It’s fitting to write this post on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I love New Year celebrations – I try to celebrate as many of them as I can throughout the calendar year. They are joyful times for taking stock, making goals, and rearranging things to make sure you are meeting your goals, or at least moving towards meeting them. Plus, no matter what culture or faith tradition the new year celebration is part of, there is always good food! In any event, I am here at the beginning of my life as a home owner. Thursday was the end of the buying process, Friday the beginning of the ownership phase.
Friday morning found me meeting a locksmith at the house. I had all of the locks changed, so that was the first big affirmative thing I did to say to the world that this house is mine. Of course, I also installed my elephant statue on the front steps. I wonder what the neighbors think? Bless their hearts, if that had any idea that this is not even the beginning of the weirdness that I will subject them to — don’t tell them, OK?
I popped back into work for a little bit – so thankful for flexibility and a home that is less than a mile from my office! – and then returned to Elephant Culo for another meeting. This time, I was meeting a guy from Craigslist who was going to haul away the washing machine and dryer that were left in the house. Now, my house has no working major appliances except for the hot water heater. Why do you think the washer and dryer were left? They are trashed! I know if I hauled them to the scrap metal place, I could probably get some cash for them, but since I don’t own a truck, a trailer, or an appliance dolly, I sought the help of the internets to get rid of them instead.
Mike runs a business fixing up and selling washers, and if he can’t fix them up, he’ll use them for parts. The set I had was about 10-12 years old, and not something Mike would pay for, but I wasn’t expecting to sell them. Even I could see that they were not in sellable shape! But he came out to my place to grab them, free of charge. He gets a new source of parts, I get them out of the house. Mike also shared with me that, several years ago – maybe 9 or 10 – he lost his house in a foreclosure.
I mentioned this before, but my house was a foreclosure. I bought it from the bank which took it back from the people who owned it and lived in it before me when they couldn’t pay for the mortgage anymore. Talking to Mike in the mudroom of my new house really brought this home for me. The prior homeowners were real people, who probably loved the house, and were trying their best to make things work. I am sure they grieved the loss of this house, and the work they put into it. I hope they know, in some way, that I am really grateful to be the next steward of this home. And even if they don’t know, can’t know, you know.
I am glad that I decided to look for a way to get rid of the washer and dryer and that I decided to call Mike. These appliances, which weren’t doing me any good, will do him some good, and allow him to make a living. I wonder if he often finds himself removing appliances from foreclosed homes, and I wonder what he thinks about that process, his role in it now and his role in it when he lost his home. In any event, I’m thinking about it, and it has made me even more grateful for the blessings that have allowed me to get to this place. May you have a sweet new year!