Let me just say, that for weeks, we have been preparing for this first house showing. We actually listed our house days ago, took photos and had the realtor visit last Thursday, but today is the first day we were called for an official showing to a prospective buyer, with only a 2 hour notice!
Now, for some people a two hour notice before a house showing might be plenty of time, but for a woman who spends her time between a wheelchair, walker and recliner and two girls who struggle with their own physical challenges, two hours is a VERY short window. Factor in the fact, we just sold 20 items on Ebay and had the boxes and packing supplies sitting in the main rooms waiting to be packed and shipped and that two hour window seemed even smaller. They had to be transported down a ramp and into the garage to make the main rooms look clean and of course, “clutter free”. It seemed almost impossible. But, instead of saying “no” and losing the chance at a buyer, this crazy mama asked the realtor to push the showing back 30 minutes to allow us enough time to prep the house, remove the extra Ebay boxes and catch our six cats, before they arrived.
I have to say, We did it! We got it prepped! It was clean, decluttered, pet free and looked amazing for such short notice and our first house showing, but it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t fun.
Let me share just a few highlights of the “fun times” we encountered.
*I lost my mind. I screamed. I yelled. I threw things (from one room to another). I mumbled incoherently. I ignored text messages, phone calls, emails and even my kids chatter. I also said things in a way I regretted just a few short minutes later. All because I chose to say “Yes” to the realtor. In hindsight, the entire day would have been much less stressful if I had gotten a handle on ME before I agreed to prep the house and involve my girls. Instead, everything and every conversation was 100x more stressful.
*During prep, all communications between me and my daughters seemed to be intercepted and funneled through a scrambler before being received by their ears. For example:
My words: “Grab the plain, brown square box that used to be in my room and is now by the garage door. It has the craft room curtains in it.” I repeated this at least 3 times since it required someone to walk up and down the stairs. What my daughter heard: “Grab the empty rectangular wooden box at the top of the stairs”. Ummmmmm. Not exactly helpful since it holds no curtains.
My words: “Wipe each paw print in a tight circle to keep it from smearing” Their interpretation: “Smear each paw print so that they create a solid line from the front door to your bedroom window.”
Then it was time to load the car and leave. The girls had caught the cats and put them in their respective cages in the garage while I put the finishing touches on the kitchen and bath areas. I, in turn, locked the remaining loose kitty in there as well, so that she would be in a confined space, could be quickly caught and would not be dirtying our house again. Guess what? That interceptor intruded again and my youngest daughter decided the carriers needed brought to the front door and Kitty needed to be let into the house. REALLY? That is not what we had discussed, as we put boxes and carriers in the garage. Thankfully, the runaway kitty was caught quickly and placed into the tiny laundry room while we finished a final walk through, loaded the dog and cat carriers and finished gathering supplies for being gone. Then….. Guess what? My oldest let her out of the laundry room and the chase was on AGAIN! Thankfully, my frustration raised my adrenaline enough to outweigh my pain, and I was able to participate in the “great cat chase” yet, again. I grabbed her, passed her to her accomplice and threatened the life of anyone who let her loose from ANY room again.
At last, we were loaded in the van. The van bursting with one dog on a leash, 2 teenagers, one kitty roaming free and a kitty choir of 3 in their cages singing the songs of their ancestors (completely out of sync, off key and as loud as they can). MEOW, MEOW, Meow, MEE-OOOOWWWW! And then, I realize that my key is NOT in my pocket.
In my haste to round up the runaway kitty, I forgot the van key in the now closed up house.
By this time, it is just minutes from when we are supposed to be gone, and I can’t find the key. I frantically search my hanging jackets, winter coats and every drawer I can think of, because they are NOT in the place they belong. Suddenly my daughter comes in and tells me my other daughter has been holding it in the car this ENTIRE time. Lord, puh-lease give me patience and hold my tongue. Puh-lease!
It’s EXACTLY 1:30 (time for the house showing), when I pull out of the drive and the guest realtor pulls in. By now the cat choir has reached a crescendo, Kitten is hyperventilating and the dog smell is making me sick, I am allergic. All I could do was pray we would be far enough away he wouldn’t hear the circus I had crammed into my van. Instead, the girls and I voted to “phone a friend”. A friend who has a spare carrier and loves my doggie. A friend whose yard we could hang out in for the hour or so the realtor had asked to have the house. But, our friend didn’t answer. Did I give up? Nope. Instead, I drove by her house and both her cars were home. What did we do? We pulled into her drive, cracked the windows and tried again. During this little window of time, Miss Kitty and Miss Doggie decided they no longer should exist in the same space and should provide back-up sounds for our never ending 3 cat choir, “Snarl-Hiss-Snarl-Hiss-Snarl-Hiss” with a never-ending “meow, meow, meow,” is NOT the sounds you want to hear while sitting in an enclosed vehicle. So, we voted again and decided a trip to the park was our best bet. The girls could take turns walking the dog, no one but us would have to listen to the cat choir, and Miss Kitty could quit hyperventilating because we wouldn’t be in motion.
The park was a great idea!!! The dog walking went well until Miss Doggie decided she should be assigned the job of “Professional poop taster”. Nope. Yuck. Not happening!!! No more walk in the park for crazy Miss Doggie. Instead, I held her retractable leash from the driver’s seat and listened to the cat choir sing the song of their ancestors; now featuring solos, trios and intermittent whines. Thankfully, we have a very large park and no one else had to suffer their alternating lamenting, arguing and torture. It was just perfect, until a fellow dog walker showed up and we had to load Miss Doggie quickly into the van. Don’t get me wrong, “Miss Doggie” is a sweet dog who loves the mailman, Fedex guy, my family and most people, but she HATES other dogs and small children, so when the “other dog” arrived on our side of the park, it was time to “load ’em up and move em out” again.
Thankfully, just about then our realtor texts and let me know the guest realtor was done with the house and the buyer wasn’t interested because the house is too big. Well, yeah. It is over 2400 sq. ft. with the finished basement. What did they expect?
Anyway, time to go home and celebrate a successful house showing, right? Nope. That is when the real fun began.
We are home. The cats are unload and released. The dog is in her space and we can finally eat some lunch and pack our 20 sold Ebay items. Then, I take a breath and completely regret it!
“Who let one?”
Not me. Not me. Not me.
“See if one of the cats got even for our trip and decided to use the floor as a bathroom.”
“No, mom one of the cats went in their carrier.” said with a completely exhausted and exasperated tone.
“Really? Well, &()&()! Check the cage, match the cat and see if they are clean, then take the carrier out and hose it down.”
Arguing and procrastinating ensues, but it does end up leaving the room.
FINALLY, the awful aroma is gone, the cat is checked and the carrier is clean, and I look up to see I missed the stack of DVDs on the living room TV, just as the girls rush in to tell me that my youngest daughter’s dirty, wadded up, vibrant orange socks were on top of the freezer the entire time we had visitors. Why? Because she handed them to her sister while she used the step stool that morning and her sister put them there.
So much for celebrating a perfect showing. LOL. I am so tired that I consider it a win, that at least it wasn’t someone’s bra. I, am telling you I lost it. Crazy came to stay when the cat choir reached it’s first crescendo.
As I mentioned earlier, we had 20 sold Ebay items that we carried back to the garage this morning and needed to bring back in along with the packing supplies and other tools. If I was in good health, had two good legs and hadn’t used up all of my adrenaline two hours ago, the moving the boxes back and forth would have been easy-peasy. Instead, it reminded me WHY we are selling our home and looking for an accessible one level. I should not have to push myself so hard just to function each day to live in my own home. I shouldn’t need to hold one leg in place, walk like a snail or devise plan to limit my movement in order to keep my hips and femur in place. So, I pushed through with the girls’ help and got everything in, set up the packing station, print the labels and invoices and start packing, to make it to the post office in an hour.
Who did I think I was fooling?
Instead of a smooth process, we ran out of everything. Not just packing tape, but scotch tape, masking tape and definitely patience. My daughter suffered a mini-episode and new sudden injury that made her go from smirking at her mama’s frustration to a horror movie face in .2 seconds because of the pain in her ear, throat and neck. Then, she slurred words and had constant pain for another 30 minutes. Yep, we NEVER have a dull moment. EVER. Thankfully, with a little rest, meds and some manipulation, she improved enough that an ER visit wasn’t necessary.
This is where I confess, that I did not have the strength or stamina to walk to the van, go into the store, back to the van and back into the house, so Ebay waited until hubby got home and could get them for me. It will simply have to ship tomorrow instead. He also cooked dinner with my oldest and cracked crazy mom/wife jokes while I finished packing the boxes, bags and envelopes with the Ebay stuff and kept an eye on my youngest.
To end the day, we watched our current “family” movie series, ate pudding and pumpkin bread and then went our separate ways; him to his computer, me to my recliner and the littles to their resting spots.
I figured not too much should go wrong if we were all sitting still. Right? Have you met my family? We give new meaning to “normal”.
Why did I share this post? One so different from my usual?
Because I miss blogging, and I am not quite ready to resume a series, but I want to share that my life truly is far from perfect. I am far from perfect and my house is certainly far from perfect. When I asked the moms’ in my business group if I should blog about our house showing, hunting, listing and moving, several recommended keeping it real and sharing the ups and downs. Moving into a new home isn’t all fun and excitement, but it is so worth it in the end. I just need to keep my eye on the prize. A level home with handicap accessibility, a space for each of my kids, a work space on the main level and another in the basement for my hubby.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this post. Did it inspire you? Disappoint you? Make you laugh or make you disgusted?
Please send me an email or comment below, so I can continue to share things that inspire you.