When I last wrote we were fighting the love bugs. It was Tuesday. We were somewhere north of Sun City Center.
We got to the condo about 3:30 and expected that we’d move in and relax.
Nope! It wasn’t to happen.
We were locked out. The locks had been changed in April and we weren’t advised. So we stood outside in the 90+ heat waiting for a lady who had a key. Needless to say, we were upset. They knew we were coming but no one told us about the lock change and provided us with a key.
But the problems didn’t end there. We found the place had been stripped of a lot of the stuff that was here when we went home in March. It wasn’t theft in the genuine sense of the word, but we felt victimized.
My mom and her husband (Hoagie) had lived in the condo for 16 years before they were moved into the nursing home where they are now cared for. It was “his” place when they got married, but when they combined homes much of the stuff was Mom’s.
We have been using the condo regularly for the past two years (four times for a total about a month to six weeks each time). Hoagie’s daughter is the only other one to use the place. She comes about once a year for a weekend.
She came down in April to take possession of Mom and Mom’s husband’s car. (That’s another story.) While she was here she cleaned the place out. I’m sure much of it went in the trash. A lot of it she was entitled to and I have no problem with her taking. Things like crystal that was her dad’s should have been removed, but she went well beyond that.
She may have felt all the food stuff was all old and out-of-date, but much of it we had purchased. We had left behind lot of staples that wouldn’t spoil. It’s all gone. When we went home in March, we left a fully stocked house and now nothing is here including toilet paper. At least she left the furniture, but Mom’s dishes, towels, most of the silverware, everything is gone! And we didn’t bring the stuff we knew we left. Things like the toaster, mixer, spices, etc. etc. are missing. We’ll be here for six weeks and we will have to buy lots of essentials.
It’s maddening! I should explain my mother has a “Life Estate” in the condo. It’s a legal term that is written into the deed and says that for her whole life, the place is hers to use (or rent out) or do whatever benefits her. We feel our presence is the best thing for her.
She and her husband jointly owned the condo for a period of time, then she deeded it over to his trust so that eventually it’ll be inherited by his kids (which is only fair), but during her life-time it’s hers to use. The presence of that “Life Estate” provision gives us the right to be here.
But Tuesday our problems didn’t end with the discovery of the missing items.
Let me describe the condo. It has two bedrooms, two baths, a small kitchen, dining area, living room, and then across the back there’s a glassed in “lanai.” Connecting to the lani is a small room normally used as a golf cart garage and next to it a laundry room which has a door leading to a workshop. The golf cart garage was used for storage of lawn furniture and had a couple of cabinets for miscellaneous items. There’s also an extra refrigerator.
When we opened the sliding doors between the living room and the lanai the overwhelming stench of mold hit us. The lanai isn’t air conditioned but it is carpeted and is arranged like a living area. Normally the door between that room and the golf cart garage is closed, but it was open. The golf cart garage roof had leaked and the place was a disaster. Things had molded all over them. There had been a bag of charcoal but the bag had dissolved! An animal had gotten in and there were feces all over the place. It was sickening.
Then it started to rain hard and the roof in the golfcart garage roof leaked.. not a tiny drip, but like a facet turned on. We brought out buckets and tried to catch it, but the carpet was soaked from previous rain storms.
What a mess.
But we’re here.