|(Image from Natalie Creates)|
When we first moved to our new rental back in 2011, I was feeling very sad. Gary had lost his job one year prior and still hadn't found a new one. We were one year into a slippery slope of calamity and our downward slide continues. When we moved to Pacific in October 2011, I needed to do something to feel like myself. I decided to plant daffodils in the front flowerbeds. It would be months before I would be able to see them bloom but it gave me something to look forward to. I loved my daffodils so much. It made me happy every year to see them bloom again.
This past Spring, our landlord at Pacific asked us to leave. We were forced to move right in the middle of Noodle's 8th birthday and my 40th birthday. Not exactly how I had pictured celebrating these milestones. After two months of frantic searching, we ended up in a smaller house paying $600 more rent per month. But at least we managed to find something and stay in Petaluma. We packed up our belongings in boxes and decided to leave all the many plants we had lovingly planted. I left my Fourth of July rosebush that was a gift from Gary and the fruit trees I had nursed back to health after the landlord had allowed them to be choked by ivy and (most heartbreaking) my beloved daffodils.
I thought the worst was over once we had settled in but I had no idea how vindictive my ex-landlord was going to be. Last week, we went to Small Claims Court. It felt dirty and uncomfortable and I hated having to do it. But that money meant a great deal to us. We received the judgment yesterday and it was a disappointment. We were only awarded about 1/4 of our claim. The hardest pill to swallow is that our landlord is charging the new tenant (who moved in exactly one month after we left) about $600-$700 more rent per month than we paid. He is not hurting for money. But I learned hard lessons and I won't make the same mistakes again.
In the past, I started watching the flower beds in the front yard around this time of year. When I saw my daffodils begin to pop up, I knew Spring was on the way. I wish so much I had dug up my daffodil bulbs before we left. I had thought at the time it would be a nice gift to the place we called home for 3.5 years to leave them. Now it just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
I saw the photo above on Natalie's blog today. Natalie has become a source of inspiration for me recently. She gives me a glimpse into the kind of home and lifestyle that I hope to build for myself someday. I don't know when it will happen. Some days I despair that it never will. I have to have hope that it will. And when it does, I hope there will be daffodils.