Monday, July 23, 2012

This old house

That's Seth and Miles in the upper right, flying their kite. :-)

I spent a couple of hours on Sunday painting a picture of my house in Illinois . . in my garage in Arizona.  I'm not the artist in the family - that would be my brother Steve or my kids, Zach and Rachel.  I've never painted a darn thing. Not ever. My artsy-fartsiness  has been limited to sewing and cross stitch, scrap-booking and baking.  The garage project started out as me hating the floor [so I turned it into bricks like I did back in Illinois on our front steps] and the fence because Arizona just doesn't have picket fences.  Of course what's a picket fence without flowers.  What's flowers without a garden/zombie gnome.  And then the fence needed a gate because I got called out on putting up another wall or sorts and everyone knows a gate has to open to  . . .something or why is a gate there in the first place. There never has been a plan, I just keep thinking of stuff and adding it.  One thing leading to another.  Which is a good thing since there are 2 more walls  . . much to Terry's chagrin. 
I lived in this house for 12 years and have owned it for 15.  It was built in 1902 and has the original woodwork and some of the charms of an old house - the nooks and crannies that made more sense then than now but I love it all the same.  It was a sanctuary to me after the divorce.  A place to get back on my feet because there was a tenant upstairs helping to pay the mortgage.  It has also been a sanctuary for my son and my daughter during rough times in their lives when they need a place to live.  Ditto for my step-daughter.  I even moved back upstairs during a brief time when Terry and I broke up.  It's just always sort of been there.  A sanctuary.
That's not to say there haven't been problems.  There's always something that needs to be fixed - a broken furnace belt at an in-opportune time, plumbing repairs, windows needing to be replaced.  There is always a list of repairs that need to be done.  Even that has had it's good points - so many skills I have learned because I couldn't afford to hire it done.

Today is the day.  After 9 months of legal process my tenant is being evicted.  I have never had a problem with a tenant.  Not in 12 years.  I dropped Terry off at the airport this morning so he could fly back and handle things for me - I just get too upset.  Upset as in wonky leg and chest pain.  I just can't do it.  Terry's a good man to step in and deal with this [but I suspect he has just enough detachment that it's almost kinda fun for him] They haven't paid rent since Feb but it's not the money that upsets me - it's the disrespect.  The place is trashed.  They've kicked in the panels of those old old doors - they might as well have kicked me in the gut.  It's filthy.  The wallpaper has been ripped off - might as well have been my heart. 
They are way more savvy about this process than I am.  They are refusing to leave.  Even with a court order for eviction they are refusing to leave.  It blows my mind.  I have to pay to have the Sheriff show up tomorrow and walk them off the property. They won't leave without that. Just plain refusing to leave.  Amazing huh?  It astounds me that someone in there 20's could know THIS much about the system.  Last night they did move some things out.  Know how they did it?  Did they rent a truck or borrow a friend's car?  Nope - they called Late Night Ride, the free taxi service that is provided by the community to reduce the number of impaired drivers.  Late Night Ride exists out of the goodness of my community - no questions asked, they will drive you from one location to another. They called Late Night Ride right after they stopped texting me at 1am.  The 3 hours of constant texting telling me they weren't leaving. They don't pay rent, a community charity pays their utilities, food stamps, free childcare at the junior college where she has a scholarship and the local Salvation Army provides clothes, diapers and rides to school  Un-frickin-believable.

So.  I need to let it go.  Let go of the anger.  Let go of the frustration.  Stop the tears and the constant feeling that I'm going to vomit.  Letting it go.

I love that old house so I brought it to Arizona.  Bringing all the good memories and leaving the garbage behind.  Hauling the garbage down the vinca and rose bordered path to the road and leaving it there.

It's turning into a sanctuary again this time for Terry's daughter [the downstairs] and his first ex-wife [upstairs].  LOL  I gotta laugh but it's the right thing to do.

24 more hours and it will be a sanctuary again. 
It's gonna be ok.


  1. So sorry you've had such misfortune with your renters. Some people are just assholes. Glad you'll be done with them soon.

  2. couldn't have said it better Solitary, and its 6.20am and I have not had coffee, so I am not even going to try :)

    Pleased its all worked out eventually x

  3. It is 8:26 there right now, the eviction is at 9am and they are still there, still refusing to leave. These people are crazy :-( . Hoping and praying they aren't 'Aurora Colorado' crazy

  4. Well the tenants are OUT! The place is completely trashed, food everywhere and extensive damage. Police called and reports to be filed but they are out.

  5. Finally...the house can be cleaned (even though I think they are arseholes) but at least no violence went down and Terry is OK. Thinking of you as you start to get the place back to how it should be :)