Monday, August 23, 2010

Handing Over The Keys

We closed on the sale of our old house late last week. The sound of my sigh could probably be heard from Baltimore to Bakersfield. Whew. Nothing like selling a house during the worst housing slump since Herbert Hoover sat in the White House. By the way, that’s NOT a political statement. I don’t want any mail from the Democrats, the GOP, The Tea Party or PETA or Bill O’Reilly or Jennifer Anniston on this one ‘cause frankly, I’m tired of the fussing that gets us NOWHERE. I’m just sayin’ the housing market hasn’t sucked this bad in decades, and it figures the Hula-gen’s would wait until this era to sell a house. Ten months after we put that home on the market, we signed the papers that gave it a new owner. No more double utilities. No more double insurance. No more extra yard to mow. We are finally free and clear of that house. While it put the joy, joy, joy down in my heart to sign on the dotted line, it did make me a touch sad to see it go. We had lots of good times there.

We lived in that house fifteen years. It was the first home Hubby and I bought together. We raised Teen Angel there. The backyard saw many gardens, grew bushels of tomatoes, held up Teen Angel’s swing set and produced lots of grapes, flowers and memories. We chased lightening bugs there. Danced on the deck. We laughed with family and friends and made lots of homemade ice cream in that spot by the garage door. That spot in the front yard by the driveway is where the Boy Scouts put the flag each summer holiday. The magnolia tree still bears the scars of the big ice storm, and the fork of the fringe tree is where Teen Angel used to hide and daydream.

The house wasn’t exactly a fixer-upper when we bought it, but the 70’s interior needed updating. It had good bones and was solid. It just needed new carpet and paint and some changes to the light fixtures and appliances. When we bought it, we could barely afford the new carpet and paint, so we did all of the work ourselves. We were exhausted when we moved in but oh so excited.

It was kind of small by most people’s standards. It was what realtors describe as “charming” or “a doll house” which is usually code for short on square footage. But it was enough for us. It sat next door to Mama J.’s and Papa T.’s house, making it easy to get Teen Angel to her babysitter and allowing her to essentially have two homes on the block. The maple tree in the front was one that Hubby helped his neighbor to plant when he was a boy.

We nurtured and loved on that house for years. We eventually remodeled the kitchen. We put on a new roof and new windows. Replaced the hearing and air conditioning unit. Another year we tackled the master bathroom, and lastly, we redid the flooring and turned the third bedroom into one big walk-in closet to make up for the lack of closet space. Over time though, we outgrew it. The closet space was still an issue, you couldn’t turn around in the bathroom without bumping your fanny on the door, and we just didn’t have enough room inside to have parties or company. When Sissy’s house became available, we decided to sell and make the big move.

It was hard on Hubby. He attaches emotion to every possession he owns and had a terrible time letting go. It was probably a good thing that he had months to sort through the garage and attic and all of the stuff we had accumulated there in fifteen years. At one point during the toss, save or give away portion of the attic purge, I thought we were going to resort to hair pulling. He accused me of not caring about any of my possessions and wanting to put everything in the toss pile. That’s not true. I care, but I don’t have to have most of them. I can let them go and keep the memories in my heart. And that’s what I’m doing to the little brick house.

It was a good house for us, but we needed to move on, and now it’s going to be a good house for someone else. The new owner is a 27-year old single teacher who had been saving the last few years for her first home. She loves the little brick house. It’s just right for her. Plenty of room for one person. A great deck with a hot tub for entertaining and a big backyard that she hopes will one day hold a pool. She has dreams for that house, including ripping out that old black and white tile in the bathroom that I always wanted to replace. You go, girl!

About two hours after we signed the closing papers, we were at Mama J.’s and Papa T.’s and saw her pull into the driveway with her parents, her grandma and a passle of aunts and uncles who came to see her new purchase. She was downright giddy. I’m pleased she is the one out of all those lookers during the past ten months that ended up with the house. I know it’s in good hands, and that makes me happy. It makes Hubby happy, too. Besides, it's only two blocks away from the new house, and we can drive by anytime and see how it looks.

Ten months after we stuck the For Sale sign in the yard, we are ready to let go. Goodbye, little brick house. We will never forget you or the memories we made there.


Jan n Jer said...

Like you have the memories tucked away in your heart. It is a cute house for sure.

J.G. said...

It's got to make it a lot easier knowing the new owner is going to love it dearly. You haven't lost a house, you've gained a nice new naighbor. Good wishes to Sellers and Buyer, both!

Trailboss said...

Considering the current housing market I'd say ya' did good!

oreneta said...

Sold ours last year. It is never easy. Sympathies and I'm glad you got a good buyer.

A New England Life said...

I'm like your husband, I attach to things and places. It's how I've always been and I think I do it for stability. My husband is more like you, he can emotionally move on and adjust knowing things change and that's just the way it is, but we'll never lose those memories.

That said, I hope the new house makes as many memories as the old one. Maybe even grandkids one day!

TACMAC said...

Hula, I sure wish I were more like you. Some of my "memories" are actually something that meant something to someone else (my grandmother, my mom, my sister....all have passed away) OR they came from a part of my life where I was someone else altogether). So I am trying to take photos of stuff (to help me keep the memory) and move the rest out. Please tell me this will bring good karma!!

But it is delightful to hear someone is so very happy with with their new homes...both you and your new neighbor!!