Tuesday, October 8, 2013



Finally, the day I dreamed about—the house is empty, sold, and we're driving our two vans back to California with the stuff we love and think we need.

The last two months have been a bit of a challenge, to put it mildly. We arrived back in Minnesota in early August to a home that had been on the market for four months without an offer. It seemed that it was not going to sell soon. Finally, we received an offer at the the end of August with 30 days until closing. My original plan was to have someone come in to do an estate sale. Unfortunately, they were booked up, and I was left with the responsibility of getting rid of 95% of our belongings in 30 days.

Our children, Ben and Anna, both made trips to the house to determine what they wanted to keep. Next, we gave away whatever we could to family and friends. Then I started my full time nonprofit business on Craigslist. We also used scrappers, charities, recycling, consignment and, when all else failed, the trusty dumpster.

It wasn't a very pleasant experience, but there was light at the end of the tunnel and some special moments along the way.

I needed to part with my much-loved piano that belonged to my family for 60 years. I kept hearing how difficult it is to get rid of pianos. That turned out to be the case. Finally, my ad on Craigslist resulted in a woman asking when her movers could come to pick it up. Off it went. I really wanted to know who was getting it, but at that time I was just relieved that it was out of the house. About three days later I received a nice thank you note from the women saying her children loved the piano. That made me feel much better.

One of the piano movers was thrilled to take my son's preserved shark head home. We offered them a lot more, but for some reason he spotted that shark and was happy.

I had two guys come to pick up the free heavy hideabed which was on the second floor. I advertised it as comfortable. The smile on the guy's face when he sat down on it was priceless.

We had three Chinese people come to pick up our heavy upstairs desk (and other items we talked them into). Before they were done, they offered to drive our van out to California, so we could fly back.

For some reason the treadmill ad on Craigslist attracted all kinds of not-so-nice sexual interest—whatever I said, it was a turn on. They are still responding long after the ad was removed—I continue to forward them to spam.

Then there were the two girls riding by on bikes that volunteered to help move heavy bookcases from the basement and refused to take the money that was offered.

We donated items to the Salem Lutheran Church Garage Sale in North Minneapolis, thanks to my old friend Marcia who did all the work. I grew up in North Minneapolis so there was something kind of cool about my stuff going there. (Especially the Christmas plates that my mother made.)

Thanks to the two men from Friendship Ventures Charity that came and gladly removed so much of what we still had left—including the Christmas tree.

Then there was the perfect gift for a soon-to-be married friend—my daughter Anna's wedding dress. Shannon tried it on and it fit perfectly—she was delighted, and so was Anna.

Through all of this I was getting urgent calls from Jeff, our realtor, with issues related to the sale of the house—there were many contingencies, including a radon problem, but thanks to his hard work they were all resolved just in time for the closing.

We arrived safely back in Coronado, California (whoops, I mean Shangri-la) last night
--all is well.



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