So when Jason called and told me that he had two takers- one in Cambridge and one in Southie, I leaped on it. The Southie apartment was cheap and beautiful, convenient, but a longer commute. We'd be close to connections we'd made over the past year and we wouldn't have to change any official city stuff. The Cambridge place was alright, a little more expensive, but surrounded by parks and preschools, and a 10 minute walk to his office. Plus, we'd already seen it; it was the place that had gone to another tenant, which had apparently opened up again. He didn't see why we shouldn't take the Cambridge place right way- after all, I'd seen it and liked it before! But something about it didn't jive with me this time. Something was shady. We decided to sleep on it and hadn't made any progress by the next morning, so I told him "Jason, I don't like this. But I'm on the other side of the country and I have to rely on you in the end. Make a decision so I can come home."
So he signed on the Cambridge place and booked me a ticket out of Salt Lake for Tuesday. We spent Friday evening at my bother's house eating pizza and telling stories while the kids played and I jammed on my ukulele. For all the dry heat and bleakness I get out of the West, I'll go back again and again for those kinds of nights.
Saturday Nana (my mother), the kiddoes, and I drove through Coeur D'Alene, ID and Missoula, MT down to Salmon, ID pop. 3,300 to stay the night with my grandmother. Sunday we had lunch with my grandfather and his wife at the blue-green ranch where my mother grew up. By blue-green ranch, I mean that in ever sense you can imagine. The house is painted sea foam blue-green. It's in the center of green hay fields, Weeping Willows, and Russian Olive Trees. The blue Beaverhead Mountains are everywhere you look. For 5 years we made plans to come visit, but every time we'd run out of money by the weekend. This was the first time I'd seen Grampa Dee and Gramma Violet since Jason and I got married. It was the first time they'd met Cal and Lala. It's things like this that fuel my conviction that sometimes geographical distance is the best thing for family relationships.
Anyway, we got in to Jason's parent's in time for dinner on Sunday night. Having spent two days with "Grandparents" they hardly new, Cal ran up to the door and cheered "This is my real Grandpa and Grandma's house!" After dinner we made plans for the kiddoes' stay and Jason's mother to fly back with them and visit when we got settled in our new place. I talked it over with the kids, who, between the cousins and the sandbox, had a much easier time saying goodbye than I did, and drove to You've-Never-Heard-of-It, pop. 3,000.
We meant to spend Monday working on the house my parents have been "working on" for about 35 years, but I think we ended up spending more of it napping off road-lag. But the wakeful parts are for another post.
My mother dropped me off at the shuttle to Salt Lake at 2AM Tuesday, I started reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in Phoenix, AZ around 2PM, and I got into Logan Airport at about 11:57PM. We burned 3 nights in a hotel in Dorchester, where we got one night rebated because there was a used condom behind the nightstand of our first room. We couldn't spend another night in a hotel, so Friday we went to a late viewing of Harry Potter, then hung out the rest of the night in a hotel lobby in the Back Bay. Saturday afternoon we finally got into the Cambridge apartment, which is when the fun really began.
It started with the landlord giving me a hard time about wanting to move furniture- it was "partially furnished" which really meant making money off my storage unit,- even though he'd made a big deal about how we could move anything and everything when we first viewed the place. Now anything we wanted to move he'd suddenly "...have to throw good stuff away!" He'd complain about things that didn't jive with what he'd told us when we'd first viewed the place. He'd go on and on about what a horrible tenant the past tenant was, then a couple days later the tenant showed up, saying he still had the place till August! He said he was a traveling nurse moonlighting at the nearby hospital, and though his family had moved out because the place was unlivable two months ago (his company had rented it on his behalf) and the landlord was a lunatic, he couldn't get his money back so he'd crash there between shifts. Then he started telling horror stories that creepily fit Landlord's odd behaviors. The next morning Landlord showed up two hours earlier than expected with "An Inspector," and left him there. I proceeded to follow him around and learned from him that the apartment wasn't de-leaded as expressed to us, but going through the process of de-leading (he'd have to pass the lab tests from this session to even get certified), pointing our things that had been worked on, things that hadn't, things Landlord had strait up lied to us about, how "It's not Anthrax, this is how you'll need to keep the window sills clean," while I'm mentally freaking out about how I have a hard enough time keeping up with the dishes and referencing how one of the kids' favorite games is playing cars on the window sill- their stirring up dust, getting it on their toys, their fingers, itching their noses, eating snacks-NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH!!!! I called Jason and told him everything, who called the inspection office, then the landlord, and by the end of the day we got the last month's rent back, were promised the first month's pro-rated upon re-renting, and were in contact with the complex in Southie.
I went down to the Southie place the next day and spent the whole trip wondering what had messed so badly with Jason's head that he would even think twice about living in such a beautiful complex! The agent showed me the available apartment, with a view of the skyline out one room and a view of the ocean out the other. I told him the story of our credit and how it got so dismal and he assured me that it wouldn't be a problem. We got things squared for the background check and he waved me off with ever reassurance. Saturday morning at 9AM he called us to tell us that our credit hadn't passed after all. He was sorry. Our income was great and there was a little hope left, but he'd have to wait till Monday to talk to his manager about it. What compelled him to call us at 9AM on Saturday, however, is still beyond me.
So that's what happened. That's why we have a stroller and two suitcases in the snack room at Jason's office and Jason is at a good steady job, and on paper we're not doing too bad, but in actuality we are homeless and pretty much broke.