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Patience and perseverance combined with sweat.  Life often requires all three, even when it seems like there are those who have everything handed to them.  Those more often than not learn that lesson the hard way.  Whether it be a task, a relationship, a car, or your body, in order to make it through it’s going to take the willingness to push through what seems too difficult, unbearably hard.  More often than not, you are going to make it.

After working my tail off since this first week of November on my house, it finally was ready to list for sale.  This past Wednesday evening, the listing went live (click the link to see the details).  There was a showing Thursday afternoon, Friday morning, and yesterday morning (Saturday).

Yesterday’s showing started at 10 AM.  It was a gorgeous day, perfect for a singletrack ride, so I went out early, planning to get home a little after 11.  When I pulled around the corner at 11:15, there were still cars parked in front of the cars, so I drove around the block, parked in front of my neighbor’s house and joined him in his man cave garage to listen to the young couple touring the outside of my house with a realtor.

Man :  The porch roof must be hollow? 

Realtor:  I assume so.  It says here that the roof was new in 2016.  Driveway was new in 2015.

Woman:  Yeah, it looks really good.

I smiled as I listened.  The young couple had met the realtor at my house, arrived in separate cars (relatively new compact Chevrolets).  They were there specifically to look at my house.  They stayed until almost noon.  This early thirties couple was seriously looking at my house.

Miriam and I were in our early thirties when we bought the house.  Childless at the time.. just like this young couple.  When the report came back from our realtor, I found out that the couple was preapproved for an FHA mortgage, so our house would be their first house.  They are currently renting a house, were just informed by their landlord that the house they are renting is under foreclosure.  Our house is in a quiet neighborhood, bustling with active and friendly families, in one of the most desirable school districts in the west suburbs of Chicago.  As it was for us, our house will be perfect for the young couple.

Our realtor sent an email to me around 2:30 PM.. with congratulations and a formal offer included as an email attachment.  The couple had extended an offer, close to our asking price, with a request for closing cost credit and a home warranty.  Miriam and I sat down to discuss the offer, go over our thoughts together, one of the things we actually do well as a couple.  She didn’t like that the closing cost credit was potentially $5000 and that the offer was $5000 less than our asking price.  I simply wanted to know the details of the home warranty.

I put my phone on speaker when our realtor called, so Miriam could participate in the call.  He answered our questions, explained that the home warranty was $500 and for a year, basically insurance that would insure that things like the water heater or furnace or windows would be replaced by the policy if they needed to be replaced.  He suggested a counter offer, accepting the closing cost credit but only if the asking price was accepted, and requesting an additional $1000 of earnest money.

They accepted.  The closing is March 31.

Our discussion moved to the next step — when would we start the divorce?  Logically, it should start after March 31, when we each would have money from the sale of the house to retain a lawyer.

Miriam left to take care of some business shortly after the phone call with the realtor.  Nate was playing golf.  I stood in the freshly painted living room of my house, the afternoon sun casting a glow on the harvest gold walls of the living and dining room.  These people were going to get a nice house, one that I know I have worked hard to maintain over the years (not just the past few months).  I stood there for a while, memories washing over me as I thought of everything that had happened in that room alone.  We made at least one of our children in front of a blazing fire in the fireplace.  Our children crawled on the carpet at my feet.  I laughed as I remembered interviewing my little red head, melted chocolate chips smeared across her face, as I tested our new video camera, then a few years later as she lovingly cuddled her first kitten in that same chair.  Nate building blanket forts using the cushions of the couch and love seat.  Family dinners, the dining room and living room and kitchen full of warmth.  Her sisters gathered around the dining room table, singing songs in Portugeuse as they reminisced their childhood.  My brothers in law and I sat around that same table, teaching our missionary father in law to play cards, much to the shock of our pious spouses.  There were those times chasing our first dog child around that table, trying to get him in house cage so we could leave the house, or the time when I came home as that same dog child sprang up on that table and took a defiant dump in the middle of the table (he was a terrier, so any terrier owner probably has similar memories).  I pictured that same terrier patiently being dressed up by our toddler daughter, complete with a bonnet, placed in a doll stroller, and being pushed like a baby around the house.

Almost 23 years of memories are in that house.

I hope those memories stay in that house, greet the new owners, live on as they create new memories of their own.

March 31 will be here soon.  My life is changing.  It’s getting real.