A Change of Heart
When the ocean was coming too close to our house on the beach two years ago, my husband decided that it was time to sell it before the next big storm washed it out to sea. Many beach- front homes disappeared into the ocean from a major storm several years before. “It could happen again, so it’s time to sell,” said my husband. “And besides, the real estate market is up!”
We gave the house to a broker, and in no time, had a buyer. The agent was very eager to have us sign a contract as soon as possible and arranged it with the buyers for the next day.
I didn’t sleep the whole night, especially when my husband informed me that only I had to sign the contract since the house was in my name alone. The house was all mine? I never knew that! All night I tossed and turned and thought about my house.
I grew up near the ocean inAtlantic City. The sound of the waves always soothed my heart and healed my soul. That is why I wanted a beach-front home when we looked for a house onFire Islandso many years ago. How could I consider selling the house that gave me so much pleasure through the years? Not being able to sleep, I kept thinking about all the things I loved about my house, and all the reasons why we shouldn’t sell it.
All the money in the world couldn’t buy what I saw from my windows – a panoramic view of sand and sea that went on to infinity, like a painting that only God could create.
The house was an escape from the hectic hustle and bustle of our lives on the mainland. We found such comfort in our cozy house, brought up our three boys here, and entertained close friends every summer.
My husband played in the weekly softball game and felt like a star every time he hit a home run. In the season-end home-owners game, whenOceanBayParkwon, he posed behind the trophy with his team, smiling from ear to ear.
We made so many wonderful friends onFire Island. How could we say goodbye?
I wrote by the sea, poems and stories about the sea. I painted by the sea; sea-scapes and beach scenes. I took walks on the beach each day to collect “sea stuff”- shells, pebbles, beach glass, and driftwood. Should I give this all up for money? Some things money just can’t buy!
What if we didn’t sell and the house washed away in a storm? Would I be sorry I didn’t sell it? The answer was NO! I sat up in my bed with the decision NOT TO SELL!
I thought about all of the things that I loved about my house. This house had become part of who I am. It was old, but still had charm. It had weathered many a storm as I had. It loved being close to the ocean as I did. It would need a lot of work to restore it to its original beauty. I too could use an overhauling!
The house needed two support beams after the last storm. I needed double knee replacements after too many years of teaching dance. Both re-inforcements made us stronger. The similarities were uncanny.
My house and I were inter-twined – old girls by the sea, weathered and worn, but still standing! This house was ME! That was it! After thinking all of these thoughts all night, I couldn’t wait for the morning light to peek into my window, and counted the hours to make a very important call.
I phoned the agent at9:00 AMsharp, even before discussing it with my husband. After all, it was my house! I told the agent the deal was off. He was furious. I explained that when it came to happiness, whose should I consider, his or mine? He never spoke to me again.
We didn’t sell, and have been living happily ever after in our little old beach house by the sea. It will be handed down to our sons so that their families can enjoy it going forward. And if it ever goes out to sea, well, it was meant to be… it was meant to be.