The past few weeks have been something of a blur, with me and my boyfriend and a wonderful contractor, Tim Shamblin, all hurrying to complete the necessary repairs and improvements to finish my house in time for the June 9 closing.
One evening, I happened to be working alone in the house when I stopped at the kitchen window and looked out at the back yard. And burst into tears. I’m not one who cries easily or often, so the waterworks caught me off guard.
I’d long ago made peace with selling the house, so why the tears? I blamed the tree, a tall and mighty oak right in the middle of the back yard. When I bought that house, it was partly because of the many big trees that surrounded it. I dreamed of the tree house I would build for my daughter, one with a gangplank bridge connecting it to our porch. I spent hours sketching out plans, some so detailed they made it all the way to the materials list stage. But life’s demands never cut me enough slack to take on the project, and soon she was too big to want a tree house any more.
So I began dreaming of a multi-tiered deck, one that wrapped around a different oak as it made its way to the ground, where I’d put a fire pit and have my hammock, and maybe someday, a hot tub. I started sketching again, began calculating prices, and then watched as that dream drifted financially further and further from my grasp.
It’s funny how dreams change, how they morph from one to the next. For a time, my dream was of nothing more than removing a few of those wonderful trees—ones that had died—and then getting a new roof. Ordinary dreams, boring even, but dreams I had to get creative to achieve. As soon as I’d manage to make one a reality, I’d start on another, calculating how to bring it to fruition, or mourning its impossibility.
But somewhere along the way, without even realizing it was happening, I left that place of my dreams. That charming little house where I’d once planned on spending the rest of my life became nothing more than where Celeste and I stored all our stuff.
My home was somewhere else. Someone else.
It was time to let the place go.
I expected it would hurt, that I’d get stings of sadness from every little preparing-to-sell improvement we completed, fixes I’d long dreamed of, yet hadn’t been able to manage. But except for that single time, all I felt was fatigue and anxiety and stress. Lots of stress. Right up to the end.
While trying to get to the closing, I got stuck behind a parade of “Power Tour” vehicles heading for the Boulevard, which was (of course) where my closing was being held. Smack dab in the center of the street-blocking festivities. Parking was pretty much non-existent, but I finally found a spot on Quarrier and hurried over.
As I reached the front steps of the law building, there was Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. Other people have lawyers and realtors at their closing. Me? Superheroes. I was profoundly disappointed when they didn’t follow me in. I was so hoping they were my buyers, as I loved the idea of my house becoming the next Bat Cave or Metropolis Annex.
But there were no capes at my closing, nor were there tissues. Although I’d expected to get emotional as I passed over my keys, the tears never came.