December 8, 2014


so some peeps have been inquiring about our housing situation...

there has been a sort of interesting development so i thought i would update you all here. 

but first, i just want to say thank you for asking about this and letting us know that you are praying! its encouraging & comforting to hear that. i'm finding the prospect of a move still really hard - i still don't want to move. not at all. i really don't want to let go of our home, our neighborhood, or our community. it's my comfort zone and leaving that feels really scary. given that i'm still struggling with a social anxiety disorder and the other residual damage the strep infection did to my brain (this is my brave post), moving feels even bigger and scarier than it ordinarily would. 

my girl is still struggling with anxiety over an impending move as well - (i blogged about this at letting go & moving on). we have told her that if we move before the end of the school year, that we will endeavor (if at all possible) to keep her in her current school. this helped relieve some of her angst.

our home is still for sale, so a move is inevitable. its just the timing that is in question. as far as what the property manager and owner have communicated to us is that for the interim, we can stay living in our home until it sells.

i guess the burning questions of the moment is WHEN will the house sell - today, tomorrow, or 3 months from now? and WHERE will we go when it does? 

as the unknown answer to these questions burn like a wild fire in my head, i find my thoughts around the whole sordid matter are getting increasingly melodramatic... 
(cue epically mournful background music)

with head bowed & hands clasped to bosom, me to myself:
"this is the last summer in this house."
"this is the last fall in this house."
"this is the last winter in this house."
"this is the last christmas in this house." 

and on and on and on i go... bubbling over with these odd arrays of sentiments and then frantically photographing every precious memory or mundane detail in a desperate attempt to preserve every "last" whatever moment

15 years of growth recorded on the wall

and so it goes. 
and so must we... eventually. apparently once the house sells, the landlord is legally obligated to give us 2-3 months notice. it is now the beginning of december and there have been no offers yet - so i figure its safe to say that we will get one last new years and one last valentine's day in this house.

while, we may have a 2-3 month buffer period between when the house sells and when we need to find a new place to rent, it is kinda sorta stressful to live with the unknown hanging over your head. so we have been actively looking for a new place to move to. for the last several months, we have been scouring the rental ads. 

we even placed our own want add on craigslist and put the dog to work soliciting offers... 

Hello! We are a family of 4 looking to rent a home in East Van. We've been renting a townhouse in Richmond for the past 14 years and have to move because the owners have put it on the market. 

I work full-time with a local youth organization that provides care to high school age students and their families. We've been doing this work for 25 years and believe it's important to be close to our church, available to those we care about, and in the neighborhood. 

My wife and I have a grown son who lives on his own and 2 children living with us. Our boy is 15 and our girl is 11. We have a super-chill dog named Harrison. He's a four year old Bijon Shi Tzu mix and is fixed (just don't tell him that he's fixed!).

What we wish for: 
*4 bedrooms (I'd like a study/office at home)
*at least two bathrooms 
*An enclosed garage or space in the basement
* Big bonus would be a yard so we can put in a garden 

We are non-smokers and don't do drugs (and neither does the dog!).

If you have something for us, I'd love to chat with you. My name is Graham.
****************************************************************but we've not been able to find anything. nope. nada. nothing. not even any remote possibilities in our budget. we are beginning to believe that finding affordable housing in vancouver is simply not possible.

the worst thing is that every time the hubster and i start some sort of intensive search for a new place the prospects are so dismal that we kinda, sorta, get totally stressed out. all the house hunting kinda, sorta transforms us into the grumpiest, grouchiest desperados of all time. that state of mind is not good for anyone. i certainly don't want our last days in our home to be filled with dark and gloomy moods.

so for the last couple weeks, we have kinda, sorta been trying to just ignore the whole thing as much as possible. denial is bliss.

good plan goertzens.

of course, about the best thing we can do is continuing praying about this. and ask you all to continue to pray too. 

here's where the interesting development comes into play...

shortly after i blogged about our housing situation (letting go & moving on) and asked you all to pray about this our house kinda, sorta started falling apart.
i kid you not. well, to be exact, it's the front deck - and the support beam holding it up suddenly was literally dangling at a precarious angle by one lousy screw...

so the hubster emailed the property manager. 

a few days later, i noticed some bob the builder looking guys milling around under the deck pointing their fingers, waving their arms and generally, just standing around gawking up at the exposed underpinnings of the deck. i even overheard an expletive or two.

i went out to investigate. 

they were freaking out.
the builder bob guys told me that the deck is not structurally sound and the whole thing could come down at any time. it is rotten. absolutely rotten. it is an accident waiting to happen and we must not, should not, cannot go out onto it.

i asked them if they could fix it. in my head i sang it. (i couldn't resist)
"bob the builder, can you fix it?"

"yes, we can!" came their confident reply
(i tried not to show my disappointment after all, i figure a house in obvious disrepair may be a bit slow to sell.)

the following day, we received 3 notices yes, THREE) from the townhouse strata stating that we could not go on the deck. i don't think this is particulary because the strata is concerned for our safety so much as they are concerned about a potential lawsuit. but the over kill with letters made be think the deck must be even worse than it looked.

no wonder i overheard the bob the builder guys using some not so rated-G language.

so the whole rotting and falling apart thing on the front deck began in september... and so far it hasn't been fixed. (happy dance) the deck itself has not tumbled to the earth but the beam finally made its decent last week.

so where on earth are the concerned bob the builder guys? and what happened to "yes, we can fix it!"?

you are not going to believe it - they showed up on my BACK deck a few weeks ago. we had NO IDEA there was anything wrong with the BACK deck too. 

of course, then we got to remembering how last summer we noticed a bit of dry rot here and there. shortly there after, we noticed guys doing repair work on those areas - if you can call it "repair" as all they did was caulk it and then paint over it all.

are you kidding me? caulking rot? good luck with that. at the time, we just heaved a sigh of relief that we don't own this place.

as renters, we are not privy to strata council meetings and stuff but we figure that the back deck must be a lot worse off than the front deck if work has been started there first..

and here's the thing, its not just our unit...suddenly, there seem to be rotting decks EVERYWHERE

right in our little vicinity of the complex, there were 4 other decks resplendent in blue tented drapery. i recently took a stroll around the entire complex and much to my delight, i found that there has been a sudden explosion of blue tarps. they were everywhere. i nearly jumped with glee.

its like a blue tarp baby boom!
i should hand out cigars or something.

those blue tarps are like having a buyer beware sticker slapped right across our home. after all, what vancouverite can ever forgot the leaky condo scandal that erupted in the 1980s! and, what potential buyer in their right mind is going to consider purchasing a place that is this under wraps? seriously!

is it bad that i'm a little bit gleeful? after all, i assume this must be causing owners a pretty penny to fix... and i do feel really bad about that. i do! honest! for pete's sake, i almost feel like somehow, in a weird way, i'm sorta responsible for it - after all, it was i that asked people to pray about our housing situation - and within a few days of that, the blue tents of doom appeared! - 

our complex sorta, kinda, looks a bit like a little tent city.
i'm a happy camper.

keep praying peeps.