Spend your Fourth at free Birkdale event

The town of Huntersville invites everyone to its eighth annual Fourth of July Celebration at Birkdale Village.

It will be 10 a.m.-1 p.m. July 4. Kids will enjoy bike decorating, face painting, a clown bounce, arts and crafts, a parade and a water fight between local fire stations. There also will be music, food and fun for all ages. The event is free.

Trading spaces

Last week we closed on two homes in less than 90 minutes. We sold our little blue house with the wrap-around porch and bought a home that looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

I was nervous about the closings, wondering whether there might be any surprises.

I learned we were in good hands with Chris Anthony, the real estate agent who helped us sell our home. Gale Burke, the agent who helped us buy our new home, had helped us buy the blue house five years ago and has become our friend. We trust her implicitly.

I took comfort that the buyers of our home were friendly and charming. The wife hugged and thanked me for selling our home to them. The husband had not seen the house until that morning. With a wide smile he said, "I love it!"

My husband said, "I feel like I want to have them over for a cookout." We were happy our little blue house would get such a wonderful family to love and take care of it. The two children moving in would surely enjoy the bonus room and big back yard my son loved so much.

Minutes after we sold the blue house, we sat around the same table with the sellers of the Dr. Seuss house. That transaction was very businesslike: no hugs, no warm-fuzzies. When all papers were signed, the sellers' agent said, "Well, you don't own that house anymore."

The sellers quickly replied, "We will not miss that house!"

I started to say, "Why? What's wrong with the house?" But the sellers were already leaving.

It turned out they had been paying two mortgages and were happy to be rid of one.

We hired movers for the big stuff. But our family and dear friends were invaluable. We could not have moved without them. They helped with everything from packing up to hauling boxes, painting and cleaning and even bringing food. We felt greatly blessed.

Now the hard work begins, digging ourselves out of the mountain of boxes. I can tell already: We will have one amazing garage sale this summer.