Farewell, “Kurt’s Folly”

I haven’t wanted to mention it at all, because I was so afraid of “jinxing it” in this very fragile and uncertain real estate market.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may recall that I put the Palm Springs condo — Kurt’s dream winter home that I somewhat sarcastically dubbed “Kurt’s Folly” — on the market back in February. He had really hoped that I would keep it and continue to use it after he passed away last June. He never gave up his conviction that some day our little mid-century modern condo would be worth a great deal more than we paid for it back in 2009.

But it had always been his dream, not mine. I never wanted to be bi-platial, hated having to worry about whichever house I’d left behind whenever I was spending time in the other. Frankly, I was never comfortable with the size of my footprint — who really needs two homes? Not me, especially not now that it’s mine alone.

I had to drop the asking price several times, and I had to suffer through two offers that fell through before we could get through a series of counter-offers and agree on a deal. The third potential buyer, whose offer I received back in mid-May, never flaked out. We closed today, and I no longer own a condo in Palm Springs.

I suppose I should be ecstatic. This is what I wanted, and although I took a big loss overall I at least walked away with a bit of cash. I’m very lucky, in this real estate market, to find a buyer for my condo in a community of predominantly winter and vacation homes.

Yet I’m feeling very blue tonight.

This is one more step, a very big one, away from the life that Kurt and I shared. He loved this place and was very happy here. Together we worked hard to transform its look from tired late-70s to a 21st-century reinterpretation of its original 1961 modern style. We laughed together every time his Garmin GPS announced, in her impeccable Aussie accent, our impending arrival at “Kurt’s Folly at Stinkin’ Desert.” We ate a whole lot of Mexican food and toured some amazing houses.

A friend took this photo of the two of us in our living room in March 2011. Kurt was very sick, but we were both still smiling. That was a good day.

Just before we left it in May of 2011, a few weeks before he died, he thanked me for bringing him back and said that he did not expect to ever see it again…

When I was back there this winter, I took a lot of photos of the sky, the mountains, and the play of light upon them — my ever-favorite subjects. But when I searched tonight for a single photo that captured the spirit of this place, I was drawn to this one from our first winter there:

I’m quite sure that sometime next winter, when I’m shoveling six inches of snow off my driveway and fretting over how I’m ever going to get in shape for running/hiking/biking season again, I’ll look back fondly on Kurt’s Folly.

For now, though, bittersweet though it may be, I’m relieved to have it behind me and excited to be fully home here at last.

One step at a time.

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Posted on June 21, 2012, in Architecture, grief, LIfe_goes_on, Place and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Oh, that’s a big step no matter what your feelings about the place, there are conflicted memories there and, at least for me, breaking ties with the past is really, really hard.

    • Colleen,

      Even with all the practice I had, with all the houses Kurt and I bought and sold, I had to write a dissertation to understand why leaving a place is so hard for me!

      I know that leaving this one is the right thing to do now. I’m feeling sad tonight, but over the next month — as I don’t write those checks for the mortgage, the utilities, the HOA dues, and so on — I’ll be feeling a lot better.

  2. That picture just makes me smile.

  3. Beautiful picture of you two, Lori.
    You are taking those steps one at a time, in your own timing. That is good. You are transitioning well to being LORI and living LORI’S life, as tough as it may be. You’re one tough cookie!

  4. Another ending. Does this signify another beginning? I hope so. We are ready to close on an “extra” property which we will give us great relief. I know what you mean about that.

  5. I just love seeing the picture of you with Kurt in your Palm Spring home. I think you have done such a good job of giving us a little bit of your journey with Kurt and a loving photo of the two of your somehow feels good to see. I think the reason I connect with you, Lori, is that you are living the stuff of life that is so real and even in sharing the good news that the condo is sold, you also express the bittersweet qualities of saying goodbye once more. I love all your “new beginning” talk..it really is about that! But may I tease you in January when it’s 70 degrees? Tee-hee! Debra

  6. Letting go is not easy…even when it is necessary. Hugs.

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