I made sure to grab a mini throw pillow and a couple of my kids' Aden and Anais blankets out of the house before the movers shoved our entire life of belongings into a truck yesterday morning. I lamented not having socks, because as it turns out, the temperature in empty airports is quite chilly during night hours. Which really only last about 3 hours between the final flight of the night and the incoming people waiting to board the early flights. As for the movers, all we own took just shy of 3 hours to break down beds and pad furniture and stuff it all into a big United truck. And not a minute more.
I then proceeded to patch holes and gashes in the walls from movers, paint said holes, pull weeds, and sweep the entire house before settling on a quick bath because the shower curtain was already on the truck. I air dried post shower and even used a bottle of water and vinegar to spray dust particles I swept up because I didn't even have a dust pan left with me.
Obscure, random pieces of our lives are stuffed in my backpack and carry-on. Diapers, a couple favorite toys, a half-used roll of paper towels, mini foam paint roller (I cannot speak enough praises. It's washable! I washed and reused and touched up four rooms of different color paint using the same paint roller that is still good!).
I wrote a note to the new owners along with leaving a couple trash and yard waste stickers for goodwill, along with our spendy unused backup sump pump and other goodies. I stuffed the note into the junk drawer. Will they use it as a junk drawer, too? My curiosity is peaked.
In our garage, the names of the two kids before us were painted on the wall by the previous owners. I added our kids' initials, but in chalk. I wish I had painted them, keeping Andrew permanently there too. But it's just chalk. There is a handwritten journal in a hall closet that was left by the previous owners that we discovered years into living there. I left that as a sort of time capsule of the home. It just seemed fitting.
I had a gift card to a restaurant that I received in the mail the week after we left for Reno. It was for a restaurant with only two Chicago locations. Knowing I was coming back for this, I offered to treat a friend to dinner and we showed up to a closed sign. Instead we ate a not-so-free dinner at my favorite restaurant in the 'burbs. My friends took me on trips to the hardware store and brought over Diet Cokes and took me to a new restaurant and brought me Popsicles and dropped me off at the airport. I managed 5 visits with girlfriends weaved into those 52 hours that all were last minute arrangements and it just all seemed to flow perfectly. The spending money part wasn't the highlight, but it was an inevitable necessity. I didn't imagine attic work would be a few thousand dollars, but alas. Such is life. We are feeling the bleed.
I said my goodbyes and definitely had some real moments of shed tears over the home we bought for the long term. We expected 30 years there and made it 6+. I can't say I'm sad, because we chose to move, but it certainly was bittersweet. Our intentions were pure and out of love and naivety and we left more heartbroken and more full of love than when the journey in that home began. There was a lot of growth there.
My goodbyes didn't last long, as I announced to my friend after our dinner at this awesome new downtown Naperville place that I had to return to grab my bagel out of the fridge of my empty house. And then it was out for good. It's ours for 24 more days. Closing can't come soon enough.
Fifty-two total hours in Chicago from plane touchdown to takeoff. The kids, the husband and I were separated in three states for those hours. What a way to go out. I'm ready for my bed. In my bedroom in Reno. And that sign to be switched to SOLD. And a great big smoocher from the husband.