Kali puked off and on last night, beginning on my bed. I don’t think she’s sick. I think she’s still taking on my stress and fear. Since I sold my house in Durango, life has been extremely challenging. She doesn’t smile anymore.
For a month now, I’ve been living in the rental house my Arkansas friend found for me when I was still in Durango. It was filthy when I moved in; it still is. A friend gave me a name and a number for a housekeeper. I didn’t call.
My intention was to identify boxes for a room and to do the cleaning as I put things away. As I wrote in Part 13 of this series, what I discovered in unpacking kitchen boxes is the lack of usable storage space. The operative word is “usable.”
A giant bathtub surround covered the window in the bathroom, and there is no overhead light. The lamps over the sink don’t offer much light. If I had found my shower curtain and liner, I would be taking a shower in the dark. There are no handgrips. It’s an accident waiting to happen. Fortunately, an Arkansas friend brought over a clear plastic curtain and zip ties.
The bathroom doesn’t have a bathroom counter to put my electric toothbrush and portable Waterpik or even a place to plug it in. The outlet that’s over the sink doesn’t work when you turn off the bathroom light. So I keep my traveling dental hygiene tools on the kitchen counter.
As a renter, the landlord said I had to buy curtains. Fortunately, my Arkansas friend told me to bring whatever curtains I had. Because I sold my curtains with my house, I only had the old ones the new renter didn’t want; newly laundered, they were already packed with curtainclips and rings in the garage. I also brought my collection of tension rods kept on hand for my renters.
All I needed was something to cover the large living room window. I don’t have the gene for picking out curtains, especially in a house that is yellow on all the walls and ceilings. However, a gracious gal at Wal-Mart helped me pick out some from what remained of their stock that were the right size: two turquoise and two cream-colored panels with holes for the rods the owner had installed.
The floors are un-level in every room. Recall that when I noticed “sloping floors” in my apartment in Colorado, I became obsessed and identified more than twenty business locations that also had sloping floors. But no one seems to notice this but me. Maybe I have some “inner-ear thing?”
I found some balls in my “Cats” boxes to check the floors in my rented house. Boom! The floors do slope! I could probably get a job walking through buildings for home inspectors with my new skill.
The owner didn’t give me a key to the front door because he doesn’t want people tracking mud onto the ancient, filthy carpet. I have to use the rotted door for access from the carport to the kitchen. Despite that, I’m puzzled why there is carpet in the living room where people wear shoes and walk through it constantly, but hardwood floors in the bedrooms where bare feet trod.
This rented home did not have a refrigerator, washer, or dryer. The owner told me that “No one likes to use other peoples’ refrigerators.” And so, before I left Durango, I told my Arkansas friend that I would not rent a house without a refrigerator, washer, and dryer. The fridge is obviously mandatory, but so are the washer and dryer because of the Pandemic Shut Down and “Stay Home Orders.”
(BTW: It’s now May 29, and I still have not had the luxury of “Staying Home.”)
The freezer melted my ice cream, and my soy milk was luke-warm. I’d had enough! This week the appliance place took the used ones back, and I bought new ones: a brand-name I’ve never heard of, ranking #28 in refrigerators. But it does what a fridge is supposed to do.
Because I don’t want to get used to this rented house, I unpacked only necessary items, and I’ve been looking at houses to buy. They all have un-level floors!
On Friday, May 22, I made an offer for the last one. It’s not in the flood zone, and it’s more than three times larger than my Colorado apartment. For me, that raises questions about utilities because I only paid for the electricity in my apartment. The triplex paid for home insurance, taxes, and water, sewer, trash, and single-stream recycling.
My concern about the cost of utilities is that I no longer have income from the commercial property I sold in March. Crunching numbers to see how long my money will last has been a serious exercise. My financial advisor said, “Rent, put your money in a savings account, and take a $1K monthly draw.”
But renting even for this short time has made me want my own home as soon as possible.
I made an offer on Friday, 5/22, and they countered on Saturday, 5/23; the reply deadline was 5 pm Sunday, 5/24 on Memorial Day weekend! I like the house, but I’m not attached to it. And I especially disliked being pressured to reply on a holiday, much less on a Sunday. And so, I waited until the twelfth hour.
I told my realtor to ask their realtor why they were selling, and I asked if I could “kill the deal” after the inspection if the owners refused to fix what I perceived were serious issues.
Their reason for selling sounded true: The daughter is selling her parents’ home because they can no longer take care of themselves. That explains why, after living there for only seven months, they repeatedly tried to sell it.
I accepted their counteroffer and scheduled the inspection (June 2).
And that night, I saw the rented house from a radically different perspective.
[to be continued]
Till next time,
“Please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows.” ~Pam Young