The day had finally arrived. The semester was over and I got to move into a brand new home. It was time to really start my new life.
I’d looked and looked for a new place to live during the divorce. The county we lived in was a lot pricier than the neighboring county and the schools were light years better than the neighboring county as well so I was determined to stay in our county. I was fine with the kids having to switch schools within the county since our move would take place after the end of their school year. Liam had been bullied on a regular basis during the year, mostly on the bus. I’d had many conversations with the principal only to have the bullying calm down and then pick back up after a few weeks. Shane hated his teacher and principal and I just needed him in a new school where the teachers would work with his issues instead of deeming me an uncooperative parent and punishing Shane for it.
Every house that I found was well above my price range. Even the least expensive homes were still about $200 over my budget. I was getting disheartened and decided to look at the only low-income apartment complex in the entire county. Even that rent was $100 over my budget but it included water, garbage, and cable.
I’d been checking Free Cycle and Craig’s List for moving boxes. I had a woman get in touch with me and tell me I could pick up some boxes at her home that day. I took Serenity with me to help load and unload the boxes. When we got there I asked the woman if she was moving in or out. She was moving out so I asked her what the rent was. It was about $500 out of my league but she gave me the name of her landlord, Henry, and told me to stop in and see what he had available. It was a Friday afternoon so I stopped in, hoping he’d be in the office.
When I got to his office, the women at the front desk told me that they’d just had a new listing that morning and it hadn’t been advertised yet. She told me the price and I was so tempted to just tell her I’d take it. It was only $25 over my budget. I knew by now that it was the best price I was going to be able to find. I told her that I’d like to see it and that, more than likely, I’d take it. She said she’d have the landlord call me because I’d have to fill out a rental application before he would show me the house. I asked her if I could fill out the application while I was there and she gave it to me.
Henry called me the next morning and told me he’d called the current tenant and asked if I could see the house on Monday. He told me I was the first person to ask about it and he had to show it to the other three people that asked about it but if I liked it, he’d rent it to me. I looked at the house on Monday and, though I didn’t fall madly in love with it, I could see the amazing potential this tiny house possessed.
I went straight to Henry’s office and told him that I’d definitely take it. The only problem was that I was waiting for Bubba to send my lump sum settlement that I took as child support for the summer months. I told Henry that I was planning to pay my rent ahead through the end of September. He asked for a $200 deposit so I ran home and brought cash back to him. The little house with amazing potential was mine.
The children were NOT happy. We were planning to leave a home that was 2,300 square feet for a house that was well under half of that. We were going to have just over 1,000 square feet to work with. We were going to have to get rid of a lot of our stuff in order to fit into our new home. It was hard for the children to say good-bye to so many of their possessions. I validated their feelings and tried to stay upbeat about how this was going to be a safe place for us to live. I know that Serenity was still afraid of Bubba getting into our house. I knew that I was still freaked out about the same thing. I still think Bubba had the place bugged and never felt secure in that house. I couldn’t wait to live in a house he’d never see the inside of. It would be mine and the kids. He would have no claim on it.
Arcadia, Serenity, and I were able to get Serenity’s and the boys’ rooms painted while the house was empty. Henry had done some massive renovations on the house and it looked beautiful inside. The hardwood floors gleamed and soon, the smell of fresh paint permeated the air. With each brush stroke Serenity became more and more excited about our new house. She was starting to understand the peace we would find here.
Moving day finally arrived. A friend of mine had arranged for 9 of her co-workers to show up to help with the heavy lifting. I’d gone early that morning and gotten the rental truck. I got a smaller one and figured we’d make as many trips as needed since I was just moving a few miles down the road. It was a dreary, drizzly day but we got all the big items moved over to the new house. I knew I’d have to make countless more trips with things stuffed into my car to complete the process.
Arcadia and I worked tirelessly to clean the old house. Bubba had put it in our old landlord’s head to make me pay another security deposit. The landlord had assured me that I would be refunded that security deposit then whatever else was left of the original security deposit would be split evenly between Bubba and me. I didn’t get it in writing though since I’d trusted him. Arcadia and I worked for 4 days cleaning the house.
Turns out Bubba got to someone else. After I moved completely out and turned over my key, the landlord didn’t say much. I’d wanted to go over everything with him but the day he was available was the day my car died. I had no way to get back over to the old house. I emailed and asked him when I could expect my security deposit refund. He replied that there was no refund and gave me a laundry list of things that were wrong. He told me that he retained my portion of the security deposit but had refunded $400 to Bubba. My jaw hit the floor. The list he gave me totalled up to about $100 more than our joint deposit plus the $300 I’d given him, yet he gave $400 to Bubba as a refund? I was stunned. I emailed and asked him about it and he simply never responded. Bubba had taken down another person with his lies. I just don’t know what he’d told the landlord to convince him to keep all of my money and hand over $400 to Bubba. To me, that is a new low.
But now I had a new home. The kids and I were safe and we started to unpack and settle in. It was a huge job! We had so much stuff, we could barely walk through the house. I had a lot of work to do.
The kids and I get to start moving into our new house today! I’m so very excited. This is the first home I’ve ever had that is solely for me. (I took the kids into consideration too.) It is small, it is cozy, it is so different from anything I’ve ever lived in before.
I need to ruthlessly declutter and downsize. I have wanted to simplify and minimize my stuff for years and was never allowed to do so. Now, I’m the only one in charge of what stays in my home. I’m going to be getting rid of things I no longer use. I’m not going to keep things on the off chance that I’ll need them someday.
I can also decorate my house the way I want it. The kids and I have all picked out paint for our bedrooms and I picked a color for the living room/hallway/bathroom. I’m going to hang pictures!!! x never helped me hang pictures and he wanted to help so he could use his laser level and get them all straight. I’m going to hang them and I’m going to hang them crooked (at least for a few days until it bugs me).
I’m going to make this house into the best, most peaceful home my children have ever known!