Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A day to remember

To put it mildly, today has been long.  Not that there were truly more hours in it, but it felt like it might just never end.  Bear with me on this; there is a happy ending.

My alarm went off earlier today.  On purpose.  I am making up time for the fact that I had a dental appointment yesterday and arrived a little later than normal.  It really isn't too odious, but I am not a morning person, so any forced awakening prior to 11 a.m. is difficult for me.

Preparation itself was again ordinary.  On his way out the door, my father asked me to push the garbage and recycling to the end of the driveway for pick up.  I agreed to do so as it really isn't that long of a driveway. 

When the time came to perform my agreed upon task, I quickly discovered that I was wearing inappropriate footwear, mostly due to the fact that overnight the driveway had become a treacherous rink of glare ice and my work shoes are not equipped to provide traction on such a surface.  Grumbling under my breath something to the tune of "THIS is how I am going to die," and "I wonder how long it will take for someone to find my unconscious body," I changed into boots and completed the job. 

After my experience with the driveway, I was aware that the roads could be icy and drove carefully accordingly.  All was well until I neared the office.  I did manage to avoid the common ice trap at the traffic light to turn towards the building, but I, along with my coworkers, was not prepared for the patch of road immediately preceding our left hand turn into the parking garage.  Perplexed, I watched as three cars, all with left turn signals blinking, glided right on past the turn.

Then I stepped on my brakes. 

At that moment, all of my car's natural defense mechanisms kicked in: ABS brakes, vehicle stability control, autopilot, etc.  Essentially, I was no longer in control.  Thankfully I was not operating at a high speed, so I was able to slide to a relatively gentle stop up on the curb just past the turn.  With fingers crossed, I put the car into reverse and backed out.  Now with a better sense of the situation, I carefully pulled into the ramp and parked.  I briefly thought about how sad it was that I did not have any of my co-worker's phone numbers to call and warn them, but they are smart.  I knew they would figure it out.

The morning itself was uninspiring.  Work was work.  I had to make a large withdrawal and get cashier's checks from the bank which was not pleasant.  That is to say, the actual fact that I made a withdrawal was unpleasant.  The teller was perfectly polite and efficient.

For the rest of the morning until 11:30, I worked and fretted about the afternoon.  I checked my emails and voicemails a bit more often to see if there were any messages or new information pertaining to the rest of my day.  When none arrived, I departed for my hour long drive to Monticello.

I did make one stop along the way, to refill the gas tank, but thankfully I budgeted some extra time for this necessity.  I must have budgeted a bit too much because I arrived at the title company 30 minutes early.  Rather than wait in the car, I decided to make my presence known and get things started.  Imagine my surprise to see a sign on the door of the office indicating that the staff was out.  I reasoned that perhaps they were at lunch and would return soon.  I was, after all, early.

When I returned to my car, I fished out my phone to call my mom for a chat to pass the time.  This is when I found that I had a missed call and message from my realtor.  With a sense of trepidation, I played the message to discover (to my horror) that there was a problem.  The second mortgage lender (who happens to be my former employer) had not sent in their closing documents.  They claimed that they had not been told about the closing date (not true) and that the earliest they could have the documents out would be 4 p.m. (for a 1 p.m. closing).

Frantically, I called my realtor to get the full information.  She calmed me down and ran through several possible scenarios in which the closing could still happen today.  She had hoped to catch me before I made the journey up and took time off work, but alas, she was too late.  I opted to spend the next hour or so in my car calling my mother and friend to vent about the situation.  When my realtor called again to update me that it looked like it would indeed be 4 p.m. or not today, I decided to wait out the rest of my time at a coffee shop nearby.

After what felt like 8 hours but was really only 90 minutes, my dad called.  He was not yet aware of the delay, but it was nice to have a distraction as the 4 o'clock hour was upon me and I was anxious not to go home without giving away my house keys.

Thankfully, in the midst of my conversation with my father, a new call came through from the title company to say that the bank had sent the documents and we were set to close.  I drove back over and completed my part of the closing in 30 minutes.  I met my buyers, a very nice couple, and went on my merry way for the hour-long drive back to my parents' house.

So, in the end, it was a successful day.  I didn't die on the icy driveway, I didn't get stuck in a snow bank and I sold my house.  All are pretty major accomplishments, in my opinion, but if anyone asks why I am partaking in a glass of red wine, I will go with the house thing.  Time will tell how my life will now improve without the albatross of home ownership around my neck.  For now, I am just happy to drink my wine and go to bed.  

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