Our house sold the second day it was listed. A week later the prospective buyers backed out so the house is on the market again. This means what seems like an interminable amount of effort putting things away whenever there’s a showing. No shampoo in the shower, no toothbrushes on the sink. Waste baskets emptied. Deck swept of any debris. Grass freshly mowed. Laptops locked inside one of the cars and and covered. Dog bowls put away. Beds made ever so neatly. Pillows fluffed. Visible vacuum tracks where there is carpeting. Sewing projects boxed up and put away. Fingerprints wiped from the front of the refrigerator and dishwasher. Personal pictures and mementoes stashed. Apparently the goal these days is to make a house look as though no one actually lives here, we’ve just been passing through. We’ve lived in eight different states and sold several houses, but we’ve been in this one a long time and things in real estate have changed mightily. Once, years ago when we lived in Kentucky, I was sitting on the front porch when some people walked past. We had just found out we were moving and I jokingly hollered, “Hey. Wanna buy a house?” It was freakishly good luck when it turned out they did. Now, we load all kinds of things plus the dog into a car and leave whenever the house is scheduled to be shown. I’m delighted so many people are asking to come and look but at the same time, I keep hoping for someone to just walk past.