Our wonderful real estate agents Keith Merrill and Jonny Gleaton put this sign in the yard this morning. This house has been like a friend to me. I have lived here since 1980, and we have devoted so much energy into working on this house while we have been here. The changes have been gradual, mainly happening between 1995 and 2003. The result of each phase has pleased us, and this house has really been our home. But, even though all those things are very true, we are ready to begin a new chapter of our lives in a different place. When we came back to Nashville in April we started to seriously think in a deliberate way about how we wanted to go forward with our future. We both realized that we are ready to live full-time in Mexico, and that is the plan that makes the most sense. Since we are so ready to do this, the sacrifices that have to happen do not feel like a hardship. Of course, we will miss not only this lovely house, but many friends here that we really enjoy, but the need for this adventure has overshadowed any feelings of nostalgia.
Fred and Pinky and I are really up for it. Once we decided that selling the house as soon as possible was a key to making the rest of the plan work, we spent most of the late spring and summer getting the house in tip-top shape. It took lots of work to clear out decades of stuff that we really don’t want. Everyday was a challenge –bring things down from the attic and go through them, rent a PODS, and have workers in the house constantly. Every drawer, every cabinet, every closet had to be dealt with. Every bookcase and hidey-hole had to give up its secrets. We either gave things away, packed what we wanted to take, or decided it needed to be sold. The criteria for what we will take is simple–do we love it? We had a housing inspector come over when we first started talking with Keith about how to do the sale. We worked down his list and got everything as right as we could get it. That part of the move became an obsession with me. I really have loved this house and I wanted to leave it feeling that it had been cherished. Fred shared these feelings. Once things were as perfect as possible, we put the house on the market.
There was never any doubt that Keith Merrill would be our agent when (and if) we were ready to sell. Keith has been a good friend for years, and he has always loved this house. He proved to be extremely good at what he does. Living in a house that is on the market is an unsettling experience. Things have to be kept in spotless condition, with everything in its place, and you have to be ready to clear out whenever the house is to be shown. We were very grateful to our friend, Arnold Myint, for opening his home to us—it became our “hide-out” when the house was being shown.
And then, this Tuesday, it happened. We got a contract. And, the good news is, they seem to love the house in the same way that we do. (We got this report from Keith. We haven’t actually met them.) But, they did ask if they could keep the porch furniture, which made me quite happy. That porch has been a special place for us, and I love to know that the next people are going to use and enjoy it. Fred and I are both pleased with the way this has all gone down, although I have to confess the time factor was a bit hairy. Everything had taken longer than it should have this summer as far as getting things ready. The plan had been to put it on the market July 15, and it actually went on the market August 25. Fred and I had to schedule the movers to come the week of October 5, so we didn’t have much breathing room. There is still so much to do. Now that the house is sold and the showings have stopped, there is more packing to do. When you move to Mexico you can take one truck load of personal things without paying duty. We have to get our Mexican Residency started. We are selling our Mini-Coopers. (That is one of the sacrifices I was talking about.) There will be an estate sale October 15-17 by a professional, so please don’t ask for early viewings, just come early. The miracle of the estate sale is that I don’t have to do anything. They do it all, from pricing to clean-up. I had really, really dreaded that sale.
So, now this busy summer seems ready itself to shift a gear into early fall. The light that is coming through the front window is different than it was in June. I can feel change in the air. I am ready for it—just as soon as I finish this packing.