A few more details are beginning to fall into place. God continues to be extremely good to us.
Steve and I took off in the Buick on Tuesday morning for a day. We thought it would be a good change of scenery and a chance to cross a couple things off our "to-do list". We felt like we were kind of becoming my parents for the day, in a fun way. We stopped at McD's for a sausage muffin with egg -- something to supplement the rice krispie treat we'd had with our coffee much earlier. We don't normally do McDonald's, but my parents find healthier things to eat there, so we tried that. Then we headed over to our Title Company to drop off some initial information papers we'd filled out and signed. Then a brief stop at Goodwill to unload some items from the back of the Buick. It wouldn't be fun to listen to rattling all the way to the coast and back! Finally, we were off.
First stop -- McMinnville. We wanted to check out the RV parks there. The first one was the Wine Country RV Park, or something like that. It was the biggest and looked great online. Not too great in person though. I think they lied. It was supposed to have rules about not having junk piled around your RV, and they couldn't be older than 10 or 15 years, etc. The reason for those kinds of rules have to do with the limited storage in RVs. Some smaller trailers just aren't built for living. Subsequently, owners might be inclined to pile things around their trailer, under tarps or not. The next thing you know, you have a junky looking RV park. The trailer age limit is more concerned with appearing well-maintained. We found, to our dismay, that there were several run-down, junk piled trailers in the park. It was contrary to everything they showed online. This led us to a quick retreat - and on to the next, smaller, park.
From McMinnville, we drove toward the coast, vectoring off on hwy 22 to avoid a few miles added by driving into Lincoln City and then heading up hwy 101 to Tillamook, our destination. The road was one of those less-used, a bit more curvy roads, but probably did save us a good chunk of time, which was rapidly going by.
We arrived in Tillamook around 1:30ish, and then drove toward Netarts to find Homebase Oregon Mail Forwarding Service's location. I'd called ahead to make sure we could check out the facility which could potentially be handling our mail forwarding needs. We knew we were to get to Netarts, and then turn left at the Sea Lion. We assumed it would be a statue, a sign, or something - but obviously, how could we miss it? Apparently it was quite possible, as we were headed out of Netarts before we realized it.
We turned the car around and headed back to town intent on figuring out the mystery of the Sea Lion. There it was! A small, blue, old motel called the Sea Lion Motel. Why is it that those old little motels always seem to be painted blue? We turned in to their parking lot, and sat there. Having no clue where the building we were look for was. An older gentleman was walking across the parking lot. I rolled down my window and asked if he lived in the area? He asked "What?". I repeated, "Do you live here?" He said he had lived here for 65 years. I told him I was betting he'd know the answer to our questions then. He thought he probably would. We told him what we were looking for, and he pointed over the parking lot to a manufactured home. He said he'd tell Kathy we had arrived.
We parked at the motel, which turned out to be owned by Kathy, and headed through a gate and down the steps to the manufactured home. There sat Kathy, having a cigarette break on the front porch of this older run down manufactured home. She was probably 5 feet tall -- if that -- and hunched over. I'd guess her to be about 70-75 years old. It was clear she was probably a chain smoker by the look of her weathered skin. She asked if she could finish her cigarette first? We agreed. She explained she owned the motel and the mail forwarding service. Finally, the operation of a mail forwarding service was clear. It was really quite simple. She collects and holds your mail in a cardboard box on a shelf until you call and tell her what you want done with it, or she'll process it regularly, if you choose that option. She had a postage machine, a computer with a good sized monitor, and various envelopes and postage paid cardboard envelopes. Very straight forward. Perhaps too straight forward for our comfort level.
I waited until we returned the car to say I didn't think we'd be having our mail forwarded to this service. Kathy was a very nice lady, and had things well organized. However, she didn't have anybody she was working with. She said she's always there, and if not, has an answering machine. However, with the exception of a daughter she said would step in, there were no backups. Also, no security. Everything was out in the open. Obviously, she'd had no problems so far, but it was just beyond our comfort level.
We headed back home via Hwy 6. It was a mixed day. What I thought would be a nice break for us, while checking off a couple action items, just didn't accomplish it all. Also, it didn't seem to be a break. We received phone calls from the finance guy at Camping World, and Good Sam RV Insurance, just keeping things moving and providing quotes. We're realizing what a huge change of life we are dealing with. So much going on, and no relief.