This was an amazing week for us.

First, we sold our house. Escrow closed on March 1. We went on the market Sept. 18, and five months and a couple of weeks later, the house now belongs to someone else. Of course, we never owned it. Most recently, it was GMAC who owned it; and we are not sorry to see their backsides fade into the distance!

Our realtors were professional, compassionate, and truly great partners to us in this endeavor. They understood that this wasn’t simply property to be disposed of, but a home to be passed along. The new owners have two young teenagers who love the house and the pool. An answer to our prayers, since we didn’t want a slumlord to buy the place and destroy it.

One of our neighbors said that she’d seen the young daughter skipping down the driveway the other day, and her heart sang. I know how she feels. There is life in the home again!

Not to say that there wasn’t pain in our hearts letting go. But, we’ve pretty well dealt with that pain. The memories of our 19-year home will endure, but now it is someone else’s home. It’s hard for Aubrey and Scott, since it’s their childhood home, and I know it will take time for them to get over the pain of loss…of childhood as much as of their home. But, as they both say, it was time. And time will heal all hearts.

Now, we can look south without the burden of having to rent the house out while we’re away. We simply didn’t want that headache (or the legal responsibility with the pool).

So, after a day of feeling both ecstatic and adrift, we got word about where we’ll be living in Sao Paulo. We’ll be about a mile and a quarter from where Tom will be working. That is what we had hoped…since traffic is so horrendous in Sao Paulo.

When I first looked up the address on Google Maps, this is what I found:

The cute little white house. I did an aerial view, and was disappointed to see that there was no backyard, and the house behind bumps up almost to it, with maybe a tiny alley between. I sat and looked at it, thinking about what kind of lighting we’ll have with only windows in front really, but decided, well, there are tons of people going  to Brazil, and housing is tight, so I guess we’ll just have to make do. Then I began to wonder about the little store/cafe attached. To whom does that belong?

I went back to the email, reread it, and realized, wait, that’s the apartment number. So, I searched again, and this is what I found:

Much more likely. We’ll be on the second floor, which is the third floor in U.S. parlance. A close-up view shows balconies across the front of each apartment, palm trees and lawns in the common areas, and a gated community.

As far as I can tell, there are several pools (including a couple on top of the buildings), tennis court, basketball court, and I’m sure a gym. If there is nothing beyond that, I can be happy: swimming and tennis, that’s for me. I had envisioned us in a downtown area with super-tight hi-rises that let no light into the apartments. Thank goodness my imagination is ALWAYS wrong! It seems that we’ll have a place with light and air, which are so important to all four of us. Still no word on number of rooms or furnishings.

We already made a very expensive run to Costco, to get those items on the Suggested You Bring list (everything is outrageously expensive in Sao Paulo, apparently). Got a dehumidifier, two room fans, a room heater (it’ll be winter when we arrive; damp and no central heating, they say), a TV, several boxes of ziplock bags of different sizes, car oil, and a bunch of other stuff on the list. I keep saying, surely they’ll have these things down there? And the answer is, yes, but you pay 3x or 4x the price.

We are now on the downhill rush toward the actual move, with so much to be done beforehand! We’ve already gotten the dogs their shots, and we’ve each had six, with two more to come. I’m getting all of our important papers gathered to copy and send the originals to my parents, we’ve got the car ready to be sent, and all of Aubrey’s stuff arrived (mostly safely) in California.

My tasks now are to finish up some of my editing jobs, continue studying Portuguese, and keep revisiting my ToDo lists to make sure I don’t miss anything. (And at some point, I have to catch up on this blog with all of our adventures since we’ve been here.)

The future looks intriguing and bright. Today, anyway!