So, Mom and I have sold the house.
*cue trumpets and fanfare*
It’s a seller’s market, and summer is prime relocation time, so this is maybe not as impressive as it sounds. But let me tell you… it’s really impressive. It’s a saga, only unlike the Hobbit, it’s been compressed for time instead of expanded.
July 17. Mom and I decide to move ahead our existing plans to downsize “soon.”
July 19. The realtor comes over to assess the house. And she’s like, this is a gorgeous house, but it will show better if you get rid of some of this STUFF. Mom visibly blanches.
To be fair, I like my STUFF, too. But of necessity, I offloaded a lot of literal as well as figurative baggage recently. She’s mostly freaked because it means storing her quilting things. So I say, “Mom, don’t think about it as storing your quilting stuff. Think about it as pre-packing for the move.” And she’s like… okay.
July 20. We go look at houses the size we want to move into. Mom says, “Okay, I’ll get rid of all my old books except my shelf of favorites.” (This, by the way, includes forty years worth of college textbooks. Nursing school, graduate school, natural health degree…)
The same day, we go to work clearing bookshelves. And more bookshelves. And MORE bookshelves. We make stacks for the recycle truck. We make stacks for Goodwill and the library book sale. We make stakes for Half Price Books. So. Many. Books. (And these are JUST hers. Not mine.)
Then we go to work on her sewing room, packing her fabric, her rolls of batting, her spools of thread and all. the. patterns. into storage bins. It just keeps coming. And then I realize why she’s willing to let her hoard of books go. Because she’s simply switched it for another security blanket.
We ditch knick knacks…. maybe some that were meant to go into storage might have “accidentally” been put in the Goodwill stack. (I tried to explain to my mother the concept of “kitsch.” My attempt was… unsuccessful.)
I cleared out flowerbeds full of weeds, I planted container plants for curb appeal, I cleaned the carpets, I cleared the countertops, I hauled furniture out for donation.
(Just an aside: I was going to annotate this part of the post with pictures of clutter, but when I Googled “cluttered houses” I came over faint and I had to go lie down with a cold cloth over my eyes before I could finish writing this. Suffice to say, it puts things in perspective. I got rid of eight bookshelves, and a lot of Pier One knicknacks that spoke to Mom while she was in the store, but at no time was there danger of finding a mummified corpse in the process.)
July 25. Realtor arrives with camera man to take pictures for listing. She. Is. Floored. She keeps walking around the house going “Wow.”
She adds $10k to our asking price.
That’s the quickest I’ve ever made $10,000 but boy, did I earn it.
July 26. The house is listed.
August 1. We get an offer, and it’s a good one.
Here’s the crazy part. We’ve got no where to move TO. Because mom and I still want to live together, and because we want a townhouse, and because she can’t climb stairs, we have kind of specific needs.
So…. Heaven help us and God bless my family…. Mom, me, and three dogs are moving in with my grandmother until we find a house. I don’t want to waste our savings on rent. I don’t want to move into something unsuitable just to be fast. It’s the absolutely most logical option.
I plan to tell that to the judge, if necessary.
That’s not until early September, which gives me time to pack everything up for storage and, oh yeah, FINISH MY BOOK.