Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 00:05:47 -0600
From: Sylvia Edwards <s.words@MINDSPRING.COM>
Subject: Breaking more of the Silence
To: WORDS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU

How can it have been 10 years ago?

My second memory also includes moving and a tree. My 1988 New Year's Resolution was to buy and be in a new house. I had gone to work full time and we had sold the KS house. I wanted a home.

In December 1997 we went to some holiday open houses set up by the realtors. We went to homes in our neighborhood and discovered we could not afford to stay where we were, but we did connect with a husband and wife team who sold real estate as a team. They assured us they could find us a house we COULD afford.

We spent January, February and March tromping through home after home after home. We could afford some of the new houses under construction, but none of them could pass Keith's inspection. We decided that instead of a new home, perhaps we'd like an older home. Keith also stipulated that he would NOT look at a single house in what he called "the subdivision from Hell".... Vista Hell Verde. The kids each had many friends in that area and he got lost every time he had to pickup or deliver kids.

In April we made an offer on an older home that was on the other side of the highway, but still in the north end. The owner tore our binder check into shreds and refused to negotiate. We lost that house and I was crushed. We stopped looking and tried to justify staying in the duplex because it was larger than many of the new houses in our price range. Then in July Keith had a serious heart attack that led to a quadruple heart bypass.

I didn't give up reading the for sale ads. In the second week of November I saw an ad placed by our agents. The ad included an address. I drove by and liked what I saw. When Keith got home from work, I dragged him out to see it.

I had wanted a split trilevel, but he wanted a ranch with a full basement, but neither of us would accept what's called a raised ranch. We'd been told that neither of us would be likely to get what we wanted. We looked mostly at front/back splits in more "orderly" subdivisions.

The house was a true ranch with a brick facing and fancy courtyard. I couldn't believe it was in our price range. Keith called our agents and said we'd like to look at it. The wifely unit of the team was the one who took us all over town; when she heard where Keith wanted to go look she said, "But you wanted to avoid Vista and didn't want a fireplace or dining room. That house has all three." Keith said, "All I know is I might be more comfortable living in that hell* than living with the hell to come if I don't look at it."

When we walked into the house, it called our names and said "welcome home. You belong here." The deal was sweetened by the fact the house had just been reduced in price by over $30,000 and an immediate sale was necessary. Our offer was to pay a bit more than the asking price. The seller wanted another $500. We agreed and signed the papers.

The sellers were already living in Hawaii. The house was empty. We could move in as soon as the loan was assured. The first week of December, we were given permission to move and closing was set for the week after Christmas.

At this point most of our furniture was about 20 years old and I wanted new furniture. Keith agreed that I didn't have to move one stick of furniture I was tired of. I called one of the charities that picks up items and made arrangements for them to clean out my house. We kept some antiques, our bedroom stuff and some of the newer pieces that would be handy in the Rec Room in the basement. We would move the weekend before Christmas.

Keith had a blood clot in his left leg a week before the "official" moving day. He spent moving day in the hospital. I found a moving company willing to move us. They packed boxes and disassembled beds. When we got to our house, I directed traffic. The movers were a bit disgruntled to discover that even though the house was a single floor ranch, most of the furniture and boxes were going to the basement. I guess the price they quoted me was based on NOT having to do steps. When they finished they had reassembled our beds and put all the boxes in the appropriate places and accepted the contracted fees. The living room was bare.

What did my now teenaged kids unpack first? Why, the Christmas tree stuff, of course. When I came home from visiting Keith in the hospital, I found that the kids and their friends had the tree up and in place. They put it smack dab in the middle of the empty living room and had hung all the Christmas wall hangings and stockings. Their smiles were brighter than the tree lights.

Keith's parents came to spend Christmas Day with us and to visit Keith in the hospital. We sat around the Christmas tree at our staked out seats on the floor to open gifts. We ate dinner on folding chairs at a card table. We took eats and gifts to Keith at the hospital. We concluded that we 'd had a very good Christmas in spite of moving to/through hell.

Making that sale to us gave our agents a first. We closed the week after Christmas in the hospital just a few hours before Keith went into surgery to do a femoral bypass on his leg. They'd never done a hospital closing before, but gamely made all the arrangements so I could have my new house in 1988.

p.s I had a ball going to January furniture sales and Keith loved the excuse to stay home. By the end of January, the house was furnished and he was back at work...... that meant we could pay for the house and furniture.

p.p.s This week I found two pictures of this Christmas. One of Keith’s parents in the empty living room and one of him sitting up in the hospital bed in his Christmas night shirt opening a gift.