Monday, July 10, 2006

hummingbird feeder : Saying goodbye is hard when you've made your house a home

Angela E. Lackey, Midland Daily News
07/09/2006

How do you say goodbye to something that nurtured you body and soul for five years?
It was our 10th wedding anniversary and I was sick. I was about to get sicker. Our real estate agent called and said a young couple wanted to buy our home.
Now this was the deal when my husband, David, and I moved to Midland seven years ago. He was going to build a house, putting sweat equity into it, and eventually we would sell and make a profit.
But I soon knew I didn’t want to stick to the deal. After the call, my emotions went into high gear. I looked outside a window at the full green trees and cried. I noticed the hummingbird feeder and worried if the new owners would feed the birds their sugar water.
I remembered the ceramic tiles that David spent so much time cutting and fitting on the bathroom floor and vanity. I saw the little flower garden plaque that said "God Bless this Home" and fell to my knees, crying.
The flower petals felt so soft. The woods seemed so calm. The porch, a perfect place to sit on a summer day, suddenly seemed neglected. Why had I worked so much when I could have been relaxing there?
Each part of the house had a memory. There were memories of love and arguments that hurt badly. There were times of playing Scrabble on the dining room table and reading books together on the couch, feet touching feet.
There was our outdoor ‘pet,’ the black squirrel. David made a bird feeder, but the squirrel felt it was his food. Nothing we did kept the squirrel out until David put a steel cone underneath the feeder.
The black squirrel took a flying leap from our porch, hit the cone and bounced off. He stood outside our window for minutes, making angry noises. We were sure he was telling us off.
Several days after the call, our agent came with the papers. I was still unwilling to let go of the house and threatened not to sign them. But wasn’t I suppose to want this? We had been trying to sell the house for more than two years.
I watched as David signed each page. Then it was my turn. I read every word, questioning every single thing. I was stalling.
Finally, I signed each page. Then I cried and ran out of the room.
It did get better. We took a walk in the woods one last time. I stopped crying when I looked at the trees or thought about the birds. I started packing for the move.
Thursday was closing day. I sat in my car for a while, thinking of the past five years. I knew then it was over. I was turning over my home to strangers, trusting they would appreciate all the beauty and hard work that went into it.
Now David is drawing up plans for the next house. And I can’t wait to hear the hammering of nails in the middle of the woods.

©Midland Daily News 2006

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