The Final Chapter

I closed a book this week…..the final chapter was complete and the story has ended.  As with all books you truly love reading, the ending came with mixed emotions – on one hand the story will always remain with you in memories, but on the other hand coming to that last page is usually so sad……and then comes the excitement about moving on to the next really good book.  When I finish reading the last page of a great book, I usually sit there for a while holding the book and thinking through the story ensuring I won’t soon forget it.  I felt that way on Monday.  The book analogy is just that, though – an analogy – I didn’t literally finish reading a book.  I did, however, close the book on a chapter in my life – cut the final physical ties – said goodbye to something I treasured.

Monday was the closing of the sale of my home in Sanford, NC.  Last November, I retired, put my house on the market, and moved my life back to my hometown in Albion, NY.  It was a good decision and a good move for me.  But, I found that selling my home was not going to be as easy as I envisioned – physically or emotionally.  It was an adorable, charming home with excellent curb appeal in a great neighborhood and perfect location at an affordable price – it was sure to sell before I could get settled in Albion, right?  Wrong!  One week shy of eleven months later, the sale officially closed.  I assumed and hoped I wouldn’t have to manage mortgages and expenses on two houses for much more than 4-6 months, but also knew that this economy might dictate a longer duration.  So, now it is done and from a financial perspective, I am over joyed!  From an emotional perspective, it was sad to close that book.

Putting a solid period at the end of this chapter of my life was more than just selling a possession I no longer had a need for.  I was selling a home that I put a lot of my love and personality into.  I had every intention of it being the last home I ever lived in, so I put a lot of time and thought into making it my own.  I purchased it in 2003 and every year I’d take my bonus and tax return and plan out the projects I wanted to accomplish that year.  When all the stars were aligned perfectly to form my decision to retire and move back home, the house was almost exactly the way I wanted it — just a couple minor projects were left on my “to do” list.  But, that’s OK — that’s the way life goes — just when you think you’ve made it to where you thought you wanted to be when you grew up, another goal, twist in the road, or exciting destination pops up and you take it from there!

It also means that I have no more physical ties to Sanford.  I still have friends there, so I’ll have good reasons to visit occasionally, but the sale of my home was the last of the tangible ties I had to a community I enjoyed being a part of.

So, that is that!  On Monday, I waited patiently all day to hear that the closing was finished and when I got the word, I felt relieved – a big financial weight was lifted off my shoulders, I felt excited – definitely cause for celebration, and then I cried – my lovely home was no longer mine!

And then I wandered through my home here in Albion and smiled at the work I’ve done, so far, to make THIS home my own.  And I got the warm fuzzies when I thought about how so very happy I am here – in this new home so close to my family, childhood friends, and new friends.  And the tears went away.  And I felt good, comfortable, and content.  And I put the book I just finished away on my memory shelf – it is done!

Goodbye, Sanford house……..I hope your new owner loves you as much as I did!!!!

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