By Valerie Savino
When I think about renewal, I picture a new beginning; flowers coming up in the spring, bunny babies, ducklings in the pond near our house, the frogs singing at night to the full moon, birds returning and building new nests. All of these things spell spring for me, and a time for a new beginning.
This past winter has been a long and dreary affair. It doesn’t help that I live in the Seattle area with its gray, overcast skies and winter drizzle. When they say it rains in Seattle, they are not kidding. Of course, the whole pandemic lockdown hasn’t helped much with our spirits either.
When the sun came out last week and we had almost summer-like weather, Western Washington was on fire with activity. I think everyone and their dog was outside, or on the freeway traveling to the beach and mountains. The parks were full of people playing in the sunshine. We even wore our sandals without socks!
Did I mention the freeways were crazy with wild drivers? I know this because, twice in one week, I had to venture out to Kent, WA to pick out items for our new home. This was no easy task, as the freeway in Tacoma is under continuous construction. It is the never-ending road project. They have been doing this for at least 20 years, and nothing seems to get better. Just when you think it is over, they tear up another part on the highway. It is always being renewed. I guess renewal is a good thing, but this constant change is challenging. When I finally think I have figured out which lane I need to be in to exit for Gig Harbor, they change it all over again.
My life has been like this lately. Over the last year, my husband has twice needed to use a walker in our home. He is recovering nicely, and I am grateful to have him with me still, but our current home is not a good place for a walker, or even crutches. We have what is called a tri-level house. It has steps everywhere.
The pandemic highlighted the plight of those who are aging in assisted living, and I did not want to look at a future with that as my fate. Even though we intended to stay in our current home forever, Robert’s accidents and surgeries made us both realize that we need to do a little renewal of our own.
I contacted my real estate agent and asked about finding a house with a bedroom on the main floor. She said, good luck, and don’t sell your house until you have someplace to go. Great. Our little sleepy town of Gig Harbor has the hottest real estate market in the USA.
Enter: new construction homes. I started looking at houses being built, and found one that suited our needs. Really, the Universe just dropped it in my lap and said, here you go! You better snap it up before it’s gone. Now I just have to sell my house and move.
Sounds easy enough until I start looking at all the logistics of moving with my husband and two dogs from a house in which I raised my family. My grown children even left lots of reminders of their childhood with us. Now I have to de-clutter to make way for the new life Robert and I are planning together.
I have boxes everywhere, and a note book with phone numbers and To Do lists. I have a piano that needs to be sold or donated. I have lots of paperwork that needs to be shredded and organized. I have old clothes and shoes to sort through. I have things that need to be repaired before I can list my house. I have children’s toys to say goodbye to. So many things to let go, but I really don’t want to pay to move something I am going to dispose of later. Better to do it now and make room for all the new beginnings in my life.
Yes, Spring is a time for renewal, and this year, Spring is going to be a real doozy for me! Know anyone who wants a piano?