Last week, Matt and I sold our house, packed up, and moved clear across the state. It’s been a bittersweet occasion – it was my first house, and buying it abandoned and bird-flown, and resuscitating it with my own two hands, was one of the trademark seasons of my life. During that time, Matt came along, and together we finished it up and got it on the market so we could fling off into our new life together.
When you renovate a house, the goodbyes are endless: my painstaking tilework, the antique claw-foot tub I bought and restored, the glass cabinet doors Dad and I built in his woodshop, the pipes and lights and floorboards and cabinets – every inch of this house was touched with my hands, inside and out. And I do mean every inch – I was the only person I know dumb enough to stand on a ladder and sand the ceilings!
When I started, I thought I was fixing up this house to live out the rest of my days. Somewhere along the way, life changed course, and I realized that I was fixing up this house for someone else to enjoy. I might not have done such personal work if I’d known that from the beginning, but sometimes we need to do certain things at certain times in life, and the reasons aren’t always clear or necessarily important.
Moving is always crazy, but this one seemed – and still seems – particularly insane. Thanks to the shaky markets, we had four (count ’em, four) sales contracts over the course of two years, three of them falling through at the last minute. Having packed and geared-up three times before, we felt quite justified in procrastinating this time until we were certain it was going to go through!
In this case, procrastination was probably a good thing, because the last-minute scramble left me very little time to dwell on the past. My last walk-through was hurried, as the moving vehicles idled at the curb ready to take off. Neighbors waved and horns honked as we drove away, and an entire era of my life ended while I was too busy worrying about an overloaded U-Haul to notice.
Now we have a whole new project to tackle – a 50-acre farm and vineyard, with plenty of challenges to hold our attention. Sidewalks have been replaced by starry nights, kids on bicycles by men on tractors, and although I miss my first house, I’m also now completely free and ready for new adventures. Even though it’s difficult, change is good!