An interesting summer project

During the first six years of our marriage, Jenny and I moved a lot in the southern part of the state. We were living in Rochester when we got married in 1984, after two-plus years and one baby, we moved to Blooming Prairie, where I was teaching at the time. A new job in Renville had us moving again eight months later (and again to another house after our lease was up). After getting a job in Le Sueur, we lived in two more houses, and once again we moved to Madelia for another job, before finally moving to New Prague in 1990, when Jenny was seven months pregnant with our second child. For those keeping score, our oldest son lived in eight different homes before he turned five years old.

We lived in a rental house for three years before deciding to build a new house here in 1993. We moved there two weeks before baby No. 3 was born, and we’ve stayed in that house for nearly 24 years.

Earlier this year, we decided it was time to put the house up for sale and downsize to a smaller home. That meant beginning the process of cleaning up 24 years of accumulated possessions, tossing some, putting others in storage, and fixing 24 years of wear and tear. The first step was painting, which meant removing wallpaper - not an easy task - and replacing the original flooring and carpeting throughout the house. We also changed a few other things and made some repairs that we had been putting off, to make the house more presentable. The last few weeks were the busiest as we moved boxes and boxes out of the house, into storage and finally got the realtor’s sign up in front of the house on July 1.

It seems kind of strange in that house. The new flooring looks good, but it also looks different from what we’ve lived in for the past two-plus decades. We also moved some furniture around - several times in some cases, trying to “stage” the house in a way that makes it more attractive to buyers. We’ve rediscovered our dining room table, which for the past two years had all four leaf extensions in it and was often covered with notebooks, mail and more. Now, it has no leaves and four chairs neatly surrounding a nearly empty table.

A lot of time was also spent getting the yard in order. A backyard project two years in the making that never really came to fruition was abandoned and restored, sod was placed in a few bald patches and we’ve tried hard to keep the lawn well-manicured so that it will always be ready for a visit from a prospective buyer. One of the last projects involved painting the front porch and replacing the address numbers that were taken down and forgotten eight years ago, the last time we painted the porch.

It wasn’t easy making the decision to sell, and it will be even tougher when it has been sold and the time has come to move. A lot of memories were made in that home… a lot of life has been lived there. For my youngest, it’s the only home he’s ever known, except for when he was away at college.

We are fortunate in that we already have another home waiting for us. At the same time we’ve been preparing our current home, we’ve made plans and started work on upgrading our new home. We’ve got plenty of work ahead of us, and it should make for an interesting rest of the summer.