Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Irreconcilable Differences Part 1


Click on image for source.

Click on image for source.

I realized last night that I need to update the details on one of my posts where I report that I’ve moved 17 times. It’s now 18.

You see, yesterday was the eight-month anniversary of our move to Cobalt.

“Man, that was a lot of work,” said Reiner this morning when I reminded him of the date. “I don’t want to do that again.”

I held my tongue.

Even if you’ve moved only once, you are familiar with the challenges and stresses that come with real estate deals, bankers, lawyers… and spouses.

To say that our experience was a roller-coaster ride of emotions is an understatement. Care to join me as I reminisce?

At first, we were over the moon with our decision to retire. We were giddy with excitement as we drove up to Cobalt to shop for a new house. Within the first three weeks we prettied up and sold our Paris house and purchased the new one up north. The speed with which the real estate transactions completed left us breathless and overwhelmed, and, of course, grateful.

We met with the bank to discuss bridge financing should the closing dates not jive. We also discussed carrying a mortgage and investing the rest. “I should have an answer for you in the next two/three days,” said our banker. This was early in April. Ten days from the May 31 closing, and after multiple emails and an equal number of phone messages, the mortgage guy FINALLY replied. “Oh. Sorry, we cannot help you.” Suffice to say I am overjoyed that Scotia Bank will no longer profit by our relationship.

In the meantime, our lawyer in Paris worked on both ends of the real estate transaction. He called early in the process about a concern: the mining company that owned the mineral rights to our Cobalt property could, any day, rightfully demand that we relocate so that they could dig for minerals.

I was familiar with surface and mineral rights and I told him that I was not concerned, but that I appreciated his due diligence. What he said next sent me for a loop.

“We cannot complete the purchase.”

I may have laughed. You know, one of those outbursts when you are caught off guard.

This is where my mining studies paid off. I took a deep breath and told him that yes, that is true. A mining company can rightfully demand that we relocate, but they also must reasonably compensate us. Besides, it’s a moot point. Silver bullion prices would have to quadruple before a mining company would consider developing a deposit. At current prices, we are sitting on waste rock, not ore.

I may have growled. “We are OK with this,” I said. “Please proceed with the purchase of the house.” Then, a deeper growl. “I insist.”

As part of the sale of the Paris house, we agreed that the buyers could stop in for two inspections. That somehow morphed into at least a half-dozen visits to measure and study and to walk the yard to learn the lay of the land. They brought their toddler, their parents and in-laws and contractors along, too. After each visit we braced ourselves for the next round of questions and concerns. I grumbled that I would start charging them rent.

All of these were minor glitches, however, compared to the irreconcilable differences between husband and wife. Yes, I use that divorce terminology deliberately.

He insisted on moving our household items on his own. A three-story house, with a basement loaded with stuff and a two-car garage loaded with stuff and several sheds also, you know, LOADED WITH STUFF.

I tried my best to resist, to convince him that it was a bad, bad idea.

Stay tuned for Part 2 wherein tempers are lost, mountains are made into mole hills (and vice versa) and the truck remains upright.

***   ***   ***

Inspired by the Daily Post : Resist

Categories: Husband


37 replies

  1. Oh, how interesting! I hope you have a happy ending. 😀 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah yes, the trials and tribulations of moving. If I do that again, it will probably be to join my daughter wherever she happens to be, most likely overseas, which means I will have to divest myself of most of my belongings. That could be a difficult task, but then I think of the freedom of fewer possessions!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The only time moving is fun…is never.

    It gets close to fun when someone else wants you to move, and they are willing to foot the bill for a moving company to come, pack all your stuff, load it into the truck, and drop it off at the new location.

    It happened once, to my Dad, when I was a teenager – so I got to move without having to actually ‘move’ anything…although I did have to unpack my room.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maggie, you got me thinking how many moves I’ve made in a lifetime. 23, and only 5 of them as a kid! Some were do it yourself moves that I never want to repeat. I can relate to your last paragraph where tempers were lost, etc. I’m planning another move in 2 years which will again bring the house down (not by me). I’ve reminded Mr. Significant Other that he has 2 years to organize his years of accumulated “stuff” and sell most as he won’t have a designated music studio in the smaller, less expensive place! (laughing) I’ve threatened it will be a “tiny” house.” (Sq ft range 200- 500). One of our rentals was 480 sq ft, and we were HAPPY. 🎶 Christine

    Liked by 3 people

    • 23! Oh my word, I feel faint! 😉

      Those tiny homes sure do look good on paper! (Not to mention the tax and utility bill paper that goes along with!)

      Good idea giving Mr. SO plenty of lead time. I hope you’ve planned some follow-up dates for reminders!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve looked, and drooled, over the tiny home movement – I’m practically in love with the entire idea!

      Sadly, My very own Mr. Squidnificant Other is a book collector. The only way I’d get him into a tiny home would be if it were attached to a larger, permanent property around the 1500 sq ft mark.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. My moves have been rare and far between. As a result, I think of them as exciting adventures. Having said that, I would have a coronary if – at this stage of our lives – Gilles would suggest we move ourselves!!
    I can just imagine what part 2 will be like and I suspect you should be granted sainthood.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Right after college, including the initial move to my first job, I moved 7 times in six years. that included two cross-country moves and a 6 month extended stay in a hotel. After that, I moved one more time in over 30 years. If you ordered me to pack up my stuff right now, you might need to threaten me with a weapon. I look forward to Part-2.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am too old to physically move the boxes. It’s bad enough packing and unpacking. Can’t imagine why your husband wanted to do it except to save money.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Really enjoyed this Maggie. Looking forward to next instalment!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m confused about the real estate…they can sell you the house, the land, and still maintain mineral rights ?? Good thing you are on top of all that. We moved every 4 years for the first 20, now 20 years in the same place…not sure which is better. The gypsy spirit in me enjoyed the moves, stress and all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yup. You got it. We own the structures from the ground up. Anything below the surface is owned by the mining company.

      As we discovered during the moving process, folks in Southern Ontario, that is lawyer folks, are not up to speed on issues of mining rights. That makes sense, because it just doesn’t come up down south. If we had hired a Northern Ontario lawyer, we wouldn’t have had the conversation. Or at least, we wouldn’t have had the SAME conversation.

      I understand the gypsy appeal. I also appreciate, and will likely never know what it’s like to have the “same ol’ same ol'” for decades.

      Thanks for stopping by Van!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I haven’t moved very many times, and most of my moves were when I was pretty young (going away to college was my first move) and didn’t have very much stuff. I’ve never used a moving van but, if we were to move out of our home now, I would definitely consider it. My husband, on the other hand, would probably balk at the cost, unless it wasn’t a move within the same city. Perhaps your Part 2 will be a word of caution I could use as an argument.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Oooh, Girl, I don’t move anymore. It’s bad enough to unpack, I ain’t movin it. Huh-uh. Even when my boss started talkin about new office space, I was all, “Before I get too excited about a big space with a window, tell me, will I be expected to literally move things?” He said no, he didn’t think so, and so I was able to share his excitement 🙂
    I do not want to leave this house for anything less than everything better. I mean, it would have to be another house I love, on more land, with more trees, and just everything would have to be so much better, or NO! I have moved more than you. I’m done! Done! 😛

    I wonder if you stuck to your guns? Part two…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You are a terrific storyteller. Hanging on to the edge of my laptop in anticipation. And how you could do this 17 times is beyond me. When I was a kid I think I lived in 11 places by the time I was 18. Since being married, husband and I and the menagerie we call family have lived in a tiny townhouse for 24 years. I am NOT moving.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow! Thank you, Susanne!

      I often wonder what it would be like to live in one place for as long as 20 or 25 years… I’ve never experienced feeling deeply rooted, and I understand your desire to stay put.
      Thanks for your lovely feedback.


  13. Boy, am I ever a stay-putter. Five moves in 40 years. A slacker, right, Maggie? Even as we age and my husband complains about mowing the front yard, we really do like our house. Neither of us can picture being in an apartment or a ‘retirement community’–they’re for old people. And we’re not old–we are gracefully mature–mere kids! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wouldn’t call anyone a slacker who owns a home and keeps it up. There is so much work involved in maintaining a home, whether you have the same address for 5 or 50 years.

      Long may you maintain your current address, and your current young-at-heart spunk! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Maggie – I loved reading this, you never told me about the lawyers and the mineral rights on the new property! You remained so calm throughout the process! Hope all is well – Andrea

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey there! Wonderful to hear from you!
      You know, I’ve been reviewing my emails from back then and I realized that my “presenting” self totally masked my interior self. Thanks for stopping by to read and remark – and I hope all is well in Paris!


  15. The worst thing about selling a house is all the little things the buyer wants after an inspection. One can understand the major issues but the punch list of last minute fixes drives one nuts. If we ever sell this place, it is going to be “as is”. I paid my dues, they can pay theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG, don’t get me started! We jumped hoops for this sale. The house was built in 1885. Do you think that there might be a blemish or two?

      It all came to a head the DAY before the closing. I’m not kidding. The buyers had “concerns” about some things. It began to feel surreal – they were citing issues with holes in the hardwood flooring at the top of the stairs. This is after, how many? 6? 60? 600 visits. And what holes? What stairs? Do you see holes in the hardwood flooring?

      We answered them (sans sarcasm) but never did hear back.

      Dead air.

      The next day, we still hadn’t heard whether the “issues” had been settled. We were en route to our new house, in and out of cell-phone range. I made an absolute fool of myself when I broke down in tears as I picked up the keys, exactly 10 minutes before the lawyers closed for the day.

      Never again.

      “As is” for the win!



  1. Irreconcilable Differences Part 2* – The Zombies Ate My Brains

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