In the midst of everything else going on, I just want to give everyone a quick udate on my housing conumdrum and options. I've talked to some folks whose opinion I admire. They were very helpful and the end result is that I've come to no decision for now.
Just to reiterate, my dilemna is that the house takes too much of my energy, and more importantly all of my money. My travel options (and some other choices as well) are limited by my current living situation. I've been house poor, and tied to the house. I understand that some folks think that there are worse places to be, and that my situation is sometimes the norm. I am not so bent on "home ownership" that I am willing to limit all my other options as well. I have quite a few friends who have retired to rental situations and are very happy. If that's where I end eventually that will work as well.
The end result of my discussions is that I will do nothing-for now. I will take the next few months to see if income and a bit more frugality in my life style open enough travel and adventure options. I hope so, and that is my goal. If that does not happen, then I will look to downsize for the long term-be it a rental or other choice. I know now definitely that while I love my house I am not willing for my life to be about just my house for any period of time. For me at least, life is about freedom, independence and exploration -with or without this house. Meanwhile I'll be working at making small changes in my home and doing other things as well.
In order to move forward on all fronts, I've already scheduled two frugal "road trips" between now and the holidays (alternating with other family members in order not to have to board two dogs) and planned a couple of day outings. I've made some small cuts that will make a difference without impacting my lifestyle (more about this later). I've invested funds in some advertising and craft fair fees. Last but not least, I've started cleaning and decluttering room my room-I promise to share all these things on my blog and more.
I'm moving forward with living richly in retirement-on my terms. Coming soon, more blogging about the "fun stuff" and my trip on old route 66.