Sold: My favorite four-letter word.

This column has taken forever to write.

I started writing this column in my head back in June, when our house in Columbus, Neb., went on the market.

At that time, I figured those words would reach print shortly after our house was listed.

My wife and I even decided to wait until June to list our home because our son was graduating in May, and we didn't want to have to deal with both events at one time.

Be careful what you wish for.

So in those months, we have updated and remodeled our house and cleaned it and cleaned it some more.

We took our pets for ride after ride, trips our basset hound, Millie, did not mind, but our cat, Cleo, howled through every time.

We fretted and stressed, wondered and talked until we were tired of talking about why our house hadn't sold.

We listened to every reason we heard buyers weren't interested, including:

There's an apartment building behind our home (although we've never once had a problem with anyone who lived there).

Or how about "Our kids might fall out the window." Even though the living room window was closed and had a screen on it.

And "Our kids might fall down the steps." These people didn't need a home, they needed someone who watched their kids.

There were some legitimate concerns by potential buyers, like the fact the house was too compact and they didn't like the entrance to the garage from the basement.

Homes are personal, and everyone has different tastes, styles, must-haves and desires. One person's castle is just an average house to another person.

I never took it personal if someone didn't like my house, it just got frustrating showing it over and over again with no serious buyers emerging.

It also was tiresome living on eggshells, afraid to get anything out of place in case the realtor called and had someone willing to look at it.

There were early mornings and late nights of picking up, vacuuming, putting things away.

There was hurting my back making a bed the last bed I will ever make.

There was the time Claire and I drove home during the lunch hour to clean up the house.

Working down the road in Humphrey and trying to keep the house clean to accommodate house hunters was a chore at times.

Even when we had a buyer, it was not easy.

Our realtor called us the night after the buyers looked at it and told us they liked the house but liked another better.

The next day, he called back to say the other realtor had the addresses mixed up, and it was our house they liked best.

Nothing comes easy. That has to be a Murphy's Law.

And this process was not just stressful to our family. The patience and help of the sellers in Humphrey was exceptional and very much appreciated, and we are thankful for the work of the realtor in Humphrey, who helped make the whole deal possible.

Even though nothing is final until money changes hands, and I am still wary of jinxing the deal, we are moving ahead with plans to move to our new home in Humphrey.

Now all we have to do is pack, find a moving date, make arrangements to move, and we'll finally be able to call Humphrey home.

Once we can finally do that, we can say the whole ordeal was worth it.

In a few years, when we retell this story, it'll be like it was smooth sailing.

That's the way trips are. Once you reach your destination, nothing else matters.

Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.