“Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake…” Remember that song by my buddy Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo on Graceland, released in 1986? That was a great album- won the best of the year at the Grammy’s. Still, it was sort of rude of my brain to start humming that in my sleep at 3 AM.
Perhaps it’s because I sold my home here in Ann Arbor yesterday. Closed the deal. Signed a stack of papers- “here, here, initial here, sign here, here, here, initial, sign, here,here…” Turned over the manuals to all the appliances. (I’m worse than Middle Aged Man, the SNL superhero who flies through the neighborhood with a pot belly and the manual to your 1983 Maytag dryer.)
It was my house to sell so I went to the closing alone. The husband of the new owners came alone, too- his wife was transplanting a lung into someone but she stepped out of the operating room twice to call and see how it was all going. It went beautifully. Piece of cake.
To whit: While the housing market here in Ann Arbor is as stagnant as it has ever been- ever- and houses all over my neighborhood have been sitting on the market for months, slowly dropping the price time and time again, well, I sold my house. I never listed it, I never had a real estate agent, I never advertised it, I never put up a sign. I tidied the place up, picked some flowers from the garden and called a lovely young thoracic surgeon and her husband, new to the area, who had expressed interest a few months before, “if we ever sold our house.” She heard about it by way of a chat I had with her mother, the proprietor of the corner antique store where we have the little bungalow in St. Petersburg. I said, “We’re thinking of selling because Rich has a job offer in Chicago. You’ve probably already found a place but…” and she said, “We’ll be right over.” They came with their darling 2 year old and baby; we put McCloud on the welcoming committee. They offered us an excellent price, we offered them a beautiful home (not just a house) and garden and yard and location. Room for their boys to grow and run.
McCloud, meanwhile, is spending his last Friday Ark here, luxuriating on the deck. Next week he will be in the dreaded pet carrier, complaining about traffic on the Dan Ryan Expressway. And Joshua, the new resident two year old will be keenly disappointed to discover that McCloud was not a permanent fixture that came with the house. And I am homeless, a renter in my own home, sleepless at 3 AM.
Next week we will buy our new home in Chicago. And I will share with you now the first of many “new house” worries. Some fool (that would be moi) chose a house that has three flights of open stairs- because “It’s so light! So open! And the stairs will keep us fit!” Would you like to know how much money it costs to carpet FIFTY FIVE open stairs that each require wrap around carpet and expert installation? Hmm, about 32 million dollars. I think that’s what Jim, my new best friend at Peerless Rug in Chi- town said before I dropped the phone…