Much has happened since my last post. I won't take the time here to detail things, only summarize until I can get around to making a more complete accounting of things.
The rest of 2017 flew by. Joan and I continued to decide what kind of house we needed, what price, location and such things. Having 7 of us to house and a specific school district of course narrows the options.
We finally located the house, directly across the street from the rental we were in. It cost more than desired, it was bigger than desired, but had all the features checked off so yeah, we bought it.
My real estate career moves about as fast as I will let it, or pay attention to it. I have no real desire to put 60 hours a week into a job/career and I like working with people one on one so a large volume of clients is not what I want.
We moved into the house May of 18, asked Howard to paint several rooms for us and he painted wonderfully. Joan and I started tearing the yard out. When I say tearing the yard out I mean it. The prior owners kept the yard neat but the over abundance of plants and the size covered most of the house. Kitchen and dining room windows you could not see out. 11 holly bushes some 15 feet tall and 12 feet across. Things that should have been bushes were now neatly trimmed jungle 10 feet deep from the house. A cherry tree that was completely hidden and being choked by weeds.
Joan would work with me from about 6AM to 10, get cleaned up and go stay with her mother the rest of the day. We were having a blast!! We could see the results of our work and we were striving for a common goal. It didn't hurt that she knew the money we saved on the yard work would go directly to the kitchen upgrades she wanted.
Neighbors would stop by and say things like, "Wow, we can see the house!, I can walk on the sidewalk again, thank you!, It is so beautiful!, Now we have to work on our yard!" The compliments kept coming in.
By late June 2018 we had 80% of the ripping out completed. Things that didn't get ripped out were severely cut back, shortened, thinned. We were already planning what would go where and how the final product would look. I felt pleased, content for the first time in a very long time. Felt like something useful had been accomplished. We had taken over 47 truckloads of brush out of the yard, stomped them down in the truck, strapped it all in and each load was over full.
Friday June 22nd I had a closing to attend, had sold my good friends the Wackerlys home. It would be time to start hunting for their next home. The day was going well, the next stop that afternoon/evening was a big family celebration. We must have arrived in 4 cars, Joan coming from her mothers, me from the house, Val, Cory, the grandkids, Brian and Kat. We met at the Mellow Mushroom. The meal was great as their pizza always is, we were getting ready to leave, Joan stood up, she was on my right, Val on my left looked right past me and said "Mom?" with a confused look.
I turned in time to see her holding the back of her head saying, "it hurts, it hurts!". Our eyes met, I saw them lose focus and she started to collapse. Val and I kept her from falling into the floor, Brian and Kat called 911, Cory took the grandkids out of the building.