December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas

Good morning and Merry Christmas to you all. Typically on Christmas morning, I sit down in the morning before everyone arises and craft an e-mail summarizing the year for distribution to a plethora of things. This year, we’re gonna come in to the “modern era” and this blog entry will take the place of that e-mail. I’ll send everyone a link via e-mail….

As you can see, the website is still in a bit of flux, but that’s not the topic of todays’ discourse. Things on the site will get better, but for now, this is what we have.

In last years’ e-mail we had prognosticated that we would get off of top dead center and sell the house in Reston. Whoo boy, did that happen. We met with a Realtor in late January, listed the house for sale on February 6th, and on February 9th accepted one of 27 offers on the house for 18% over asking. Wowsers.

As you might expect, this kicked off a furious chain of events leading to act of sale of the house and our temporary relocation in a townhouse we rented in Fairfax City in March. The entire sordid affair is chronicled here for your “pleasure” in earlier posts.

Our time here in Fairfax City is temporary as we are on the search for our hopefully final destination. Melanie and I have since traveled much of Virginia, and parts of Tennessee in that search. We haven’t so much as chosen a final location as we have excluded a number of places.

We’ve seen many lovely communities that in the past would have made perfect sense, but at this time and stage in our lives, don’t. The one thing this three story townhouse has made us aware of is stairs have become a real anathema, both for Melanie and I. So the search has become a bit more selected in a house with a ground floor master bedroom. Around here in Northern VA, that’s a real challenge.

Balancing all this with wanting be be close-ish to the family is definitely going to be interesting. If we HAD to make a decision, right here, right now, we would most likely choose the Chattanooga area as we were very much enamored by the lovely city and it’s populace. The downside to Chattanooga is the 9+ hour trip from hither to thither. Who knows, right? A business associate e-mailed me recently and indicated that they had done both, bought their retirement home down south, and a secondary residence near their immediate family. H’mmm.

In concert with all this other activity, the time came to sell Jessica, my Honda S2000 that I had owned for some 9 years. Shortly after we got settled here in Fairfax, I was able to sell the car to a dedicated gearhead for some $4,000 more than I paid for it some 9 years before. To be honest, we hadn’t driven Jessica much lately, as getting in and out had a bit physically challenging. Looking at the Carfax I ran prior to sale, I had only put 5,000 miles on her in the last 4-5 years. A garage queen if you will. The young man I sold her to will be much the same, as she now lives in a very nice garage with 3 other specialist vehicles. She will be well cared for. You can read all about the sale in an earlier blog entry if’n you are so inclined.

Several months later the itch for a convertible began to emerge. Some thoughts were given to a late model Ford Thunderbird as I’ve always liked the looks of those. However a bit of innerweb spelunking indicated they were fairly mechanically problematic and expensive to keep running properly.

When the Lexus SC430 was introduced some 20+ years ago, I remember looking at them and being amazed. A technological tour de force at the time, they were the Lexus’ crown jewel when introduced. The subsequent years have not been particularly kind, particularly when Top Gear dictated the SC430 to be the “Worst Car Ever”. The resale value plummeted and what was once a very expensive car became fairly inexpensive. The fortunes of the SC430 have risen a bit then, and while this was probably the worst time ever to buy a car ever, I decided I was going to find one.

The desirable model was 2006+ as that model year introduced a number of improvements. Looking around, I wanted a Matador Mica Red one as it’s a beautiful color and suits the car well. The story is rather prolonged, and I won’t go into it in entirety, but I was able to find a 2007 SC430 in Matador Mica Red with 45,000 miles on it at a local dealer. Scarlett, my name for her, is simply gorgeous. Here is a picture a I took on the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way to Chattanooga:

Scarlett

We get comments on the car virtually everywhere we go in it. It’s definitely a luxo-barge compared to the S2000, but it’s very comfortable, quiet and pleasant to drive. We’ve put nearly 5,000 miles on Scarlett in the couple of months since we bought her.

So, Melanie and I have been driving Scarlett all around the area in our search. We have seen a couple of very nice houses, in our price range, but just simply in the wrong place.

I’ve yammered on enough for now. I’ll fill in some of the blanks in the above in future posts, but until then, have a:

Merry Christmas and have a safe, healthy New Year!

written by Chris - Posted in Yapping