It’s Time for the Next Chapter
"Rumors fly and you can’t tell where they start, ‘specially when it comes to a person’s heart…" -Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Well, the rumors are flying!
Friends here in town and even down south have been peppered with calls. “Are Fay and Bonnie moving?” “Are they running away in the RV?” “Are they going to live at Jellystone Park with Yogi Bear?”
NO!!! We are NOT leaving Rehoboth. That would break our hearts. But the rumor mill has been churning ever since we began a hunt for the perfect retirement dwelling. You know what they say in this town—don’t worry if you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else will.
Or guess, fabricate, or surmise. So here’s the real story.
Where once we (the Royal WE) enjoyed gunning our pet riding mower over turf on the homestead, we no longer feel the thrill. We do feel the sciatica. We are sick of paying to open and close the watering system, when we could be using those funds at our favorite watering hole. Personally, we resent spending our Mixx money on mulch.
So recently, we woke up, smelled the Starbucks, and saw the forest for the trees. Trees, I might add, we lovingly planted in 1999 when this place was the Little House on the Prairie. By this time they’re a threat to the roof. So after 14 years of mulching, pruning, watering, feeding, and otherwise giving aid and comfort to the greenery, I had to kill them. It was enough to make me want to chug Round-Up.
And we got sick of spending the equivalent of several Blue Moon tasting dinners just to recoat the driveway every year. Likewise money spent on crawl space ventilation, and weed whacker string. Uncle!!!!! So it’s time to put yard work and exterior maintenance out to somebody else’s pasture. We’re going to downsize, or as the PR flaks say, “rightsize.”
It’s been 18 years since we first docked in Dewey in our floating home. News of our arrival was detailed in the pages of this magazine, and every move we’ve made since then has been documented here as well. From the boat to a condo, then a second condo and finally to our house along Old Landing Road. Then came the RV as an additional guest cottage.
So it’s time for the next chapter. For a brief shining moment we considered coming full circle, renting a slip in Dewey and living aboard a boat again. But we came to our senses. Leaping on and off a rocking boat on a windy night was a challenge when we were in our forties, but now we’d have to line the dock with granny grab bars and still risk an occasional cold bath. Besides, the gentle roll of the boat that used to lull us to sleep, will now just exacerbate reflux. The final nail in the gangplank was picturing three a.m. pee breaks, perched on a moving target. No thanks.
Okay, so where could we live, keep the trappings and privacy of a single family home but avoid mowing and mulching? After much mulling and financial planning, we decided to sell our house and buy a manufactured home. A linear estate. A mobile home that stays put. Once we sell our house, we will be moving to the beautiful resort community of Aspen Meadows, still here in Rehoboth Beach.
Oh, I know the jokes. You might be trailer trash if: the Salvation Army declines your furniture; you offer to give someone the shirt off your back and they don’t want it; you have the local taxidermist on speed dial; you come back from the dump with more than you took; or you have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say “Cool Whip” on the side.
Well, the truth is, you may be ripe for a manufactured home if you want a place where your annual tax bill is lower than dinner for two (seriously); your deed is registered at the DMV (honest); there are gorgeous cherry trees and pretty landscaping all over and you don’t have to mow it, mulch it or feed it; you have a pool and exercise room without needing a gym membership; and finally, you can lock the door and travel without a care in the world.
So that’s the plan. Our new home will be Base Camp Rehoboth so we can enjoy the beautiful months here at home and travel in the RV when there’s ice and snow on the boardwalk.
Not that the transition will be easy. The new place is tiny. The office where columns like this will be written is so small (how small is it?) you need to go out in the hall to change your mind; you put a key in the door lock and break a window; you trade your desktop computer for a laptop. And for that matter, does anybody reading this want a gorgeous roll top desk? It won’t fit through the door.
So the task before us, unlike the new house, is huge. We have to downsize; de-accessorize and pick our way through 14 years of accumulated possessions. How did we collect all this? The Mother of All Yard Sales (Part I) will be June 22 on our driveway at Sea Side Drive. By then we will have made painful decisions about what small amount to keep and what to let go.
Come check out the furniture, framed stuff, and great bargains. And for that matter, if you want a beautiful four bedroom, single floor, much-loved home, and you are young enough to mow and mulch or can pay somebody else to do it, call Allen Jarmon at RE/MAX.
The next great adventure begins. I pray we will come through the move with a place that looks less like Sordid Lives and more like a sophisticated boutique hotel suite. We shall keep you posted.
In the meantime, you might be manufactured home material if you want a house where you can party on and let the good times roll without using all your disposable income for lawn and yard waste bags. I’m ready.
Fay Jacobs is the author of As I Lay Frying—a Rehoboth Beach Memoir; Fried & True—Tales from Rehoboth Beach; and For Frying Out Loud—Rehoboth Beach Diaries. Contact Fay Jacobs