Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I haven't really written what has been occurring in our little house since Freckles hasty departure. We're having a hard time without him. I have trouble sleeping because I seem to feel the need to be the one listening at night for intruders, fire, chicken-hungry raccoons, undetected ice-encrusted meteorites on a high speed course for our home, etc.

I would immediately head out and find ourselves another bundle of furry love if we only knew where we would be living and if another landlord would allow the presence of a four-legged, loving and slobbery security system.

This lack of knowing where we will be in three months has vexed me completely. I don't like instability. I abhor the unknown when it comes to living conditions and food supplies. Call me crazy.

So in a generally terrible mood caused by lack of sleep due to the non-dog status of our home and a houseful of energetic and seemingly rabid children, I did not mince my words when the landlord called to announce her plans to contact the realtor in the morning. After she inquired about my general mood and the happenings in our little home, I answered in an frustrated montone, "Well..... I'm not looking forward to moving. I can't decide whether to plant my garden or not as I don't know if I'll be here to reap the harvest. I'm attempting to put together a garage sale and can't find an affordable house to rent.....And the dog died."

I admit that it felt truly wonderful to just let go. Tell it how it is. To hell with polite empathy and consideration. In that moment, I just felt the need to pour it out. I'm not usually the person to do this. I attempt to find some small kernel of justification for the other party. I put my needs aside. I won't mention it if I feel upset....or if I do, it will be so watered down by my need to not upset you, you may not hear my tiny protestation hidden in my words. (In fact, I was once having a conversation with a very sweet older woman on the street. Unprovoked, her insane and blood-thirsty dog latched onto my leg with it's teeth peeling back my skin through my jeans. For the time that the psychotic dog stayed attached to the back of my knee, I struggled to continue talking without clenching my own teeth as I spoke. I stoically attempted to not limp away as I departed lest I alert her to the blood now trickling into my shoe.....Anyhow, long story short, I didn't want to upset or embarass her so I didn't tell her of the stress her fucked-up dog was causing me.)

My landlord apologized and again explained that there would soon be a sign on the front lawn and the realtor would be contacting me to take photos of the house. After I hung up, I threw myself into a fit. Wailing and crying, I took mental stock of all the very worst things that could happen next in the kids and my lives. I told myself that at eighty years old I'll be working in a rat-infested fastfood joint ensuring that each ice cream has the signature curl at the top. Liv will be strutting her stuff outside in some article of clothing that does not even contain the same amount of fabric that her "Little House" dress has in its' sleeve. Briar will be too busy to notice some creepy, comb-over tressed, middle-aged man in a station wagon approach her since he is staring into the depths of his golden testicle emblazoned monster truck's hood wondering why it isn't sucking up even more gasoline through the enormous engine and out the ludicrously huge tailpipes thus allowing the people five blocks away to be alerted that he is here to assuage all their mind-altering illicit medication needs. It was a dark night. A sleepless and horrible night. I went through a lot of kleenex....I didn't even attempt the handkerchiefs.

Anyhow....First thing in the morning, the phone rang. I was tempted to ignore it after realizing that the number was again the landlord's - the bearer of terrifying and sorrow-filled news (yes, a tad dramatic). But I did answer it....It seems that she too had an entirely sleepless night. She had been a single mother as well. She did not want to cause anymore unnecessary fear or financial hardship upon us, if possible. She told me that if she can find someone to replace the deck and do some minor repairs for less than had been quoted, she will keep the house....And allow me to rent for longer.
*To recap - She has told me that she would be selling the house, then that she wouldn't, then she would, now she might not......*

I am hopeful and annoyed and touched and frustrated. I so appreciate her thinking of me and the kids. I am so amazed and touched that she is struggling with her decision because she does not want to cause us any more upset. I could hug her and croon softly in her ear for this. I may even kiss her on the mouth!
But, Thor Almighty!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like a gnat on a yo-yo string. I'm going insane....faster than I was before. I don't know whether I should pack, get a dog or advertise my free chickens.

P.S. Briar now rides a two wheeler and sports a mohawk....


Jen said...

Oh my. Sometimes it's the uncertainty that gets you more than an unpleasant reality. I feel for you! I wonder if the thought crossed your mind to keep an eye out for a new place even if the landlord doesn't sell, so you can be in charge of your own destiny.

Anonymous said...

(1) Yay Briar!
(2) I also hate uncertainty. Totally hate it. I hope that yours doesn't last much longer, it can't be easy for you.

leigh in the sav said...

coolest bike i have ever seen. (no lie.)

uncertainty is so very unsettling. but - please keep in mind that worry is a waste and stay confident that you will remain on your two feet - you have weathered so much and you're still standing.

it may seem like lip service, since i have never met you in person, but you have an undeniable strength, jackie. xoxo

manxlass said...

I too hate being unsettled. I also hate even the thought of moving. I agree with Jen to look for a new place just in case. Sounds like the landlord doesn't know what she wants to do yet, and of course you want to be covered if she waffles.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered assisting the landlord in her search for a deck repair crew? Or in someone to fix the minor problems in the house? I am just thinking if you can get that ball rolling, perhaps you can make the solution happen yourself. Are their family members/friends that could lend their hands to be cheap/free labor? Trust me, if we were in the area, I'd send my husband over in a minute to help your sweet family. I'm guessing there are others who would do the same. The world owes you a great karma kick-back...is it cashable now?

Jenn said...

oh. my. gravy. hope it all works out for you. sheesh. and i just have to say...that briar is a DOLL!! i wish ben would let me do that to his head! :0)

Dianne said...

Jackie, I told your story to my husband (who constantly seems to be contemplating the possibility of investment properties). His first response -- what is the house being listed at? and what is she paying in rent? Such a "guy" answer...wanting to solve a problem immediately. HOWEVER, it is a good point. If you are comfortable sharing that information, maybe someone out in blog-world might be interested in buying the house and keeping you as the long-term tenant. So, are you interested in opening up this possibility by sharing the listing price and the rental price??

Anonymous said...

HI Jackie,
Liv's back pac is here.

O and I read her blog and loved it. Please tell her.

You are such a Love! I bet Jeff and the dogs and your old Gramps are cheering you on....maybe even smirking with knowingness that husbandless/dogless/housesecurityless.....you still ROCK this world with your beauty, humour, intelligence and irreplaceable Jackieness!
Hope you can get some sleep.
xo, Tanis

Anonymous said...

Hi Jackie
Liv's bac pac is here.

We read her blog and loved it, please tell her.

Hope you can find some peace of mind...and get some sleep.