Monday, August 16, 2010

And The House Cried

A couple of weeks ago, while I was still on Long Island, I got a phone call, interrupting lunch with Mom, my sister and my friend. It was Greg.

"Hi. Listen to this..."

I listened but heard only silence.

"Did you hear that?" he asked me.

"It's quiet," I told him.

"The moving van just pulled away. I thought maybe you could hear it. Today's a sad day."

I thought he was joking. Greg's been looking forward to being done with that house in Texas for a long time. We had some tough times there. When we were looking to buy a house, the schools in that area had high rankings. But as new neighborhoods spread out around us and families from New Orleans moved in after Hurricane Katrina, our schools became overcrowded. Rankings declined. Chaos increased. It took its toll on our sons.

"Are you being sarcastic?"I asked him.

"No! 14 years here, lots of memories. Now all the rooms are empty."

That was sweet. Though we always knew we wouldn't live there forever, there are many things we'll miss about the neighborhood. The people, of course. The pond where Greg and boys fished. The soccer fields. Lots and lots of time spent on those soccer fields where many lifetime friendships were created.

We talked a little more and I asked him to take a few pictures before he left the house for good. After we hung up and I shared our conversation with Mom, Cathy and Ileana, we were all surprised that he was feeling so nostalgic.

"Well, in Texas they say that Greg's heart grew three sizes that day!"

Next morning, I was awakened by my phone ringing. Greg again.

"I don't even know why I'm calling," he said, "except that I just need someone to talk to."

He explained that on a whim, he decided to walk through the house one last time that morning before catching a plane to Canada. When he opened the door, it took him a moment to process what he was seeing. The hardwood floor in the living room was a puddle. Water rained down from the second floor through a hole in the ceiling.

He ran upstairs and found the tank to the master bathroom toilet cracked. He shut off the water and ran next door to borrow a mop. All of our cleaning supplies were on a highway somewhere in the moving van. Then he cancelled his flight.

"I can't wait til this mother @#$% house is sold and behind us!!" he said to me. "It's like it's cursed!!"

What a difference a day makes. Well, the house is sold now. Despite the fact that our realtor walked into the house with a client in tow and found a gaping hole in the living room ceiling (shoulda called us first-ha!), we were able to sell the house to someone else for a reasonable price.

Good memories intertwined with bad memories. If the walls could talk. Hm! They'd probably say, "So long, suckers!"

God help the new owners.


lois meyer said...

I really liked that house and I love the pictures you sent when the house was "all dressed up" for the realtors. I'm keeping prints. When I was down the last time and driving around on errands, I realized that I was going to miss going to Missouri City and seeing all of you there. Oh, well, on to the lake house! Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Caryl, Moving, selling a house is never easy, but you have had more than your share, a hole in the ceiling, oh my. That must have freaked Greg out, I know had that been Tommy finding the leak, you would have heard him all the way in Long Island with the most colorful language!!

Glad the house is sold and you and Greg are onto the next phase of your lives, enjoy!!


linda said...

Too bad had to deal with the plumbing hassle at the Nth hour, but maybe it was fate's way of making it easier to emotionally let go, move on - litertally and figuratively - and enjoy the freedom.