TLDR – Maddex and I fly to the states to prepare the house for sale.
Why were selling
The owner of the house in Dublin we’ve lived in for the past 4 years has decided to sell the house this year. House prices are insane in Ireland; he’s expecting to be paid about 950,000€ for the house. Which is a bit more than we can afford, and or more then we feel the house is worth. Current Irish lending laws provide 3.5 times annual salary as the maximum an individual can borrow. 3.5 times 120k = 420k which is less then half of 950; we need a huge downpayment.
I was home unwell on the couch when Gary first told of his intentions to sell. It was all I could do to not vomit. After receiving the message we checked what we could get for a 10-acre lot in the states for a down payment. Turns out it’s worth between 350-400k. With that math, we looked into the house too which seems to be about 800k. Well well if we sell both of these we should have enough funds to be able to buy a house in Ireland. Doing more looking if we don’t have to pay taxes in the states on the house proceeds we don’t have to pay taxes in Ireland when we import money. This makes it possible to import 500k€ into Ireland avoiding paying half of it in taxes if we imported from investments.
Mask Day – Bus, plane, train, plane, car
Walked to the Clayton without issue. First ones on the bus sitting up front behind the grumpy bus driver yelling at everyone getting on the bus about their tickets. Going to take twice as long to get to the airport arguing about tickets, mutter. Already annoyed with the mask; 20 hours to go.
Message From Michelle — We decided to close your office door and turn on the red light, then its like you are just on a really long call
The first flight is stupid long seems like forever and then a few more days (9 hours). Watched three movies, took a nap and we still have not landed yet. When we landed we were able to get up and walk to the door without having to wait for anyone at all in front of us; hardly ever happens. There was no one seated in the 15 rows in front us to fill the hall.
Finally, at ORD we had to leave the terminal we landed in, sardine into a train next to a guy wearing a MAGA hat go back through security then walk under the runway to our gate C28. Waiting for the flight Maddex is impressive. He just got up and went to find a bin for his trash then walked over to the terminal to check the flight before coming back to me. Like it’s no big deal to be Independent and confident – we’re doing something right.
We arrived in SEA 12 minutes early. Impressive because they had to remove some guy who wanted to get in a verbal battle with everyone around him and he refused to wear a mask. As always Wes and Carie were waiting for us at baggage claim to say hi and have some Dennies. Meeting best friends at the airport sure helps fade the impact of the insanely long flight. After dinner, we drove to My parent’s house where we were met with locked doors. Had to wake Dad up to let us in the house where we promptly passed out and tried to sleep.
Day one – Maddex doing donuts
Maddex and I made it sleeping until about 0300 before it was time to get up and conquer the day. In the past, we’ve gone to Walmart to shop and walk around. Due to Covid nothing in the town appears to be open 24 hours a day anymore. We went to High school hoping to walk around the track. All of the gates were locked. Instead of walking around Maddex took the steering wheel and drove the car in circles for half an hour around the parking lot. Someone drove to the high school pool to check another gate to the track, also locked. We went for a walk around campus across the street to a 7-11 which was open 24/7
Cheery Mountain Dew for Maddex, Flaming Cheetos, Chocolate donuts, and some taco taquitos. Brilliant trash American road trip food – great craic. It’s about 0500 by now and nothing opens for another hour. We drove back to the Parent’s house where we found grandpa awake. We hung out with the parents for a few hours waiting for the work crew to show up and share breakfast. Good to see Trenton; he is a lot taller than I recall, so is Darren. did I shrink?
The Shocker – and some tears
After breakfast, Maddex and I drive to the house to get an idea of what we are dealing with. It’s like we just bought a foreclosure owned by addicts who left taking nothing. I count a good 12 cars in various states of apart, maybe working, maybe they have titles, a Camper broke in half, a boat, Tires, there must be 100 tires and trash everywhere. There are layers of trash -old piles of trash next to empty trash cans. Trash on top of grass growing on older trash. Michelle and I have paid for trash service since we left hoping to avoid this. Found one trash can on a pile of used diapers. We’ve bought and flipped foreclosures like this before it’s sad cleaning up after someone who is sick enough to create such a mess.
It’s a 100 times sadder cleaning after your own child in a house you built with your own hands and years of life. It’s overwhelming; not even sure where to start, how to start, or how to react. Walking through the house it’s as trashed as the outside. No screens left in the windows they are all busted out. One of the sliders has a busted pane with the pile of glass still there untouched. The Patio is overgrown, The hot tub cover is tossed in the bushes torn up, the tub looks trashed. There are piles of expensive tools left outside to rot in ruin. Walking through the house I find more and more holes in the walls. One huge hole goes through both sides of the wall. Another area of the wall looks like it was used to practice knife throwing. There is trash all over the inside the house. It’s hard to imagine a healthy person living like this.
Walking next to and living with trash and not picking it up. Just adding too, or ignoring it; without caring. I find knives just stuck into the wall and left there. Checking the shed there is a heater running and a window busted out upstairs – that can’t be an efficient use of power. The inside is still blackened from the fire that happened in the shed after we left. Lucky for the shed the fire melted the PEX in the ceiling bursting water pipes putting the fire out, else the building would have been a total loss.
One container is full of Rats, another it has rained inside of due to condensation. Almost everything we left has been ruined. Loved this house and now it makes me sick to look at it. Maddex has made a few comments not understanding what has happened. I was unable to hold myself together. I can’t look at this; had to leave. We drove back to mom and Dad’s house. I didn’t know where to start, I don’t know if I can do this. I wish Michelle was here.
Knowing we had to start somewhere, and even a tiny dent will start the ball rolling. We filled the car with things to donate to goodwill and dropped them on the way home- we’ve taken the first step. It feels good to do something. Makes the task seem possible.
One bucket of trash at a time
I’m numb, I’m wounded, I want to cry – I want to scream at my Oldest and ask how and why to express my hurt – but – that will help no one. Planning to live in the numbness and fill dumpsters one bucket at a time. Attempt to move on in a positive way. In all of the negative feelings, there is also a deep sadness. Humans who are happy and healthy do not live like this. I do not feel I have the power to help my child find happiness; I wish I did, but he’s his own person and has to fix this on his own. The best I can do is to not make this worse on him than it already is. To hold him, tell him I still love him and let him know I’ll still be there like a father should be.
My first message to the oldest is to ask if can help us find a dumpster, he had offered before we arrived. He said he know someone. He impresses me and has a 20 yard dumpster delivered in less than an hour; Great sign he’s willing to help if he knows how to help. I feel I hope – that this is not him. Maybe things started to get bad, so bad that he was overwhelmed and did not know where or how to start. Maybe letting him live the house was too much for him and we set him up to fail. Not knowing what to do he felt helpless and he learned to live with it. I don’t know; I’m trying to form a narrative I’m able to accept.
Maddex and I get some gloves, headlamps, and coveralls from Mom and dad. It’s time to head back to the house with a truck and start. We spend a few hours cleaning the trash from the front yard and the patio. We make good dent, and things feel a bit better. We might be able to fix this mess and sell the house in the time we have. We have help coming. Help from friends who can help with the acceptance, and listen to me vent.
After cleaning we drove to Home Depot to pick up a window and door hardware to try to fix the busted window in the shed and the doors in the house. Did I mention all of the interior doors are broken. We skipped lunch in the numbness. We are tired and Maddex is hungry by dinner time. We call it a day at 1600. For dinner, we stopped at Taco Bell; good American trash food, comfort food. By now I am fading fast and have to work tonight/tomorrow. I’m in bed around 1700. Maddex plays pool with grandpa for a few hours before he passes out.
I cry a bit before sleep, I feel so overwhelmed. – Tomorrow is another day, where we will clean and repair, that will soon be a day in the past.