We closed on our house the day after we arrived in Eugene. It was bittersweet. The sale could not have been easier: we sold it to the tenants who have lived there for the past year.
The hard part? We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into that house, remodeling almost the entire place and adding a bathroom. We did a lot of the work ourselves (quote from my husband: “I never want to see a tile saw again.”). We had things the way we wanted them — bright colors, quirky and extremely functional. We loved our kitchen with our stainless steel countertops, giant sink, and big pantry. I canned many a batch of salsa there, and jam. And made a lot of beer which we served up from 5-gallon corny kegs kept in a refrigerator in our shed.
We planted hundreds of bulbs which put on a big show in the Spring. We grew a ton (or more!) of food —- figs, blueberries, raspberries, Marionberries, grapes, apples, pears, cherries, artichokes, asparagus, kale (lots!), tomatoes, herbs, beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, peppers, tomatillos. We grew weed (legally). We ate fresh eggs from our chickens. We fostered about 25 dogs (no, not all at once). We hosted friends for dinners, drinks, parties and holidays. I baked cookies, all of my mom’s recipes. We decorated Christmas trees (Oregon firs, some of which we cut ourselves). We (well, my husband) built a pizza oven and we also cooked out on our grill, under a canopy of festive fairy lights. We knew and loved our neighbors and our neighborhood. Did I mention we hosted FRIENDS in our small house or our big yard, cooking and opening bottles of Oregon Pinot Noir? Did I mention the cozy feeling, the feeling of belonging and of community?
But when you decide to move to Mexico and don’t want to be a long-distance landlord anymore, the house has to go. After the closing we shared a bottle of wine with the new owners in our former dining room, eating lovely cheeses that they served on our former dining room table. And it was good. I had closure. We made the right choice. Our house is in the hands of two young professional classical musicians and they will make it their own.
What’s followed has been a whirlwind of sorting through everything in our storage unit, things we wanted to return to when we moved back into our Eugene house, and then selling most of those things on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace (note: the people on FB Marketplace DON’T SHOW UP) and prepping for a three-day garage sale.
During this vortex of chaos, we have been embraced by our friends here, who we will sorely miss. They: hugged us; fed us home cooked meals; let us pet their dogs; lent us a truck; let us stay in their homes; poured us drinks; lent a garage to sell things on Craigslist; let us share a garage sale; bought our stuff and even bought me cake at Sweet Life. We are blessed and our community of friends will be what I miss most about Oregon. We are fortunate people indeed, and I am grateful