Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Yes, Really ... A Blog Post from Me!

My life, as I'm sure you know if you've read any of my recent blog posts, has been very difficult for the past couple of months.  Mentally, physically, emotionally, situationally ... I have sometimes felt as if I am wearing a sign that reads "Hurt me, stress me, try to drive me crazy!"  But that's life sometimes, isn't it?  Times of bad, times of good.  I am weathering the storm.

One of my stressors has been trying to find another place to live.  I found the following image while looking for moving images & thought it kind of applied to me & John   : )

I sat down & figured it out one day.  This is our 40th year together.  In these 40 years we have moved 21 times.  This move will be our 22nd.  On average that's one move a little less than every two years.  And we've lived in 11 different states.  I sometimes tell John that I envy people who purchased a home when they got married & have stayed there all their lives.  John;s response is always "Yes, but look at all the adventures we have had!!!"  I'm getting kind of tired of adventures ... lol!

So back to finding a place to live.  I think that if I wrote a book, people would read it & not believe what I was telling them.  For those of you who are one of those "bought a home when they got married & stayed there" people ... & for those of you who have had an easy time finding another home when you need one ... you can't imagine that this would be a difficult process, but believe me, it is!  

I started contacting realtors & monitoring the online rental sites in late February.  John & I had no idea where we wanted to move, but I knew I didn't want to be too far from the doctors who have been caring for me.  We concentrated our search for a new home here in Kentucky, in Tennessee, & in Wisconsin.  Early on I found an absolutely gorgeous lake home in our price range in Tennessee.  It was clean, in perfect condition, & very roomy with a state of the art kitchen.  It had two decks ... one on the lower level, & another on the main level which actually wrapped around one side & most of the back of the home.  The entire back of the home consisted almost totally of windows which looked out onto wooded areas & the lake.  There was a little stream that flowed along the side of the property, making its way down to the lake.  There were geese & ducks & loons & various small birds.  It was gorgeous.  We told the realtor we wanted to rent it.  She contacted the owners who said "two year lease." We said a two year lease was fine with us.  Then a week went by, then two weeks, & to make a long story short, the owners decided to sell the house instead.  John & I were devastated.  Our search continued.  

Nothing we found compared to that lake house. Nothing could!  But all we really wanted was a clean home in good repair in a safe neighborhood. Not too much to ask, is it?

You will find this hard to believe ... I experienced it & I have trouble believing it ... but I responded to so many ads for rental homes, dozens of them, & the majority of people advertising the homes never responded!  Even when I contacted them a second, & in some cases a third time ... no response.  Yet their homes continued to be listed for rent!

When I would make contact with someone renting a home, I would explain to them that John & I were looking to rent an exceptionally clean, well cared for home in a safe, quiet neighborhood. They would then tell me how their home was immaculate & I would make an appointment for us to view it.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess.  Most of these homes were in terrible shape!  One had been rented by a family with an adult son who had anger problems.  He had punched holes in doors, thrown things at walls ... the damage was unbelievable.  The owner of the home told us that they were going to have the home professionally cleaned & replace three of the doors.  He needed to do a lot more than that to get that home back in decent shape!

Another home we viewed was not far from here. I was assured that it was in beautiful condition.  It definitely looked like the definition of perfection when you looked at the photos in the rental ad.  It wasn't.  The yard was overgrown, mold was growing on the side of the house, paint was peeling ... & inside the kitchen was a mess.  I opened the cabinet underneath the sink & it had no bottom!  There was just bare floor!  I pointed this out to the property manager who acted like that was normal!  The walls were filthy, & all the carpeting was stained.  In one room upstairs it looked like someone had dumped a pot of spaghetti sauce on the rug, then took a wooden spoon & slung it around on the walls.  When we showed this to him, he said the carpeting would be cleaned & the walls would be touched up with paint.  The carpeting needed replaced & the entire house needed repainted!

I reached out to some people, asking them to watch for rentals in their area.  That went nowhere.  I started looking at homes in other states.  That went nowhere as well.  

About three weeks ago I found a home about 20 minutes north of where we live now.  It looked like a nice home.  Small, but nice.  I contacted the owner who responded almost immediately, giving me her phone number.  We talked.  She said that John & I sounded like the type of renters she & her husband were looking for.  She said the home was being repainted (repainted!!!) but if I didn't mind the painter being there she would be happy to show us the home that afternoon.  The home is in a nice little residential area.  Everyone seems to take good care of their homes & property.  We walked into the house & sure enough, there was the painter busy at his work.  She explained to us that the carpeting was going to be cleaned, people would be coming to give the kitchen & bathrooms "a good cleaning," & the outside of the house would be power washed.  There appeared to be room for all our stuff.  No more renting storage units ... hooray!  There was no damage anywhere ... not on the walls, not on the woodwork, not in the bathrooms, not in the kitchen ... nothing!  We told her we were definitely interested in renting the home.  She had us fill out a rental application while we were there, then said she'd be doing a credit check but she wouldn't get the results of that until the following Monday.  She said she'd be in touch after that.

After we got home, I thought uh-oh, will the bedroom furniture ... another continuing source of stress which I hope will be gone in the near future ... fit in the master bedroom?  And the bonus room ... was there a door on that?  I contacted her to ask if she could possibly meet us at the house again so I could take some measurements.  She said she would be happy to meet us there on Sunday.  On Sunday I once again marveled at how good the home looked.  She said the painter would be finished painting by Friday, the cleaners would come to do their "good cleaning" that day, & the carpet cleaner would come on Saturday.  When I walked into the kitchen, I couldn't believe it!  All the switch plates & socket plates had been removed from the walls & were piled in the sink, waiting to be washed!  After all the horrors we had been seeing in all but one of the other homes we viewed, ... that one home being the lake house in Tennessee ... seeing all those switch/socket plates in that sink waiting to be washed, I just can't explain the feeling!  The owner asked us if we were seriously interested in renting the home.  We said yes.  She then said that as far as she was concerned, the home was ours.  She said she was going to stop showing the home & taking applications.  She said her word is good.  We shook hands & went back home.  

On Tuesday she contacted me to say our credit check was excellent (naturally) & we made an appointment to walk through the home & sign the lease the following Sunday.  

Although the home was in exceptional condition & the owner was almost as OCD as I am regarding things being as perfect as they can be, I continued to search for other rental homes.  I found a couple of interest, but either the people renting them didn't respond to my inquiries or there was some kind of glitch that made it impossible for us to rent them.  I thought to myself "God must really be trying to tell me that He wants us to rent this small home!"  

This past Sunday we walked through the house once again.  The owner brought her husband along ... also very nice ... & we all got along very well.  The house looked amazing!  The kitchen & bathrooms nearly gleamed.  The walls had all been painted, & the switch/socket plates were replaced.  She pointed out that they had replaced all the screws for the plates!  The carpeting was spotless.  She took me into one of the bathrooms & told me how sorry she was ... that the cleaners told her they had scrubbed & scrubbed & scrubbed but they couldn't get the stain off the side of the toilet.  I honestly almost had my face in the bowl & I couldn't see these stain she was talking about!  She then told me how they had taken down every light fixture in the house ... every light fixture ... & cleaned them!  And they had either washed or replaced all the blinds!  Even the garage was clean!

We signed a year's lease which will automatically turn into a month-to-month lease after that.  How perfect is that!  We are hoping to stay in this home for at least two years, but you never know what the future may bring. When we decide to move again, we will just have to give 30 days notice.  And did I mention that the monthly rent for this home is less than what we had thought we'd be paying for another rental?  Much less!

It will, in effect, be an easy move.  We will just be 20 miles up the road.  I won't have to painstakingly wrap & pad all my dishes & kitchen items or anything else really!  Still, packing is packing, & we have a lot of stuff, & this is how I'm feeling right now ...
We are actually double renting right now so we can take our time moving.  Last year we were so rushed!  We don't ever want to go through that again!  We will hire movers to move the small bit of furniture we have.  It is just too heavy for John & I to move it ourselves. 

So ... one stressor is gone, that of finding a new rental home.  Hopefully the others will follow. Thank you for your continued prayers   : ) 


Tricia T said...

So happy that you've found a home, Shirlee!! What a blessing!

KimM said...

I've been thinking about you....and wondering.....sounds like things are looking bright for you.
P.S. Could you please send me your new address - privately?
More xxx

Robin in Virginia said...

Oh Shirlee, what fabulous news to read this AM! I am so happy for you and John finding this place. You have been on my mind lately and I am thrilled one stressor has been removed.

Paula Lima said...

Both of you are in need of a good break! Glad to ear from you again!

CalamityJr said...

What wonderful news! At least one area of stress is removed, and it sounds like you have a new friend in the landlady. I just read what I thought was a clever moving tip - buy inexpensive styrofoam plates to put between your dishes. That saves all the wrapping in paper, the "dirt" from newsprint - sounded smart to me! I'll pray that this is just the first of many solutions to all that has troubled you recently. So glad to hear from you!

Vicki said...

That's awesome, Shirlee! I'm so glad you guys found a place to live in the area you wanted. Sounds like this move is much less stressful than the last one.

Michele Inman said...

Glad to see you're back... I've been wondering how things were going with you. Good luck with the move. Hope your life settles down now.

Carol said...

Sounds like this little house is just perfect, Shirlee... I am one who has only ever lived in three houses and three apartments in my entire 61 years so I can't imagine the stress of moving all those times. Good luck with this one :)

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Please don't do that to me. As I read through the story of the perfect little house my heart was getting tighter and tighter as I dreaded the punchline. But no, it really is the perfect little house and you are moving!! Yay!!

Please email me your new address when you move in so I can stalk you via Google Earth. ooops, I mean send you a moving in card.

Julie said...

Wishing you peaceful and relaxing times in your new home.

Kaisievic said...

Oh, Shirlee, so lovely to see a post from you - I have been so worried for you and John and sending prayers and thoughts your way every day. So glad that you finally found a great rental place and that this move does not seem like it will be as stressful as the previous ones. Take care, my very dear friend and I am sure that all of your other stressors will fall into place. All my love, Kaye xxxx

Marilyn said...

I DO hope you get this house and are happy in it.
Take care.

GrandMary said...

So good to hear from you! I hope the move goes smoothly and you are able to stitch again soon.
Sending you prayers for God's peace to fill you and God's love to surround you, today and always.

gracie said...

Sounds ideal. Hope it will be an easy move.

Weronika said...

I am very happy that after so mnay struggles you finally found a decent place to live. You will see everything will be better and better now.

Carolyn said...

It's great to see you posting again. I'm glad that you and your family are okay health wise. Yes, moving is one big pain. Then trying to find the right place for a short or long term is even harder. I don't know how you have done it for so long. You two are quite the team and very lucky to have each other for support. Glad you found a spot and I will continue to pray that you get to settle in for a little while.

Frances N said...

So glad to see a post from you! I was wondering how you were!
Wow! You have really moved a lot through the years!
So happy you have found a good place with a good landlord! Sometimes that is very hard to do! Keep us posted on how it's all going!

Dawn said...

So happy to see you are back and that you have found a place to live! Hoping soon you will be settled in and can return to stitching.

Maureen said...

A big step in a positive direction,hooray! I hope it's a start that will trickle into all areas of your life :)
Good luck in your new home.

Sarah in Stitches said...

Yay! I'm so glad you found a house to rent - that's such good news. I was just going to email you because we hadn't heard from you in a while, but I thought I'd check here first. Glad you're back! :D

jennifer768 said...

So very happy to hear that you have found a home! Will be thinking and keeping you both in my prayers. Love,Jen

Maggee said...

What a great thing, to see a blog post from you. And it is a happy one! Yay! Glad that you have found a house that will suit your needs (did you ever measure for the bedroom furniture tho?), and reduced your stress a bit! Hugs to you!