A to Z: Selling Our House (Letter V)

Signs of the times: V for Vacuum. Have you cleaned the inside of your car lately?

V for Vacate

“To give up possession of property and leave the area totally devoid of contents.” According to Miriam Webster dictionary.

Being a landlady for years now I am very familiar with the word vacate. Today, I have struggled with it for the last time. The last vestige of life with boarders has just rolled out the driveway, and none too soon.

I should never have been a landlady (I should not be allowed to paint, or have tools, or sell Mary Kay, the list goes on…). My heart is too soft and I seem to be a magnet for people down on their luck. God has been at work full time protecting the husband and I from all these mistakes and it is by his grace alone that we have not suffered anything but monetary loss here and there. Many times I have breathed a sigh of relief as I inspected a condo or a house that had finally been vacated.

There was a hurricane last September and we took in three men who had no place to sleep.  They were starting jobs but didn’t have paychecks yet. All three were struggling to have or keep vehicles.  Their vehicles were always needing work and becoming disabled. As they moved on, two of their vehicles were stranded in our yard and they could not afford to move them or fix them – so they said. For months I have called, nagged, and threatened to no avail.

One day one of them actually made it to a repair shop. That left the one with two flat tires, no registration, no title, no key. Sadly, I know the owner and would have loved to have gotten a couple hundred dollars from the scrapyard, but in Florida, without the paperwork, they won’t pay money for it.  I found that out after a couple hours on the internet, trying one place after another.

Today I called the sheriff’s office. The deputy said to call a tow truck and they would take it away, for free. What!? Yes, but because they have to do paperwork and it costs them, they keep whatever the scrapyard pays for the vehicle.  It was so simple I almost cried.

I got a call from the truck driver, he was in the yard ready to take the van away, bless his heart. He was a rather burly, rough hewn guy that I had trouble understanding but I did catch “you have a big ass place back here”. “Yeah, thanks.” And now that the yard ornaments are gone we’ll have a better chance of selling it, I hope.

There it goes.

I also did a little painting and made a doctor’s appointment for my cough, but both of those things were totally overshadowed by my complete relief – my yard has been vacated!

#AtoZChallenge: My Favorite Things V



I am listening to voices all day long, not the ones in my own head, but the voices of the people around me. The sound of each voice evokes immediate response, sometimes good, sometime not so good. As much importance as we put on first impressions, we talk more about visual appearance than what we hear when a person opens their mouth to talk. Both are important – my opinion.

The voices I hear give clues as to their age, their strength, their state of mind, the passion behind what they speak of, and their opinion of me. All of this registers within seconds.

The voices I know best and love are a joy to listen to.

My husband’s voice is soft (almost too soft) and low. It’s a good comforting voice, most of the time.

My oldest daughter’s voice is youthful, thoughtful, appropriately authoritative at times.

My youngest daughter’s voice is measured, rhythmical, careful.

My mother’s voice is cheerful, content, trusting, quick to laugh.

My friend’s hint of foreign accent delights me.

Another friend has a voice of strength and conviction that I admire.

Some voices are recognizable even if I have not heard them for years. Even over the phone, the college friend or hometown buddy has a voice that quickens my memory of them. Voice prints are so specific that they are even being used for official authentication in some places. They are even being used as art!

I marvel at the voices that read audio books these days. I think that would be such a fun job for a person with a good voice, one that is flexible and expressive. Voices that sing – a whole other category – can be totally surprising. Sometimes I watch “The Voice” which proves that point over and over. You can never be sure what someone will sound like from looking at them. Not even close,

There are voices that, possibly through no fault of their own, sound like they are causing pain to the speaker. That pain transmits to my ears and makes them difficult to listen to. The voice that is forced out, gravelly, or tight and strained make me suspect hard times have been weathered. The voice that is arrogant, angry, uninterested makes me sad, and I do not want to listen even though listening is probably what is needed.

I know how I want my voice to sound but speaking is so natural and spontaneous that I often forget to evaluate, to think of what others are hearing.


Have you listened to a recording of your own voice lately? Does it surprise you?