I blink, then I sigh and then, suddenly, two weeks have passed since Laura and Jeff’s wedding. I usually like to get my pictures blogged before that happens and I tell you it is not out of complete negligence that I allowed time to slip like this without posting any pictures either. I know it is rude for me to tell you what you are thinking–my mamma raised me better than that; but, (even though I know better) you would be amazed at how consuming it is when tenants move out of your rental property and leave behind a flooded basement and an exceeding great desolation in the wake of their passing.
I am exaggerating when I say “desolation” because it was not that bad. Emotionally the devastation was far worse than the actual physical devastation; but the word “devastation” is just such a rich and illustrative one, invoking an intensely satisfying mental image wherein my house has been laid waste that I could not pass on using it in my hyperbole.
The week before Laura and Jeff got married, my wife decided to check our email account. This, in and of itself is not special in any way, but I feel the timing of this email is important and goes to show a general lack of responsiblity and “common-sense” on the part of the tenant in my rental house. You see, it was Sunday evening, my family had been over for dinner and just left and I was contemplating heading to bed when, Lisa turned on the computer to check the email.
“There is an email from our tenant,” she announced a moment later.
“Oh yeah,” I said.
“Apparently, our basement is flooded.”
“What?” I said in disbelief as I slid in beside Lisa and read the email. I thought she was joking.
Apparently, three hours earlier, our tenant had graciously taken the time to pen a quick email to us alerting us of the fact that the pipes in the basement shower had “cracked” and the basement was now flooded. I rushed to the phone and attempted to call her on all her phone numbers and received no answer so I jumped in my car and raced over to the house. When I got there I assumed no one was home because no one was answering the telephone, and was about to go inside. To my surprise, the tenant came to the door.
“I’ve been trying to call you,” I said as she opened the door.
“Oh,” she answered nonchalantly, “I don’t answer my phone in the evenings.”
“Okay well, in the future, if an emergency like this happens again, you have to call me. You cannot just email me when the basement is flooded.”
“Oh it’s not an emergency,” she said again in her off-handed manner, “there is nothing you can do about it now.”
Let me pause here for some inner monologue. At the onset of this little incident I felt that being notified about a flooded my basement via email was a bit absurd; within two snippets of conversation with the tenant I could sense that things were quickly slipping in to the realm of ridiculous.
The situation progressed (or digressed, which ever you prefer) slipping fully passed ridiculous and landing squarely in the domain of idiotic when, while worrying about our tenants claim that a “cracked pipe” was at fault for the flooding, the problem mysteriously healed itself; and our tenant, holding fast to her explanation that no one had used the shower, could offer no reasonable answers as to how this could be.
Oh yeah, and then she complained about us to the Health Inspector and we began receiving calls about the living conditions in which our tenant was suffering. But that is beside the point.
As consolation, I kept two things at the forefront of my mind: the first was that I lived in that house for many years and know it is a good house and I am not a slumlord; and the second was the knowledge that our tenant was moving out the following Saturday, and I had only one week left in which to deal with her.
And, how am I going to tie this all in to Laura and Jeff? I am glad you asked. The Saturday that my renter was supposed to be out was the Saturday of Laura and Jeff’s wedding and noon was the time she was supposed to be out of the house. When the wedding was over I was going to go over to the house and have a look at the condition the tenant left it in. Before we arrived I said to my wife,
“I am going to have a heart attack if she is still there!” If our tenant decided to play silly and choose not to leave, it would force my wife and I to have to jump through all manner of legal hoops to have her dragged from my house.
Well, guess what. I drove up to the house, 10:30 in the evening, well past the scheduled move out time, and found that the tenant was still there. I did not have the heart attack that I predicted but in the olden days I could have been described, momentarily, as apoplectic. (Which, on a second side bar is almost the same thing as claiming I will have a heart attack, the difference being that in apoplexies, a person is rendered insensible due to a stroke. I am splitting hairs now. Since neither of these happened to me, it is safe to assume I am exaggerating. Again.)
Anyway, as it turns out the help our tenant was expecting did not show up and she had to empty the entire house almost single-handedly. She had taken all her remaining belongings and set them in the garage, and since no items were left in the house I discreetly locked all the doors, ensuring she could not change her mind and entrench herself inside if she chose, and, for the sake of the greater good, left her to her packing.
So, with a blink and a sigh, suddenly two weeks have passed and I am finally getting these pictures blogged.
On a positive note, my house is fully restored to its former glory and it is for sale.
Has there ever been any water in the basement? Well, yes, but it’s kind of a long story, you sure you wanna hear it?
Of note, this blog post is the first time that one of my wife’s photo or photos have made my blog. I will leave it to you to guess which one or ones it is.
Congratulations Laura and Jeff: I hope you can forgive the late blog posting. Thank you for having me photograph your wedding!