I apologize for the long break I have taken from blogging. I have had a lot of things to write about but just not much time or energy to sit down and type. I am happy to report that things are going very well with the weight maintenance, however, and I had one of my lowest weigh-ins with Dr. Z in recent months. I’ll catch back up on all that stuff in a future post.
The biggest thing occupying my time and brain is my parents’ house. Since I last posted, I have wrapped up the remodeling efforts – which included new flooring, paint, wall and ceiling texture, electrical outlet updating, installing new light fixtures, new cabinet hardware, installing a new sliding glass door and side pantry exterior door, removing the outdoor carpet from the very large back patio (and, subsequently, having the glue removed from the concrete), and other minor updates throughout.
The biggest headache was my war against the pigeons. They had pretty much moved in to the back patio and had made nests above the rolling shutter boxes over the windows and sliding glass door. I should have done something about it earlier in the year, but I finally
found some pigeon spikes to put there. Actually, I bought 10 boxes of pigeon spikes (close to $150 worth!). I first set them up on the boxes (after one very long and disgusting morning of hosing and scrubbing miles of pigeon shit) to see if they would even work. They did work, but the pigeons were huge and if they got close enough they could knock them out of the box with their wings. So I ended up taking my power saws down to my dad’s house and cut a bunch of pieces of wood, painted them to match the house, and screwed the pigeon spikes into those. They ended up working perfectly. I am thankful Dad taught me how to use all of that stuff when I was a kid. I am neglecting to mention the hours I spent hosing and scrubbing the patio off during this time period though. They also flocked to the lower beam that holds up the patio – which is like 80 feet long. There it has not been so easy to attach them but I am slowly screwing them into the beam. They can figure out where they aren’t attached though, knock them out, and leave me a giant pile of poop the next morning. I can confidently say that this pigeon shit issue is quickly erasing any final sentimentality I have with the house.
And then something very very tragic happened.
As I was literally finishing up mopping the floors inside the house, on the evening before the house was to be listed on MLS, I started hearing a bunch of sirens nearby. Having just have this happen on my own street 2 days before due to a gas line accidentally cut by some utility workers, I was a bit desensitized to the commotion. I locked up the house and got in my car in the garage. It was about 3pm and it was also my daughter’s 16th birthday and I was trying to hurry up and get home so we could celebrate. As I was backing out, two police cruisers went behind my car heading down the street. I turned to see where they were going and saw where all the sirens had been headed. About 5 doors down and across the street, there were multiple emergency vehicles of every kind. My dad’s next door neighbor came running out of the house to see what was going on and just as we thought we might walk down a bit to investigate, one of the police cruisers parked his car perpendicular to the street, jumped out, and started roping off the end of the neighborhood with police tape. At this point, I decided I really needed to just get home and prayed it was nothing too serious. Well, I was wrong. Homicide. On a Wednesday on my beautiful, quiet, childhood neighborhood street. No suspects. It was heartbreaking and scary too since I had been working in my parents’ home alone all day – that day and for weeks prior to this.
Needless to say, we held off on listing the house the next day and cancelled the open house. Everything came to a halt for a few days. There were very few answers. A couple of days later they held a meeting for the community at my old elementary school. I had not been back there in 30+ years. As I sat in the cafeteria again, I could not get over how surreal the whole thing was – made even more strange as I recognized the parents of kids I grew up with and, even more shocking, my elementary school PE teacher that looks exactly the same.
The following week we went ahead and listed the house. Less than 48 hours later we had a buyer. After a quick counter/negotiation, the house went into escrow. Just like that. I cried when I got the call. I was relieved, overwhelmed with everything that had happened, and just plain tired. I wasn’t sure how to feel – but I had just sold my family home.
The home inspection turned up several (well, 21) issues that the buyer requested to have repaired on the home. I agreed to 20 of them – but that took another 3 days of calling another 5 contractors, as well as doing some of the work with my husband over
the weekend. One of the items had us digging up the front yard – not because there was an issue, but only because we were trying to prove what kind of PVC pipe was there. Our arms were covered in mud. It felt a bit like the pigeon shit fiasco all over again. I think it is God’s way of saying “You are done here”.
I can feel the weight of this ginormous project start to lift off my shoulders. I still have close to 15 items from the repair list left to address, but I have some time on my side now. We still need to get through the appraisal, but then it should be smooth sailing (which, I know by now is never a given and might be met with some new issue).
It has been a very long year working on this house to get to this point. I’m grateful for the time though. I have been able to re-visit lots of emotions and really spend some time there again. It is time for a new family to enjoy it now though – and, as it really hit me yesterday, it is time for me to be able to re-focus on my own family in our home. Our time together as a family of 5 is ticking away quickly – I already have a daughter almost half-way finished with high school.
And so, in closing, here are some final photos of the house: