Uncharted Territory

It has been a while since I have put pen to paper, or in these modern times, fingers to keyboard! But something has weighed on my heart for a few months now, and it is time to reflect and to share with you, my dear readers, a few lessons I have learned from a most recent and daunting experience.

1) Never Judge a Book By Its Cover:

When we listed our property for rent last year, it rented in a week! We had hired a property management company to handle the process to ease the stress – or so we thought. In a week, we had five different people interested in renting. The lucky winner happened to be the first one to apply. From all accounts, she fitted the description of a perfect renter: her credit score exceeded the requirement, her ten-year rental history was intact, and she had a good solid income. What was most impressive, was this lady was the Director of a Non-Profit Organization. We thought – if she manages and takes care of a company, she should take care of our home, right? WRONG! That decision turned out to be a huge mistake. Things started off great – she paid her rent on time the first few months, and then month after month, the payments were made later and later. Now, don’t get me wrong, the fact that she was paying late was not the biggest problem. Unforeseen things happen, we get that. The problem was the lack of communication, and the complete disregard for the fact that the payments were late. Ultimately, the payments stopped, with absolutely no explanation and no phone call. Half way into a one year lease agreement, the contract was broken. What was most surprising was that this Director decided to move the majority of her things out of the house and terminate the utilities, without a word to this management company. She completely refused to return phone calls, or respond to emails. In essence, she went M.I.A. Not what you would expect from the Director of a company, but not entirely surprising either. Truthfully, I expected candor and decency; enough to pick up the phone and explain the reason she missed payments, or could no longer afford the rent, or had to move somewhere else. Instead, we got a house filled with garbage, and a judgment for past due rent.

2) Friends are the Best Resource

In the midst of all the chaos with this renting experience, our friends were the best resource. Forget about the company that was hired to actually “manage” the property; friends kept us in the loop and were there to offer support and guidance when needed. It was a friend who called to tell me there was a moving truck in front of our house with items of furniture being moved from the house into the truck. It was a friend who showed up at the house to take pictures of said moving truck so we could have evidence this lady was breaking her contract. It was a friend who went to the house at 8:00 a.m. this morning to meet the painter so he could paint the house. It was a friend who left her job in the middle of the afternoon to again meet the painter to find color matches for the work to be done. We hired a company to handle these things, but when that company failed, our friends were there! I cannot thank them enough for that support and assistance during a difficult process.

3) This Too Shall Pass

Life can be tough and challenging! It is not an easy road. We are sometimes tested to determine our strength and our resolve. This experience has taught me patience [I am still learning in case you are wondering]. Ultimately, I know we will overcome and we will move on. We will take the lessons we have learned from this experience to help us with the next challenging one that will come. This too shall pass, that I am sure. But my dear friends, mark my words: I WILL NEVER BE A LANDLORD AGAIN!

Until next time,



Learning to See Through the Fog

Miami Fog 2 I woke up this morning to a foggy downtown Miami. In the seven months we have lived here, I have not seen anything like this before. I am usually greeted in the mornings with bright, sunny skies. And it made me think, in many ways, about our move here.

Most of you who know me well know this move was particularly difficult. As open as I usually am to change, I was not particularly thrilled about THIS change. I was perfectly comfortable in Atlanta. I was surrounding by a strong circle of family and friends, a great job, and I city I grew to love and call home. Sometimes, we are forced to step outside of our comfort zone. It builds character, THEY say.

My husband was offered the opportunity of a lifetime; a dream job! I was happy and elated for him! I was proud. However, in the midst of my joy for him, I was also sad. Because that meant I would have to give up the job I loved and move away from loved ones. It meant we would be starting over. Marriage is a lot about sacrifice and compromise. He was positive this would be a great move for our family, which back then consisted of HE and I. I was hopefully, but mostly I saw fog. Nonetheless, I took the leap and here we are.

The past seven months have been challenging to say the least. I had heard to give myself a year to fully adjust to the move. It was almost like going through the five stages of grief. Okay, that analogy may be a bit extreme, but I’ve had moments of some, if not all of those feelings. I spent quite some time seeing only the fog – the things I did not like about Miami. I am not sure when it happened, but one day I realized it was not so much Miami that I hated. It was more the life in Atlanta that I loved. That love was overpowering. Some would say I’m crazy!

“You LIVE in MIAMI!”

“What more could you want?”

Admittedly, the weather here [for the most part] is wonderful. Very much like Jamaica, my homeland. We are surrounded by beautiful beaches, and a breathtaking view! But I had to allow myself time to grieve; and grieve I did. Until I had an epiphany.

I realized I could not allow THIS change to CHANGE who I am. So, I searched for the positives, I looked beyond the fog to find the beauty. We all have those moments, I am sure. Moments where we can only see the negatives of a given situation. If we look far enough, and try to see past the present, we can find solace and hope for the future. It was not until I changed that attitude that I was able to begin to appreciate Miami, our new HOME!

Until next time,