To say that we've been busy is an understatement; busy in all sorts of ways.
Sometime in the spring we seriously began to face the fact that just two people living in our beautiful big house, was hard to rationalize. And as the grass began to grow, as it does in spring, while Paul was also busy at work, the rolling acre of it, dotted by a fruit orchard and many trees, plus gracefully curvaceous perennial flower beds, felt overwhelming.
The rainy weather just egged on the grass, and keeping on top of the luscious, verdant, carpet of green began to feel like a weekly race, with Paul losing.
We've been going through a process of letting go; reluctantly facing reality. We are getting older; it's not going to get any easier.
We've gone through all 5 stages of loss and grief! I say that tongue in cheek of course, but the stages are similar you know: denial (we can stay here forever, there is no place we could ever love as much;) bargaining (we could rent out the basement apartment and pay someone to cut the grass;) not exactly anger, but anxiety that looked like anger (we have had remarkably short days--short with each other, that is;) even a little depression--and finally; hooray; acceptance (with relapses into earlier stages.)
All of this has taken many months, and a process that has surprised me in that it has not just been ours. People meet in our house. It is a haven of hospitality. Even when I might not be very hospitable or am acting like a numb-skull, or scattered or sinful, the dear house opens its arms and doors to all comers and bids them a warm welcome.
So to each group of friends, I had news to break, and I could see by the look in their eyes that they, too, had to process it. There is the writers group that meets here monthly, and the cell group that meets here weekly for dinner, and several people have stayed here for holidays and a few have lived with us here--anybody who has been part of the "community of the house" in fact, has a degree of emotional attachment to it, and the view, of the forest on the hill and the fields on every hand, that feeds the soul.
I made a selling feature of the memories in the walls when talking to our new friend, Jennifer the Realtor. "There is a lot of laughter in these walls," I said, and she may have thought me crazy, but was at least polite enough not to say so.
Then came Boot Camp; Purging Purgatory; STAGING. Oh my goodness, I was unprepared for the work that has involved--the ruthless tidiness of it all.
But I take comfort in the fact that I am forming good habits, which, previously confirmed piler of books and "stuff" that I was, I might have paid money to learn. I now know how much easier it is to clean when things are put away in a draw or closet and not on the floor. Hmm, now that I think of it, I might actually be paying money to learn these things, but it will be money well spent.
When the staging consultant came to visit, I had worked hard in advance, and felt ridiculously happy with every nod of approval and word of affirmation. But she was making a list. Oh, yes, and it arrived swiftly, with no mercy. Not a drop!
We paid our daughter in law to risk life and limb painting the great heights of our stuccoed extension; I cleaned and polished to make my Dutch ancestors proud; Paul pruned and knelt down and weeded and mowed, and put his back out (good job I had painkillers from some past dental work left.) Finally we were ready.
In the past week we have had an "agent open house," and a "public open house," and, as a sidebar, our dear friends Mark and Paivi moved in to our basement apartment with their dog Mindy on Saturday! They have only added value to the space with Paivi's perfect taste :) and the ambiance of their dear selves. They just sold their own home and Mark is building their new one in the country.
Spiritually I have journeyed from anxiety, to remembering that God who faithfully led us when we were homeless newcomers sailing down the St. Lawrence with less than you can imagine to our names, is the same God who has a plan for the next place that we will call home. The journey is an adventure. Whoever lives here next, will be under a roof that is blessed in a house with arms that shelter.
And now you know why I have been too busy to write. :)
This link will take you to the house on MLS. Our agent did such a wonderful job of the script for the virtual tour.
The adventure continues. Of course it might not sell---oh, there I go again with denial. But you never know.