A man that recently moved to the area spent 3+ hours composing his Craigslist ad seeking housing, which lead him to conclude "Maybe I should be a writer. Ha!" Natch, it takes about three hours to read the entire text, but here's the summary. The very short version of the story is a couple and their dog are looking for some type of room in exchange for working on the place to make it perfect for the next people who might move in. But, oh, the saga they have been through to get to here, DC, and its welcoming homeowners with rooms to spare. It is all spelled out in extreme (and rather chatty) detail for those who want to know about breakdowns on Interstate 25, bad landlords and missing contracts, and a guy who just needs to finish his book proposal. After the post made it to Prince of Petworth, the Craigslist ad was deleted. But never fear, we've copied the entire thing after the jump, with a few of our favorite lines called out, to save you some time.
The best lines from the post:
· So we put a tarp over our stuff, and walked to the Applebee's, next to the lot we were standing in, leaving our stuff under a tarp. How awkward this all was, I can't even tell you.
· Bought 2 bus tickets, and headed on Greyhound, first class. LOL, if you have ever been on one, let's just say it is a means to get where you need to, and that is it!
· We are relying 100% on humanity. We are not out to MOOCH, or take from anyone!
· But I am not one to hold a resentment, it only brings down the one harboring it!
· She [my wife] also can play a viola like an angel dropped right out of the sky. She was in a Symphony Orchestra, also played in a few songs in a Disney movie, recorded in California at Disneyland.
The full ad:
YES WE ARE REAL! I don't want your MONEY to help support my regime in some 3rd world country! Ha :-) No scam or spam here. . . just two good people, and one hell of a great dog! I WROTE THIS MUCH BECAUSE I WOULD WANT TO KNOW AS MUCH AS I COULD. . . THEN MAKE YOUR OPINION ON emailing. . . So when ya have a few minutes... Read this, it is a pretty damn good story. Took me 3+ hours to write and edit! I know that most people just skim when they read stuff on the internet, but I did take some time to write this so one could understand it. Maybe I should be a writer. Ha! ****And if you are a scoffer, and/or want to judge us. . . Please move on, why waste your time emailing me to judge? ( I told my wife. . . I could give out $100 bills on a street corner, and people would have something negative to say about it. I digress, I had to put that in there for me. . . It will probably cause more to tell me their thoughts, vs moving on, or helping out. We are glass half-full people, or right to the rim! Prefer to attract the same. . . SORRY IF THIS BECOMES LONG. . . On to the good stuff..
If someone has a rental property that needs work, for rent exchange. Or a house that is just sitting vacant for whatever reason... Or even a ROOM in a house, with some like minded folk. Empty bedrooms are just that. . . empty. We are not a charity case, and can pay for an apartment or house, we just prefer to do this. It has worked well, and it is all part of the adventure for the book. I am just brainstorming here! If you read through all of what I write, and not just skim...:-) You will see all that we can offer.
I am not one to just throw my story on the internet for anyone with a computer and mouse to see. But I have been humbled, and had to swallow some pride the past few months! And I want whoever reads this to get a feel of us, who we are, and what we can offer! Yes we need a home, and we have not slept on a park bench yet. We are relying 100% on humanity. We are not out to MOOCH, or take from anyone! We are good people, just doing what we believe is right. To give you the gist on what happened, what we have been doing, and what we want to do, and will do. . .
Wife and I were living the dream in South Dakota where we were born and raised. We managed a campground in the Black Hills, about 30 miles outside Rapid City. We lived in a new 3 bedroom cabin on the 8 acre property, where there was also 6 other one room "sleeping cabins," RV sites, and tent sites. A very beautiful place! Now we started managing this at the beginning of April, and it was not the beautiful place that it was when we left. In fact, it had not been open for over a year. A VERY long story-short. . . We worked 70+ hours a week for 4+ months getting it to the state of being something you would come and stay at. I mowed, and raked the entire property, and if you have ever mowed 8 acres after not being touched for a year, it is a job! Also, I must have hauled over 200 loads with a big Case tractor which had a big front end loader. So much junk all over. . . Scrap wood, piles of concrete and blocks, rocks, garbage, I could go on and on. Built some flower beds, and even built 2 wood faux wells that we planted flowers in. I have photos of all that was done!! My wife cleaned the cabin which was trashed from the last manager that lived in it. Brand new cabin 3 years ago, and some punk 22 year old kid and all his party friends did a job on it. Took her 3 days of scrubbing, cleaning, and painting. They knocked a hole in one wall from a body going through it, had to replace sheetrock. Also did renovation on another building, where I took out 2 walls to open the place up. We painted and fixed the playground and baseball field. Leveled RV sites with the tractor, even hauling over 20 ton of peat rock to do so. I could go on and on. But that is the gist.
I said all that, now to the bummer part of the story. . . We did not get a contract signed when we started in April. The owners did say that they would draw one up, and we could all sign, that and a lease on our cabin. Well, they procrastinated for months. The campground had been up for sale for 3 years. However, the place was so rundown, that the realtor had not been there in over a year and a half. Well, after the 180 degree transformation of the place, the realtor started showing up. Even put up a new sign out by the road. Two weeks of him showing up every few days to show it, the place sold. The new owners wanted to move into the cabin we were living in. Also, they wanted to take over completely. With no contract, and a long story. . . We had to leave. Had one week to get out. Yes we could have taken it to court. . . but we were just in shock that these good ol' farmers that promised us a 2 year commitment, took the money, not even thinking of us. It was a million dollar sale. To let you know a time frame. . . It was the end of June when we hit the road for something better. So we have been on the road since then! It is as crazy to us as anyone! We have NEVER done anything like this. But the journey needs to be done, we need to find permanent residence. . . But if all that you have is for a month or two, that would work as well. But we just want to plant our feet, and have a home for at least a month while I write this book proposal. Then going to find a publisher. . . (I digress)
There are pages I could write about what they did, and how compassion went out the window, and how greed played its major part in this. But I am not one to hold a resentment, it only brings down the one harboring it! So we brushed ourselves off, picked ourselves up, sold our furniture, packed the pickup with our personal stuff, and headed for our good friends in Arizona.
Made it to Denver, that first day. Stayed at a hotel in Aurora, it's a suburb of Denver. We talked about going to get some food, and maybe hit a movie, maybe the late one at midnight. I say that to say this. . .. Aurora, Colorado, about 8 weeks ago was the place of that evil, sick, twisted, freak walked into a Batman showing, 2 miles from our hotel, and opened fire, killing 12, and injuring almost 60. We did not make it to the movie that night, decided to stay in, and rent one at the hotel. We heard sirens all night, thought wow, we must really be in the ghetto. The next day we watched the news. I know I am digressing here, but what the hell is wrong with people today? It was never like that a hundred years ago, even 30 years ago. Anyway, I digress once again...
We checked out of the hotel, and went to visit a friend in Denver. Later that day we headed for Arizona, our truck started acting weird on I-25, about 10 miles out of Denver. I took an exit, pulled into a parking lot, after losing all but 1st gear in the transmission. Called AAA, and a few mechanics in the area. It was after hours, about 7pm on a Sunday. So the tow truck driver recommended a place that was fair. Well we could not leave all our stuff in the back of the truck, for it to sit outside this mechanics shop all night. So we did what we had to, unloaded all our stuff in this parking space in this parking lot. I had called storage places also, but nobody was open in the area we were in. Otherwise the tow guy would have taken us there to put our stuff in storage. ****(I could NOT make this stuff up! I am writing a book about all this) So we put a tarp over our stuff, and walked to the Applebee's, next to the lot we were standing in, leaving our stuff under a tarp. How awkward this all was, I can't even tell you. We sat down, ordered our food, and looked out at our stuff. The waitress came back with an appetizer, and asked what we were looking at out the window. I laughed, and told her .. see that tarp out in the lot next to us? That is our stuff. . . I told her the story. She was blown away. Kept saying, "Oh my God"! She left, . . . about 5 minutes went by. She came back with the manager. This great guy said. . . We are going to help you move all your stuff into our dry storage in the back. Said you can keep it here for the night, til you figure out what to do with it. Next day I walked up to a complete stranger in this mall, and asked if he had a pickup. He said yes. I offered him $150 to help us load our stuff, and take it to a storage place. He had a Ford with an extended cab, and topper. So our stuff in storage, he took us back to our hotel.
All this time I should say. . . We have a 110 pound Akita/Bernese Mountain Dog. He is my wife's service dog, and really our child! He is an amazing dog, and everyone falls in love, and wants to steal him. :-) So ya, our dog went with through all this. He is a true service dog, I now know that SO many are using this excuse to get there dogs in anywhere. So soon there will be a law about this, and we will lose this privilege. . . Or atleast it will be much harder for us. He is a service dog, he is with her at all times. . . Not your back yard, or chained up dog. He is our kiddo! ;-) We got him as a service dog for my wife. . . When she was 20, she was diagnosed with cancer. So after surgery, and chemo. . . her Dr said to get a service dog for her, so we did. She beat the cancer, and we still have Chopper.
Anyway. . We came up with a plan. Oh I should say that our pickup was $1,400 to fix the transmission, and there was a main seal going out as well, total bill would be over 2,500. Without that kind of money to fix it, we sold it for a fraction of what it was worth....Bought 2 bus tickets, and headed on Greyhound, first class. LOL, if you have ever been on one, let's just say it is a means to get where you need to, and that is it! Chopper, our dog had to ride at our feet in the spacious area below our feet, for a 30 hour bus ride! (Maybe 12-16 inches of space for him to lay, what a trooper!
We made it to Arizona via Greyhound. . . Our friend picked us up in Flagstaff, and we stayed in their casita, next to their house. They live outside Sedona. What an amazing place to live! True beauty, and amazing spiritual connections. . .. Just a great vibe! HOWEVER, we knew this was temporary. They had family coming in, and some that were already there. So we had to figure something out. We took a rideshare to San Francisco for a job working at a motel for some people from India. We got there and it was hell. We were put in this room that was about 6 foot by 10, for the first day of 3. It had boxes to the ceiling, and a computer we had to train to learn the software they ran for their motel. I can't tell you how they treated us. We did not get a lunch, or any breaks. . . we were in the room for 9 hours. They brought us 2 cups of coffee for something to drink. Well, I tried to go out of the room once to ask about a break for dinner, and this owner/manager flipped on me. Long story -- short, we left. Hope you are STILL reading:-) . . .
We took a train from San Francisco to Denver... A beautiful train on Amtrak across Donner Pass in California to the Colorado Rockies, following the Colorado River for almost 300 miles. That was a nice break from all that had happened! Our friends in Arizona bought us the tickets, but we did work for them for 6 days, cleaning up all around their property, cutting down brush and trees, and cleaning out a 3 car garage. So it all worked out. Our stuff is in a strorage unit here outside Denver. . . So this was our destination for that. It has been amazing how it has all worked out. Always at the last minute.
That was September. . . We used the last of our money to take a train to Lake Tahoe where we worked for almost 3 months. We renovated a house and an apartment next to it. A huge undertaking. . . but we did it. Free rent and a nice house by the Lake, and close to "Heavenly" ski resort, a Vail resort. We got to have some fun in the snow and made some pretty good money doing this renovation as well. So we booked our 3rd train trip to Seattle for fun, then another to Cincinnati over Christmas. So here we are in Cincinnati.
Today is Friday, January 04, 2013. . . It has been a hell of a journey, good and bad. But always real, and always a struggle! But we want to find something more permanent, for at least a month! We would consider longer. . .Please just shoot us an email. . . please read more. . .I need to write this book proposal to give to a publisher. . . and we need to find something asap. Hotel cost is kicking our butt. Anyway. . . We just need a shot, we are putting our chips on the table! This is some of what we are!
We both have bachelor degrees. No worries on us getting jobs! Just need to get to a place we can call home. That is our first step, then work, then vehicle, etc. .
We need a home! Bottom line! A room in a house, or an empty house, an apartment. . . open to whatever you might have. . . at least to talk about it.
I have managed 4 resorts/hotels for an eccentric man in the Black Hills of South Dakota for over 6 years, working over 100 hours a week. Have managed campgrounds, wildland firefighting, sales, plowed fields, drove $300,000 tractors, remodeled houses, landscaping, plowed snow for a year in the Rockies. . .. I know there is much more, but that is some.
My wife worked for the Air Force for 2 years in the finance department as an independent contractor. We have worked together as a working couple in the hospitality industry for about 4 years. Managing hotels/resorts/campgrounds. She also can play a viola like an angel dropped right out of the sky. She was in a Symphony Orchestra, also played in a few songs in a Disney movie, recorded in California at Disneyland. She has also played at some amazing places. . . One in Chicago, and a few in Europe.
That is us. . . I know I could have typed a sentence or two, saying we need a place. But I guess I looked at it as if I were reading it, I would want as much info I could get if someone is moving into my house/apartment/rental property.
I will put our needs, that way there is no confusion. And then if it all works, it just might be a dynamic fit. So many have SO much. . . Or have enough to help. . . I DO NOT want to be a burden. . . So if you are struggling yourself, we probably would not be a good fit. Want to be in a place where it is comfortable. No drama! We are kind, respectful, intelligent, positive people, who have MUCH to offer.
~A Home! A rental that someone moved out of, and left perfect, or totally trashed it. (then we could do the work to get it perfect)
~Or a room in a house/apartment. But it would have to be rent free for the first month to 6 weeks. If we have to pay some. . . we can, but prefer to touch with humanity and altruistic people. If you are not that.. please do not reply. I have received so many horrible emails from people who think we are mooching. . . We have busted our ass for people, and in turn have been given a place and compensated for our labor. But now I just want to write, and throw in a few hours a day. Nothing too crazy. . . Just rebuilt an entire floor of a house, took out 2 walls, and replaced sheetrock on 3 walls and a ceiling. Kinda tired. :-)
Email if you would like to talk. . . If you have something that might work. We are open books. No drama, like I said. We do not have any drinking problems, or drug problems. Smoked pot in college. So did one of our last presidents. Not ones to judge! But we like being clear headed. :-) We are focused, and driven. We go after what we want. And I think we get along with pretty much anyone.
Wow, I damn near wrote a book here! To wrap this up. . . (If you are still reading, I am shocked, but thank you for plugging away)!!
Please email us. . . I check my email throughout the day. Can leave my cell if you email me. :-)
Hope to hear back.
~~~~~~Also, If you read all this, and know someone. . . pass it on!??? Or if you have, or know someone with a vehicle, we could really use something that is reliable to drive. We have a couple options if we had a vehicle! Just throwing it out there. . . Some have extra vehicles just collecting dust in the garage or the driveway. We could really use it. I once gave a Honda Accord to a lady, because my mentor gave me her number, said she needed it more than I did. I had 2 vehicles at the time, so I just did it. No questions asked, just signed over the title, and gave her a tank of gas, and said good luck. She must have cried for an hour, and would not stop hugging me, and telling me how amazing. . . Well, it was just the right thing to do! I had a great mentor, an older gentleman that taught me so much about living a life without being selfish and ego-centered! That is where I truly learned what altruism was! Anyway. . .
Email is best, If you made it this far... why not kill some curiosity?
Thank you for reading. . . Hope you have a great week!
John and Elizabeth
PS... I can email photos of us, our dog, and all the work we have done along the way. We would love to talk to someone. . . We are down to earth. . .. Hope to meet like-minded people. Like I said, we are in Cincinnati, staying at a hotel. We are open to anywhere in the U.S. So I am posting here, to see if anyone will reply back.