A Most Unreliable Narrator Issue #116 Non-90 Day Fiancé
It’s a rainy Saturday up here in N. Michigan. Our contractor is measuring out all the projects we want to do, and we’ll be emailing him our list in order that’ll fit with him timeline. We’re easily looking at two more years of work (piecemealed) with the end goal of possibly living here full time. Current housing market has everyone’s panties in a twist and if we can fix what we already own (or at least bring it up to date), it’ll be the best option instead of buying a new place.
The back deck is done!
We haven’t lived in a Michigan winter in nearly a decade, but N. Michigan snow is way different then snow farther south. For example, Grand Rapids gets about 80-100” and N. Michigan gets double that. The worst winter was less than a decade ago when N. Michigan got 220” of snow. The U.P. is even worse.
While the cabin is winterized, it’s winterized from 1970s which is to say, not a lot. There are three types of heating that will need to be ripped out with forced air installed. We’re also getting a gas stove as a heating option if we can’t get the crawl space conditioned to get the HVAC unit in.
My idea of just painting the kitchen cabinets and getting new doors has morphed into a whole kitchen gut. I see $$$ dancing on by and our contractor joked that he’s more than happy to take our money. We all laughed and inwardly I groaned. I remind myself this is cheaper than buying a new place but that doesn’t mean it’s not worrisome.
Housing in N. Michigan is at a premium and our cabin, in its current state with the shitty septic and sky-high heating bills, is now worth three times what we paid ten years ago. Someone approached me on Insta, following the local hashtags I tagged the cabin in, to buy sight unseen and in cash. I ignored them but it solidified the insane market rates up here. I’m in a few local FB groups and at least once a day someone is posting about finding long term rentals or buying property in the local counties to be met with derision and scorn. Lots of mocking. Hashtag blessed.
I’ve started establishing local doctors and a vet (something I should have done years ago) so when we make the big move, we’ll be set up. Thursday has her grooming place and we’re doing a meet and greet with a local vet in a few weeks. I found a chiropractor and a sports massage therapist. We just need a local dentist, shrink, and GP and we’re set.
I worry about the winters.
Not just the snow but our moods and lack of access to the bigger city being so far out. We’re 10 minutes from our village and another 10 from the highway that takes us into the city which is another 15 minutes away.
I’m watching the sun rise later and later; the disadvantage of being so far north. By October the sun rises about 8 a.m. and sets around 5 p.m. The cabin is set in a grove of trees so everything feels darker than it probably is. I’m pretty well drugged to handle the long nights up here, I think, but I’m concerned about J and his depression and anxiety. He’s handling it like a champ right now but there may come a time when he can’t. He’s never been suicidal, thank jesus, but we won’t really know until we’ve been up here.
It's a gamble.
When we talk about moving to Europe when he retires, our favorite locations are now on the “maybe” (too far north) list while southern parts such as Spain, southern France and Italy are higher up. Maybe drugs have changed in the next ten years, maybe therapy will be different, and maybe Europe won’t be in turmoil.
Who’s to say?
He’s under the belief that he’ll retire one week and boom! We’ll move the following week. It doesn’t work like that with the borders so restricted to non-EU peoples. Tourist visas work that you can stay 90 days in the EU at a time and then you need to go back to a non-EU country for another 90 days and repeat the process so all told, six months out of the year we can be in EU. This begs the question on what to do during that non-Europe time. We could travel to non-Europe countries or come back to the US. We’ll need to keep a US address for passports and other legalities. I have a friend who finally got their EU passport (they are now living in Sweden) but uses their mom’s Florida address and an address in Michigan for their US passport and driver’s license. I think they also have a US bank account and credit cards.
They don’t like to take chances of being locked out of this great and patriotic country. Amen.
It is now Sunday.
I woke up at 6 a.m. which is not unusual considering I was in bed around 9 p.m.. I played on my iPad for a few hours, got up and went to the village for a coffee, extra shot. The dog rolled out of bed when I got home so I walked her and settled down to write before meeting Kristin at 11 a.m. for our PBS hour.
Yesterday’s rainy and dreary day meant we didn’t do shit above working with the contractor. I snoozed on and off all day, stirring for dinner and the bathroom. I resolved recently there was to be one day on the weekend where I didn’t do shit: no chores, errands, or play dates. This leaves today with a lot of things to do such as small chores around the cabin, a quick shop, and the nursery to get annuals to plant in the pots on the front deck.
I want to construct a butterfly garden next spring and I still need to research what plants and decide on a location where. I thought about putting together a fairy garden on the property, but I don’t think I have the patience to make it worthwhile. Butterfly garden on the other hand, can be self-sustaining and easy once it’s set up. No bird feeders since they attract bears and other wildlife. J claims to have seen deer on the property, we buttress up against conservancy land, and we’ve seen skunks and rabbits. No snakes around here though we’ve seen them on some of the walking trails.
It’s time to make tea and get on with my day. Have a lovely week everyone.
Things I Recently Wrote
What I’m Reading
FINISH A FUCKING BOOK LISA BEFORE STARTING A NEW ONE.
The 7/12 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle An Agatha Christie-esque locked room mystery
Reputation Mean girls with Jane Austen thrown in
Dissolution Lawyer turned sleuth in Tudor England
The Widow Queen 10th C Poland. A princess used as a pawn to form alliances, but she has other plans
Keats: A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph Biography on John Keats
A Curious History of Sex A very skim the top look but highly interesting, history of sex
Glenarvon Byron’s ex-lover was so distraught about their breakup; she wrote a roman à clef about their relationship
Want to see what I’m reading or watching? Check out my list for 2022!
Kiana sent me and J a care package this week.
She turned us on to Grippo’s a few months back and these chips are delicious. I’m not a fan of BBQ chips in general but these chips, omg, are they divine. I think they are a local to Kentuckiana (they are based out of Cincy) so if you find them and you’re a chip person, you need to get your hands on these.
Bring on the fall basic white girl accessories,