Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Christmas Miracle {OR} A Study in Contrasts

We are moving next week.  And up until yesterday, had no place to lay our heads once we moved.  Things were getting down to the wire, as they say.

A place had already been leased from under us.  I was frustrated with myself for not acting more quickly.  Now, there were two places that we were trying to decide between:  One option was a basement apartment, 1200 sq. ft., utilities included, farther away from work.  Option two was 700 sq. ft., closer to work, in a convenient area.  

Two was hard to get a hold of the landlord.  Constant phone tag.

The more we thought about One, the more we liked the idea of it.  So, I called to ask a few more questions.  When I called, the landlady recognized me from a previous conversation.  I asked her if she had a minute for a few more questions, 
She:  [reluctantly]...yes.
Me:  Do you have any pictures of the place you could email us?
She:  I do not have time to go there and take pictures.  It's almost Christmas for crying out loud.  I can't drop everything and go to take pictures and mess with that.
Me:  Ok, I understand.  Is the apartment smoking or nonsmoking?
She:  What?
Me:  Well, we'll have a baby, and I wouldn't want the baby around smoke.  Are the people upstairs smoke-free?
She:  It's no smoking.  And it's my house.  I can do anything I want.  If I want to smoke I can.  
Me:  Oh wow.  ok. And are the ceilings full height?
She:  What?
Me:  I know that might sound like a silly question, but my husband is 6'4", and I know in some basements, he wouldn't be able to stand straight.
She:  I have no idea.  I will not measure the ceiling with a stick.  I do not have time for this.  If you want to come look at it, come look at it.
Me:  Right.  That's kind of the problem.  As I said before, we are several hours away.  That's why I'm asking all the questions.  I could have a friend come look---
She:  NO!  I am not going to show the apartment to so many people.  I will not show friends.  I will not show relatives.  If you want to come look, you come look and say you want it or no.  I do not have time for all of this.  Thank you.  Good-bye.


Let me give you a moment to recover from that insanity.


One thing was clear:  Option One

The next morning (yesterday), Mr. F. and I were talking, and--for whatever reason--both of us were ok with leasing site-unseen Option Two.  We had seen a couple pictures, knew the area, and we were both interested in moving into a place as soon as we got to town rather than staying with friends and still looking for a bit.  Mr. F. said, "I think I'm just going to call Option Two and tell him we want the place and do what it takes to get it."

And somehow, I was ok with that.

"Let me just look one more time at padmapper."  Just recently, someone had posted a listing for a basement apartment.  Mr. F. called.  John answered the phone.  He couldn't have been nicer.  The place has everything we were looking for.  And more:  a fenced backyard for Desmo, the backyard connects to the local park, Mr. F. can ride a bike to work.  

We talked it over. 

Mr. F. called back and told him we'd take it.  It was a big gamble for us, since we hadn't seen it but we'd take it.  John's response:

"How about this?  Why don't you just rent month-to-month in the beginning.  That way, if it's not what you're looking for, you have time to find something else.  But you don't have to stay in a hotel or on a friend's couch when you get here.  You'll have a place to land, and hopefully you'll love it.  But if you don't, you aren't stuck."

WHAT!?  Are you dancing for joy?  because I was.  This is the kind of person we want to deal with.  Understanding, thoughtful, on the generous side of fair.  

So...a few days after Christmas, we'll trek back to DC, and have a place to call home.  I can't wait to see it with my own eyes, and I hope it's great.  I'm sure it will be charming.  

I'm so thankful for the kindness of John.  
Thankful for the way God always provides, it's so wonderfully surprising--every time.  
Thankful for a husband who made the phone calls after I was wounded from that one lady.  
Thankful for peace this Christmas.

{image source unknown}
P.S. Padmapper is pretty swell.  It searches housing listings by MAP instead of a big ol' list.  If you need to find a place, check it out.  

1 comment:

Let's get this party started! What'dya say?