I've been hesitant to share this information but I suppose, now that the initial shock is over, it's time. Thirty days after we moved in, my husband and I are moving yet again and leaving behind our beautiful 105-year-old historical home.
The short of it is that the previous owners were highly neglectful of the property. From both the property management company's standpoint and ours, we thought the problems with the house were primarily aesthetic. However, after we'd lived here for about a week or two, I started to notice a curdled milk smell in the stairwell. Maintenance came in and discovered a boarded off lower attic over the entertainment room.
Inside the attic, the damage was extensive. We called out an inspection company the following morning. In order to repair the damage and make the house safe for habitation, the entertainment room would need to be sealed off, the entire ceiling above it ripped out, insulation replaced and the carpet pulled up afterward.
We passed along the information and price to our property management company who passed it to the owners. The owners scheduled the repairs to be completed on Thursday, September 24th. We boarded our cats and prepared to live with a fellow circlemate for a week during that time period when I suddenly got a call on Wednesday afternoon.
The owner's credit card was declined. The repairs would not be made. Our property management company is severing our lease without fees and returning our deposit in full. They gave us an unlimited amount of time to find a new place to rent.
We've moving again.
I want to note here that this is perfectly legal. While we might be able to get moving expenses via small claims, the stress and time it would take to get that far would not be worth the result. I spoke with several lawyers when the news was dropped on us and all of them said that, according to Missouri tenant laws, our best bet is to cut our losses and move on.
When the damages were initially discovered, our property management company gave the owners the option of repairing them or letting us out of the lease. This was a few weeks ago. Since that time, I've been desperately contemplating just how I would make such an announcement. I mean, did we not have one of the largest and most intense house cleansing rituals upon move in?
Did I not beg the universe to cull the problems with the house so we could move forward at my circle's Mabon ritual?
Did our roommate and fellow circlemate Tony not desperately ask for the same?
And, probably most important, did we not routinely meet the spiritual with the physical world in trying to resolve the issues with the house? Didn't we go through a two-page questionnaire with the property management company about the house? Didn't we do our best to ensure that the house was the right decision - not an in-the-moment hastily made one? And yet here we are anyway.
Clearly, the spiritual work forced the physical world to go a different direction as planned. It forced the move to happen and that's okay. But it certainly makes you question yourself as a competent witch when it seems like things are against you.
I have had everyone and their mother try to make a connection between the dissolution of this house and the spiritual, as if I haven't gone through the same inner turmoil of my own accord. I've heard everything from a curse to a low vibrational energy attachment to that I should consider going back to church with my husband. I understand why everyone wants to find the underlying meaning, the "why" of our considerably bad luck.
As the witch residing in my own body and living through this mess, I want to make something clear:
Sometimes there is no "why."
Sometimes, there literally is no reason as to why things unfold in the way that they do. The universe is just incredibly random. Not every cause and effect is spiritual in nature. Sometimes bad things happen to good people for no other reason than other people making bad choices without thought for someone else's life. Sometimes, good people just pay the price. Knowing that this is a very real option is not only acceptable but healthy.
The moment we found out we were moving, I called our vet and let them know that the boarding for our cats may be extended and that we would be paying the bill. I don't want to subject them to being boarded, then unboarded, then moving, then a new unfamiliar house all over again within weeks. I think the best bet, as much as it breaks my heart, is for them to stay where they are until we've moved. In fact, I visited them today because they disliked the food provided by my vet. When I brought them their kibble, I poked my head in to love on them. The minute I opened one of the several pods, the three of them swarmed me and pressed their foreheads to my head at the exact same time. They know something is up and are patiently waiting for the next move. Instead of boarding them in separate pods, my vet removed the barriers between an entire row of pods so that my three cats can live together as they do here. They are checked on regularly and given lots of love and attention. They are in good hands.
As for Artie, he can't be boarded because he was abused in a crate. He has extreme separation anxiety, especially during stressful situations. So instead, he's staying with us. Admittedly, there's been some extreme confusion and loneliness since the cats are not here. Artemis, Zeus, Hermes and Apollo are a cohesive family and the dog's distress at the absence of the cats has not gone unnoticed.
But I firmly believe he's better off with us.
When I found out the property management company was terminating our lease, my husband immediately took off the rest of the week from work and came home. That evening, we looked at several houses. Yesterday, we looked at still more. As answers rolled in from emails, we contemplated the options today and put in some applications. We may have a place as soon as next week.
The truth is that it's not moving season. There is no Queen Anne style historical home waiting for us out there. My husband has fought this realization heavily, even considering to take out a loan so that we could repair the house we currently live in. His anger, while well founded, is certainly out of character for my cool-as-a-cucumber high school sweetheart. Unfortunately, the health risks here are too immense to stay and we are going to have to move past the charm of the house that lured us into this situation in the first place. So the houses we've been looking at are typically modernized and renovated 50's and 60's homes in nice areas.
Here's some shots from our current top choice:
No promises that this is the one, but our application was approved and we will be placing the deposit and first month's rent on Monday. So it seems rather likely. I mean, there's a fireplace in the spiritual room. That's not too bad, right?
Though it seems rushed - we may likely be moving not this current weekend but next if all goes according to plan - we spent several days and an immense amount of correspondence making the decision of where to put in applications and what our top choice might be.
So where do we go from here? Do I plan a house cleansing ritual anew just thirty days from the last or do I run through it with a sage bundle and call it good? Are we still having our after-hours Halloween party where I'm anticipating 30-40 attendants? Do I move our Winter Wonderland housewarming party from December 5th? Can I ever plan anything again with certainty that we will have a roof over our heads?
These are questions I've thrown out of my head. For now, I'll raise a glass to the good support network I have: The loving friends and family who have helped my husband, my roommate and I through several months of crises.
To my in-laws who offered of their own accord to foot the boarding fee for our cats so we can focus on the problem at hand.
To my parents who immediately hired a moving company to move us so that my friends don't have to do the heavy lifting all over again.
To my readers, who have left supportive comments as I've cycled through the emotional meltdown on Tumblr and who have given such amazing approval of potential rentals.
And to my beautiful and loving circle, who dropped everything, stood by our side, lifted us up to walk when our legs were knocked out from underneath us and spontaneously showed up at my door for drunken divination last night, staying all the way until 5 am.
It may seem like I'm cursed but, in truth, I am so incredibly blessed. I love you all.