then run back to Ocean City. Unfortunately, my salary stopped about mid March, and carrying two houses without a paycheck became a bit of a juggling act. To be successful, that juggling act necessitated taking funds from one of my 401K accounts on a pretty regular basis. That would be our MO for the next year plus.
Back in Ocean City, we spent the most time we had at the house since we’d bought it back in 2005. We saw winter turn into spring, and spring turn into summer. We enjoyed warm temps and empty streets, and as the calendar moved on, even warmer temps and crowded streets. We sat on our front porch and saw Ocean City go from a town of 15,000 to a town of 250,000! We loved every minute of it, and resented when we had to return to Long Island!
As I mentioned, the Summer of 2016 was the last time we rented out the house, and that was because starting in late August, we were going on our Bucket List trip in the United States. We knew we’d be gone for several months, and figured why not get a last bit of income from the house, before we moved on to our next chapter. Early in August of that year, we packed up our “stuff” in the Ocean City house for the last time, and prepared for a 5 week rental we’d secured. We’d been very lucky during our 11+ years of renting, to have some very nice folks join the 854 Pennlyn Family, but packing up our “stuff” before rental season, was not something we loved doing. This year, perhaps because we’d been living in the house since the preceding fall, it seemed even worse than ever! Knowing, however, that this would be the last time we’d do it, we got the job done. When the check for the 5 week rental went into our bank account, it was worth it!
The following are some of the lovely comments from folks who rented from us over the years.
After being on Long Island for a couple of weeks preparing, on August 22, 2016, Susie and I embarked on a trip that we’d talked about forever, been planning for years, and now was reality! In the next 2 months, we drove just under 10,000 miles and saw things as divergent as the Spam Museum and Mount Rushmore. From the Grand Canyon to a two week cruise in the Caribbean with son Kenny, we loved each and every minute of it. You can find our exploits on this website starting in August, 2016 in the archives. (https://rnewadventures.com/2016/08/22/our-big-adventure-day-one/)
When we got home from this epic trip, we needed a couple of days to regroup, but we were anxious to see how the Ocean City house had faired, and to claim it as our own forever! We traveled down to OC and got the house back to normal and settled in. It was always a pain after a rental to put everything back in its proper place and to switch out the rental items for the ones we used. This time we were happier, knowing we’d never have to do the job again, however, the job was even bigger because now we were going to make two houses one! After 11 years of having something in Mineola and a similar thing in Ocean City, now our task was to decide which was better and what was disposable.
Back when my Mom died, we’d had a company come in and run a Tag Sale at her house in Bayside. That was the plan we had in our mind for our home in Mineola, so our first task we decided was to get stuff from Mineola and exchange it with stuff in Ocean City. For months, every time we traveled down to Ocean City, we did so with a trunk full of boxes of items we wanted in Ocean City. Every return trip, the trunk was again loaded with boxes of stuff from Ocean City that we were bringing back to Mineola for the tag sale. This continued through the winter and into the spring, until we’d gotten rid of all the stuff we had for renters to use in Ocean City, and had all the items that we deemed belonged in Ocean City either at the house or in our storage unit. This included more than one trip of Christmas items, once we were done with our last Christmas in Mineola (December, 2016). The back and forth took up most of the winter and spring of 2017, including a trip in the late spring when we rented a commercial van and transported several pieces of furniture.
By early June, we were ready to contact the Tag Sale lady, and make arrangements. In the years since she’d done the sale at my Mom’s house, her business had grown and the times had changed. She came over one day, looked at everything we had, and said that it was too small for her to take on. She continued to burst our bubble when she said that we were just two of millions of Baby Boomers who were downsizing, and NOBODY wanted our furniture, dishes, silverware, or many of the other possessions we thought were salable! Yikes!! She did however refer us to a smaller concern, that she felt sure could help us.
Susie contacted the other lady and arranged for her to come to the house, and check out what we had for a sale. We were hopeful that she would be the answer to our problem, but alas, she too said we didn’t have enough stuff for a tag sale, and repeated much of what the first woman had told us, regarding our furniture, dishes, silverware, and being part of the Baby Boomer generation. She did however gives us the name of a guy that she used to empty out houses, so we did now have a last resort. Susie then tried calling charities about our furniture, only to verify what we’d been told….too many Baby Boomers were getting rid of things, and even the charities couldn’t use them!
At this point, we had a real “If we’d only known then what we know now moment”, as we thought back to all those trips from Ocean City to Mineola with the boxes that were now filling our back porch! We had spent so much time packing boxes with items we no longer needed in Ocean City, and transporting them back to Mineola for a Tag Sale that was never going to happen. If we’d known this months earlier, we would have disposed of them in Ocean City and saved a lot of effort! Oh well, live and learn!
But all was not lost! I was able to call Vietnam Veterans and get rid of a lot of those boxes we’d transported from Ocean City. Much of it was kitchen items, which was something on their list of needed items. We loaded the front porch of the house one day, and the next day a truck came and collected at least 20 boxes. We realized we probably could have done the exact same thing in Ocean City, but at least some of it was going to folks who could use it! As I said, live and learn!
Next time…we sell the Mineola house, and officially make Ocean City our permanent Residence!