Countdown to Goodbye

All the months of purging and packing are finally nearing an end. After 7 days on the market, 22 showings and 4 offers, our house is under contract. In just a few weeks, we will close our front door one last time and turn the page to the next chapter of life.

Selling our home seemed like a practical decision after our daughter moved out on her own. We no longer needed the big house or its hefty taxes and mortgage payments. The booming DC housing market made the decision that much easier, at least from a financial perspective. My heart has been saying otherwise.

Our house hasn’t felt like a home for a while now. In preparation for sale, we removed all photos and décor, curtains and rugs — basically everything that gave personality to the place we’ve called home for nearly 24 years. The rooms, freshly painted in neutral shades of beige and grey, now echo with an uncomfortable silence. Even our beloved kitty, Gipper, has been temporarily relocated during our move. We are missing him terribly, and look forward to being reunited soon.

“I don’t want to be here anymore,” I said to my husband last night, “but I can’t bear the thought of leaving.”

So here we are . . . counting down the days to goodbye.

But as sad as I am some days, I know somewhere, a new family is packing up their treasures and excitedly preparing for their move. These rooms will be filled with laughter, the walls covered in family photographs, and the empty windows will have curtains once again.

And one day soon, we will be seeking our next home — hopefully with warm Gulf breezes and a view of palm trees from the lanai.

A New Season

How it began:
Me: “I think I’ll take a short break in writing.”

How it’s going:
Also me: “This is too much information for one blog post!” (But I’ll give it my best shot.)

During my 3-month hiatus, a lot has happened. Here’s the CliffsNotes version:

Downsizing & New Year’s “Reno-lutions”

Shortly after Christmas, we decided it was time to sell our home. We are now in the midst of sorting-and-purging, in the hope of listing this spring. Every empty-nester will understand our pain. You build up a lot of memories (aka clutter) in 38 years of marriage. It’s mostly a process of letting go.

There have been lots of “lasts” in our home . . . our last Christmas, last New Year’s celebration and now our last Easter. And for the first time in many years, there will be no vegetable garden. I’m enjoying my spring flowers and the Redbud tree for the last time too. Sadly, we will probably be gone before my beloved yellow Knockout Roses bloom.

January ushered in some major redecorating. I’m glad we installed the hardwood floors last year, even though I expected we would be the ones enjoying them for years to come! Every room needed fresh paint and flooring (if not already done), along with new bathroom fixtures, new lighting and other “enhancements” to maximize our selling price. That’s particularly important now, because the DC market is expected to heat up in the next 30 days. (I just hope we beat the 17-year cicadas.)

In February, we were delighted to share the news of our daughter’s engagement. After all the challenges of the past year, it was a sign of hope and new beginnings for our family. They are planning a small wedding in the fall, so we will be very busy once we finish unpacking.

Empty Nest

In March, we helped our daughter move into her first apartment, and we continued moving our own boxes and some furniture to my brother’s home. That will be our temporary landing spot until we decide on our final retirement destination. After our house is sold, I will be commuting about 100 miles every day, 4 days a week. (I’ve been spoiled by my 1-mile commute for the past decade, so I guess it’s my turn.) At least it will be a scenic ride, along the hills and valleys of the Blue Ridge, crossing over the Shenandoah River twice each day. My husband is now a full-time telecommuter, so he is not complaining.

🌷🌷🌷

The Garden of Gethsemane

 

As we enter the holiest week on the Christian calendar, I am reminded once again that God always has a plan. We each have a purpose. He had a plan for His only son, and Jesus’ lived every day of his earthly life fulfilling that plan.

Sometimes I have no idea where I am headed, or what I am meant to do. And even though I normally feel the need to plan out every last detail in life, I’m leaning on the Lord for patience and guidance. He already has a plan for this new season in my life, so I will trust Him with the details too!

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17:7‬