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I made it. Life since December has been non-stop, mostly related to preparing my condo for selling, as well as wedding plans. Thankfully, Lisa relished the whole wedding planning process, so my job for the wedding was mostly to nod in agreement. I do that well. There were tasks I had to do, but mostly I just had to show up. The caterer was my big task, which I accomplished. Let’s face it, food really isn’t a challenge. Our guest list was small, intentionally, only 53 people, so ordering food was easy.

The condo prep was a lot of work, constant. After weeks of painting, replacing a floor, rehanging doors and doing some general cleaning, I was ready to hang it up. When the last baseboard was replaced, I vowed not to touch another hammer or paint brush for the rest of my life. Ha! Like that is going to happen. The kitchen floor, in particular, looked very nice. Lisa saw that and immediately the wheels started turning in her head with ideas for projects to do around our house (condo). At the beginning of February, my condo was ready to sell. The listing went active at 4 PM on a Sunday. Within minutes there were multiple requests for showings the next day. I worked from Lisa’s condo (next door.. short commute) Monday morning, to accommodate the showings, and was rewarded with two offers that morning. Another followed early that afternoon. Two were nearly $8000 higher than the asking price, and one of those offers was an as is offer. It was nice to be in a seller’s market!

I’m not sure how many showings there were the first day. Let’s just say there were a lot of showings, so many that I had to start turning down requests, allowed one more showing Tuesday morning before I accepted one of the offers. My realtor vetted the credit of each of the buyers, said all three had solid loans. After some discussion, I decided to accept the offer from a young man who is an elementary school band director. My daughter teaches band, so I figured he would be an admirable choice. A guy who teaches kids instrumental music all day likely needs a quiet place to live.

My place sold and appraised at a price $17000 higher than any other condo like it in our condo association prior. In a few short years, the value of my home increased nearly $60000. That may not sound like that much in today’s real estate market, but my condo was a small 1000 sq ft, two bedroom one bath unit with an attached garage. The equity was enough to make me feel stress free financially for the first time in what seems like an eternity.

I closed on the condo a little over two weeks ago. The four week period between the sale and the closing went quickly. Thanks to FB Marketplace, nearly all my furniture was gone quickly. Since I was moving into Lisa’s condo, all but a few items had to be sold or given away. It’s pretty amazing what people will buy if it is cheap. The worst items seemed to garner the most interest — a forty year old wobbly dresser and nightstand ($5 for the pair) sold in 10 minutes, with countless inquiries. I sold the dressers and nightstand in the master bedroom to a woman who fixes up old furniture and resells. She even helped me move it from my second floor unit to her van, came back to pick up the rest. When she saw some of the other stuff I had, she offered to buy some more items. I hated to part with one of those items, an outdoor bench that I had out on my balcony, weathered nicely, a home made project my dad made from an old headboard and footboard. I was touched by the immigrant couple who showed up in an old Toyota Corolla to buy the tattered full mattress and box spring I had. They drove an hour to pick it up, but it was obvious they were grateful for it. Neither spoke much english, but when I asked them if the bed was for their children they said no, it was for them to sleep on. They struggled to load the frame, comforter, sheets inside the car, then bravely strapped the mattress and box spring to the top of their little car. Somehow they managed. I felt a little guilty for taking $10 from them, tried to decline the cash, but they insisted I take it.

I moved some things into Lisa’s condo, but that was difficult, as her son still had things there. I planned to move the remainder of my things in a week before the closing, but when I went to her place to move, I found out that her son’s girlfriend had kicked him out the day before, so he had moved back in to Lisa’s. After the smoke cleared, and I had managed to hold my temper, we talked it out. She asked him to move his stuff out, which he did immediately. There will still things left, and he was still living with her, but I was able to move most of my stuff over. By the day before the closing, I had moved my stuff to OUR place.

For two weeks, I needed a place to live. I try to honor God and understand why it’s important to wait to live together until marriage. A couple we know from church, who also were studying with us to help prepare for marriage, offered to let me live in their garage loft until the wedding. The loft is his office, so it was a sacrifice for him to let me live there and work from there for two weeks. I am very grateful. Not only was it kind of them, but I really enjoyed getting to know Jim and Cindy better during the time I stayed with them. The loft doesn’t have a bathroom, so I saw them quite a bit, as they left their back door open for me so I could use their basement bathroom. I used that most of the time, but during the night there was no way I was going to stumble through the dark and into their house to use the bathroom. I got used to peeing in a cup!

The wedding was this past Saturday. I will save the details for another blog. We both remarked that night, after we were recuperating from the day, that the day was even better than anticipated. Lisa really plans well and it showed! Such a wonderful day. I am married now. As you can tell from the picture, she is gorgeous, and my jaw dropped when I say her appear in her short wedding dress. I don’t like most of the pictures of myself, as the winter was not kind to my physique! I will lose quite a bit of weight as the cycling season starts, thank goodness.

Life is good, better than I imagined it would be five years ago. A lot has changed. I am glad to be able to trust in God, because he has truly blessed me.