Selling the house

Our house was sold yesterday.  I’d say, “We sold our house yesterday”, but the truth is, my mom handled all of it — preparing it for sale, dealing with the details of selling it and getting it finally done.  She’s the best mom (and realtor) ever.  She saw us through 4 contract negotiations, and just when we were about to give up and rent it, we finally found a serious buyer . . . and one who was in a hurry, which was an extra bonus.

It’s strange.  For the first time in 17 years, nothing is tying me to Virginia.  My family is in Maryland, our “official” US address right now is in Florida, with Dan’s parents.  I am, truly, no longer a resident of Virginia.  It makes me a little sad, because Virginia is home to some of my most favorite places on Earth, and has been my home for a long time.

It’s further strange, because I’m no longer a property owner.  I don’t own a home or a car.  The bulk of my “stuff” (in both a physical and financial sense) has been removed from my life.  I’m back to being part of the proletariat, after years amongst the bourgeoisie.

It’s strange, too, because what has been our home for so long now belongs to someone else.  We bought this condo nearly 10 years ago.  It was the first home either Dan or I owned, and the first home we set up together (the apartment we lived in before that was the apartment Dan chose and set up after finishing with college in 1997 — I joined him there, but it wasn’t ever really “our” place).  It’s the home where we built our family.  It’s where we brought our babies home from the hospital, where Benjamin took is first steps and had his first birthday party.  Liam won’t even remember this house, but Benjamin might, a little.

The fact that it itsn’t ours anymore is a little sad, but not as much as I expected.  It had really stopped serving our purposes.  Although it was huge, the space wasn’t set up particularly well for a family of 4.  The location was fantastic — convenient and beautiful — but that made it so expensive that it put a tremendous burden on our single income (when we first bought it, both Dan & I were working as software engineers, without kids, and money wasn’t much of a concern).

The truth is, we are now more flexible — we can settle anywhere that serves our purposes.  We can focus on a house that serves our needs when we come home, instead of being stuck in a house that we chose back when we had two incomes and no kids (which is a little like wearing shoes that don’t quite fit anymore, just because they’re cute).  Adding the fact that our immediate financial picture just became much better, and there’s very little downside.  I will miss our old home, for sentimental reasons . . . and because Benjamin still tells me from time to time (as he did today) that, “I miss our old house”.  Knowing he won’t be going back there makes me a little sad, but I’m excited to be moving forward, and with less baggage to weigh us down.


We’ve been here just over two months.  I didn’t really see it happen, but somewhere along the way, we got settled here.  Life is getting into a (new) routine and most of our creature comforts have gotten sorted out.  I am starting to have places I “usually” go, and I’m finding I need to go digging in the suitcases less and less.  We’ve come a long way.

When I think back over the past few months, it’s really amazing to me how good we have things right now.  We are sleeping on an actual bed (OUR actual bed), the kids are in their own cribs, we have a functional place to change diapers, we have a full kitchen (which we regularly use to cook our meals), we have two strollers to choose between for our outings, we have a selection of clothes for ourselves and the kids, we have a bathtub for Benjamin and a baby bath for Liam, the kids have all of their toys and space to use them, we can wash our own laundry (and dry it), we have our Austrian IDs, a bank account and train passes, we have tables, chairs, a booster seat and a high chair, I know where the grocery store is, where to get coffee, donuts and ice cream, we’ve discovered a pizza place that we love, and Dan actually got paid last week, and it’s (almost) enough to cover all of our bills for this month.  Oh, and now I have a fan.

We still have things to do, to be sure, but we are unpacking, organizing and cleaning in comfort and style.  It’s fantastic.

I’ve finally arrived at the destination I was fantasizing about a month ago.  I didn’t really notice it happening, but we LIVE here now.