20. September 2013 · Comments Off on Cutting the Tie · Categories: Ain't That America?, Local, Veteran's Affairs

Well, that’s it – the escrow on the hillside acreage near Julian, California, that I bought and about 1986 with an eye towards eventually building the retirement house on – the escrow on the sale of it closes today, and I should have a large part of the payment hitting my bank account very soon. I’ve just about broken even on it – which considering a number of factors – is passing miraculous. There was no electrical power on it, and the purchaser will have to have a well dug, the real estate market in California continues sort of rocky, the pine bark beetle in the 1990s killed the pine trees on it, and the fire that raged through in 2003 burnt the oaks to a charcoal crisp … I talked to a friend of Mom and Dad’s who went up to the place shortly afterwards and said that it looked not just like Hell, but the seventh circle under the Pit. There were deep holes all over, where the oak roots had burned out and the whole hillside looked as if it had been basically scalped.

But the fire did clear away a lot of undergrowth, and the buyer and the realtor say it looks rather pleasant now; the brush and young oak trees are coming back, and the view is astonishing – you can see all the way to Oceanside, practically. That’s the bit that I do regret now … the view. But I’d never be able to afford to build anything on it bigger than a garden shed. The buyer is really keen, serious and can afford it – and besides, it was the first solid offer to come along in the three years since I put it on the market. Save for the family, that’s the last tie holding me to California. If I read the news right, getting out and breaking even is a damn fortunate thing, considering.

And I’ve only visited the place once. Better to sink funds from the sale into an acre or so of the Hill Country. And into fixing some of the things on this present house … which to be honest, I sorely need to do; replacing the craptacular contractor-grade HVAC system for one and the equally craptacular contractor-grade windows for another. The business that I am a partner in is here, and it is picking up even as my partner’s health deteriorates. She’s in her eighties, after all – and deliberately brought me in to train me up in small subsidy-press publishing and editing. I’ve written six books set in Texas, and am about to write one more, I have friends and associations here … so why not declare absolutely for the Lone Star once and for all?

Still, a bit of a wrench, this last bit of letting go. As much as it was selling the VEV – although, paperwork wise, a hell of a lot more complex. Which is one more reason to be at least a little relieved at seeing the end of it.

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