Although my normally magical life seems to have been disrupted by, well basically being run down by a car in a parking lot and healing from it, the sparkle I live with is still ever present among this temporary pain and halt I’ve been placed in to learn.
I’ll tell you a little story now that might make you remember there are other levels always happening and something beautiful always operating on our behalf in all circumstances.
Several years ago while my father was still living the RV lifestyle I convinced him to buy a place out here in AZ. He and John would come for Christmas and frankly it was too much for me to host them in my condo for long periods (I’m an introvert, remember?) and since I was the only homeowner in my whole family, I rather strongly convinced him to purchase something. He found a small condo about 3 minutes away from me which was in foreclosure and bought it during the downturn so for a great price. I spent quite a bit of time working with a contractor to get it remodeled (it needed a whole new kitchen), painted and move in ready.
Since I was the only one living here, my father asked me to help get it furnished and outfitted for his friend who wanted to come out in less than a month to visit. There wasn’t even a spoon in that house much less a chair or a towel. It was a bare shell.
I broke down on the phone and told my Dad I had no time to run around and completely outfit his house for a friend to come visit. I was working full time, my health was in question (right when i was getting diagnosed with basically a non functioning thyroid) and I was already exhausted. It was not an easy conversation as I’m usually very high functioning and get most anything accomplished and I’d just handled the whole remodel project. But I was spent.
I stood out in front of my office in tears telling him I couldn’t do it–if he wanted his house set up, he needed to fly out and do it but I just couldn’t. Like many of you readers out there, setting boundaries is not easy but I was at the end of my rope to be able to do it, in tears.
Of course he told me to put it on the back burner and that was that. I had let him down, oh well, I had backed up myself.
Literally that very day I had a client come in who got on my table and asked me this question:
“Hey Kathy I have a situation and wonder what you would do. My daughter is selling the house in Sedona I sold her a few years ago and needs to get rid of everything. I know you buy stuff on Craigslist sometimes, would you do that? How would you go about it?”
“What is she selling?” I asked
“An entire two bedroom household of furniture and everything–I just hate to have to move it all but we need to get it out within 3 weeks”.
“I’m going to buy it all from you, every last thing” I shocked her with my reply.
And that’s what we did. We arranged the U-haul–the daughter drove it down because she wanted to keep a few large items and move them, get this, half a mile from my Dad’s condo. They loaded it all up and we caravanned down with my friends from Sedona and in one morning and for $2000 I outfitted my Dad’s entire place from a BBQ grill, patio furniture, wastebaskets, beds, linens, dishes, pots and pans, you name it, an entire household. Boom, done. Oh and I gifted him my washer and dryer as I wanted a new one.
I was kind of annoyed as I still ended up managing it all as it ended up but still…this was a no brainer, a gift from God for all of us.
Now this brings me to the present time.
My father subsequently sold the RV and has started to relocate more permanently to AZ. As you know, about a year after purchasing that condo, we relocated my brother out here permanently so after living with me for a summer, he made that place his home. Perfect.
Right up to the point where they outgrew the perfection.
You see this place is 872 square feet, one tiny bathroom and no real dining area. The two of them have been living in there together now with their two cats, two litter boxes and you get the drift. Too many bodies, too little space.
An incident propelled me to initiate an intervention of sorts which was not fun or easy on any of us but it had to be done. I frankly didn’t feel it was a safe or healthy environment for either of them anymore so convinced my Dad to find something larger. And as long as we were considering moving, something in my complex only made sense.
I live in a lovely modest townhome community that is divided up in to what they call “hamlets”. They are basically squares of townhomes that open to a parking area in the center. It’s like a square culdesac. I have lived here for 14 years now and feel very safe and comfortable here. It just made sense to look for a place in here but now is a moment where real estate is moving FAST.
We knew we’d need a single story (mine is 2 floors), 3 bedroom, 2 bath unit for them. I always think an end unit is good for everyone’s privacy. My brother spends a lot of time on the patio and sometimes, well I’ll just say it, sometimes, as in often he talks out loud. Sometimes he sings. I’m concerned about my schizophrenic brother being disruptive and ostracized. So an end unit would be the preference.
We started just looking. Nothing available right then.
Ironically the same client who we bought all the furniture from, the one with the daughter, is a mortgage banker so knows real estate. I told her about this decision and she suggested I make a flyer and distribute it in the complex just putting out a feeler in case anyone was on the fence about a sale–ya know so they knew they had an immediate buyer.
So that’s what I did. I took my flyer to Staples and printed off 30 copies and asked my Dad and brother to go around taping them to people’s doors on the one story units.
The day I got the flyers to my Dad I went out with some friends for the evening. When I got home I went out to check my mail and stopped like I often do to pet Shayna, the dog who’s owner walks her in a totally supported wheeled walker as she has no more use of her arms and legs and barely her head now from a neurological disease. But she communicates and is the sweetest so I always stop to pet her and say hello. Shayna’s Mom April and another neighbor I’d not met yet were out chatting. I discovered that the dog owners know everything that’s going on in the complex. They have their own society.
We were chatting about this and that, who’d moved in, who’d left. They were so in the know I felt like I was in the Cool Girls Club. As I petted Shayna one last time and walked away I casually mentioned my flyer they might see and that we were looking for a place.
Well their heads did one of those quick jerks to the side in to each others’ knowing eyes like “omg did you just hear that?” and I knew something was up.
They went on to disclose a little secret to me–that Tom and Rita in the corner of the complex had just put money down on a new home in a retirement place on some kind of contingency basis for the sale of their END CORNER 3 bedroom 2 bath single story unit which had yet to go on the market.
“I bet if they knew you wanted it, they’d sell it to you immediately” they both said asking me to keep it on the downlow as they didn’t know who was supposed to know what. Rita and Tom have dogs too ya know, the dogwalkers have their own rules.
I devised a plan. To casually go over with my flyer and knock on their door to chat as I know them well instead of my Dad taping it on their door. Just open the door as they opened their door to me kind of thing.
And that day, the very day I was intending to do that exact thing when I got home, I ended up in the ER instead, plowed in to by that car.
The day after I was hit, after my friend Marianne spent the night and morning with me watching over me and bringing me breakfast in bed, I realized I hadn’t checked my mail in two days. I hobbled out in my pajamas and slippers to the community mail box and thought “oh hell, I’m halfway to their house and their cars are there, I’m just going over”.
Tom opened the door and although my Dad had the flyers I just told him I was putting out feelers for a unit like theirs to buy and that I’d seen a Uhaul in their vicinity the week before (which was true). Tom almost immediately burst in to tears, yelled “Rita, come here!” and invited me in (me and my leopard pajamas Marianne had picked out for me).
( posture on the inside)
They showed me around and first thing I saw were the tangerine walls thinking orange is my Dad’s favorite color. A big area for a dining table (they’ve been eating off their laps in the living room), a split floorplan with large bedrooms and two full baths –one with a sliding door to the patio for my brother. I knew it was their home and literally IN my hamlet and on the corner. The patio borders an alley, a parking lot and their neighbor’s shed. It’s almost completely free standing.
To make a long story short, my Dad made an offer on it 2 days later and bought it. They close July 8 I think. It never made it to the MLS officially. No one else ever looked at it. Tom and Rita’s move is now smooth as silk. My Dad didn’t even require an appraisal as I’d done the research and knew he was getting a good price. The inspection revealed minor things which will get fixed and next week Alfonse and I will commence shopping.
I am insisting on him getting a new proper bedroom set as, well, he doesn’t have one. I bought him a new Marilyn Monroe shower curtain (shhhh don’t tell) and we will go out in search of the new large round dining table he’s dreamed of. Even a spare room for guests now.
Alfonse’s bedroom is a beachy sea glass color about twice the size of what he has now with a custom walk in closet. I’ve been all about upgrading his life since I moved him out here and this is the next step.
And my dear brother, being himself, keeps saying to me “we will be so close now we can help you out more when you need it”.
I’ll put pics of course when I get them.
I bought my house the very first day i went out looking “kicking tires” my realtor said in 2001, we bought the Sedona house the same day, also not making it on the market yet but Alfonse seeing a sign in the distance and now this one. I made the flyers but didn’t even need to distribute them.
But the action doesn’t have to be the grandest, making a flyer with a prayer that never gets used, sometimes is enough.