Summertime

August 15th

Summertime is supposed to be a happy time; a time where you lay under trees and feel the air on your skin. Where napping happens and a lot of exercise outside is enjoyed. I’ve had summers like that. It’s been a while, but I remember them. This summer hasn’t been that. It’s had its moments, and there were fun moments, but there were some not so fun moments too.

Today is actually an anniversary of some sort for me. 12 years ago today, I stopped using credit cards and haven’t since. I went cold turkey. It was really rough sometimes, I had moments where it was so tempting, but I stuck to my guns and all of a sudden it’s 12 years. I must say, I feel wonderful not having any unsecured debt and there is not the burden I felt when I did.

However, and this brings me back to my not-so-relaxing summer, I’ve experienced some momentary stress surrounding money. My not-so-magical tenant has not paid his oh-so-important rent in over 4 months. He’s actually never been on time, but up until April he managed to catch up before the next month was due. In July I began eviction proceedings when he reached the 3-month delinquent mark and now August is yet another month, where he is still living in my condo and still not paying rent. I’ve used up quite a bit of savings and unfortunately had to cancel my summer classes I intended to take, and so far I have kept up with all my payments of rent, mortgage, homeowners and insurance. This is where I’ve begun to creep into fear however. I don’t like living there and I’ve used every support system available to me to keep myself out of it. I am so grateful for my support systems. My magical friend Michele (I’ve decided to nickname her Bulldog) has been relentless in filing my papers and basically living in the City Clerk’s office (and thank you M’s daughter Elizabeth, for she’s had to sit there with her…. I think I owe the whole family at least a dinner out!) I’ve learned a lot about Landlord/Tenant law and sooo wish I knew this last year. It feels uncomfortable to think these 2 people are living in my former home and not paying for it. A friend of mine called it stealing, and it is, which I’d never thought about before. And I pray they are at least taking good care of it and not destroying it in this process. Being an absentee landlord is difficult and I need to find a manager for me down in LA, but my first step is vacating my condo and it’s proving much harder than anticipated. I now have become the “evil landlord”, even though I really don’t think I’m evil, and one of my friends pointed out that I’ve been way too nice. That’s how he seemed to take advantage of me in the first place. I was too nice. This is a business, I’ve been told, even though it’s my former home. I haven’t thought of it as a business per se, I’ve thought of it as my home, and I feel a bit violated at the moment. I have talked to an attorney however and that may be my only recourse. But I still haven’t debted and am so grateful for that. I will get through this. I believe that God and the good karma I have collected will see me through.

So there goes my summer. School is just around the corner and a whole new semester looms. I know I will love it just as much as last year. It’s cold again, the foggy winds blowing in from the Bay, and now that I’m a knowledgeable resident, I know that September and October will be warm and sunny once again. I haven’t felt the magic lately, but I still hold out hope that it’s coming back. There’s a lesson here for me and I feel I have learned a lot this summer. Knowledge isn’t always gained in schoolbooks. I’m sure there’s a sermon in here somewhere…….

From my little piece of Mayberry,

Jo