Getting On With It — Week Five

Transformation is hard on the heart, but good for the soul

My Daughter and Grandchildren Moved Out Yesterday

My journey to buying a townhome. Below are links to previous stories.
Week Twelve of 52-Week Writing Challenge.

My landlord is a hard-ass. He was once known as the slum landlord of our city. A little more than ten years ago, he started investing in better properties in more affluent areas. His current holdings include ten apartment complexes, several office buildings and warehouses, and a scattering of homes, of which mine is the best. He is not known for being understanding or flexible or even kind.

Back in November, when I signed a lease for the thirteenth year in my home, I never imagined that a move, much less a home purchase, was in my near future. I expected that he and his equally rigid staff would hold us to our lease, even though we are superb tenants who always pay on time and never cause problems. With reluctance, I met with my landlord’s residential manager to discuss my situation. She likes me, and she is one of the few friendly people in that office. When I told her I was buying a home, she congratulated me with an unexpected hug. As nice as the hug was, it would not solve my lease problem. At first, she said it would be my responsibility to find a new tenant, and I would have to pay the rent until I do. Later, she called to say that she worked some magic (And it surely it was magic!), and if I advertise and show my house in May and June, whether or not I find a new tenant, I will be released from my contract at the end of June.

Wow, the greatest concern about buying the townhome is gone!

Thursday was inspection day requiring a morning off work. Kathy, the property owner, and I watched the inspector moving from room to room, climbing into the attic, walking around the exterior, and stomping around on the roof taking photos and making notes with his iPad. The expected one-hour inspection took more than two hours, leaving me anxious about the work I wasn’t getting done for my clients, but allowing me more than enough time to measure and plan for furniture and shelves. As expected, the inspector found no significant defects or problems. Unfortunately, the wind mitigation revealed none of the braces, clips, and straps necessary for an insurance reduction. Fortunately, my insurance agent is working diligently to unearth other discounts for me.

Then the dreaded weekend rolled around — moving day for my daughter and grandchildren. Although, for the past two years, the home situation with them, and particularly with my daughter, was often difficult at best and distressing at worse, my heart was breaking to know that my grandchildren would not be here giving me good-night hugs, making me laugh multiple times a day, or singing and dancing around the living room. On the other hand, I would not miss the sibling arguments, the long hours toiling over homework with them, or the constant haranguing about household chores and the upkeep of their room.

And, there is my daughter and her worsening attitude. Recently, I came to the conclusion that her moodiness, lack of cooperation, and laziness was simply the natural need to experience life not under someone else’s roof. It is natural for a woman to want a home of her own and to create a nest for her children in her personally distinctive and creative way, This move is necessary for her to grow as a person, as a woman, and as a mother.

My daughter is not a good planner or organizer, and the move was more troublesome than necessary. Thankfully, neither my husband nor I was involved in the process. Our job was to get the kids out of the house while her friends did the grunt work. Off we went to the school’s annual fundraising carnival for three hours of games, bouncy houses, music, raffles, and indigestible food.

By late afternoon, the apartment was more or less settled — furniture in place, many boxes unpacked, kitchen ready for meals. My house is not empty of all their belongings, but a few more carloads should do it.

For the first time in her life, my daughter is on her own. My grandson accepted the move with grace and cooperation; my granddaughter, not so much. She felt distressed, sad, and out-of-place, but she will adjust. A late night trip to my house for another load of boxes ended with many hugs and tears.

Today is Sunday. They’ve spent their first night in the apartment, and today is my granddaughter’s eighth birthday. I called with birthday wishes this morning, and she admitted that she is already becoming accustomed to her new home. “I really did not want to be here,” she said on the phone, “Especially on my birthday morning. I wanted to wake up and climb in bed with you. But, it isn’t too bad. My brother even made hot chocolate for my breakfast! I used to think he hates me, but maybe he doesn’t really hate me.” Already positive changes are occurring.

I didn’t spoil the surprise of a birthday party later today. My granddaughter’s first birthday celebration in her new home. She will be okay; all of us will be okay.



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I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.