Last Saturday our friends went on a three-week vacation, which includes a Mediterranean cruise.
Saturday night at 6:55 PM we got a call from their burglar alarm company saying the alarm had been set off and the police were on their way. We didn't hear anything back so we assumed it was nothing.
Monday we found out that the house could close escrow on Friday or next week if everything fell into place. Gary suggested that we try to find a septic tank service that could do the pumping and inspection sooner than we had it scheduled. Our real estate agent was skeptical that we could, but I made a call and suddenly we had a company that would do it the next day. That was when I KNEW it would close. And on Monday Gary went to our friends' house to water their yard and he said it looked like someone had taken a drill and tried to drill through the deadbolt, which set the alarm off.
Tuesday I went out and sat reading "Born Round" by Frank Bruni while a remarkably cheerful man (considering the line of work he's in) pumped and inspected the two septic tanks. When I got home, Gary was on the phone with the title company, who asked us to come in and sign our part the next day. They also told us we needed a joint checking account for the money to be deposited into, which we didn't have.
Wednesday we went to open a joint checking account. Gary suggested a credit union that I had had less-than-stellar service from in the 1980s, but I thought that (a) maybe it had gotten better and (b)it would suffice for a place to dump the money into. We opened the account and I thought they kind of nickel-and-dimed us a bit, and were also pretty darn cheesy on their interest rates, but again - it's just a holding place for the money.. Then we went to the title company and signed. I was a bit concerned that the agent seemed scattered, but we got it all signed and we went to lunch (which we hadn't done in four months because we've been scrimping).
Friday morning we went to the house and picked up a box of cleaning supplies we had stored there along with a hose from the yard. We left the keys for both houses and pump houses plus a letter I had written to the new owner detailing how the water works and who does the internet/phone service in the area and how to get mail service and things like that, along with a sort of sappy heartfelt letter about how much I loved the place and hoped she would too.
When we got home we had a series of emails from our real estate agent counting down the process - funded, then recorded. And it was done.
By that time the finality of it hit me and I was pretty damn depressed. I emailed her back, thanking her for all she had done. She said the money would be in our checking account in an hour.
Meanwhile, I realized that an address can only have one free form of mail delivery - you can have a PO box free but not two of them - so I finally went out to my old post office and closed my PO Box - which we had had since 1964 - so that the new owner could have free mail delivery. And when I drove past my old house THEY WERE ALREADY MOVING IN.
The ink's barely dry and THEY'RE IN MY HOUSE.
And I started to cry.
I also noticed they had a big honkin' pickup and a large travel trailer RIGHT OVER THE LEACH FIELD.
(For people who have never had a septic tank: it connects to a series of underground perforated pipes that distribute the contents over a large area. The pipes are not terribly deep underground AND YOU DO NOT DRIVE ON TOP OF THE LEACH FIELD.)
I went home and our real estate agent called and I started to cry on the phone to her.
She came by and dropped off a little gift - some very expensive locally-made olive oil and balsamic vinegars.
And that afternoon we kept checking and the money was not in our account. Gary called the credit union and the woman he spoke to was not the nicest person in the world. I finally called the title agent and she checked and their accounting department had screwed up and not sent it and it wouldn't be in our account until Monday, we hope. (I would have rather had a check but they put a hold on that for ten days, so we went with a wire....). I have to check first thing tomorrow and if it ISN'T in there - and I have no reason to think it will be, given their performance so far - I need to get on the phone and rip someone a new one.
And that night we went to our friends' house to do watering. I went inside the house to water the house plants and the damn alarm went off without warning.
The next morning at 3:40 AM the phone rang. My first thought was, "Who died?" Gary's first thought was "The alarm went off." No, it was our friends calling from Rome to say congratulations on selling the house. I don't think she had any idea what time it was here, but it was good to talk to them. They were having a wonderful time.
Then at 6:40 AM the phone rang AGAIN and that time it was the burglar alarm company AGAIN to tell us the alarm went off AGAIN and they were dispatching the police. We never heard back on that one either. I bet when I go inside to water the plants that I set it off again.
Last night we did have some fun - we went to a tap house that we'd heard good things about and had some beer, and I went to the Hawaiian barbecue place two doors down that I had also heard good things about, and OMG PONIES was it all good. It was so nice to have a little bit of relief after this week.
The house is sold. It's what I wanted. But it's also the end of my life there. I can never go back.