part two of the story:
About eight months after we moved in, I found myself back in DC having my second brain surgery (nine years after the first - also discovering I had VHL, a chronic disease that would require kidney surgery that year, once I recovered from the brain surgery). It was a rough surgery and I needed to stay up there to go into PT and OT to relearn how to walk and write. They figured we'd be away from AR about 4 weeks, maybe five.
The end of the first week Ms Thing the landlord called my room. I was not expecting to hear from her, and I was definitely unprepared to hear the real reason she called.
"Hey. Sorry to hear about your operation. I wanted you to know, I sold the house."
me, slightly panicked: "You what?! The house you said we could live in for four years?"
Cuckoo-batshit-crazee: "Yeah, well, I changed my mind. But don't worry: you have 6 to 8 weeks."
me: "Well, gee, that's just great, since I'm in the hospital up here for two weeks and then in rehab two weeks after that -- leaving about two weeks or maybe if we're lucky, four, to find a house and move when we get home, in addition to continuing my therapy so I CAN WALK AND WRITE and go back to work. Thanks soooo much -- you're a real gem, and your timing is incredible." CLICK
When we got back to AR, we drew a circle around my work place and decided we wouldn't look at anything outside the circumference. Not buying a house wasn't an option. I never again wanted to be at the mercy of a landlord. We saw a lot of dismal prospects. We wanted to live close enough to commute to town and my work within 30 minutes, and ideally, have room for Excy's studio, and land for future horses.
We were down to the last two weeks when we were aimlessly driving the backroads yet again, when I spied a 'for-sale-by-owner' sign in front of a ranch house. "Pull in, pull in!" I shouted. The house and yard were a real mess, but I saw the possibilities right away. It was a decent house (good bones), had 7 acres, and a detached shed Excy could use for a studio, now being used as the owner's carpentry studio (he built lawn swings).
It was one of the quickest sales in history -- amazing when I think about it. They promised they could move out and we could move in even when the final papers were still being filed. We had all of a week to pack, move, clean the rental and clean the new house and pull up the disgusting wall-to-wall carpet and paint everything. Luckily (!), I was still out on medical leave from work. Excy also had to patch nail holes and repaint walls in the rental. I cleaned the rental and scrubbed the bathrooms as well as I could, but the water stains were permanent. But we left that place spotless -- which it hadn't been when we moved in. Then we worked like dogs on the new house. Thank the goddess for friends and family, who were enlisted to help. Because this place was horrid. It was like instead of cleaning a plate, they'd toss it into the yard. One bathtub took all afternoon to clean and the pumice stone my friend started with looked like a pebble when she was through. (And I swear to you, I like things clean, but I am not a neat-freak by any means).
So when Ms Cuckoo called and proceeded to berate us on how "filthy" she had heard from the new owner (her friend and former hairdresser) we had left her house, I lost my mind. Anyone who knows me well knows I seldom go ape-shit. I avoid confrontation. I swallow disappointment. I turn the other cheek. And when you finally punch that last nerve, you better hope you have a plane ticket out of the country, because I will make you regret you ever heard my name. Back away slowly because there will be a smack down and you will not be the one left standing.
After vomiting all over her punk ass on the phone, I proceeded to follow this up with a two-page, single-spaced letter. Then I made sure everyone at Winrock (her former work place) heard the whole story. And then I found the hair stylist and told him how great I thought he was, and how I'd definitely recommend his services to everyone.* Finally I made sure his only neighbors (who adored us, and are friends to this day) knew how Mr Wonderful treated us via Ms Cuckoo.
Never heard from her again. At least she was smart enough to do that much.
Months later, a mutual friend ventured that Ms Cuckoo was "really a good person."
I gave her a long look. Silence. "Are you friggen' kidding me?! You saw what we went through..." I made her promise not to say the name again.
* I told you I can summon my mean-streak...