Someone said in a comment (sorry, getting back into comments to find out who means hauling my behind out onto those rocks and that ain't happening this foggy morning) that maybe we can come back to Maine again just not stay here.
It is complicated. One issue is just the debt. Though my FIL has bought us plane tickets, we still pay for a great deal of the trip. Until we make headway on the debt we are not traveling far from home.
But it is also true that there is no way we could afford, under the best of circumstances, to rent something as well situated as this. It makes leaving it harder and the reasons for it clearer. The in-laws bought this piece of ocean front property 40 years ago. It is in the northern coast and near nothing. The bad grocery store is 20 minutes away. The closest pharmacy is 45. The point is that 40 years ago this was not highly-prized land. It was cheap. The house they built is small and sturdy. The plans came from a book of simple vacation homes. It is as close to the water as was permitted 40 years ago, which is much closer than today. I sit here in this 40 year old chair, tapping keys on my cell phone and glancing up to watch the waves. It would cost as much to rent this house for a week as it did to buy the land. It is out of our price range.
(Some probably wonder why we didn't choose to rent it. I don't want to go through all the discussions the family had about pros and cons. There were many, and they are finished. The buyer takes possession in September.)
There are other properties we might be able to rent someday, particularly a little house owned by a bunch of cousins. There is no electricity, an old-fashioned outhouse with a box that has to be buried at the end of the trip, no shower or bath, and no view of the water, but it is NEAR the water.
Even if the options were more attractive it would not be the same. It is this house, this spot that we love so. It is on the list of things to do when we get out from under some of this debt. No one thinks it will be the same though.
I realized the other day what a privileged problem this is. We have had a piece of paradise for years. Now it must go. I am grateful for the vacations I have had here. It is far more than I ever dreamed I would have as a child.
Another problem of privilege we face is the proceeds of the sale. It can be quite uncomfortable to be the poor relations, or merely the relations-of-modest-means. The property is owned by a trust of which Roland and his brothers are beneficiaries. The current plan is to maintain the trust after the sale. The details are complicated and under negotiation, and I don't plan on sharing them here. What it all means is that we will be getting little or no immediate help with debt, will have an added and not-insignificant tax burden to deal with as the money is invested and presumably earns dividends. We should however have a (more) comfortable retirement and Brian will have some funds for college.
Roland and I are faced with the issue of how to afford our good fortune. We must find a way to pay off our debt and pay taxes on money we cannot access without the permission of financially comfortable older brothers who do not really understand why we might find it difficult to pay our taxes.
The problem is so absurd it is almost funny. We are going to see a financial adviser to get some advice on making a plan. I know that there are problems so much worse than ours. Still I feel overwhelmed.
We are selling the place in part because we cannot afford the taxes.
It just strikes me as such an absurd problem to have.