When Your House is Angry

My eldest daughter is convinced that houses have energy fields and that they can fill life with unexpected challenges. Of course, she believes in Feng Shui, too, so I don’t always pay enough attention to her. I admit, however, to following her advice years ago when I tucked a copper wire circle under the entrance rug to my apartment.

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and the limitations it has imposed, we’re preparing to sell our home in West Virginia and relocate to Georgia. Our decision to move, just a few weeks ago, was rather spontaneous; a job became open that my son-in-law, Tim, desired. He had put off—sometimes for years—renovations that the house needed or that the family wanted. Occasionally, his reticence was due to a lack of money; however, in general, he would rather watch HGTV than do any actual remodeling. Mostly, we took care of required repairs: a new roof, new deck, new windows, solar panels (a political statement about renewable energy rather than a necessity), and a very pricey retaining wall.

When Tim got the job offer, it was decidedly crunch time. In-progress projects had to be finished and the house readied for sale. That’s when Murphy’s Law—or the house’s negative energy—went full tilt. Paint the window frame and the ladder busts off the flagpole bracket. The beautiful eight-year-old weeping pussy willow tree next to the front door suddenly died; we came home from an errand to find that water was gushing from a ruptured supply line and flooding the basement. We couldn’t get local movers scheduled, and the big van lines wanted $16,000 to move us. The final atrocities: I had a major arthritis flare-up that caused my right hand to look something akin to a bear paw, and my daughter threw out her back and couldn’t move for three days. Meanwhile, Tim had to leave to start his new job before the house was ready for the market.

One night, I had a chat with my house. I told it that we had to leave. My son-in-law really needed this change. We were not abandoning the house, and we were all really grateful for its shelter and comfort all these years. I told it not to worry. I was sure that the people who buy it would love it and care for it, just as we had.

The next morning, my hand looked normal and the pain was minimal. A neighbor convinced her friend, a local chiropractor, to squeeze my daughter into his schedule. She is walking again. The house sparkles, and we immediately had two showings. Affordable movers are scheduled, and the sun is shining.

Do you talk to your house? Maybe you should.

Published by Carole J. Garrison

I’m a conversationalist, an observer, a passionate participant in life. And now, in my later years, I’m a recorder of the lessons of my life through essays, stories, and novels. I live in the fourth moment of life, just outside the normal distribution of most people and it is from this place that I write.

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