As Is

Yesterday morning, as I was scrubbing greasy crumbs and the last of Rowan’s oily fingerprints off the white cupboards in the kitchen of our old house in preparation for turning over the keys later in the day, I had an epiphany. If I was going to feel wistful about selling our first home, having to clean those crumb-catching ledges while nearly 10 weeks pregnant (and having had barfed earlier in the day, whee!) certainly wiped away a potential case of the Sads. I just wanted to get it done, and be done, and that’s precisely how I spent my Monday. Cleaning, cleaning, watching the last of the random garbage hauled away, signing papers, mopping floors, leaving keys. Done and DONE.

And so Rowan and I pulled out of the driveway one last time, and I told him to tell the house goodbye, and that was it. In the end, selling our house was quite an unceremonious process. Moving, on the other hand, was SO MUCH WORK. I mean, of course it was, who am I kidding. Despite hiring movers to handle the heavy lifting (best money spent) and taking over several loads of boxes and other random stuff in the days leading up to Saturday, there was just so much stuff with which to contend. And I don’t even think we’re packrats or super-attached to anything, either. When you live someplace for seven years, especially someplace small and compact, the crap accumulates in tucked-away corners and high up in the rafters. At some point, you just have to deal with it, and so we did.

But it’s done, and now we can focus on unpacking and organizing our new someplace, but mostly, moving forward with this next chapter of our lives. We’re not homeowners anymore, and honestly, it feels a little strange to suddenly be beholden to landlords. It also feels weird to have so much living space! I’m trying not to get too excited about filling it up with new stuff, as we have lots of old stuff we can now use, but it’s rather exciting. We have a dining room! And a very large spare bedroom upstairs that will be half office space, half guest room. There’s a ton of natural light, too, but also, a ton of street noise to get used to. But the trade-off to city living is access to shops and restaurants, including a pizza place two blocks away!

Truthfully, I am just a little wistful about leaving our tiny home. Even though I frequently cursed the lack of space and low ceilings, we did our best to make that house comfortable and cozy and safe. We took pride in cleaning it up for guests and hosting get-togethers in the large backyard. Every year, we planted flowers anew in the boxes under the front windows and raked the leaves from the neighbor’s tree that covered the lawn.

There is definitely a stigma associated with short selling a house, that we’d leave it trashed for the next owner, but that’s just not us. Even though the conditions of the sale stated the house was being sold “as is,” we made sure to leave it in better condition than when we found it. I sincerely hope the new owner is happy with her new someplace. There was a lot of love contained within those scuffed-up walls.

Goodbye, house.

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7 Comments

  1. Dad

    A house is not a home until you make it so. You did that (10-fold) with the old one…and you will do it with the new one. Great attitude kids – I’m proud of you.

  2. Moving is such a pain, you’re right. We moved over a month ago, and you’d think it was just last week. We JUST finally got all the last little things out of the old house, and our new house is in such shambles you’d never know we’ve had over a month to get organized.

    Enjoy the new house! Sounds like it’s a great fit.

  3. I’m going to miss that house, and the backyard with the oh-so-soft grass perfect for tenting, but I’m SO very psyched to see your new place soon and very soon. Here’s to guest rooms and new spaces to fill with family and friends and impromptu kitchen Zumba dance parties for always.

  4. gabby

    Yay for restaurants within walking distance, for guest bedrooms, for new spaces, and also for city noise! (It actually helps me to sleep.)

  5. It says something about your character and how you felt about your home to want to leave it in a better condition than you found it. I’m sure it won’t go unnoticed by the new owner, and hopefully she picks up where you left off.

  6. MIL-Laurel

    Wow–I’m misting up w/this post (plus Ed Sheeran is playing in the background-emotional stuff)just thinking of all the things that happened there. To you & us. Holding my first grandchild, witnessing all those adorable Rowan babble moments, 30th birthday amazing dinner, backyard parties & meeting all your wonderful friends. Yeah, I’ve got lots of love memories to savor too.

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