Getting ready

Josie Leavitt

There is something about a cancer diagnosis that has propelled me to leap where before I would have thoughtfully considered making changes while actually remaining idle. My house has needed work for several years, and I have largely, okay, completely ignored what needs doing. Now that I’m frantically getting my house ready to go on the market, these long ignored tasks need to be addressed.

I have a third bay to my garage which I never use, ever. I have known for a long time that the door is literally hanging on by a thread of rotten wood with massive gaps that allow critters easy entering and exiting. Now confronted with a great realtor who tried to open the door only to have it begin to crumble in his hand and look at me and say, “Seriously?” I am getting a new door. I’m sure the local squirrels will find this irksome as the weather turns chilly, but the animals will need to relocate to a garage of someone whose house is not on the market.

My chimney has two flues, which I learned upon inspection last week. One of them is wonderful, the other, the one used by the furnace, not so much. The technology of the chimney inspection is incontrovertible. Live action film is captured on an iPad so I can see what I don’t understand. Gaping holes where there should be none. “It’s a really easy fix and very common in a house this age.” I am learning that easy fixes are not inexpensive. 

In fact, getting a house ready to sell is just one new expense after another. My very serviceable dishwasher door broke last week after ten good years of service. I am not replacing, but rather will suggest that it’s quirky and you need only not be directly in front of the door when it opens if you like your shins. The refrigerator is making odd noises. It’s almost as if the house knows I’m leaving it and it’s got somethings to say. 

Moving also means dealing with the accumulation of things. I’ve lived in the house for 22 years and must come to grips with clothing that I’ve held onto since then. Honestly, they’re the clothes I didn’t deal with when I moved here. I think every woman who has struggled with her weight, as I have, is loathe to give up that pair, or two, of goal jeans and conversely the fat pants. Because I’ve not really given away many clothes, my closet is a bonanza of sizes where I can comfortably shop for whatever weight I happen to be. This will change in the new house. I have vowed to only bring clothes that fit right now. 

Moving is very much about starting over. My goal is move to a house that has been inspected and is in good shape, and more importantly it’s about only bringing to the house what I actually want. This is the hard part for a former-bookstore owner. It feels a little bit like choosing favorite children. As I work at packing up and sorting, every day I tell myself that this is the hard part of moving and this will allow me to have only the things that make me truly happy in the new house. 

I’d write more about this, but I’ve got boxes to pack.