Three weeks ago my life was turned upside down. We found ourselves homeless with 5 kids and limited options.
Some of the chaos I saw coming so I had time to prep mentally. Some of it happened in a flash and all I had time for was the real, raw, immediate emotional reaction. We are a military family. We move every 1-3 years. Usually we have a matter of weeks notice. There have been moves where we have had 2 weeks notice to pack up and arrive at a new location. I realize to some that is shocking and unimaginable. That was my very first experience as a newly married Marine wife. It’s really all I have known in our 15 years of marriage. In all truth, I’d do it all again to stay by my husband’s side.
I will admit that with 5 kids and a lot more stuff, these moves on my aging mind and body are starting to take a toll. But as with many of our amazing military families, we press on for the greater good. Our sacrifice as a family serves a greater purpose. I didn’t understand that as a newly married 22 year old, but through the years I have started to see the bigger picture.
To all my fellow military spouses, thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me with that.
Our most recent move was kind of cool in that we had several months notice as to where we would be going. I always get right on the search for a house and good schools for the kids. 15 years ago, the schools never factored into our search. Now it matters more than almost anything else.
We have a large family and are blessed with a nanny who lives and travels with us so that narrows our search in finding a home that will hold all of us and our junk comfortably.
Here is where you will probably think I am nuts, but many of the houses we have rented over the years have been sight unseen. We often sign leases without ever seeing the home with our own eyes. We have bought 1 house so far and…you guessed it! We signed a contract sight unseen. To be fair I was working closely with a realtor who knew what I wanted and had it inspected but still, I know this is not something the average person does on their first house purchase. We still own that house and have never regretted our decision.
So fast forward to the last 3 weeks. It was really no big deal to us to rent our next house sight unseen. As in most cases, it wasn’t easy to take the time off to travel and go on a house hunt. My husband and I were both limited on time and had prior obligations. When we found the perfect house in the perfect location, we signed a lease and toasted to our great decision and one item checked off the agenda.
Oh. My. Lord! What have we done!?
It just so happened that a weekend opened up. We decided to drive the family 5 hours to check out the new school, church, work location and of course our beautiful new home. The online photos were amazing. The rental agents and property managers raved and agreed with me when I talked about how much we loved the house and how excited we were. An agent walked me through the house on FaceTime and not once pointed out the exterior damage, chipped paint, broken gutters, trash piles, missing planks from the dock.
He just let me go on ohhing and ahhhing. It was clear that I wasn’t seeing reality through the lens of his iPhone. This statement about what we see through the lens of an iPhone alone could be an entirely different blog if I expanded my thoughts, but we’ll leave that for another blog post.
Writing it out really disappoints and angers me when it comes to the lack of integrity of these people who “helped us.” Even the price point of the home would have suggested we were getting one of the best houses in the area. Little did we know we would be homeless because of their lack of integrity. It’s not what I would have considered a good deal for our location. Fast forward a few weeks and we were given the impression that the 2 star General that owned the house would start approving repairs. We felt a lot better as we continued to get updated on the home improvements.
Alas, the day before our household goods arrived in a massive moving truck. I had traveled down to the house Thursday evening, one last time to check the repairs. Our truck load was to arrive Saturday morning. I was excited and nervous to pick up the keys and pull into our new, freshly painted home. What I pulled up to was not at all what I had hoped. 🙁
Again my heart sank….
This story is an ongoing development and I have so much to share in a future post, but for now I’m going to press publish on this and get back to you once I have our little “homeless with 5 kids” situation more figured out.