More aviation geekery. I’ll let you look that one up yourself.
Go-mode ensued immediately upon our arrival back in the Annapolis area. It was the proverbial “twenty pounds of stuff jammed into a ten pound sack” scenario, as not only did we have a ton to do in order to clean out the house entirely for closing, but we been out of it since March, with lawn-mowing being the only maintenance that had been performed. Things were a little rough around the edges, and I started immediately on a new punch list and the attendant prioritization. Dumpster ordered, storage “Pod” ordered, moving boxes bought, dentist appointments made, trampoline dismantled, unwanted gear onto Cragislist, man that fence looks bad, better pressure wash and paint it, clean the siding, go go go…
We had just shy of two weeks until closing, and it was tough to visualize getting “there” from “here,” particularly with the inevitable onion-peeling that reveals sub-task after sub-task once you start tackling such a big job. It had been blissfully easy to forget about the state in which we had left the house while on the road. While it was certainly show-ready, the corners we had cut in order to pack into the motorhome and depart on semi-short notice made themselves painfully apparent; we still had tons (literally) of our “stuff,” mostly in the garage and basement, through which we still had to sort and pack/sell/discard.
And the pool. I hadn’t been able to come up with a good solution for that. In normal circumstances we would have “opened” it in the Spring, a process which, after the initial actions by a pool service, can take up to a week of close attention, cleaning, and chemical balancing. So, even without considering the cost and liability issues involved with maintaining an open pool at an empty house, that was off the table – can’t clean your Maryland pool from the Rockies and Pacific Northwest. The problem with leaving it closed and covered, however, is that the longer it stays that way in warm weather, the more it resembles a swamp, and therefore the longer it takes to bring it back to swimmable status. It’s also not an especially appealing way to for a potential buyer to see it.
With our buyers, we had, after quite a bit of back and forth, resolved the issue by agreeing to drain the pool and have the long-in-the-tooth vinyl lining completely replaced, then have the pool filled and open for them at closing. Reasoning that it was going to be their pool, we even had them choose the lining. It was a good solution, but added significantly to the effort and expense jammed into our short Annapolis stay.
On top of all that, we wanted to see friends and family while back in Maryland, as did the kids. So we plowed through the packed days and relatively sleepless nights, propelled by caffeine (me, Tacco doesn’t tolerate it well) and the inertia of our frenetic activity.
Meanwhile in Portland… Davista wasn’t playing nice. After not hearing from the maintenance folks for several days, I called for a status update, only to hear that they had been unable to duplicate the problem. Good God. “Have you driven it?” “Well, yes. Some. It’s tricky to just drive around town you know.” “Yes, believe me, I know.” A couple days after that I got a call with “Great news!” Evidently they had gotten the check engine light to flash. But only at 12.5 miles per hour. “Consistently?? Because if you remember, we were getting it at any speed and any driving condition, and I couldn’t correlate it to anything th–” “Yes well, it’s 12.5 mph and hem haw hem haw assure you yadda yadda best mechanics don’t you worry…”
I figured they had at least 10 more days to work it out, and besides, we didn’t have time to worry about such things – we still had a house to close on. Back to the grind.This was the state in which we finally met our new buyers, or at least one of them. Due in no small part to the rapport we had sensed, given that they were very much in the situation we ourselves had been in when had bought the house five years earlier, we opted to contact them directly during the pool negotiations, as going through the real estate agents was proving cumbersome. It was a good call, in that we were able not only to communicate and negotiate much more effectively, but to ease some of the tension and uncertainty involved in dealing with a nameless/faceless entity. So we had exchanged several text messages and emails, as well as a phone call or two. Since we had been back in Annapolis, the communications had ceased, but we chalked that up to their being just as busy as we were. They had completed the home inspection just prior to our arrival back in town, and I had remarked to Tacco, after seeing the somewhat alarming sight of the pool drained and green with moss and algae, the old vinyl now hanging limply from the sides, that I bet seeing that freaked them out a little. Even with pool experience I had found it difficult to visualize that eyesore becoming a functioning pool within a week or two. We laughed it off though – the pool folks knew what they were doing and we didn’t have the time to sit and worry. The buyers had one final inspection to perform, this one on the fireplace and chimney, and he (the buyer) was tagging along. We met in the kitchen, all of us sleep-deprived and harried, shook hands and exchanged brief pleasantries. His eye contact was tentative though. Why? Nah, never mind. The stress, I’m sure. The inspection went well, with the chimney inspector finding a few small things, but making a point to turn to the buyer and ensure him that this was a great house, and had clearly been well taken care of. “Mm hm, yeah, thanks,” he responded curtly while turning for the door. Stress. Gotta be. We felt it too.
“Very nice to meet you – we’ll see you soon!” we offered as he headed for the door. “Yes.. well… I need to tell you that we’re significantly less enthusiastic now than we were a couple weeks ago. Uhhh.. we’ll let you know.” And he left.
Wait, what?? WHAT?!! We did not just hear that. We could not have just heard that. The real estate agent looked at us, eyebrows raised. Clearly this was news to her too. I wish I had a picture here, but I don’t. This is the best I can do.