Seventy-two hours of my world moving at warp speed. When my house officially hit the market on Friday. I posted the listing on Facebook and watched as so many very kind and caring friends took time out to comment. Words of encouragement and support poured in from as far away as Marie Keates in the UK. “Where are you going?” “I have such great memories of that house!” (from my daughters’ friends – I’m pretty sure there are some of their memories from their high school years I don’t want to know.)
Calls with offers of storage and/or a room to rent poured in and I began to realize the train was out of control. I could very well be packing and leaving before I had a solid plan of where to live, (and that pesky ‘job’ thing). Two showings were scheduled; one seemed a very sure bet, the perfect buyer, another friend. Time to clean and find something to do with Alice for the next day.
I watched the dawn arrive from my office, crafting a detailed list of ‘to do-s’. It was sunny and breezy as I polished windows, cleaned floors and “staged” the house. Last on the list; blow out the baked-cookie-dough scented candles as I headed out the door. Alice rode shotgun and I sang to her as we drove down the hills to the grain store and Market Basket. Blue Seal Feeds caters to Alice with two biscuits as I place my order and drive through the warehouse to be loaded. The grocery store is her favorite People-Watching venue…all that bread!
On the way home, my agent Steph called to say the first showing was over. “They loved the house but the land won’t work for a mini-horse farm.” No surprise there, it is granite ledge on the back of a small mountain. Steph helpfully noted that I board my horse a mile down the road. They had seen all the pretty paint ponies at Mountain Lane Farm on the way to the house but hoped to have some pasture of their own.
The stress induced high I was riding took a slight dip but the second showing in the afternoon was a sure thing. I had time to dump the groceries then scoot down the other side of the hills to meet Steph for a viewing of a potential house in Antrim. It was beyond a hovel. I have never been in such a strange, wandering structure in various states of inhabitation and disrepair. When we flipped on the light and gazed down the rickety steps to the basement, Steph joked “This is the perfect place for a Stephen King novel!” It was really creepy, but had fun looking for the original, 200-year-old bones and structure of the house.
I dropped Steph at her office and raced home to get Alice for another wandering ride. Steph was coming up the drive as we left and handed me paperwork on a house we had discussed. Alice and I had a destination – do a drive-by if possible. It was a lovely day and we meandered up and down dirt roads with the windows wide open. The house was up a private drive and I respect how disconcerting it is to have strangers snooping around your property uninvited. Steph called and I could tell by her voice she was not happy. The perfect buyer had developed cold feet and kindly wrote later to apologize. I do understand. It was only the first day and if something sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Meanwhile Dopp, her husband Chef Lou, and I began to cook up a plan. They would like a retirement home in the area. If they bought the right property I could rent it back from them. A unique layout that gave us all space when they came for the summers and holidays was discussed. I began researching and sending interesting listings their way and we danced around the idea of putting 40+ years of friendship to this caliber of test. In truth, Dopp and I have lived together twice already through monumental life stages. She so aptly quipped, “You can save us having to furnish it by using yours – I’ve lived with most of it before and love every piece!” But it doesn’t have to happen now. We can all grow old together in a year or so if the timing isn’t right.
Stars aligning, planets moving, friends reaching out and holding the safety net as I leap…