I have to share some happy news!

In 1983, we moved from one Chicago suburb to another to be near my new teaching position at Trinity Christian College. Our kids went to high school down the street.

By 1994, Marv and I found ourselves empty nested, but continued to live in our home until 2005. Then our daughter called and said she was moving back to the area. After a quick discussion with Marv, I called her back and asked, “Would you like to buy our house?” She said, “Whatever.” I said, “Sold.”

You see, I’d wanted to move downtown since 1979 when I commuted to the University of Illinois, transferring trains in the Loop. Oh, the excitement of honking taxis and screeching trains and hustling commuters! (See Caring Lessons, Chapter 11, Meeting Sadie.)

In 2000, after my retirement from teaching nursing, I kept bringing up the idea of a move. Raised on a farm and loving his tool-stocked garage, John Deere rider mower, 1/3 acre yard, pond, water fall, and koi, Marv finally relented, “Okay, here’s the deal. You have one year to find a place. If you don’t find something I can agree to in that time, the subject will be closed.”

You can bet I was on it. Right away. Since I’d been going downtown one to two days a week for writing group and symphony and writing classes,  I simply took an earlier bus and scoured the areas near Lake Michigan from Lincoln Park north to Museum Park south.

So, when my daughter said she’d buy our house, I sprinted to my stack of folders, piled on top of my four-drawer file cabinet still filled with teaching stuff, and coaxed Marv to the kitchen bar to study floor plans.

Having a built-in buyer made our move simple and easy. And Marv remained my daughter’s lawn guy and could putter in his workshop in the garage. The best of all situations for a wanna-be city girl married to a farm boy at heart.

Fast forward to last year, 2010. My daughter’s family moved. In today’s market, as you know and some of you have experienced, selling a home does not happen the minute the sign goes up.

And, because so many house-selling stories today do not end quickly or happily, I’m taking a moment now to thank the new owners for falling in love with my former home. And with Marv. He was present for the inspection, telling them about the raspberry bushes and who knows what else, but he’s got an open invitation to drop in anytime.

With heartfelt gratitude, I wish this family many, many hours of happy memory-making as they settle in, get warmly welcomed by the great neighbors, and begin this new chapter of their life.