I'm not gonna lie, the stress that is involved in the journey that lies ahead is currently so thick you could slice it with a knife.
I am once again hit with the mind-boggling notion that even good change is extraordinarily difficult. To whit:
- We got an offer on our house. It happened just six little weeks after we put it on the market--and two days after my last post. In this economy, that is nothing short of a miracle. We feel lucky and blessed, as well as frightened, sad, and overwhelmed. And yes, I did bury the statue of St. Joseph that my sister-in-law's mom sent to us. (Thanks, Rose!) I placed him upside-down in the soil in the front yard facing my own house, and two days later it sold. I'm not Catholic, nor am I superstitious, but I'll take it.
- If the contract holds, we have to be out of our house by November 30. At this point the gravity of it all hit us hard, dead in the gut, and we realized how many good-byes we have to say, how much work we have to do, and how difficult it is going to be to leave our family and friends, our beloved house, and our mountains behind.
- Then came the price wrangling. Did we get what we were hoping for? No. (We didn't even ask what we were "hoping" for.) Did we get something that is reasonable in this disparaging market? Yes. Will it help us avoid what our realtor calls "the dead zone"--you know, that time just before Thanksgiving and after New Year's when no one wants to sell or buy or do anything other than celebrate? Yes. Will it be enough to get us into our dream house in New Hampshire? Yes.
- Next came the question: What to offer for the second time in New Hampshire? The answer is the same thing we offered the first time in New Hampshire, except this time our house is under contract. Big fat huge major difference.
- Just as we were preparing those documents, and at the exact same time that our house in Draper was being inspected, we found out that another party was about to make an offer on the house in New Hampshire. Quick, we had to decide what our very best offer was going to be. And not just our very best offer, but the offer that would get us into this amazing house that we love. Which was, as you can guess, much higher than we were planning.
- At which point I realized just how much I loathe the process of buying and selling a house. I have never done this before and I pretty much don't want to do it again for a very, very long time. Ahem. Make that never.
- We put in our offer, the fax pages flying everywhere, one after the other being fed into the machine on their journey to our potential future. And the wait began, all the while not knowing what "issues" our own house had and whether or not there will be any costly repairs, or heaven forbid, deal breakers. Not the least of which could have been our buyer seeing the piles and piles of leaves that our 90-foot cottonwood tree had dropped just the night before.
- Only to discover the next day, which was this morning, that there are now three players vying for the house in New Hampshire. Aiy yiy yiy!
- Then we learned that Beccah will not be able to join us in New Hampshire for Christmas because she has two jobs now and can't get the time off. Nicole immediately offered to stay here with her, which I love, but it's bad enough that we are moving away and now we don't get the holidays either?
- All the while we move from room to room, remembering the young family that filled its walls with joy and laughter 15 long years ago. A bride and the groom who married a family. The six- and eight-year-old little girls who needed tucking into their beds every night. The beloved dog that joined us a few months later who is no more. The gift of time that went into its warm remodel and its inviting landscaping. The cherished conversations. The crazy dancing. The baking of pies. The music played. The books discussed. The lessons learned.
The love that grew.
Change upsets the balance of things. It tips the scales, and that which is displaced must find its way back to stasis. To quote one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost:
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.
Miles...and miles...and miles.