February: The Annual Worst Month Ever
Many nights I spend what feels like the entire night trapped in twisted dreams about my house falling apart, having to move unexpectedly, desperately trying to pack while it’s cold or wet in the house, not having enough money, mean landlords showing up, and feeling unsure where we will live.
I have so many of those nightmares I’m afraid to go to sleep sometimes.
In February 2014 the heat stopped working in the cabin, everything including the toilet bowl froze, the landlords refused to fix it, and we had to leave. Then they tried to sue us because they said we caused thousands of dollars in damages by not changing the furnace filter. When in reality not only did I change the furnace filter every three months, the furnace filter had nothing to do with the fact that the heating unit stopped blowing warm air and they didn’t fix it.
We frantically had to find somewhere to live. We had to pack in below freezing temperatures in a house with no running water. We had to give away most of our chickens and ducks, and it was hard–especially hard on the kids.
Tyler convinced us we should move to the little down where the Toyota factory is located, where he worked. We decided to only rent from a well known company so we wouldn’t be screwed over again.
We chose a house managed by Re/Max. Sounds safe, right? That’s a large national company. The house was old, quirky, gorgeous, and full of character.
It was fine for awhile, just until we got comfortable. Just until I unpacked the final box and took a deep sigh of contentment.
Then February 2015 rolled around, and it started pouring water in the kitchen from the ceiling due to melting heavy snow. The whole kitchen had to be torn down. It was an edition onto the original 1911 house.
The property manager didn’t manage the property. He left us with no kitchen for four months, no locking doors in a bad area of town, horrible contractors, and we ended up having thousands of dollars of things stolen, the contractors left trash everywhere, and it was a complete disaster.
We had no where comfortable to live. Do you know what it’s like to have no kitchen for months on end with three small children? And to have random men in and out of your house at any given time? Since there was no door or wall they didn’t need to knock…
Then water began leaking down the walls in three different rooms of the house. Mold started growing. The property manager did nothing while water pooled in the floors in three rooms every time it rained.
I began packing again, with no place in mind to go.
Thankfully Tyler was given this amazing job opportunity in Columbus. We bought a house here, even though it’s not a house I ever would have willingly chosen. We didn’t have time to waste shopping around and waiting for something else to come on the market. I had to choose between renting something while house hunting, or just buying something in a short period of time in a city I’d never been to before.
While most people would probably rent first, I just could not do it. I felt like if I rented a third house then I would spend the entire time crying in a corner waiting for all hell to break loose.
So we (mostly I) settled for this cookie cutter subdivision house. It’s been interesting–not awful. I like the area a lot, actually. The people here are friendly, it’s very clean, fairly safe, quiet. But it’s boring. It’s so, so, so BORING. No chickens, no ducks, no farming, everything looks the same all over the place. That’s hard for me. I very much want to go back to living in the middle of nowhere.
At the same time, I never want to move again in my life.
I’m trying to focus on the saying, Bloom where you are planted…
It’s not easy.
Especially because I keep having these nightmares.
I can’t relax. Is something bad going to happen in February 2016 like it did in February 2014 and 2015?
Logically, no. We own our house, and there are no shoddy landlords in charge of my home.
But the nightmares persist. Living in weird dark places where I have to pack all of my things in a hurry, but somehow I can’t seem to manage. Dreams filled with so much anxiety and frustration, and embarrassment that it may somehow be our faults that the place we’ve lived has fallen apart again, fear that we won’t have anywhere good to live, fear that my things will all be lost and broken because of the rushed packing, the stress from disorganization, all of those feelings are so overwhelming in my dreams.
I wake up feeling sick and sort of hungover emotionally.
I hate February. I hate the gray cold, the wind, and the way time passes so slowly. Is it March yet? Can we just fast forward through this horrible month?
I keep feeling like we’re going to need to move soon. In my head I plan how quickly I can pack each room. I’ve organized my house so that things can quickly be packed up, just in case…