February 15, 2018: Peekskill Is Sold

Thursday.  Today is the big day, the closing for our house in Peekskill.  Even going into this morning, we are pretty apprehensive and worried that it is not going to close.  There is so much to go wrong and so much has been going wrong.  At this point, we’ve had to borrow $18,000 from dad just to pay for the closing, on top of getting nothing for the house.  Ten years (almost) with this awful house and we’ve done nothing but lose money all of this time.  It has been awful.

So we were on pins and needles all morning, waiting for word that it was done.  Apparently even sitting in the closing room our attorney actually resulting in yelling at the home owners association who were outright breaking the law to attempt to extort us, even still.  Heritage Management and Chapel Hill of Peekskill have been totally awful, and actually illegal, in their dealings.  It’s been awful.  They held an illegal lien on the house (which in December they claimed to not even have) and were only willing to even allow us to sell the house under threat of lawsuit.  Chapel Hill is the worst place to own a home, ever.  Everything about that community is just terrible.

It was late afternoon when we finally got word, the house is sold.  It’s a disaster, but it is a contained disaster, for the first time since early 2008.  The house that we bought to have our first baby, where Liesl was born and spent her first year, where both girls lived in 2014, is now gone, forever.  While some amazing memories were in that house, we never really liked the house itself.  The community, the area, were never for us.  They would have served a purpose had we been able to keep working in New York City for a long time, like we thought that we were going to do when we bought it, and the Hudson Valley region is just gorgeous. But that house and the Chapel Hill community were just never for us.

It does make me sad that we no longer own the place where I used to play video games on the sofa (Fable 2 and Oblivion) while Liesl rocked in her swing sleeping beside me; the place where we were pregnant and raced to the hospital to find out what we were having; the nursery with the rocking chair where we tried so hard to get Liesl to fall asleep; the girls’ room where I first read them The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; the little back yard where the girls made their first snow man with their snow man kit and left him to melt until spring; the playground at the top of the hill where Liesl worked so hard to be able to do the fireman’s pole and Luciana learned to do slides; the swimming pool where they made friends and did much of their early learning to swim; the woods where we would go for walks; the tree in front where I held Liesl for her first rain storm; the basement stairs that Liesl fell down; the upper stairs that Luciana fell down; the basement where the girls are I used to play their first video games like Night of the Rabbit and The Book of Unwritten Tales.  There were great memories in that house.  Two years in the lives of my babies were there.  The year when Liesl went from birth to fourteen months; and then another fourteen months or so from November, 2013 until December, 2014 while Luciana was two and turned three, and Liesl was five; those were important years in our lives.  Great memories, but we can’t keep a house just for the memories.  We know that we never want to live there again, and we certainly want nothing to do with Chapel Hill again.

That first year, when Liesl was just a tiny baby, I was home that whole year, but that was late 2008 and all of 2009, that was so long ago.  The house really doesn’t remind us of that any longer, even though we wish that it did.  The 2013-2014 year was so awful, when I worked in Connecticut and had a three hour commute each day, and was almost never home, often having to stay at work and not even making it home and when I was home I was busy and stressed and exhausted.  That year was terrible.  They call it the year that daddy was gone.  But, even as awful as it was, it was a special year with my girls so young and I miss them being that age.

Now that house is gone, and I know that we will never see it again.  I’ll never see Peekskill again.  There is nothing for us there.  No friends in town, not even people we know casually.  And certainly no reason to drive up the hill and explore the little community built on the grounds of the girls school from The Facts of Life, it is not on the way to anything.

But we still have the house in Texas.  The house we got when Liesl was only two.  The house that she helped us to pick out, the house with the stuffed dolphin hiding in the bedroom.  The house where Luciana was born.  The house we will keep until we are old.  The house that the girls really remember.  They are sad to lose the Peekskill house, they have fond memories there, too.  But they are very fuzzy memories for them.  They aren’t sure what the house looked like, they only know of events that happened there.  In time that will fade.  I had my childhood house from the time that I was born (essentially) until I was nearly eight years old (two months shy) and while I remember it, it is not that vivid.  Eight years continuous in a single house, with my latest memories being almost at eight years old.  But for them, Peekskill was a total of two years in Liesl’s life with her just having turned six at the end of it, and only one year in Luciana’s life with her being three at the end of it.  It’s Liesl who will remember a little, but only very little.

It is sad, but a huge burden lifted from our hearts.  That house has been an emotional millstone around our necks for so long.  We wanted to so much to sell it in 2010, but could not.  It’s been the centerpiece of our stress for all of these years.  What’s odd is that we’ve never had the children without that house.  We had it months before Liesl was born.  It has always been there for them.  This house in New York that they always have known that we have owned, sitting out there waiting for them in some weird way.  And then at some point we went back to it.  How strange that must have been for them.

To make it even stranger, we sold the house today having not set eyes on it since we left it to return to Texas to prepare for our move to Spain four years ago.  After all this time, we’ve gone another four years since last we saw it.  While it does not seem so long, we actually have gone longer now since we last saw it than we did between the first time that we moved out of it and then moved back in.  Close, but still.

It is going to take a long time for it to sink in that the house is sold.  It’s so hard to imagine us not having the house.  Hard to believe that the sale actually happened.  We accepted the offer on the house in November, and it took until today for it to actually close!

After work I came home, we had about an hour to relax, then we went down to the lobby for the happy hour.  Today was pizza, so we made that our dinner.  It was a lot of food, too.

Then after dinner, we came back to the hotel room and just relaxed and watched more of season two of Death in Paradise.

And that is our day.  A crazy one, to be sure. The end of an era, the beginning of better things.