“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.Cloudy_2

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…Stairwell

15 responses to ““Homeless…homeless…

  1. It’s just so YOU to sell your house that way.

    Love the picture of the new place. You will have thighs of steel!

  2. What are those stairs made of? Are you carpeting them for sound-deadening? I wouldn’t be surprised if the phone didn’t bounce down all 55 of them.

    Have I missed something? This is the inside of the ivy covered house, right? I want to be moving (inside myhead) to the right place. This is just a beautiful home.

  3. If I were Jewish I would say OY! I hear that a lot on the streets of New York. After climbing the stairs in subways and theaters and museums and parks…. my knees ache just looking at this picture. I would have to invest in sturdy knee braces and install oxygen tanks on each landing, at least until my “thighs of steel” decided to show up. Perhaps rubber matting on the steps would be less trouble, or leaving them alone unless there is a worry about slipping. Now, the first time a cat tries to walk on the top bannister…. OY!

    Did it come with an expandable ladder… a very large expandable ladder? How did they get those paintings up there?

    This “home” is lovely. It is hard to be homeless. I’ve been that way for almost two years now. But, keeping the chin up and planning a renewed hunt for work, even if the knot in the stomach won’t go away. Only three more days in New York. I wish it were another week, one without the two days lost to 115 heat indexes, heat warnings and air stagnation warnings. As soon as Nyssa arrives back from a short trip up to Newburgh, we are off to the Botanical Garden.

  4. Friday Ark #98

    We’ll post links to sites that have Friday (plus or minus a few days) photos of their chosen animals (photoshops at our discretion and humans only in supporting roles). Watch the Exception category for rocks, beer, coffee cups, and….? We will add you…

  5. This is another enthralling piece, Vickster. Nicely done.

    Now then, pick yourself up from the floor and get a second opinion. There might be someone willing to do the job for, say, $31 million.

    Good luck, Miss Waif. (Six days to go?)

  6. Is the picture of McCloud his reaction to all those stairs? ;o)

    But wait! Cats love to climb, don’t they? =o)

  7. Congratulations on the sale of your home. Good luck with the stairs…my next home will not have any.

  8. Gorgeous house and garden! Good luck Vicki…keep the faith. ^j^

  9. I haven’t been by in a while. I don’t know why, but your site would not load…or at least not in any amount of time I could wait for.
    Glad to see that things are coming together and you have an MC Escher house.

  10. Congratulations on the sale..I am glad it is going to people that are going to enjoy and take care of it..
    The new place looks great..
    The carpet thing was a sticker shock..surely there must be a better deal on getting them done..

    Have a wonderful day!
    (=’:’=) huge huggles
    (“)_ (“)Š from da Raggedy one

  11. Don’t you want to add expert carpet installer to your resume? I think I would go with bare stairs – or learn how to do it myself!

    Congratulations on selling the hosue so easily and quickly. Can you handle the sale of ours when the time comes? Good luck on the purchase of the new one.

    P.S. that’s one of my favorite CD’s!!

  12. I love all the stairs–my husband is a specialist, but not in carpeting. It’s a very cool look. I would feel very weird about selling my home. But on the other hand, it also appears that it was meant to be. The new owners will love it and appreciate it, so you’ll have no worries there.

  13. Ooh, it is very light and airy. Very pretty and very urban chic too. The shudders from imagining the cost of carpeting were almost gone when I started thinking about how long it’d take to vaccuum that many stairs… Eek!

  14. I’m so happy that your home is going to such a lovely family! I’m so thrilled that their little ones will get to grow up somewhere that has such beautiful energy and clean surroundings! I am just so thrilled for you, too, that you didn’t have to go through the usual Real Estate torment… Clearly, this was one of those things that was just meant to be.

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