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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Adventures in renting.

Our family decided to sell our home last spring. We lived in area that had been a little depressed in the real-estate market so we anticipated a loooooong listing phase. 30 days on the market and our home was under contract--apparently it was the perfect time to list. Everything was selling. Our newly finished remodel was perfectly timed, except we had not developed our plan for 'what next'.

Thus began life as renters.

And then there was nothing to rent except a basement--a sunken basement without much natural light making it through the window wells. I was used to sitting in front of a bright with warm colors and happy d├ęcor.
I was a little hesitant about a basement because I battle depression and our winters are already long in the region we live. And the basement is olive green and maroon.... I'm not making that up.

I bought a lot of lamps.

Still--my living space is so dark my computer screen lights up the room....

I should blog each event separately, but needed a little build up to the event that spurred me to write our adventures in renting--a fire.

Okay, let me backup.
First our hot water went out.
For a week we could not contact the landlord and inform them that we had a water crisis.
Of course my husband was away at a work conference, and my brother was visiting with his family consisting of three young kids (2 months to 6 years), and everyone came down with the flu...

Luckily I own a lot of very large pans to boil water in. I boiled water to wash dishes, bathe children (and myself, which is yuck because I hate washing my hair in a bathtub), and clean-up puke misses because my kids are young and can't aim worth betting on.

I figured I was in the worst of it. And allowed myself a little pride in how well I handled it all.


 Then (finally, after a week of boiling water) a plumber arrived. And we received the news that the water heater had in fact CAUGHT FIRE!
One of the bedrooms in the basement we rent is void of windows (it's listed as a bedroom because it has a closet, I think). I made a stink about it. I refused to put any of my children in that room even after the description squabble did not result in any reduction in rent cost.
The windowless room is a box sanctuary.
The landlords aren't beasts, there are just no rentals in our area, so cost isn't negotiable. They're actually really nice people, who happened to be vacationing on a European cruise while all of this was going on, so had no idea about the hot water crisis until yesterday.

And we have been reassured that the fire was contained without us ever knowing about it happening. But, I still feel a sting of 'what if the fire had caught the drywall'. I'm so glad my kids were all sleeping in rooms that have windows--where a fireman could get to them if they needed to. The water heater blocks the only door in the basement. Our only exit other than windows--and our kids are young, even though we plan and practice fire escape routes and fire safety--kids panic. And if mine have inherited anything from me--it's anxiety and panic.

My husband arrived home from his conference with no hot water--he had to join the boil water tub washing brigade, but his family was alive and getting well (remember we've had the pukes).

This week has been crazy--a little scary after the fact, and filled me with the gratitude for small things I never want to live without (I'm not talking about hot water).
I don't mind living in the dark cave basement, it has decent space and the light really tries to get to us on sunny days. But, I do want to join the sunshine people again someday.

 I mean--even cave homes can have daylight!

Note: If/when we build a home, we will not include a basement.
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