Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The House Gets Listed

The house was listed on Wednesday of last week.  The sign appeared on the post.  The waiting game began.

Agents have an electronic appointment system that alerts you by email when an appointment is scheduled for a property showing.  Handy.  But unexpectedly emotional (of course!)

The first email I got was exciting - gosh, someone wants to see my house - and then the reality of that sunk in - because they might want to buy it away from me.

I know, I know.  That is the whole point of this exhausting exercise.

The email announcement of the first appointment brought tears to my eyes.  I was weepy for a few hours.  I felt like I had to be somehow part of the process making sure the new prospective owners were worthy of this property - people do that right??  NOT!

By the time 9 appointments were scheduled in a 3 day period I was getting better as accepting this.

An open house was held on Sunday.  Apparently another 18 prospective buyers came through.  Two of them made appointments for this week to view the property a second time.  Nice.

Then on Monday morning an offer came to us - a third person from the open house.  The offer was over our asking price.  That news was stunning to us ... of course the townhouse has to appraise at what was offered.  But still is was very welcomed.

So now chapter two of our real-estate odyssey begins.  This chapter should not be as exhausting and in early October ... if the gods are with us ... we will be down to owning just one property.  The condo.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Week After

The townhouse was my top priority.  We had a week to get it prepped for sale.  Much to do.

I made trips each day to collect stray items that were overlooked.  But when I arrived on Monday I was met with a sign post sticking out of my front yard ... no sign yet, but that fast the post was up.  It was a bit jarring.

Wednesday was a long day.   Replacement carpeting in 4 rooms was scheduled.  Paint touch up and an alarm repair also was on the agenda.  Another car load of "stuff" came back to the condo.  I should be good for paper towels, cleaning supplies, extension cords and flash lights for a few years.

By the end of the week a cleaning company was scheduled.  The only emotional pull was when I stopped by the townhouse to pay the cleaning crew.  I walked in and the house smelled wonderful - not like my house at all.  :-) That was good.  In talking with the crew chief she said I had a lovely townhouse.   I looked around and realized one more time just what I was leaving.  That was not good.  I made my quick good byes, and thank yous, and left money, and exited quickly.

It was a busy and tiring week, but the house was finally ready for its pictures, a movie (yes, a movie!) and brochures.

The house was ready.  I wasn't as ready.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Movers Arrive

We contracted with a moving company called Two Marines Moving Company.  This company came highly recommended.  They hire many former military and active duty police looking for additional work.  It was a very good choice.

They arrived 30 minutes early (military start early or on time).  My first thought when I saw the trucks was ... you are early.  I have 30 more minutes left on my time here.  Silly, I know but what pops into your brain is not controllable.  It is what it is.

I remember stepping outside to help direct them into the space saved for them - they were already on it.  No instructions needed.  I remember saying to my daughter ... "I will not cry," as tears filled my eyes.  So much for mind over matter!

The crew was made up of 5 guys.  They were ready to rock!  After a short walk through and some discussion they got to work.

I had already arranged for all my friends and family take the final items they were moving and to go on to the air conditioned condo at the start of the move.  I would stay while the movers worked.  I had my reasons.  This was going to be another 100 degree day.  The front door would be open.  It wouldn't take long for the heat and humidity to fill the house.  No sense in all of us standing around (and in the way) sweating.  It was a logical move.

But I had an ulterior motive besides the logical one.  I wanted this time to be mine alone.  I watched as box after box rapidly left the townhouse.  They moved all 107 boxes in about 30 minutes.

They wrapped the furniture beautifully.   The move went without a hitch.  By 12:30 the movers were on the road to the condo with all my stuff.  I hung back with the excuse of closing up and putting the air conditioning back on.  I alerted my family the movers were on the way. I would follow shortly.

It was a sad time knowing this final step had come to pass.  I would be back later that week to pick up a few final items, to arrange for cleaning, to touch up paint and to do all the little things forgotten in the busyness of the morning ... but this time was mine - a final private goodbye to a shelter I loved for almost half of my life.

As I drove away I knew the hardest part was over.  When I arrived my family and friends had set out the food, the movers were having lunch, enjoying some cool air, and taking a small break before unloading.

The rest of the day was a blur for me.  I was so tired.  But I couldn't seem to sit either.  Nervous energy I guess.  I helped direct the location of items as they came in.  My kids helped get the kitchen set up as boxes were delivered.  By the end of the day, all the furniture was set in its spots, the kitchen  could be used and the bed had sheets on it.  We could survive here while the dust settled.

I had survived moving day!

But mini-challenges were ahead ...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Day After Settlement

We signed on the dotted line (a gazillion times!) on settlement day.  The rest of time I was bonded to my couch and blanket.  Around 6:30 pm - I went to bed.  After weeks of pushing the limits of my endurance, it felt decadent to go to bed so early.  The bed felt wonderful and sleep came rapidly.

But by 3:00 am I was up again ... this time hungry ... and ate a toasted bagel with lots of butter and salt.  It was divine!  Then back to bed again and more sleep.  I was certainly on the mend if I could eat a whole bagel.

The next day - the day after settlement - friends and family arrived to help move the mountain of stuff that was not assigned to the movers.  As each person arrived, they graciously inquired about my health, hoped I felt better, commented on my peaked appearance, etc. etc. etc.  Everyone made appropriate polite suggestions - keep drinking, eat as you can, take frequent rests, we will help.

Then my sister and her husband arrived - last - coming from the furthest away.  She walked directly into the kitchen where I sat, started out with the normal inquiry ... "how are you feeling," and then without taking another breath said ... "You look like hell!!!"  Hahaha!  It was good to laugh.  Only a sister can call it like she sees it, and get away with it!  My son quickly responded, "She looks much better. You should have seen her yesterday.  She looked like the crypt keeper's daughter!  Gray and all."  Another laugh. I was thankful I looked that good yesterday.  On settlement day I felt like the crypt keeper's grandmother!

Truly I felt better that morning.  Salted and buttered bagels are miracle carbs.  But I still needed to sit frequently.

The mountain of stuff disappeared quickly into waiting cars and trucks.  Off we went to see what all our signatures bought!  With so many hands helping the job went quickly leaving time to visit to visit at the condo.  But in the back of my mind I was really dreading the next day.  Movers would come and we would truly be moved out of our home and living in someone else's home -

Well ... technically my home but ... you know what I mean.

More later.

Settlement Day

Between visits to the bathroom and collapsing on the bed, a few decisions got made.

I knew settlement must go on.  Too many other arrangements hinged on this process.  I just wasn't sure how to make it happen.

Once again our agent showed his worth.  Since my husband really couldn't see to do the walk thru of the condo without me at 10:00 am ... and I pretty much "married" to my bathroom  ... the agent suggested doing the walk thru on his own.  He reported back that all was well.

He also arranged for the settlement to be performed in two parts.  The sellers coming from Pennsylvania completed their portion of the settlement at the original time of 11:00 am.  And our portion of the settlement was scheduled for 3:00 pm - in hopes that my symptoms would pull back a bit.  And they did.

Of course, I could not drive - but that was resolved by our son who was scheduled to attend the settlement to assist his father with signing the documents.  Who would have guessed he would be helping both of us.

By the time 3:00 arrived I had been able to keep down small sips of fluids for about 4 hours.  That was good.  It gave me the energy to walk.

The agent made sure our meeting was schedule close to a bathroom.  Early in the meeting I joked about the need for me to exit for a "smoke break."  Everyone chuckled, but if the bathroom hadn't been close, it wouldn't have been funny.  Seriously.  This "never smoked in her life" lady took advantage of several smoke breaks.

All went well for the first 20 minutes until I just ran out of energy.  I got quiet ... talking required too much effort.  I resisted the desire to just place my head on the table.  The settlement attorney stepped up the speed a bit.  All was summed up pretty quickly.  After a final smoke break we headed to my son's car.

When we stepped outside I felt a little better.  I had gotten so cold in the building.  I was grateful for the outside heat.  Of course it was 100 degrees in the shade.  Never in my life have I enjoyed 100 degrees!

Once in our parking lot I felt pretty unsteady.  Climbing twenty steps to our front door was a struggle.  At home I wrapped myself in a blanket and laid down on the couch.  I began to feel a bit better just being prone.

So ended settlement day.  Now we owned 2 residences.  But at that point, I was mostly glad we owned a couch and a blanket.

Till next time.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Move - limping to the finish line.

The move is done.

And it was hard.  But the worst is passed and we are "rebuilding" a life now somewhere else.

If time and energy were inexhaustible I would have blogged in real time.  But staying ahead of all the demands and fatigue were my single focus.

To start at the beginning  ...

The two weeks before moving, I was extremely aware the deadline was fast approaching.  Packing seemed be an endless task.  Final settlement details were falling into place, but last minute to-dos had to be addressed promptly.  Each communication included cautions about delays and keeping on track for the settlement date.  At times I felt like - just tell me where to sign - I'll sign anything.  But, of course, we wouldn't sign anything - so we plodded on - moving forward struggling to keep focused.

The day before settlement our agent visited us.  He knew how I felt about leaving the townhouse.  He asked how I was doing.  I responded, "fine" but as I talked my eyes teared up, so that was pretty much a lie.  But who has time to address emotions when big deadlines are looming.  Not me.  Others never asked how I was doing - probably because they already knew.  I had no practice at hiding my true state.  But this guy was a true gentlemen.  He did not try to gloss over my emotions - he validated them and said this was not uncommon.

If there was one piece of good luck in this whole process it was getting this agent!!

That night, about 3:30 am, I woke up - not unusual, but this time my stomach was not right.  I headed for the bathroom.  I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "You are not going to be sick."  And I promptly was sick.  Diarrhea and vomiting!  I could not believe it.  I talked myself into ... this is nerves!  You have made yourself sick with fatigue and stress.  You will be just fine!

At 4:30 am - it was confirmed.  I had a diarrhea vomiting bug!  How lucky can one person be.

By 6:00 am I knew I could not make a 10:00 am condo walk thru - and the 11:00 am settlement.

More next time!

Monday, August 8, 2016

One more week ...

The crunch is on!

Sort update - no time for more.

We live surrounded by boxes and yet even as I open drawers and cabinets - I see things that need to go into a box.  Yikes!!

To keep my sanity and health, I decided it is ok to have some items left behind after moving day.  After all, I have to return to clean up and prepare the townhouse for sale - I can retrieve stray items during those visits.  That is a huge concession from a type-A personality like me.

My body is very very tired.  My brain is going in a million different directions.  Rest periods during the day are the only way I continue to move forward.  Last week I had a full day that ended up as the rest period.  The energy it takes to keep moving forward is owned by a far younger person than I am.

We settle this Friday morning on the condo.  Starting that afternoon family and friends will be helping me move the extraneous items (and there are a bunch), that don't fit in boxes or are best moved by loving hands.  Saturday and Sunday there will be more of that kind of moving - with the professional movers coming on Sunday morning for the furniture and the boxes - 72 boxes so far.

I keep thinking that by Monday - a week from today - we will be moved in to the condo, but reality forces me to accept that we will be moved in completely (not unpacked), by the following Monday - 2 weeks from today!!

Never again!

You've heard it here.

The next move I make will be orchestrated by my children
 into a one room Assisted Living facility!

Probably in a month or two!  Ha! 

"See" you on the other side of the move.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Less than two weeks

Here we are on August 2 and our settlement is scheduled for August 12 - 10 days from now.  The moving company arrives on August 14.  The light at the end of the tunnel can also be a brick wall.

Ready or not - here we come!!

Packing seems never ending.  Empty boxes seem to disappear to be replaced with stacks of labeled and sealed boxes, and yet unpacked items still remain.  Some things just defy boxing - so a stack of things that must be moved without boxing is starting to grow.

In my mind, I see moving day as a time when everything gets carried out - leaving the townhouse totally empty except for a few cleaning supplies.   I suspect, however, this process will spill into the following week as I clean up the townhouse one final time for sale.  I would prefer a "clean" move ... a house that is full this day, empty the next ... but I wonder if I can pull that off.

How people move from one state to another in a single action I will never know.  I am moving across town.  I will still be in the area to vacate any last items ... but what if that wasn't an option.  Yikes.

In fact, I can't imagine how people move frequently.  Military families do this all the time.  I guess the effort needed to move is a good argument for not putting down "roots" in any one place.  My roots run very deep here.

Emotionally I continue to have my sad moments as I extract my self from this home.  I don't allow myself to dwell on it long because these emotions are counter productive to reaching my goal.  I have have honored this house in my heart for the last year.  Now it is time to move on.

But still ...

I drove by the new condo yesterday while I was out on other chores.  With every visit I am reminded why we decided this place was good.  Although it is located within hearing distance of a major road, it is also across the street from a property that has horses.  It is within 1/4 mile of a shopping center with a grocery store and other retail.  Walking distance!  It is part of an established neighborhood.
Reminding myself of the "why" and the "where" seemed important ... even if it was a decision that was beyond changing - at the 10 day mark!

And would I change my mind if that was an option?  No.  I would not change my mind.  My husband needs a safer environment.  I need less house (and stuff) in my own life, and we both will benefit from no steps.

In less than two weeks our home base will change.  The time is very close now.