Thank God - The House Is Listed! I got up at 5, got on the road before 7 (so far that's a normal work day, except that I had to pack cleaning stuff and a statue of St. Joseph). Drove smack into the thickest fog ever, which did not burn off, and in fact got worse, which added time to the drive. I'd planned to get there before the handyman guy showed up at 8:30, but rolled in behind him by about 10 minutes. He was such a sweetheart; he changed the battery in the smoke detector and took all the picture hooks out of the walls and rigged the outside keypad for the garage door opener so it looks presentable. While I was cleaning the hall bath Mary Lou the Realtor arrived, and we signed the listing agreement in the laundry room, using the washing machine as a desk. The carpet cleaner guys were already there, the noise of the machinery was deafening, and they were so sweet - one just had back surgery and couldn't help, but the other guy and Handyman Jim put the two remaining pieces of furniture - a gold wing back chair Boy wants to keep, and my mother's (now empty) hope chest - in the garage for me, so now I just have to corral Girl and a U-Haul van (or better yet, send her and the BF) over there to collect them. Now we can back up a vehicle and load them directly, without having to tote them far at all. Then Handyman Jim suddenly ran away, waving goodbye when he left. He ran to his truck and left and refused to take any money, though I hollered after him to at least take something for his time. What a sweetheart.
The carpet cleaners did their best, they were also terribly sweet guys - one of them just drove back from TN yesterday, his mother just had a double mastectomy, and he was going home to pack and take his wife and kids back to TN to be with her for Christmas. We wished each other luck with our respective woes - his business is way down in this economy, he lost his father not long ago, he just had back surgery and had just returned to work, now his mother has cancer, and yeah, Merry Christmas to All! He was a really nice guy with a great attitude, and he reminded me that my experiences are not unique. I think that's why I have never descended into self-pity. Every time I have a "Why do I get all this shit?" moment, I meet someone dealing with a similarly dealt hand. All you can do is play the hand you're dealt. What's the alternative?
The carpet guys really did a nice job, but the carpet is almost 10 years old and it is worn and just needs replacing. But it will be fresh and clean for the next owners - they can either replace it before move-in or live with the worn but fresh and clean carpet and replace it later. It's not hideous, but there are stains that can't come out (I'm thinking one must have been a spill of one of my father's medications; it's near the spot where his TV chair sat).
Then I cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned the master bath shower stall, and cursed the morons who install glass shower doors in a hard water place - holy shit, the soap scum was like concrete, and without The Pillars of the Earth on the iPod to distract me, I'd never have survived it. It says a lot about my mother's housekeeping that though she was sick for several months while she lived there alone and in her 80s, the house was virtually spotless, but she didn't have the strength to tackle those damn shower doors. I scrubbed and scrubbed and sweated and cursed and sweated and scrubbed some more, and they are still not perfect, but they're much better. I may have to go hit them again - I'll ask Mary Lou the Realtor for her honest opinion after they dry. I tried to eliminate streaks, but I didn't stick around; by then I'd been cleaning for, oh, 5 hours, and I was exhausted.
Then I put about 15 bags of trash by the curb. I hope they don't have some sort of wacky "Oh, we only take x number of bags per trip" rules in Hernando County, because, well, eff them and the garbage truck they rode in on, I am not driving a 3 hour round trip to do it next week too. In my county they don't care how many bags you put out as long as it's "containerized" in a way they can deal with easily.
And then I buried St. Joseph near the front walk in a spot I can find again, asked his help, and left, sweaty and exhausted. I did not shop vac the garage, and there are still paper towels and cleaning supplies in the house, because if it's on the market for a while, it will need monthly refreshing. But I have faith that St. Joseph and Mary Lou and a reasonable opening price will get us a buyer in 90 days. It's listed at $125,900. That is roughly $50k less than it would have gone for in 2005, but is in line with where the market is now. (Timing: So not our thing in this family.)
And it really is a great little house - a duplex unit in a lovely and upscale community of mostly big, gorgeous single family homes. The duplexes were, I suspect, an afterthought/selling off a phase to create something geared for snowbirds and older folks. There is an incredibly active community center. No need for a gym membership; they have cutting-edge classes in everything, plus every other crafty/literary interest, and a lovely pool, etc. It's gated with actual gate guards on duty, even though the area is not crime ridden, but it's a nice bonus. It's a great seasonal home, because the community is gated and the outside maintenance is included in the HOA dues. Nice golf course, too, or so the golfers tell me. And, thanks to my mother's fear of commitment to color, it is also the most neutral house in town and a blank slate for the next owner. (My own, not so much, but I do keep the carpet and tile neutral. If someone hates my bold French Blue bedroom, I'll give them the names of great painters and a credit toward repainting.)
And so, on my long to-do list of Things Catherine Must Do! I can now cross off "List the Silverthorn house." And if anyone out there happens to see this and is interested in seeing the house, shoot me an email at email@example.com, and I will put you in touch with the listing agent. After she has a chance to get it online, I will link to it. If you think I will cut the price and cut the broker out of the deal, don't bother asking - I will not do that. But if you have a serious interest, let me know.
Edited: I didn't read today's horoscope until just now:
Stress is peaking now -- but that means it should start to decline soon! If things aren't going smoothly, just shrug your shoulders and write it off. Everything should feel a lot better soon!
I already feel a bit better. A lot better is just around the corner.