The Irony of Life, Part 35: Staying Here!

I didn’t take the rental house in Durango because I had a chat with the Property Manager who told me things the woman kept from me. She said I could not park my car in the driveway because it’s only for one car.  She also stated that U-Haul trucks or PODS were not allowed in the driveway, that it would be in the parking lot.  I tried to imagine moving there in the winter when Durango was having so much snow.  I also could not imagine myself unpacking that thing by myself!

So I let my desire stop to move back to the town where I lived for forty-four years.  I practiced the Serenity Prayer every day I walked the trail:  “God, Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Finally, I started looking for rentals in Heber Springs, AR where taxes are high, especially if you own a house.  I went through pages of listings for owners of rentals. None of them had one available.  I drove around looking for a sign that said “For Rent”.   But when I called them, they were already taken.

After my book signing event at the new Bookish Emporium bookstore, I asked everyone if they knew a rental or someone who has them. She gave me the name of a guy in a used car lot.  I went there on my way home.   He said he didn’t have one available but someone told him there was a “For Rent” sign by the front door in the condos across the street from the Holiday Inn.

I drove straight there from his office to the place where the condos were.  I wasn’t the only one taking the owners phone number and putting it on my phone.

Bottom line:  I got to rent the 2BR, 2 bath condo in a lot next to the Holiday Inn on the BYPASS highway.  Finding a rental in Heber Springs is difficult. People from Colorado, Ohio, Mississippi, and other states are moving here, snatching all the rentals.   I was fortunate to find one.

The owner lives in Little Rock and showed me the condo here.  But she said she couldn’t come back to Heber anytime soon because her husband is getting chemo treatments.  My realtor, Will Humphreys, said he would drive me there to meet her at a restaurant so she could read the lease to me and answer any questions about it.  That meeting took an hour.  Can you imagine a realtor spending four hours just to help me get that rental?

The owner’s name is Michelle.  She has a handyman removing all the furniture, towels, cookware, etc.  The place was fully furnished!  She said I should have known that. I explained to her that I got her phone number from the “For Rent” sign on the door and that it didn’t mention anything about being furnished.  I told her I would not rent that unit unless she took all her stuff out of it.  She did!

The rent is $1650 with all utilities paid by owner.  Because my house will be for sale next week, I was happy to hear that she paid the utilities because the owner of the “house for sale” pays utilities until someone else owns it.  So knowing that utilities were paid by owner was a huge relief for me.

Her handyman, Blake, has another job.  After work, he’s the guy that fixes things like the broken toilet, takes all the stuff out, and cleans the condo before I can move in.  When I phoned him, he told me I could move in on Friday, March 3.  But it was raining every day from Wednesday 3/1 through Sunday 3/5.  Sean, the man who was going to move my stuff said he couldn’t do it if it’s raining because his trailer is open and tarps won’t do the job.

I have spent weeks taking things to the consignments store and packing all my belongings.  Moving from Searcy St. was easy because I had only unpacked kitchen things.  I posted on Facebook’s “Heber News You Should Know” that I was “ISO of moving boxes” and a woman who had moved here from another state said she had some.  It was a lot more than some.

Because this is a “dry” county, I wasn’t able to get the wine boxes I like to pack books.  I went through Walmart with a cart (positive thinking) looking to see what boxes they had.  A Walmart employee I had met maybe a month ago.  She asked me, “What size are you looking for?” I told her and she said the water bottle place was unpacking new bottles.  The boxes were perfect for books, CDs, and DVDs.  I still have more packing to do.

You might want to know why I chose to stay here.  I have a few good reasons:

  1. I want the CPA in Greers Ferry to do my taxes after the sale of the house I live in now.
  2. Housing in Durango has been too expensive for me.
  3. I’m old and have no one; living in the condos with other old guys seemed like a good idea.
  4. Heber Springs has assisted living and Durango has a tiny assisted living place that costs a fortune to live in.

When I had packed most of the boxes, I posted “ISO moving people” on the Facebook page “Heber Springs News You Should Know.” Adam replied and I asked for his phone number so we could talk.  He said he had a truck and a trailer and could move my boxes on Sunday, March 5.

I still have the things in the kitchen to put in boxes.  And Sean, the owner of a place built to help people lose their addictions, also manages a thrift store that supports his business.  He has a twenty-foot-long trailer and is scheduled to move my furniture (and hopefully the kitchen boxes I hope to complete) on Monday, March 6.

That’s it for now.

Till next time: “Please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows.”


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