July 3, 2014
The Reality of an Anticlimactic Goodbye
Closing on Saturday was rather uneventful, despite the dramatic build-up and anticipation the night before. It was an hour of "sign here, print name here, initial there." We were looking at one form, signed the next, and suddenly, the paralegal announced, "That's it."
Our realtor gave us the keys on a pretty pink ribbon, I hugged her as if she'd just pulled me from a rushing river current (which, in a manner of speaking, she did), and the house was OURS!!!
We drove straight to the property to see the house in the new light of ownership (only the second time ever that we stepped foot inside). And I would've been blown away by its beauty if I weren't so physically and emotionally exhausted from the early morning trip to Leesville and the draining expectation. All the waiting, and when the moment finally arrived, I was too burned out to fully enjoy it.
But we did get a family picture. The best we could do in 95° heat.
On the flip-side of the coin, I was too wired and exhausted to fully process our final hours in the old house. We thought a 26'-truck would suffice -- it was the largest truck Uhaul offered -- but it became clear pretty early on we'd have to triage our belongings. Among the items left behind until the next trip: the chaise lounge (third in the sofa set), all books, two bookcases, the computer desk, all of Miner's power tools and yard equipment, all shelf organizers, everything in the attic.
We tried our hardest to load the fridge. We took the front door off its hinges, pulled the Uhaul all the way up to the edge of the porch, and ran the ramp clear to the threshold. We tried to move the fridge with the wide dolly, tried hoisting it onto the flat furniture dolly (which has no handles), but the only thing all those efforts accomplished was to give me a sense of impending crushing death by refrigerator. We left it behind.
My vision of driving tearfully away from the house proved false. As a matter of fact, I didn't even really say goodbye at all. Instead, I loaded the kids into the van around midnight while Miner worked to put the front door back in its frame, and I said, "Okay. I'm gonna find a place to get some food for everybody before we hit the road. I'll meet you at the gas station." And that was how I left our home.