We thought for sure the neighbors must have noticed something was going on when we started pulling up the gardens and moved the grapevines to one of the Warriors’ farm.
That same week we bought an eight-by-twenty shipping container and had it delivered to the house. I needed storage for all this double household stuff.
Over the next two weeks, we took out two carloads, two truckloads, and two trailer loads of cottage contents and brought them home. I had no idea when all this stuff came up to the cottage, but what we had taken home was barely a dent in what was yet to come home.
Over the following week, I spent all my free time at the cottage packing.
On the Friday, while I was packing I got a surprise that made me jump. I turned around to find an unexpected guest, my neighbor standing in the doorway. She had stopped by and had caught me red-handed packing.
At first, she said, “well this is working music”. Then she noticed the cupboards were all empty and the bins were full and stacked.
At this point, having no choice my secret was exposed. I told her the truth about us leaving and the cottage being sold. I explained to her that I had planned to come to see her on moving day, which was two days away.
I watched the mixed emotions going over her face. She was sorry to see us leave but was excited about the next adventure we had taken. She promised to keep our secret and tell only her sister and cousin and leave the rest to us. Which she did. Before she left we hugged a bunch of times.
After She left, I finished up the packing and cleaning. The cottage was ready for closing day and I headed home to the city.
The next day Husband went up with more bins and cleaned out his tools and the shed. The ladies came over to say goodbye to him and he collected hugs and best wishes too. We were now officially ready for moving day.
On Sunday morning the Warriors met us at the home front and together we headed to the cottage for one last time.
I lead the convoy down of one car, two trucks, one SUV, one trailer, and one U-Haul truck. We pulled into the cottage at 11 AM. When we arrived I unlocked the door in our usual way.
Soon, the trucks, trailers, u-haul, and cars were packed to the fullest.
As we were about to leave, we had one last conversation with the ladies.
We talked about what incident with the neighbor for one last time. There was concern on their end that we were leaving because of the bad neighbor.
The real truth is the neighbor was not why we left. This group had been through much worse in their lifetimes and there were no quitters in this group.
We left because we outgrew the place both emotionally and physically. It didn’t fit our needs anymore.
I believe many people stay doing the same thing in the same place because they are not prepaid for change. We’re not those people. Change excites us and it was time for another adventure.
Before we left, I told them about the lady who had bought the cottage.
And finally, we said our last goodbyes. We hugged a whole bunch more times and promised to keep in touch.
By 2 PM we were loaded and packed up. Seven years of collections were ready to head back to the city.
Husband and I took lots of pictures before we left. We are very proud of all the work done to make the cottage the way it is today.
With the goodbyes said and the packing done, it was time to head back to the city.
In tradition, I had always been the first to unlock the door and the last to lock it each season. I said goodbye to Our Lady the Love Shack as I have always done. It seems so strange to see her empty and have voices echoing when we talked. Without us and our stuff, she no longer felt like the Love Shack.
So as I have always done, I was the last to lock the door.
The convoy lined up to head back, and I took my position in front of the convoy to lead the Warriors home.
I was asked many times over the past few weeks, did you cry when you left the cottage. The answer was no. When I drove by the Warriors to lead our convey home, I felt a sense of pride.
I was proud of what we had accomplished at the Love Shack. We took an old house with no hope and had it turned into something that was beautiful. We left our mark on the area by leaving something better than it had been when we arrived.
But mostly I was proud of the Warriors.
There they were, standing by our sides as always. Their loyalty, their love, and their support.
They had been with us when we opened. They helped build the cottage and they shared all the parts of our lives with us. And there they were again, bringing us home.
And there they were, ready to start the next adventure of our lives. As always we were together.
We came home and unpacked all those vehicles into the bin. We had a nice dinner together and off to their homes they went.
Two days later, I finally got to meet face-to-face with the lady who bought our cottage. In a minute I could see why Husband liked her. She was kind and I knew that the cottage was going to be loved by her.
I gave her a list of every contact she would need to run the cottage and also our number if she had any questions on how to run anything.
I also told her about the four women who I had a chance to know who will be her neighbors. And I let her know they were expecting her. I never told her about this blog.
That only left me with a few things to do. One was to go to the bank and deposit the bank draft.
When I arrived at the bank the two managers were waiting for me. We deposited the bank draft and three of the tellers joined us. I had been at this bank for over thirty-five years. They knew me and had watched my life change and grow over the years. We talked about what is next. They too were excited for us.
The next thing on the list was to let the people who supplied our water, sprayed our house for spiders, and the people who emptied our brown water know the cottage was sold and thanked them for their years of excellent service.
And then next thing on my list was to thank the man who owned the land we lease for his kindness and support when we needed him. And also for the kindness of his lovely wife, who had always treated us with respect. We exchanged kind words and wished each other well.
There was one thing I wish I would have told him. The only thing I’ll miss about the place was watching him every year working the fields.
He took the land and turned it into something beautiful and productive every year. I would watch him work into the late hours of the night from my deck.
I never really knew him as we didn’t talk often, but I knew his work ethic and that was something I respected.
Once I was home I had one final thing to do. Make a donation to the food bank. Good fortune should be shared and it is something I plan to do each time I sell a house.
My hope for the new lady is that she loves the cottage. I hope she has good memories there like we mostly do. But mostly I hope she is treated kindly.