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When Opportunity Strikes

What happens when the perfect opportunity comes your way sooner than you anticipated?

My husband and I faced this situation earlier this year when we found some property. In spite of the crazy market we’re in and that the property features almost nothing that was on our list of wants — partially cleared, fenced, utilities in place, perhaps a barn – the feeling that overcame me when we walked onto it was undeniable. This was the place for us.

Buying the land addresses a chapter in life that is just around the corner for my husband: Retirement.

We want a place to hunt on and spend vacations and holiday weekends. Writing the pages that prepare us for our next chapter is exciting.

We tend to put significant thought into large purchases before pulling the trigger, and this one was no different. We watched land prices on Zillow for a year so we would recognize a good deal when we saw it. We grew our savings in preparation for a future purchase.

But then the opportunity presented itself before all our cash was in place. After a fair amount of hand-wringing, I climbed off my “I’m debt-free” high horse, and we financed this property. Making a payment isn’t fun, but it is accounted for in our financial plan.

A friend recently helped me give myself a little grace when she offered this reminder: Sometimes life is not linear. It seldom follows a logical progression.

Losing my dad last year so much sooner than we anticipated changed how I view life. I’ve been reminded that tomorrow is not promised, and you’d better get after it if you want to turn a dream into reality.

If you’ve ever worked on getting your financial house in order, you know that sometimes you must repeat a previous step. For example, let’s say you have to replace your vehicle unexpectedly. You dip into your emergency fund for the purchase. Now the car is paid for, and you return to saving until you have a fully-funded emergency fund once more.

We’re in a season of repeating a step, and I’m OK with it.

We’re carving out incredible memories as we clear the brambles and briars with machetes in hand. We’ve called in a land clearing company to create trails so we can see what we’re working with. We finally can reach the creek that runs through the property. We discovered an old hunting stand in remarkably good shape and where I hope to be when I harvest a deer this year. We’ve put my dad’s four-wheeler to good use, as it’s far easier to cover 54 acres on that than on foot. Soon we’ll haul his tractor up there so we can keep areas mowed until we plant a food plot for deer.

Life during a pandemic has been a doozy, no doubt. I’m grateful that there still are exciting things to look forward to, and this property has become that for us. We’re buckling down in some areas so we can do more in this new area. This land would’ve been right up my dad’s alley: wooded and packed with wildlife and opportunity. I like to think he’s looking down on us and smiling in approval.

May 2022

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