Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Doing the Next Thing While We Wait


We're nearing the end of our option period for selling our house. Feeling terribly blessed because the first people who looked at it made an offer, and we only showed it a handful more times before the contract was signed. The housing market in DFW is very busy right now, with more demand than houses, and low interest rates, so they're going quick. We've had four go under contract in our neighborhood in the past three weeks, and none took longer than two weeks to get a buyer.

The option period - to my way of thinking - is that time when people who have fallen in love with your house meet with people who tell them every single thing wrong with it. And you, the seller, get to wait and see if they are still in love with it after it's all over. Sort of like getting asked to prom, then the last person you dated meets with them to tell them all your bad points, which includes the fact that you can't dance to save your life, and you're waiting to see if they are still going to show up at the door with a wrist corsage.

Not for the faint of heart.

So I took Elizabeth Elliott's advice for what to do when you're going through anything difficult (sounds blasphemous since she was dealing with her husband being murdered by uncivilized natives and I'm just waiting for a house to sell.) (I happen to think Elizabeth was practical enough she'd approve.) Anyway, she said, when wondering what to do with oneself, 'do the next thing' and that's always been good advice. For waiting for the women in our family to make it through transition and give birth; for news to finalize about jobs or medical tests, or so many things in life. Just stay busy - the time will pass faster, or at least feel like it did. Which is why I knit on every single road trip we take. Dishcloths, scarves, socks, it doesn't matter what - just keep your hands busy and the miles will peel by. Everyone should learn to knit when they are about 7 I think, as there are so many times in life when one would benefit from busy hands.

The house is so clean there is nothing to clean, which is definitely not our normal. I also can't make much of a mess. It has to be the kind of mess I can clean up in 10 minutes or less if someone calls and wants to come look at something.

So I cut out a summer dress. I've sewn forever, but when you don't sew much for years, you get rusty. I reacquainted myself with facings and setting in sleeves, gathering waists, putting in buttonholes, and all in all I'm pleased.


I think this will be cute with some gold strappy sandals and some kind of necklace. I'm not a big jewelry person, but I think there's something in my closet that will be just the right thing. Cub Sweetheart may be needing to think of somewhere to take me to wear this. I'm thinking this would be cute with white canvas tennis shoes and no jewelry too,  just to wear around the house. I'd cut the next one out a little less full, but overall I'm pleased. My daughter gave me the valuable tip, years ago, that wearing dresses and skirts is a lot cooler in Texas than any kind of shorts out there. She's right, so I've cut out another, a different pattern. You can't have too many cotton dresses when you've got another solid month of 100 degree days ahead of you.

We also checked out seasons four and five of Call the Midwife from the library, and God bless CS - all that groaning of childbirth and he hangs in there! Tuesdays and Wednesdays we are watching America's Got Talent, except for the acts where people put drills up their noses - I use that time to clean the kitchen, or go switch the laundry. Just not my cup of tea. CS stays in the room for those acts, generally remarking, 'did you see that? That was amazing!' which somehow summarizes the difference between males and females. Oddly enough, this year Simon Cowell is actually nice. I keep waiting for him to turn into a grouchy curmudgeon but so far so good. Maybe being a father has changed him?

I've also been cooking more, now that the house can actually smell like we live in it. I've followed Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer for years and she had a great recipe for homemade sloppy joes, (they had a chopped up fennel bulb in them, the first I've ever bought!), peach salad and a salad with green beans and feta cheese - all of which got rave reviews from CS. I'll never buy manwich again - her recipe was soooo good!

Reading has been a good past time too - I just finished Excellent Women by Barbara Pym, recommended by Susan Branch on her blog. It took a bit to get into, the middle was fun, and then I was disappointed by the ending. Maybe it was just me. Susan recommends everything Pym has written, so I'll likely try another of  hers. Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer said she was reading a book called Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr and I found that at our library, so that's what I started last night. It's about the second half of life (not based on years of living) and how our failures make way for growth in our lives. I may have to buy my own copy, as the urge to underline is mighty with this one. (Expect quotes in the near future.)

We're in the pool every single day while we still own it; in spite of temperatures hovering around boiling, about 4:30 in the afternoon the 17 year old live oak in the back yard shades the entire pool and makes for a perfect time of floating around on noodles then sitting poolside with something pretty to drink and something crunchy to nibble on.

So that's what we're up to while we're waiting. We know this is a bit of a nail-biting time but as soon as the realtor calls and tells us it's all a go, it'll be busy with no looking back. No floating around on noodles in the back yard, no sewing summer dresses, no watching TV, and likely very little cooking.

Then we'll just keep on doing the next thing, one box at a time. 

5 comments:

Gretchen said...

Love, love your words. Was dropping off my sweet dtr for her orientation on the other side of the state, and the only thing that cheered me (well, besides knowing this is good for her) is that I might be able to sync up with you some time on a run to the east. xxxooo

Kelly said...

Doing the next thing is the best advice I have heard in awhile, and I am hanging on:-) Life sounds pretty delightful right now, so enjoy... sometimes being forced to relax is a good thing!

Bev said...

Gretchen, absolutely! We're going to be in Idaho at least from September - February and possibly beyond that, depending on how long it takes to build our TX home. Let's make it happen :-) And dropping off little birds out from your nest - H.A.R.D. - buy some yarn and chocolate! xoxoxo

Kelly, I swear everything out of EE's mouth was pure wisdom, but that was one of her very best things she ever said. All of us could use it at least once a day I think, don't you? Thanks for saying hi!

Karen said...

Good morning, Bev, I am right there with you on the heat thing. But I am most comfy in shorts and tshirts at the moment because--garden. Gardening has kept me pretty busy, so no time to do much else. My grandmother used to wear what she called house dresses. Nothing much more than a sleeveless shift dress that snapped down the front with huge pockets. Sewing has been on the back burner for me for a while, and so has knitting. So jealous that you can knit and ride in a car. I'd be so car sick. The only book I've been able to start up this summer has been Sabbath by Wayne Muller. Random, but my life at the moment. It's so hard to wait, but you're doing beautifully, it sounds! Praying for news very soon for y'all. Blessings!

Bev said...

Hello Karen,

I can knit in the front seat and not get sick, but if I have to read the atlas or maps for very long I'm a mess. I discovered something called Bonine, at CVW and Walgreens - it's disolvable and doesnt make you drowsy, so I keep it in my purse. We spend a lot of time on the road, so it's a life saver.

And my mother also wore house dresses - we called them moo-moos! Funny how life sometimes makes wide-sweeping circles, from where we were to back again - I see me and my daughters dong the things my grandmother did, not so much my mother as it seemed to skip a generation, but all those homey domestic arts are seeming to make a resurgence, for which I'm so thankful! Thanks for taking time to say hello.