Thursday, April 7, 2016


There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow.
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

~by Shel Silverstein

"Anything worth doing is worth doing badly"
~G. K. Chesterton

I've been putting off this last post. Mainly because I'm surprised at all the emotions that have come to the surface with this. Some were expected, but many weren't.

In 2006, right before the financial crash, Grey and I purchased our first home. It's a townhouse-style condo located in the northern end of Seattle. In a neighborhood just a few blocks away from the zoo and filled with promise for who are embarking on this new chapter. The plan was to stay in this condo for only 5 years. To use it to get our feet wet into homeownership and then move on to an actual house when the time was right.

None of what was planned happened. 10 years later, we still own the same condo. And instead of getting our feet wet, we ended up on a crash-course not only into homeownership, but property law, finance and accounting, law-enforcement, mediation and basic human psychology.

For the past 3 years, Grey and I have talked with realtors about selling. In each case, given the market, we were told to hang on. As others around defaulted on loans and went into foreclosure, we scrapped together mortgage payments and adjusted our careers. Moves were put off and opportunities missed. Combined with infertility and miscarriage, the condo became an albatross. We dreamed of the day we'd be able to sell.

That day has finally come. On Monday, we have a meeting with our realtor and property manager to discuss putting the condo on the market. They are very excited about the space and the location is one that is very desired at the moment.

This news has left me choking back tears.

A few years ago, a friend equated selling a home to ending a relationship/divorce. That you're parting ways with more than the material. There's what was dreamed of, the disappointments of what didn't happen and/or what happened instead, but there's also the good memories. The unexpected moments you haven't counted on and are hard-pressed to forget.

Though this condo has been a burden and there has been a LOT of unpleasant things that have happened, there's also memories there that can't be replaced. The friends we've made in the building. The skills both Grey and I picked up (electrical, plumbing, basic construction, etc) and the stories that go with those skills. There's also the fact that this condo was the Beats' first home. This is where they spent their infancy. This condo is where Grey and I faced hardships that brought us closer together, learned to find joy and happiness in even some of the darkest moments we've ever faced, learned first hand that windows do open when doors are shut and just plain learned that family is more than a societal prescription of DNA and involving more than 2 people.

This condo is and will forever be our first home.

The sadness from the decision to sell has surprised me. I always assumed we'd never look back. And yet, as we prepare for terminating our titles as first-time homeowners, I find myself remembering and grieving. Missing the sunsets and views of the mountains that we will likely never have again. Missing a home we built, even if it was less than perfect.


  1. Oh yes, that is the perfect analogy. And like a marriage ending, there's sort of no way for it to happen and have it not be stressful and emotional. No matter how much you know it's the right thing. I sending good thoughts for closure.

  2. Beautiful post... It's so clear that this was a home and not a house, that the condo is so irrevocably tied in with your lives and struggles and how you got to where you are. How do you let go easily of that? The photo is beautiful, and the memories will be too but so bittersweet to let go of a place that's been so central to everything. I hope that you can build a new home in your new place, remembering all the wonderful things about the one you let go.

  3. Last year we were finally able to sell our place in Denver that we had to hold onto since 2008. It was the first place that CP and I lived in together and while we had some awesome memories of the place, having to rent it out (and eventually sell it) for a loss meant that I was happy to see it go. I hope that you get some amazing offers that come with no drama for your townhouse!

  4. Well, you KNOW I can relate!! I found myself choking back tears as I read it too. Here's to the old homes we both love, even if they weren't perfect, and to new hopes and creating new memories in our new homes. And I hope your condo sells quickly, and for a good price.(((hugs)))

  5. That makes so much's amazing how much the place you live becomes a backdrop to all those memories. Definitely a major transition. Hoping that sale goes well and thinking of you as you go through this.

  6. Our story is similar. We never lived in the purchased in 2006 condo together, but my husband proposed to me there. We also chose to hang on, not default, and wait... An albatross is how I always refer to the condo. We rented, once successfully after an awful experience steeped in stolen identities and wasted trips to court. Our lovely renter has moved on and we are going to try to sell again. I think I'm happy but not sure how I'll feel once it actually happens. Best of luck to you!!!!!!


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