The house is now ready for realtors to begin tromping through. The “For Sale” sign went up in the front yard yesterday, our house has been stripped of anything personal (photos, art, etc.) as we’ve staged it for those prospective buyers who can’t look past who lives here now and see how they might occupy the space unless we denude the personal property, and most of our lives have been boxed up for shipment to DC, to Santa Clara, to storage, or to Brazil.

What insanity. For one week, we’ve kept our heads down and focused on the tasks at hand. Now that the hard work is done, the brain can slow down, and the heart can begin to be heard.

I am stymied by the amount of “stuff” we have, even though we’re not hoarders or collectors or pack rats. But two drawers of gift bags?! How did that happen? I spent two evenings taking photos out of albums that I had lovingly placed into those albums years ago, shrinking our 36 albums down to six decorator boxes of photos, and throwing away about half (mostly almost duplicates). So much that I threw away I could have thrown away at any time, but I just let it build up (hotel toiletries in a drawer, along with old body lotions, suntan lotion, etc.). Funny how we accept clutter buildup without even noticing.

But now, only the essentials remain, and most of those are secreted in drawers and closets, out of sight of potential buyers. This has ceased to be our home, and is now a house for sale. Fortunately, I’d accepted the fact that we would sell the house when we heard about the job offer last year. That was my brain accepting. The heart is something else.

Scott and Tom just pulled away in a Budget rental van. Scott said good-bye to the pups, then took a last look at the house, hugged me tightly, and hopped into the cab of the truck. I could have clung, but I didn’t.

This is hard. We’re leaving our family home of almost 20 years, the only home Scott knows, and the only one for Aubrey since she was 3.5 years old. Granted, they’ve had a firm foundation given to them in this home, but it’s hard to know we’re pulling the rug out from beneath them as we sell this house before they have homes of their own. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve experienced it. Roots are deeper than I could have imagined. Neither of the kids has complained, but I know it’s hard for them. They both know that they’ve left the house to a degree, and that the house will no longer be the same as it was, since they will no longer be the same. But it’s home. And there’s the pain.