Spent the day doing parental maintenance. My mom will be 80 this summer. EIGHTY. Damn. She needs a new physician in a big way--her current doctor is a peer, and it's showing. She was complaining about her hearing a few weeks ago (it's hit the point that her TV is cranked beyond gun-range decibels), and he said "Well, old lady, you're going deaf--you are getting up there!" However, a trip to the local clinic showed that, rather than going deaf, she had a TON of wax impacting her ears. Clinic blasted the wax out with water, and suddenly she can hear like a twenty year old again. Unfortunately, she's also staggering around a puking like a twenty year old at a frat party. Happens sometimes, and her balance is now completely shot. Yes, she lives alone. 2,200 miles from here. Thankfully, my sister does see her most days, takes her to the store and spends time. Without that, can you imagine?
Came across the concept of "Micronations" here in the States, and our boy was absolutely entranced by the ridiculousness of the idea. In particular, we read about "The Republic of Molossia." We were researching something else entirely when we came across a photo. Just a patch of land, but I looked at him and said "That's got to be Utah or Nevada--no where else looks like that." But the picture was labeled as some National Park in "Molossia." Which, of course, I'd never heard of. I was right--it's in Nevada. And it is terribly silly.
Yeah, silly. Its own post office (which serves Molossia), its own currency, an ongoing war with East Germany (LOL!), and the requiring of passports for those not citizens of allied nations. Cute, but also very silly. My boy, however, thought it was terrifically cool. So thank you "President" Kevin Baugh of Molossia for capturing my boy's imagination.
The above image is a link to Molossia's website
Heading up to Shenandoah tonight, it looks like. If I can stay awake that long. There's a brand-spanking-new meteor shower in town called "Camelopardalids," and they're promising from 200 to 1000 meteors an hour. The meteors will appear to radiate from near the North Star, and we're in a prime viewing area.
Meteor showers have been a family tradition since our boy was very small. We used to haul sleeping bags up to Pineview Reservoir in Huntsville, Utah and lie flat on our backs, looking up. Heck, hubby and I used to do it even before there was a boy. Since we have an annual pass to Shenandoah, the only thing this is going to cost us is the gas. And that's more than we should be tossing out, but this is something new--a brand new meteor shower! But the money aspect does bring me to my scary news . . .
The landlord. I feel like I should type that in all caps, you know? Like so:
< insert ominous chord here >
emailed last Thursday. In his usual way, his greeting was . . . hang on. I need to start from the beginning.
You may remember that last September, our lease expired. Reading over the lease in advance, I found a clause stating that, if either party intended to not renew the lease, at least 60 days notice would be required. Well, I gave almost 90 days notice that we DID intend to renew, and he gave no notice whatsoever. Which was scary, but when the lease expiration date came and passed, we figured we were okay. Then, a few weeks ago, a flurry of snail-mails showed up, addressed to him, from various mortgage companies. That was scary. We bundled them up and mailed them to him. And then he emailed.
Now, back to where I was. The landlord emailed, with a jovial "Hey, there!" greeting in the subject line. The kind we've learned to fear, because this guy is only jovial when there's something he wants us to do to his benefit. He's otherwise either silent or somewhat unfriendly. So the very title shook me just a bit. I opened the email, and oh. Hell.
He announced he's looking to sell the place. Wants to know if we want it. There are a few problems with that:
- We don't want it. We're looking to move in 16 months, when the lease is up.
- We can't get the financing. Not without a down payment, and we do not have a down--in fact, we have no savings whatsoever.
- Our credit is still a disaster from the move out here--no delinquencies, and our rental history is pristine, but our "available credit to debt" is a mess--not enough available credit.
That third one (along with the no savings) is what's possibly going to land us homeless. Literally. See, we have no money for a deposit on a new place. We have two grand of deposit in THIS place, but even if he did give that back to us, that's months after we leave here, which doesn't help at ALL. This place is in as good a shape as when we moved in, but he's requiring we have the chimney professionally swept (even though it wasn't when we moved in), the carpets professionally cleaned (even though they weren't when we moved in), and the place sprayed for fleas (even though there are no fleas--the dog is on meds to make sure of that). In other words, he wants us to drop 500+ dollars we don't have to get back our two grand. So we have credit that'll get us turned down by potential landlords (never mind the pristine rental history), and no money.
I don't have to tell you just how terrifying this is. And once I told him we didn't want to buy, he fell silent. Utterly silent. It's what he does when you don't give him what he wants.
I know, right about now, you're probably saying to yourself "But you have a lease! No worries! You're protected from this sort of thing!"
Well, it turns out not really. Because, you see, hidden deep in that lease is another clause. One that reads something like this:
"Should this lease be renewed, either party can end it by giving the other 60 days notice."
Yeah. I didn't spot that one. I'm not a lawyer. What I am is an idiot. So fact is, he only has to give us 60 days notice. Plus, he can send real estate agents and potential buyers through here at any time.
You're probably thinking we're stupid for not having the money to move. What can I say? We expected to have 16 more months to save up for a move. And in 16 months, we'd have had the money. What we really need is a consolidation loan for our bills, which would take our payments down from almost 900 a month to about 300. That extra 600 a month would enable us to save money hand over fist. Of course, no one will lend us that money, so it's pure fantasy.
So, here's where we stand: No money for first and last plus deposit and rental truck (between four and five grand). Possibly as little as two months to find that money (and no way to do so--we don't even have four grand worth of stuff to sell). No one to float us a loan or act as guarantor on a new rental (if we COULD come up with the first and last plus deposit and truck).
Our boy is scared to death. What if we can't find a place that will allow our dog? No exaggeration, I fear for him if we lost our dog. Hell, I fear for me. For my husband. What if we cannot find a place to live? What happens to people who can't find a place to live? I'm almost fifty years old, this is not how life is supposed to be. I am terrified.
I'm considering crowd-funding. Yes, that's begging. I am horrified. I am so ashamed and embarrassed. But we're caught. I'm trying not to completely down myself because we DID think we had 16 more months to have this saved up. But ultimately, I feel totally responsible. And I don't know if we have any option other than crowd-funding.
I need to call my Mom. Tell her I didn't mean it when I said I was considering taking a dive off a rooftop.
Even if I did.