Meanwhile, the water heater silently and secretly begins to drip, drip, drip onto the garage floor, eating away a corner of my wallet which allows vast amounts of money to drip, drip, drip into the waiting hands of a water heater repairman … for a house that’s already so under water, we need to don scuba gear before we pay the monthly mortgage.
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to suddenly drop you into the middle of a story, but it’s this morning’s story here at the ole Bloggybirdery. To explain, we have a darling little house we bought when we moved to Phoenix from Seattle. About one nano-second AFTER we signed the contract, the housing values in Arizona fell like Chicken Little’s sky and we (along with many, many others) are now the proud owners of an upside-down house. We intended to live in that house only until we could figure out the lay of the land and discover which area of this very huge city we liked best. With house prices at that time growing larger than the Grinch’s heart on Christmas Eve, we thought it a grand idea to buy rather than rent. Hah!
Eventually we found the area and house that suited our needs, but of course, couldn’t sell the first house which had dropped in value by over half. Solution? Rent the first house.
Long story, short … we became double upside-down landlords, not receiving enough rent to even cover the mortgage payment on this very wet and under water house. Drip, drip, drip! Still, it was all good. We rented to a wonderful woman who loves the house and takes care of it like it’s a precious jewel. For her it is! Her good care of the house gave us peace, even if we were still a great deal out of pocket. The house was happily occupied and we were happily happy.
Then, last month our renter lost her job — another common malady these days in Arizona. Over ten percent of working-age Arizonans are unemployed. We’ve done everything we can to help her because she’s awesome! We’ve helped her write a killer resume, let her slide through November with rent, given her copious hugs and good thoughts. Short of taking up a street corner collection, we’ve done everything we can.
So, when our very sweet and immaculate renter called early this morning, we knew the news wasn’t good. Water heater at the rental house, kaput. Renter’s job, kaput. November rent payment, unpaid. December rent payment, forget it. January and beyond, oh dear!
Life is hard for so many right now. We’re all swimming through these deep waters. Some of us have water wings and are floating by without a care. Some are swimming like crazy, hoping for a spot of dry land to crawl onto for a much-needed rest for even a short while. Some are sinking and some are so drowned, they’ll never come back. We’re all doing our best and holding good thoughts that we’ll make it.
For us at the Bloggybirdery, we’re doing our best, collecting cans for those folks who could use a little help right now and visiting the little ladies and gentlemen once a week at the care home. Dan says he’s helping the economy by supporting the local golf course. We can’t do much, but we try to pitch in as we can.
So now we’re heading out to see if we can find a good sale on water heaters. Wish us luck, and while you’re at it, think really, really good things for a very scared renter who is now literally, as well as, figuratively … UNDER WATER.