In the last six months, we’ve visited with several families who have done some type of similar year abroad. Each time, when asked about renting their homes they said that it all worked out great – usually some connection by word of mouth, often fairly last minute.
Since we are leaving in less than three weeks, surely things couldn’t get much more last minute for us, but…it has happened too. Not through Craig’s list, or Rentals.com, or the University housing, or sabbaticalhomes.com, or the seminary housing services, or any of the other official housing sites where we posted! Our serendipitous meeting occurred via a family connection…a phone call as we were preparing to head out the door - the kids getting ready for a program in which they were performing, costumes, breakfast, showers – “No we hadn’t rented the house yet and yes, this was a bad time to show it (certainly no 8 hours of cleaning prep!!!)”. But the family was leaving town for 10 days that same morning and as we spoke driving by our house on their way. “Yikes, yes, of course, please have them stop in.” In a half an hour, we all realized it was a great fit! This lovely family had just arrived in town after three years of living abroad and wished to be close to family in town, also hoping to get their three kids into the school nearby. The house, the park across the street, our neighborhood, all our furnishing would work well for them, while they take a year to decide about their long-term plans. And while they had no particular hurry to rent, having a great deal of family in the area and many offers of lodging, they were happy at the thought of having a new place to settle into by January 1st.
It would be an understatement to say this comes as a great relief to us. I won’t dwell on the weight that has been lifted. Mostly, I want to thank everyone who mentioned our house to friends, to their networks, at their places of worship, posted it on their Facebook page, sent folks our way, gave us suggestions of other places to post it and supported us as we navigated a big hurdle in our journey.
I’m not much of one to speak of holiday blessings, but that is what comes to mind – not when I think of finding a family to rent our house, but of how I am again reminded of the incredible community of friends and family we have. Thanks to everyone so much for your help and support. What a gift you are to us. Happy holidays.