For many years my late husband was a Deputy Marshal and much of those years was not only serving criminal warrants and dodging bullets, but serving eviction notices to the people who took advantage of free first month rent offers and those who lacked the responsibility to meet their rental obligations. Invariably the night before the eviction crew would show up the tenants would throw what they could in their car and disappear under the cover of darkness, leaving a disaster behind for others to deal with.
The day Gerri and I went by the house to see if our “tenants” had moved was a Saturday. Sunday morning we talk to Pastor and learn he has also gone by the house. “They didn’t leave a key, so I broke in.” He states. I don’t ask any questions about how that was accomplished. “I left the door unlocked,” he adds and we tell him we’re going back tomorrow morning for a walk through.
Monday morning we take a clip board and legal pad ready to write down what we find that’s needed to be fixed. Opening the door and stepping inside we both stop in our tracks with gasps. The kitchen counters are buried under stuff, the living room still has several pieces of old furniture pieces that we initially was told was the couples when they moved in.
Gerri begins opening cabinets to discover dishes, spices, baking pans, and the drawers are filled with old silverware and items commonly found in a kitchen. Opening the door to the dishwasher, she gasps. The dishwasher is full of dirty dishes, glasses, infant sippy cups, plates, and silverware. She slams the door quickly.
“I can’t believe this!” We both exclaim as we open more drawers, cabinets and finally the refrigerator. The refrigerator is filled with rotten food and the door slammed shut quickly before we gag.
Gerri moves to the laundry room and opening the dryer she yells, “Oh my gosh! There’s still clothes in the dryer!” Reaching in she starts pulling out some of the clothes and finds baby clothes, men’s and women’s wear. Large black bags filled to the brim are stacked next to the dryer. We’re both stunned and questions begin to fly about the baby clothes, sippy cups, and car seats on the trash pile.
We have not gotten any further than the kitchen and laundry room and my mind is reverting back to the stories my husband had shared about the evictions. The power is on but not the gas, so we’re freezing as we head toward the bedrooms. We find so much more and begin taking notes on what needs repaired; windows with gaping openings where cold air freely flows in, one wall looks like someone used a scatter gun with large shot for target practice, light fixtures hanging by wires, shower door torn loose from the brackets, old furniture that needs a dumpster, doors busted as though kicked, paneling partially finished, and the list continues.
Finally walking back to the living room and looking around at the mess I turn to Gerri and state quite emphatically and angrily, “We’ve been scammed! This is exactly what my hubby described with evictions. They threw what they could in their pick-up and hauled ass in the dark!” Gerri texts Pastor and tells him we’ll be back tomorrow to start going through and clearing out.
Shaking our heads in disbelief and saddened by the state of things we’ve seen, I share with Gerri how for about ten years I had several rental properties. “I shouldn’t be surprised by this.” I state. “I had one house that was turned into a drug and prostitution home and my husband arrived just in time to stop the G.B.I. from ripping off the screened in porch because they couldn’t get in through the burglar bars.”
“I had a Condominium that cost me $5000 plus for repairs; Chandeliers ripped from the ceiling, feces smeared on the walls, rugs filled with human urine, and another house burned half way down because the tenants put hot coals from the wood burning stove into a cardboard box and set it in the laundry room and left for work. The stories I can tell, so this should not surprise me, yet it does!” Tears want to sneak down my cheeks but I check them and begin silently praying, thanking the Lord there isn’t more damage.
What’s in all those big closed bags? Or do we even want to know?
Stay tuned and blessings to you.
Into The Light Ministry