When I condense everything that has been going on in the last couple of months, really since I came back from Belize, it seems like I must have been really busy and things are just cooking!
Well, to begin with, it was a bit hectic, getting the new business (Suki & Deluco Tour Company) up and running. And it was a lot of fun, doing that. Organizing and getting permits and licenses and stuff like that... crazy, but I like it! Sure took my mind off the weather and being stuck up here. But things unraveled a bit, or things took a turn, not for the worse, but in a different direction.
In a nutshell, the Tours did not take off as envisioned, and as we (Ryan and me) didn't want to put out a lot of cash, but just to test the waters, we reluctantly let it go. It's a great idea, but needs lots more lead time to build up name awareness through social media and mainstream media. Plus money thrown at it for a van etc.
While this was going on, and realizing that it was going to take more time and funds than either of us was willing to commit, I came to the conclusion that I am done with fighting the loan company about this house, and listed it for sale with Susan. It's a short sale, which means basically no money out of it for me, but I know that this place is not right for me. It's too isolated; the neighbors too weird and I get too lonely down here by myself. And I can genuinely feel no regrets walking away from it. There are just too many memories here, and no matter how much I try, they seep into every part of my day here. Of course, there is always the cat issue that I must handle when I leave. That is the most painful part of the whole thing. "The Boys" have kept me sane during these past few years, but they have also been an anchor, what have kept me here, because I just don't know where I can place these two old boys. But I will cross that bridge once it appears.
The airbnb project is going well, with three guests in July and one for September (provided I am still in the house!) The room is very nice and I have had good comments, so important in that world. But the kitties just decided they are making it their room so have to cover everything! Why they would do that now, who knows!
Along with getting the house ready for potential buyers, I am dreaming about my next big adventure - Belize, here I come. The plan is to get out of here before winter (I refuse to spend another winter here) and go south to explore. And to find the ideal place for Ryan (and possibly a couple of his friends) to buy a property that can be used, while they aren't there, as an AirBnb, while I will have a small cottage on the property and take care of guests. That's the plan, so I am hoping to head down there in the autumn.
It was 16 years since I went to Belize, when I fell in love with the place. When I returned in March this year, I felt the same way. The people, the water, the islands, the jungle all just draw me in to their magic. It's like a part of me that has been lying dormant suddenly reappears! I felt happy, invigorated and alive, as opposed to depressed and old and frumpy here in the PNW! I've given a lot of thought to where I want to live and South Africa still holds my heart strings - but it is SO far away from my boys (the human ones) even though I don't have much contact with Cody. Maybe I can swing it so I spend 9 months in Belize and leave for 3 during mid-summer/rain/hurricane season and go see the family back home in South Africa or come up to the States for a few months. Wouldn't that be cool? Best of both worlds!
With time on my hands, I have hooked up with the stock photo agency Eyeem and have a few images accepted to Getty Images through them, plus hundreds more accepted but not posted yet. Going through literally thousands of images is fun, taking me back through trips from way back, to the beginning of digital! There are several very sparse years when I was married to the maniac who didn't want me to have a camera with me all the time! Now without him (thank the goddess) I have two with me constantly!
My writing has taken a bit of back seat to the photography but I do have a couple of articles that need to be done...soon. I like to keep my hand in so those will get done in the next week or so, plus I need to keep these two blogs going. It's good to get things "down on paper" to clear my head.
Life is just such a changing kaleidoscope! I now have a room mate! Susan has left Dan and moved in, so we are figuring out how to keep the airbnb going and we think the solution (which will only work in the summer) is make a sleeping area in the sunroom. It is so lovely out there in the summer with the long, warm evenings. So we will figure out what we need and go thrift store shopping. For now, she is in the airbnb room as no one is coming for two weeks. But with her awful arthritis, the stairs kill her...
It will be nice to have company here. One of the main drawbacks about this place, for me, has been the loneliness and having her here will alleviate that. We will make the most of the summer here before I head south to be permanently warm!