Closing out a 30 year run...
Perhaps nothing defines success in America as much as home ownership. When Caroline and I married, our life together started in a 900 square foot rental in northern California. It was located on state-owned property, on a university research station, and the rent was set by a process where an assessor compared rent for similar ranch housing. Our rent? $81.25/month.
That allowed us to save for a house we bought about 5 miles north, which we owned for about 18 months before moving to Utah.
We lived in our beautiful Utah home for 32 years. But, with kids and grandkids living hundreds of miles away, we decided it was time to live closer to family. The beloved house went up for sale.
Over those 32 years, we, well, lived. We used the kitchen and the appliances. Our cats barfed on the carpet. Our kiddos spilled their popcorn, drinks, and sometimes blood. Dust, and possessions, accumulated.
Selling the house meant we needed to consider what impression all that wear and tear would have on any prospective buyer. We also started thinking about all those possessions. What did we really need? What did we really love? Time to get to work.
First, out with all the old carpet, tile, and parquet flooring. Caroline pulled all the carpet and padding. I carried it outside, and the Kaae family unloaded most it it at the landfill.
Caroline arranged for new flooring and carpet, and painted and installed the baseboards with the expert assistance of neighbor Chuck. She also learned that ripping out oak parquet flooring and tile left behind an uneven surface that needed to be leveled. Thanks again to Chuck here! On to cabinets, light fixtures, and painting.
For a while, we lived in 2 rooms, our bedroom and a front room. Everything else was torn up, or empty, or waiting for some tool or another, or a back-ordered this or that. Caroline would wake at 6 am, and work on the house until 10 pm. For months! But it started to all come together.
And that was all just the house! We also had to deal with our possessions. We donated hundreds of books to a local library. We gave our kids whatever they wanted. We donated load after load to Deseret Industries and Somebody's Attic, both non-profit, welfare-related thrift stores. We used Facebook Marketplace and a site on Facebook called "Buy Nothing," where you can give, but not sell, items. We got rid of a lot of stuff, but the hardest was going though boxes and boxes of memories, looking at each photo or letter, or touching little trinkets or revisiting awards or events.
Eventually, it's all gone, or moved, or stored. Then there was the day we took our last possessions on a final drive to Denver!
We are now in our "third chapter" of life. It's a bit unsettled, but we look forward to this next part of the journey... grandkids, volunteering, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, and getting on with life. The sale of our home for 32 years closed yesterday. What an adventure we had!