I’ve been noticeably absent on the internet lately, especially on the blog. That was unintentional, but the month of May has been a busy one for me. It was the month I had to say goodbye to the place I’d called home for almost four years and find another place to live.
It wasn’t in my plans to uproot myself and engage in another move, as I was perfectly content in the neighborhood I was living in. The duplex wasn’t ideal, but it was a place I’d become used to. I had been considering the purchase of some patio furniture last month, and was even toying with the idea of planting some flowers behind the storage shed like what had been there before a previous neighbor in the duplex decided to yank them out one day.
My plans for 2017 quickly changed when I saw a notice taped to my door in the middle of April. The owner of the duplex had been trying to sell the property, and he had succeeded in wooing a buyer. That was good news for him, but bad news for me, as the new owners had decided they wanted to live on the property, and they decided the grass was greener where I was living, which meant I had to go.
And my little dog, too.
I’ve moved a number of times in my life, and each time has seemed like a trial. My latest stint on Kleeman Court was close to four years in duration, and like I said before, I was cool with where I was. Toby had a backyard to roam around in. The place had a second bedroom I used as an office area, and there was a nice basement, as well. It wasn’t in my plans to grow old there, but I was hoping to move in my own time and on my own terms.
Nope. That wasn’t to be.
Ironically, it was the second time the property had been sold since I moved in. When Todd and I signed the lease in 2013, we had nice, local landlords that constantly kept up with us on what our needs were and everything.
A few months later, they sold the property to a man from California, whose brother was a realtor in Green Bay. The caring and compassionate landlords were replaced by an absentee one with grandiose ideas of adding covered parking and other improvements that turned out to be little more than words. No contact to find out how things were. As long as I kept sending the rent checks on time, the guy was fine with his idea of the status quo.
Then he decided he didn’t want to be in the rental property business and proceeded to put them all up for sale. Not sure if the other properties have been sold, as well, and it didn’t matter to me. All that mattered was that I’d been a good tenant who was told he had to take a hike.
With that, my search for a new home began. There were plenty of places available to rent in Shawano, but some wanted rents that were beyond my pay grade. Even fewer places were welcoming to pets. There was one place being advertised on Craigslist about 15 minutes south of the city that seemed like it would be suitable, with lower rent than I’d been paying the last few years and that indicated it was friendly to smaller dogs.
When I went to check out the place in person, it didn’t take me long to conclude I was not going to live in that place even if it was the last standing building on the planet. The property manager was a little too eager to hype up the fact that there was overabundant closet space. That seemed, in his mind, to make up for the fact that the rest of the place was tiny. The kitchen was so small I could barely turn around in it. It looked like the kind of place you would bring Grandma to when it was time for her to die.
When I brought up the fact that I had a dog, the manager’s pitch went from used car salesman to car salesman trying to get you out of the showroom because you revealed your credit was in the toilet. The guy talked about how the company was actually trying to get away from having pets in the building because of previous issues. Then he pointed out that if Toby barked or anything like that, I should invest in muzzles and shock collars.
When he stated that he was well within his right to order me to get rid of the dog if any of the neighbors bellyached, I pretty much decided that I’d rather be homeless than take a chance living in that place. I politely declined to fill out a rental application (while thinking of a more expletive-ridden response in my head) and decided I should probably look elsewhere besides Craigslist for a place to rent.
That’s when I learned that the first apartment complex I lived in when I first moved to Shawano had some openings. The rent was more than what I’d been paying, including a $25 per month tack-on because of the dog, but the complex covered heating, which I had to pay for on Kleeman Court, so things would even out for the winter months.
Once I secured a place to live, I had to get everything moved over. May tends to be a bad month to expect to work a standard 40-hour week at the newspaper, as that’s when the special sections, which I have to design, tend to be fruitful and multiply. I wound up needing to take vacation days to have sufficient time to vacate the old premises and get everything moved over to the new one. Moving is hard enough when the new place is on the ground floor, but when you wind up having to settle for a second-floor apartment, moving boxes and furniture up stairs is just pure hell.
Today, I packed the last few boxes and got them over to the new apartment. I feel better that the process is over, but I’m still bitter about having to move. I think I’m in a stage where settling in one place is preferred over constantly having to move elsewhere.
I might never get completely over being uprooted the way I was, and I’ll probably curse the old landlord’s name until the day I die. Also, I might not be able to get patio furniture for the new place or have a place to plant some flowers, but at least my life seems to have stabilized.