Saturday, September 1, 2012
We'll Take It
Mama's house is one of a dozen or so fairly new patio homes on a cul de sac built in town. Most of her neighbors are senior citizens and retired. As the community developed, it became a very popular place to live. It did not take long for most of the lots to sell and houses to spring up. The few lots left were at the other end of the street where there was more traffic noise. I guess you could say, Mama's house is in a prime location.
The morning after she died, my daughter answered the door and found this darling little white haired man from the funeral home standing there with the the condolence book for folks paying their respects and the stand for it. He very professionally expressed his sympathy to the family, came in, and set the stand up just inside the front door. As he was leaving he turned to my daughter,"I know this is not appropriate . . . never mind." My daughter assured him she felt whatever he wanted to say was fine. "Well, I just wondered, if now that your Grandmother has passed away, if the house will be sold." Then he hurriedly added,"But, I know now is not the time to ask." She just smiled and said, "Yes, we will be selling the house." He lit up. "Let me give you my name and phone number. Please call me and let me make the first offer." With that he whipped out a pad and paper and wrote the information down and handed it to my daughter.
When she came into the kitchen, my daughter was so tickled to tell the story of the little white haired man. She added, "But, I'll have to run his name by the little ladies in the neighborhood. I certainly don't want them mad me for talking about selling the house to someone they don't approve of." We laughed at the story but realized she was serious. Until that time, I had not thought about Mama's house being something retirees may seek out.
After the funeral, the funeral director came to follow-up on the details (and present his bill). While he was at the house he picked up the stand and commented to my brother. "You may be interested to know that one of my employees is very interested in buying this house should you decide to put it on the market." My brother smiled, "So we have heard."
Yesterday, I was at Mama's and up to my knees in trash bags, boxes, Christmas ornaments, family pictures, and jigsaw puzzles when the door bell rang. I opened the door and there stood the nice white haired gentleman from the funeral home. "I just came by to get the stand." "They picked it up Tuesday." "Really. I didn't know that." Then he looked around at the living room. And, I knew what was coming next. With some hesitation he asked, "My wife's in the car, would you mind if I went and got her so she could look around at the inside of the house." I told him not at all.
He brought his wife in, who was just as nice (and enthused). I apologized for the mess and gave them a tour of the rooms, pointing out the features. In the kitchen, I showed them the laundry room. "Now would the washer and dryer go with the house?", he asked. Looking at the sun porch, his wife looked at him, "I'm not sure we can get both of our sofas out there." And, when we were in the guest bedroom, she asked, "Is that a full size or a queen size bed?" As we made our way back into the main room, he commented, "And, our dining room table will fit here, just like hers does."
We chatted for a moment, they thanked me for taking the time to show them around, and they left. I watched as they slowly made their way down the front walk, I am sure no doubt, making plans for annuals next spring. I called my daughter and told her about my visitors. "I just hope it works out that they end up buying the house. Otherwise they are going to be heartbroken."
Later that afternoon, I saw them slowly drive by.