Out of the Corner of my Eye

I bought a new mailbox this morning. I’m restaining my front porch this weekend. Figuring out how to fix a few tiles. Repainting a wall. All of this is part of the not-so-slow whittling down of a list of tasks. Not the usual sort of 110-year-old house maintenance tasks, but the tasks one does as part of preparing to sell their house.

This will be the first fall that I don’t think about my spring garden. The first year that I put away my summer decorations, knowing that I don’t plan to put them up on this porch next year.

I don’t know where I’ll be this time next year. In the same city, I’m sure. But in a smaller house? A rental while I decide? Maybe living with the gentleman caller? I don’t know.

I do know that my old house needs a new roof, it’s 5 years away from another furnace, 3 years away from another hot water tank. The basement is and always will be a bit damp. There’s no insulation in the walls. I have all the love in the world for this house, but it requires more concentrated investment than I could ever justify.

I bought a new mailbox this morning, remembering the saga of the front porch. I look at the tiles in my front entrance, remembering when we put them in. Gabriel’s tree in the backyard has gotten taller than me, a tall tree in place of a tiny baby. This house was most of my marriage, all of my son, the story of who I have become after my divorce. This house is teaching myself to use power tools, coping with a broken furnace, leaking pipes, and unemployment, without a partner to comfort me. These walls hold the stories of my life. This house is joy and heartbreak, comfort and frustration and the million ordinary day emotions in between.

Even this morning, as I bought a new mailbox, I forced myself to think of what is sensible and cost-effective, not what I would love. It’s terrifying, sad, exhausting, but time to do this.

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3 Responses to Out of the Corner of my Eye

  1. Reese says:

    We left our house of 11 years a year ago. So many memories and it was bittersweet. I’m enjoying our new home, the AC that works well, the space, the neighborhood, the lack of leaves I have to spend 3 Saturdays raking up.

    I hope you find a home where beautiful memories are made.

  2. Transitions are so hard, especially when you have such a big chunk of memories tied up in thiw place. But I think what you will find is that your memories pack up just as easily as your dishes and books. You can unpack them in the new place.

  3. loribeth says:

    Having sold our home of 26 years, 5 years ago… I hear you! As you may recall, dh dragged me to this condo kicking and screaming. I was quite happy in my little house. But you know what? I don’t really miss it anywhere near as much as I thought I would. He is so much happier without grass to mow and driveways to shovel and furnaces and eavestroughs and squirrels in the attic to worry about. And it’s kind of nice to have a shiny new kitchen and a laundry closet that’s three steps from the kitchen counter where I can stand & fold clothes, and lots of windows that let in the light and fabulous sunset views. Good luck in selling your home and finding a new one that you also love!

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