According to my wife, I’ve closed down more bars in my youth as I have cupboard doors after cooking in the kitchen. The most exciting and draining closings in my life occurred last Wednesday. At 11 a.m. my wife and I closed on selling our house in Eagan. By 3 p.m. that same day we began closing on our new house in, you guessed it, Eagan. We held the largest check we ever received in our hands for less than four hours.
We had to have the home we were selling totally empty and clean by 10 a.m. We could not unload so much as a suitcase at our newest home until 5 p.m. For a few hours, we were stuck in a situation called homeless. Well, technically we still have our home in Moose Lake where I spent part of my week, but for a short time we were in Eagan caught in between two houses. You see the dilemma — what to do with our possessions?
The solution was rather simple. For a mere $80 a day and $1 per mile we could rent a 26-foot long Penske truck. With the help of our friend Butch, his son Shawn, and son-in law Jason, we began loading up the van Monday afternoon. By the way, the three men I was fortunate to have as help were big enough and strong enough to qualify for the NFL, NBA or mud wrestling — the 6’4", 230-pound type.
My wife and I were certain the entire house would be loaded in a matter of hours. I would order pizza and beer and pay the guys with as many $50 bills as I felt each deserved. By Tuesday evening, we planned to load only one last mattress and go to a movie, anxiously awaiting the move to our new home.
In reality, this is what happened: Monday was muggy, the temperature was hovering near 90 degrees and the 26-foot truck turned out to be 26 feet too short. By the time we had the truck filled, Butch sat down to his pizza and beer and said, “Wick, this is heart attack stuff!”
How we ever accumulated so much crap in the four years we spent in that house is beyond me. The fact that we still have our large four-bedroom home in Moose Lake fully furnished and full of stuff is beyond comprehension.
The Penske guy let out a loud belly laugh over the phone when I asked if they had another 26-footer available.
“How much stuff do you guys have?” he asked. “We have a 22-footer available if you’re willing to set out your extra junk on the curb,” he joked.
On Tuesday morning I called my friends, Bart and Julie, in South Dakota. They had planned to help us set up our new house that weekend. I left a message on Bart’s cell phone, “S.O.S. Bart. I need you guys now. I still have another truck to load!”
The extra help arrived; we filled the 22-footer, missed the movie and departed with our curbside clean.
Although we did everything possible to avoid two closures on the same day, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Without that huge check available to apply directly to our new purchase, we would have suffered a larger interest rate, bigger fees, extra paperwork, and most importantly a much larger monthly payment.
We moved less than five miles east on Cliff Road to our new home on Fritz Lake and about as rural as one can get in the metropolitan area. My neighbor greeted me with, “Hi, I’m Jeff. See that water line by the curb? That’s the property line and you’re standing on my property.”
We looked at each other and both laughed as loud as if we were two old friends. I think someday we will be.
“Yep, you guys are going to fit right in the neighborhood,” Jeff said.
“I think you guys are, too,” I replied.