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Cream Puff
by Ruth Evans

At Christmas 2004 the need became obvious. A son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and a grandchild had joined our family. Our three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath raised-ranch was too small. Baby Nell’s blanketed space on the living room floor was barely safe from passing shoes, and often the wait for the shower was way longer than the shower itself. The Christmas tree, wedged between chairs by the front windows, made our time together even tighter.

Real estate ads sucked us in through spring and summer. Our realtor, Aby, became attuned to our taste as he observed our response to each property we visited. By September, he knew us well, but our enthusiasm was sapped. “It is time for a break,” we told Aby. “We don’t want to move or have our house on the market during the holidays.”

Aby had agreed, but called a week later, “I’ve found a cream puff for you. Meet me tomorrow at four o’clock.” He was right. We sat in our future kitchen, wrote a large check, and signed papers. Excited, yet unnerved, our focus shifted to selling our home.

We filled boxes; and with each one carried to the storage pod in our driveway, we prepared mentally to have strangers look in our closets. Aby listed our property as “a cream puff.” He kept us calm. He sold our house.

Our final meal was pizza and wine. Friends braved their way past moving boxes to get to the table. We touched raised glasses to salute a place that had witnessed so many good times. All that we owned moved across town the next day. At dark, our friends arrived with food. We cleared our relocated table and again raised glasses, anticipating good times even amongs the boxes.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My husband and I among moving boxes at the final meal (late November 2005).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ruth Evans is an avid writer, gardener and cook. She enjoyed a long career as an educator, and had a street, “Ruth Evans Way” named to honor her work as a middle school principal in 2014. She lives with her artist husband of 51 years in Metro-West Boston. Her essay describes their eleventh move, and fifth house purchase.