Taxes, Death and Moving

We waited years to sell a house we never liked.


Thankfully, three noteworthy events intersected last summer: our youngest graduated high school, our middle and oldest sons moved into their own respective apartments, and the economy bounced back from a decade-plus of real estate dregs.

No one had to ask us twice.

images (5)

We grabbed paint brushes and tools and set to work prepping a house that had been under siege by three boys over the last thirteen years.

By September, we could barely walk. I’d painted every bit of trim in the house while my husband handled the ceilings and walls. Reaching, bending, stretching, crawling became hobbling, hurting, cursing, swearing.

In the home-stretch of this HGTV-on steroids, our accidental-Realtor had found a buyer. “Could we show the house before listing it? Oh, and they want to see it Monday.” 

We had an offer two days before it hit the market.

Sold and settled by Halloween, college boy never got another look inside the house where he grew up.


We planned to build close to where my husband works in Delaware, about an hour or so from the beach.  By going fifty miles away from home, we were leaving Maryland-Tax Hell behind.

Of course, a quick sale meant apartment-living while we waited for construction–something neither of us had done since we were singles in the eighties.

Still, I didn’t look back. Good riddance old house.

But I did cry the day we moved into the apartment. I was nervous about my safety, plus I have OCD about kitchens and bathrooms that have been well-used by others. Yeah, I know, it makes no sense–I eat in restaurants and sleep at hotels, but that’s why the D stands for Disorder.

Any who, what I didn’t anticipate was how Twilight Zone our lives would feel…

With the two oldest out on their own and the youngest away at college, we found ourselves empty-nesters.

Suddenly, no one was yelling, “Mom?” There was no one to cook for, clean up after, or give advice to.

My oldest son no longer came home after working outside all day to sing at the top of his lungs in a hot bath.

My youngest son was no longer home cussing his head off on the XBOX.

My middle son was no longer using my living room to stage car repairs.

images (4)Yes, I had more time to write, but the lack of kids underfoot felt alien to me.

It was like a phase of my life–mothering dependent children–was gone. Dead.

But I picked myself up and turned the time alone into a spiritual odyssey–God has a track record for isolating people when they need to get some perspective, right? Maybe this was my sign.

I picked up my Bible. I prayed more deliberately, too–if the kids weren’t around to listen, at least God was.

The months passed. And few weeks ago, we moved into our new home.

I’ve heard it said that taxes, death, and moving are among Americans’ top fears. I get it. I really do. The winds of change blow cold.

But after posting a big tax check to Maryland mid-month and another for our business now at month’s end, you can better be sure I’m celebrating. Bye Felicia.

And then it’s back to unpacking boxes.

All in all, I’m starting to look forward. This move means a lifestyle change for us–golfing, bike riding, and hanging at the beach.

Our sons are already making plans to come visit.


Susan J. Anderson

Foxy Writer Chick


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