Yep, the house is getting there. Having secured the services of a handyman/painter combo, the handyman projects and painting work is about 80% complete and should wrap this week. My brother and his sidekick completed their project today, building a custom window well cover. It's a thing of beauty! Another friend of my brother's, who's worked with us on cleaning out storage units, has been doing a bunch of odd jobs (like cleaning and organizing the garage, cleaning off the roof and gutters) and he should be done with my to do list for him within 7-10 days. I've still got some work getting things to look a little less cluttered and more organized, but I'd say that's about 75% done. So, you know what that means?!? We're going to list the house before month's end. When I stop and really think about what that means, it's sad, freeing, scary and exciting all at once.
It's sad because this house has been around in the family for virtually my whole life. When I was 7, I came to this houselot with my parents, brother and sister virtually every weekend for months (I think it was that long) and cut down the trees where the house was eventually built. My father wielded the chain saw. When the tree was felled, it was our job to cut off the branches with axes. My dad would cut the logs down to fireplace size. We'd stack up the cordwood in rows between two trees; we had dozens of these log stacks all around the property.
My parents worked with an architect to design the house and, let me tell you, the place is unique. It's a contemporary in the land of colonials. It's built so you enter on the top floor and have to walk downstairs to get to the other floor. This design was used so my parents could live here even as they aged and were less mobile. We moved in in 1964 when I was 7 or 8. Other than boarding school and college, I lived here until 1977. Skip and I moved back here 23 years ago when my parents retired to a house my dad built on Cape Cod. A house that's remarkably like this one in many ways.
So, it'll be a loss to say goodbye to this house when we move out. I hope the next owners appreciate it and learn to love it. I'll have to leave them some information about it, like how the pine paneling in the downstairs playroom/rec room is from some of the logs we cut down to build the house.
It'll be freeing because, in some ways, owning the house was a burdensome responsibility. Let's be honest here, I'm not handy and don't really want to be. Home projects are not my cup of tea. I never yearned to update the kitchen or knock down a wall. In my free time, I don't want to oil a doorsill or paint a room or any of that jazz. We took over this house from the handiest man on earth and I always felt I came up short on the home stewardship front.
If we move to a condo, the exterior of the place is someone else's responsibility. We'll share the cost of maintenance in our monthly fees, but we won't have to do the work.
It's scary because it's a huge change. And, we have some special needs with Skip's disability that limit our housing options. Will we be able to find someplace that meets those needs? We're planning on moving into an "active adult" community. We'll probably be the youngest folks there and, I'll betcha, we'll be the only lesbians. Will we be able to find a place that's the right mix of price, location, accessibility and community that we hope for? Will the dogs be good neighbors or will Addy bark at every sound and person and leaf that blows as she does today, making our neighbors hate her and us?
Exciting is the flipside of scary. All this change has the potential to work out bringing wonderful new possibilities to our lives. Expenses will go down, making it easier for me to focus on caregiving and not trying to cram in a full time job. We'll have neighbors nearby, and it will open up possibilities to make new friends. In a home configured with a more open floorplan than we have today, Skip will have easier access to the whole house. And, it'll just be new and different. A shakeup will be welcome.
So, with all that said, let's get this puppy on the market and see what happens. I think I'm ready!
Playing with a Maniac
6 days ago