When I sold my old house in 2003 I asked the buyer to let me know, should he ever find himself contemplating a move. That was 15 years ago.
Last December my mother came for a weekend visit. On Saturday afternoon we were browsing at The Book Corner, my favorite bookstore downtown, when I happened to run into the man who’d bought my house. “Would you like to buy your house back?” he asked, explaining that he was going to move in with his partner and sell the place.
We scheduled a visit for early the following week.
On the drive over I called one of my best friends, aware that she was hoping to move into town. It was the spur of the moment on a weekday; I didn’t expect to reach her, let alone that she would actually be available. But she was. She drove over and looked at the house with my husband and me.
There was virtually no chance that my husband and I would be able to buy the place. We’ve been in downsizing mode the past few years and have no plans to move (despite my ongoing love affair with my old home). I just had to see it, though, because…well, you never know.
To cut a long story short, my friend decided to buy the house.* I went to the closing with her, amazed at how beautifully things came together.
But back the cart up a moment. On the day before the closing I found an obituary in the paper with a name that seemed familiar; it was the daughter-in-law of the woman from whom I’d bought the house. She and her husband had walked me through after the closing in 1995, sharing stories about its history. Even though the visitation was on a weekday, I wanted to go to the funeral home to meet other members of the family, hoping to maintain some sort of connection. Ruby’s funeral service was due to begin at 1, so I planned to go a bit earlier. I called my friend to ask the time of her closing.
I knew no one at the funeral home, so I just walked up to one of the first strangers I saw and asked if there were any family members, explaining the reason for my presence. “She needs to meet Lois,” said someone nearby. Not only did Lois turn out to be the daughter of the house’s original owners; she’d been born in the bedroom behind the kitchen.
All in all, it was a happy experience of things coming full circle. I’ll be building her a lovely gate for the back yard as a housewarming gift. You can follow the design and learn how to build your own in upcoming posts from me at the Popular Woodworking blog.
*No, I’m not jealous. I’m happy for her and for the house.