A month ago we had a flood in our downstairs. A malfunctioning toilet overflowed, ruining the drywall in 7 walls and warping the hardwood floors. Very quickly our landlords (in particular, the wife) tried to put the blame on us, stating that we had neglected to tell them about the malfunctioning toilet and so therefore were liable for the damages. Yeah, I don’t think so. Which is exactly what my renters insurance said when I called them to inquire.
A week later, the house is torn up, plastic sheeting everywhere, loud fans blowing for 4 days straight. No apology from the landlords, no offers to pay the outrageously high electric bill generated by the fans, no offers to supply other accommodation during the construction… no assurances that all would be taken care of to minimize our discomfort. Let me just say this – I have been a landlord myself for 10 years. If something like this had happened to my home, due to a fault in my equipment, I would be bending over backwards to make sure my renters weren’t inconvenienced, especially if they were good renters who paid their rent on time, took good care of the house and yard, and were solid people. A little bit of empathy goes a long way.
But I digress… a bit annoying not having a downstairs bathroom, whatever, it would all be back up and running soon, right?
Then I get a call yesterday from the (wife) landlord. She says their insurance company wants to replace all of the flooring downstairs, and since that means we will essentially be moving out half of our house while the work is done, it would just be better if we moved out completely and found a new place to live. Not on a temporary basis… but permanently. When I tried to negotiate, offered to find a place to live during the construction, she said they were going to be raising the rent and “she knew how difficult that would be for us.” Excuse me? How the heck does she know where our finances are? How dare she presume what is or is not difficult for us? She wants us out. No questions asked.
Well… crap. (And a few other choice words, I’ll admit.) I’m mad. To the point where I called my parents yesterday and told them I wanted their dog to come down and dig up my daffodil bulbs (something she does EVERY time she is here. I was annoyed at this before, but now, lets use it to our advantage. Those jerks of landlords aren’t getting my daffodils!) Maybe I’ll even bag up my mulch and take it with me. And the custom spice rack I installed in the pantry. I’m taking it ALL, people! What I’m feeling right now is completely slighted for how well we have taken care of the place, dismissed because they see us as an inconvenience.
My husband is coming home soon. Thank. GOD! And while we were thinking of buying in the next year, it certainly wasn’t in the next month! Not with 4 months of school left, our son graduating from high school, etc.
So we are at a crossroads. Again. We just moved in here a year ago. I don’t want to pack everything back up in boxes again – I want to purge like crazy. Get rid of the excess. I told my kids, anything they haven’t used since we moved in last year, goes! (Heck, maybe we’ll have another yard sale and build another well in India with the proceeds!) My aunt, bless her heart, has helped us move now twice since we moved here three years ago! I’m ready for this next move to be our last for a while. (As I’m sure she will be too!)
So, please pray. Pray that my heart does not grow even more bitter towards our current landlords. It’s a grief process, I know – and right now I’m angry. It’s just a phase… I actually get along with the husband pretty well – but he has been strangely silent through most of this. Pray that the Lord provides the right home in the right city with the right schools at a price we can afford (is there such a thing in Southern California?)
This too shall pass… and I look forward to the day when I can look back and say “You know, what man intended for harm, God intended for good. See what the Lord has done!” I am confident in that. But for now, I’m reeling, seeking shelter in the eye of the storm.