Last week I traveled to Wisconsin to visit my siblings and to attend WisRWA’s 2013 Write Touch Conference. I also, unexpectedly, bought a house.
It’s been a long eighteen months since my loss. During that time, I’ve kept busy with my day job and various house projects. But despite living in the East for close to 25 years, at heart I’m still a Midwesterner; most of my family still lives there. Last year I decided that when I retired in 2014, I would move closer to home. A logical decision, one that felt right in spite of the added drama so many nearby kinfolk might bring into my life.
On the Internet I began to follow the southern Wisconsin housing market. On trips, I began dragging siblings with me to see houses. Most recently, I made offers on two separate houses, both non-productive. On this particular trip, however, nothing seemed to fit. Last Wednesday, after two afternoons of seeing an assortment of selected listings, I parted with my realtor and headed back to my brother’s. “We’ll find something next visit,” I thought. “There’s time.”
Minutes later, my realtor called about a new listing she’d just seen on their in-house board.
When I drove up the quiet, tree-lined street to meet her in front of the brick Cape Cod, its traditional charm greeted me. Mid-tour through the empty house, I called my local sibs, pleading with them to meet me at the house despite the busy dinner hour. During their tour, each of them privately pulled me aside. Although they may rarely agree on much, each said the same thing. “If you don’t buy it, I will.”
An hour later, back in the realty office over take-out pizza and store-bought peanut butter cookies, my realtor guided me through my offer to buy. My husband and I, during our 38 years together, bought four houses. And, as mentioned above, over the past few months I’d written up two other offers. This still felt strange, alone. At the form’s bottom, there are two spaces for the buyer to sign – generally husband and wife. I signed the top line, noting the other line with a degree of sadness. Thoughts raced through my mind. It’s serious business, committing to buy a house, alone. It’s serious business, committing oneself to an 850-mile move into retirement, alone.
Of course, I’m not alone. Everywhere loved ones reach out in support. My friends. My realtor. My family. My sons. And always, my husband. During the very long 22-hour wait for the seller to respond to my offer, I felt his warm presence. I believe he would love this house. (Well, maybe not some of the wallpaper, but that can be replaced.)
Right now I’m in mid-process. Inspections completed with closing scheduled for summer. With luck, all will move smoothly. It’s a friendly house with good bones. With some repairs and a few minor changes to make it my own, it will comfortably meet my needs when I retire and in years to come. It’s a bright, airy house that, next year, I’ll make into my home.
I’m moving forward.
By the way, the WisRWA Write Touch Conference was great. I heard dynamic speakers, enjoyed wonderful visits with old friends, and savored the joy of forming new friendships. At times, though, I had a tough time focusing on conference business. In my mind I kept walking through the rooms of my new house. I stripped wallpaper, arranged furniture, entertained family and friends, read, and created new stories in that glorious sun room. I’m glad my roommate and other writer friends were understanding, and that our Keynote Speaker, Michael Hauge, offered a DVD. ♥
Dear Deb, the house is gorgeous! I am so proud of you. I had a lump in my thoat while reading the post, but it feels right for you. God bless!
Thank you, Rose. Siblings said “it’s your house, Deb,” and I agreed. It feels right and I’m happy, despite the hustle and bustle that waits this next year. 🙂 Hope you are well. We need to meet for breakfast again!
Life does go on, Deb. So happy for you – returning to the pull of your roots and what a delightful sunroom. That alone would have sold the house for me. Best in all you do! Your midwestern friend from so many years ago.
Linda, the curb appeal certainly caught my eye, but I think the sunroom clinched it for me. Everyone should build one, don’t you think? Especially in the northern climes! So good to hear from you. 🙂
Deb, I loved seeing those pictures of your beautiful new house at conference and again here. Reading your blog today brought tears to my eyes, and yet I can sense you’ll be happy in your retirement. Congratulations and looking forward to maybe seeing you more often come 2014. 🙂
Thank you, Stacey. It was so good seeing and talking with you at the conference. I’m looking forward to next year. 🙂
So glad you posted some of the house photos. I loved viewing them once again and remembering your joy when we first viewed them at the conference. Tom does approve this choice of yours. Of that I’m sure.
Have a great week.
Yes, he does. It’s a classic, just like him. 🙂 So good seeing and talking with you at the conference. The time went too quickly. Take care, my friend.
I’m so happy for you. The house is lovely and the fact that it feels right to you is very important. A person truly does know when the house feels like home. Really love the sun room! And the bedroom window. I wish you well.
Thanks for your thoughts, Pat. Hope to see you this fall.
Deb, I’m really sorry I didn’t go to the conference. I would have loved to have seen you. Congrats on your new house! The pictures look wonderful. I’d love to get together with you some day.
I missed seeing you, too Edie. We’ll meet up some time next year. 🙂
Deb, thanks for sharing your blog with me. I’m looking forward to many good times with my new friend here in the Midwest. Your Realtor
Me, too, Suzette. 🙂 It was an adventure exploring houses with you (and my “crazy” sibs). You do great work and have a lot of patience! Looking forward to next year, and many good talks.
You made a wonderful choice. Looks like a lovely home. I believe your husband was by your side as you made this decision. Good luck!
Yeah, I think he was. 🙂 Thank you, JoAnne!
Your new home is beautiful! I’m so happy for you. I especially love that sunroom.
A sunroom was on my list of “hopefuls” and I’m glad this one is so nice. Please post pics of your new home in TN as you start construction. What an adventure!
What a wonderful story, Deb. I didn’t realize that you had lost your husband, and am so sorry for your loss. This house you have purchased looks gorgeous, and I am so very happy for you. Best regards for a great retirement in this special home. ThInking of you……..
Thank you for your kind note. It is a pretty house, and I look forward to living there.
The house is beautiful! So Welcoming. Congratulations on your decision and have fun with the move.
Thanks so much, Elaine. 🙂
This is a very heartwarming and positive story for your future. I’m glad to have seen and read the FB link, but am sad this means you’ll be farther from the NJRWA and conference where I’ve enjoyed getting to know you! Best wishes to you as this new stage unfolds, but I’m sure I’ll see you in October to tell you that in person!
Thanks, Laurel. I’m keeping my NJRW membership and plan to come back annually for the conference! Looking forward to this fall’s. 🙂 Are you going to RWA National?
I’m not going to Nationals, but will be at NJRWA. Are you? Have a good time!
Deb, I’m always pleased when I find I have a blog post from you. This one is especially wonderful. Your new place looks lovely. As everyone has said, what a great sun room! Lots of writing there. Having been fortunate to have been retired for several years now, let me tell you it’s wonderful. And to have your extended family near is perfect.
Moving on is the perfect title for this post and something we all must do for various reasons throughout our lives. Thanks for role modeling how to make it happen. Good luck with the move and with having more time to write. My first book comes out in July in e format. It’s been quite a ride. Don’t have the cover yet, but as soon as I do it will show up on my blog http://www.marsharwest.com/category/blog Please let’s see more of you here at Stringing Beads.
Marsha, It’s always good to hear from you. Thank you for following my infrequent words. CONGRATULATIONS on your upcoming book. I’ll watch for it! Not so sure about being a role model – just surviving and trying to live life in a happy productive way, just as I would want Tom to do if I were the one who passed away first. (Wisdom from a dear sister-in-law.). Anyway, I’m so happy for you and will watch your blog for the release! 🙂
Best wishes as you journey toward this new stage of life!
Thank you, Debra. Journeying toward a new stage. It feels good to be taking this step. 🙂
Your new house looks absolutely gorgeous! The sun room alone would make me buy it. We’ll really miss you here in NJ, but I understand your decision.
P.S. SO glad to hear you will be returning for the NJRW conference each year!
Nancy, with my poor attendance at meetings these last few years, you’ll probably see me as often as you have. But I wouldn’t miss NJRW’s Conference. They’re golden. Will I see you at National?
Hi, I saw you at the conference, didn’t meet you, but this caught my attention since my husband is a Realtor. Nice House!! Welcome to WI. wherever you may be!
Susan, I saw you too. We should have greeted one another! 🙂 Realtors have played an important role in my life. Must be a fascinating job. (Houses are a passion for me.). I’ll be in south central Wisconsin and will probably attend the Milwaukee meetings, at least initially. Email me, won’t you?
What a beautiful view into your life and the strength with which you greet each day. Your new house looks lovely, and I am so glad to have you back in Wisconsin. Hope we can see one another more regularly now! Congrats, Deb. Welcome!!! 🙂
Deb, your new house is so pretty! And a lovely home for you to retire to! By buying the house, your plans are set now! And your husband will be there – in your heart. Best wishes, and have a wonderful year!
Beautiful home! Congratulations.
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