There have been so many sweet moments our family has shared through this journey that are forever ingrained in my memory. Those moments when I thought I was losing my nerve and about to run home with my tail between my legs but my son's pep talks and confidence in me reminded me that I could do this. Our two months spent here alone together was time I could never replace and some of our best mother/son moments. I smile when I think about all the nights my daughter and I stayed up way too late giggling and being silly in our shared bedroom back at the apartment. Or that Saturday morning a few weeks back when I was walking through the airport from my final flight home and saw Charlie standing there at the end of the terminal waiting for me. I will never forget how full my heart felt and how happy he was to see me; knowing that this time we were together for good.
I don't know what you call it, but I am one of those people who gets a vision for almost everything. Naturally, I had built the entire scenario up in my mind of the first moments Charlie would step into our new home, admiring and taking it all in while I anxiously waited for his inevitable approval. As we pulled up to do our final walkthrough the evening before closing I realized that things were not going to materialize as I had imagined.
The sellers were there and no where near moved out. I counted 7 dogs and 2 horses roaming around the property, which to our dismay, they had completely stopped taking care of since the home inspection. Since May is pretty much full blown summer here in Tennessee the property has become a veritable jungle and I cringed as we walked passed empty cans, bottles and other assorted garbage just thrown on the weed infested lawn. If you think the house was in much better shape then guess again. There aren't many words to describe the level of filth we encountered. Needless to say, Charlie was obviously completely horrified that he was about to plunk his money down on this place.
It was definitely not one of the sweetest moments.
We arrived to the house a few hours after closing ready to start cleaning and prepping it for painting. My realtor/girlfriend showed up right behind us in her sweats with rubber gloves in hand. We scrubbed the kitchen for hours, laughing, joking, squealing in fear and disgust at some of what we found. We cracked a bottle of Dom I had long been saving for this very occasion and feasted on some fine meats and cheeses.
Despite the fridge alone taking 2 hours to clean and sanitize, it was one of the sweeter moments and other than the obvious good company, I'm sure the Dom played a little part in that too.
We have spent the past 5 days cleaning and painting. Our backs ache, our joints hurt, there has been plenty of crankiness and we have come close to having some arguments. I was standing out on the deck the other evening taking a breather and soaking in our beautiful surroundings when Charlie walked out to join me. We were quiet at first standing there leaning over the railing when he finally spoke. "I do see the potential here. I can see gardens out there and our family sitting out here enjoying it all on this deck. I just can't believe that this place was left like in this condition for us."
My need to hear him say that he finally saw what I did in this place made up for a lot of those not so sweet moments.
Sunday night I decided to make a proper dinner. With the movers arriving yesterday to deliver our stuff I figured the rest of the week will be a meal time crap shoot. I stood here in my new (and clean) kitchen chopping vegetables with a cocktail by my side and Waylon Jennings on the radio. As I took my time preparing our meal I remembered how many evenings in NJ where I stood in that little kitchen with a cocktail by my side, Waylon on the radio all the while dreaming that someday we would own a farm in Tennessee.
We are finally here.
That is most definitely the sweetest moment of all.