Posts Tagged ‘leaks’

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Fortunately, we’re likeable

June 19, 2009

I just found out last night that our current landlord, the one who has been charging us full rent for living in a leaky duplex, told our future landlord that she has reservations about N’s character and that she can’t recommend us as tenants.  Her concerns about character arose from the fact that N (very reasonably, I think) complained about roof work starting up on Saturday and Sunday mornings with no advanced notice.

I am very angry at her.  We’ve been good tenants for three years, have been quiet, and have paid rent reliably (though she could be right when she says our payments were late four times this year.  I’ve been pretty flaky about a lot of things since August 2008 and I only have so much control over the Postal Service).  We scrounged up the money to pay rent three months in advance last summer when we knew we’d be distracted by hope and fear and traveling to an out-of-state hospital.  And, in spite of all the mopping up we’ve had to do with the leak in the kitchen in the midst of our year of tragedy, we’ve been pretty good-natured in general.

Future landlord is a good sort, though, and called us to get our side of the story.  Which, thankfully, he seems to have believed.  Also, he told N that he picked up on a much better feeling from us than from her.  He likes us, in spite of our current landlord’s best efforts.  Which means we still have a place to move in August.

Unfortunately, our side of the story also involves something like this, “Well, you see, our son died in August so we were not in fact at our best this year, although we still don’t think we were bad tenants or that we said or did anything unreasonable.  Yes, our current landlord knew this.”  I hate dragging Teddy into this mess; it feels cheap and somehow slimy.  I want to tell people about him, yes, but certainly not because of circumstances like this.  His loss is part of our side of things, and I tell myself we’re not using him, but we really are.

I wish I could move out now, that I could pack up my family and memories and run to safety.

And I still wonder if I missed it, the time and place where I could have cleared up misunderstandings between us and our current landlord, helped her to see our side of things, helped us to see hers (I know there’s more going on on her side than we know).  I feel like – somehow – I should have prevented all of this from turning so ugly.

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Better

March 9, 2009

The snow is falling this morning, small flakes, light and soft as feathers cover  trees and grass, streets and sidewalks, cars and, yes, roofs.  Which means that our roof will be leaking again soon.

And that’s okay.  N and I have made peace, talked it out, had a lovely and restful Sunday after our dismal Saturday, and are presenting a unified front.

I’ve written a letter to our landlords, coolheaded as I could make it, but strongly worded enough for N, explaining that we can’t continue to mop up the leaks indefinitely while paying full rent for the privilege, asking that repairs be made, and noting that we may have to explore alternative housing options. We’re going to be talking with the landlord-tenant advisory people at the University, too, to make sure we have legal legs to stand on.

As I’ve said before, I hate moving.  I would hate it even if Teddy had lived.  In fact, I’m sure I’d then be complaining about packing up all the baby things.  But coming on top of our loss, leaving this place that reminds me of Teddy, under these circumstances, seems deeply and personally wrong, when in fact it’s just one of those things that happens.

I still want my own house, some day, a place to fill with memories until the very rafters (if it has rafters) echo with love, laughter, and comfort.  But for now, it helps to know that when I move, I move with N, so I will always be home.

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Breaking

March 6, 2009

Things around me keep breaking.

Computer software and printers at work have been acting up. Ink cartridges are running out of ink, trojan viruses (viri?) are lodging themselves on library computers. My ride to Seattle for next week’s library conference fell through. Our home is still leaking, leaking, leaking and yesterday evening I came home from work to find N as frustrated as I’ve ever seen him over the wet walls, cupboards, stove, and floor in our kitchen.

It’s as though I’ve been mildly hexed, and I wonder, why? Why me? even though that’s the wrong question to ask.

I don’t want to leave our home for another rental.  This is our first home as a married couple, the first place that’s seen the combining of our furniture, of our book and music collections.  I planted the rosebush in the back yard, the crocus bulbs in the front flowerbed, set up birdfeeders, made friends with neighbors and neighborhood cats.  This is the place where Teddy came into being, where we waited and planned for him, where we worried for him and cried for him.  It’s not ours, but it’s home.

And now it’s a potentially moldy home, a home we will probably leave soon (leaky roof pretty much frees us from our lease, I think).  I was not cut out for a gypsy life.  I like home to be solid, land-bound, certain and largely unchanging.  I used to fret and suffer from insomnia if the furniture in my bedroom were rearranged.  I am learning to move, to adapt, to deal with uncertainty, but I long for an island of peace.

A home that won’t leak, a world where things around me don’t break.