House: Rental Problems and Time to Leave

It’s time for Tell a Memory Tuesday. As I mentioned last week, our rental house in Jacksonville, Florida, was not without problems. One of the worst was a roach infestation. We were used to seeing roaches in Florida, but not this many at once. They were so bad they even made nests in the insulation of the refrigerator! We did not discover that until we moved to SD later that year, but that is another story.


A Flood in the House


Thunderstorms came practically every day in Jacksonville. One afternoon there was a bad one. This video is from a recent thunderstorm where I live now, but it’s a good illustration of the amount of rain that can fall in a short time.



That day in Jacksonville, in early 1979, the storm drains on the side of the road were blocked with leaves and pine needles. The water began to rise.


First it came into the closed-in carport we used for storage. My school yearbooks and some family photographs were destroyed by the water.


Sara had fun riding her tricycle in circles in the ankle deep water. Later, a truck went down the road causing waves. It forced water into our living room, wetting the carpet. It eventually came in the back door, too.


I called the rental realtor and told them about the flood. I asked them many times to come check it out, but they never came.


Realtor Problems


When our 6 month lease was up, the company refused to refund our deposit. Their excuse was that our dog had caused the house to have a bad smell. Well, I was not going to let them get away with that. Our dog was not even allowed in the house, except the closed in carport.


The smell was from the carpet that got wet during the flooding, which they never checked out. I wrote a letter explaining all the  problems we had there – from fleas and a flood, to a bad roach infestation, a broken gate and probably more that I can’t remember.


Finally they agreed to give back our full deposit. Sometimes it pays to write letters.


Waiting for the Next Move


After leaving that house we went back to my parents’ home, where we stored our furniture. While there we celebrated Sara’s 3rd birthday. 



Then we spent a month in St. Petersburg, FL, in a house belonging to one of Steve’s sisters. It was furnished and located directly behind Steve’s parents’ house. 


During that month Steve had some interviews and accepted a teaching job at a boarding school in South Dakota to begin in the Fall. So we went back to the home of my parents to pack up and get ready to move again.


We also went to Disneyworld with my parents before moving far away from them again.


Sara loved Disney World! Jamie was so young, and she fell asleep while my Dad carried her around.


Next week I’ll share about our third long distance move within a span of four years. We packed up everything into a U-Haul truck and got ready to travel farther west than I’d ever been.


You can find my other Tell A Memory Tuesday posts HERE.



8 thoughts on “House: Rental Problems and Time to Leave

  1. I enjoy your stories. I am now in the last house I will ever be in. I plan on dying here. Moving is in the top three stresses in life. Only topped by death and divorce. I would put this ahead of divorce, and I will not move, ever again!

    1. Thank you, Audrey. I’m glad you enjoy them. I may be in the last house but then again we may need to move into something smaller and more easily managed. I totally agree with you about moving being one of the top stresses in life. We did so much moving those first few years. Our last big move, over 20 years ago, was probably the hardest. There were 9 of us in the family including a 4 month old who didn’t travel well……. But we made it and we are still here. 🙂 Blessings to you! Thanks for visiting today.

  2. What a nightmare that was for all of you! We went through a June with rain that looks like the video here in Ohio and were thankful our home was safe and dry when many homes were flooded and roads closed as we had more rain fall in the month in such great amounts than any time since 1913!

    1. Yes, it was a bit nerve -wracking, because my dad was still at work in downtown Jacksonville and a tornado had been spotted. But he got to his home safely with no problems. I was sad to lose some of my photos and school yearbooks….

      Wow, you really had a lot of rain last month! We had another storm here today that was pretty much like yesterday but without the hail. Thanks for visiting, Pam. Blessings to you!

  3. Oh my… sometimes being a renter can be so frustrating! I’m happy to hear they finally refunded your deposit! I’m enjoying these stories you are sharing here… a nice reminiscent look back! Since I am ‘way out West’ I’m curious to read about your adventure in this direction!

    1. Yes, there were some frustrating times but we had fun times, too. 🙂 I’m glad you are enjoying the stories. It’s been fun to look back and sort of re-live them. It may take around three posts to share what I want to about our time in South Dakota. It was quite different than living on the east side of the USA. Thanks for visiting, Karrilee. Blessings to you!

  4. Dear Gayl,
    We had a pretty awful experience with a home we were renting also! It’s just amazing to me about the parallel tracks that our lives took! Although we had a nice landlord, he handled things a little differently than we would have! (That’s another story!) I am so blessed by the ways that God took care of you through so many different trials, Gayl. He surely is so faithful! Love and Hugs to you! xo

    1. Dear Bettie,
      I am amazed, too, at how many ways our lives have been similar. It’s fun to see how they parallel, isn’t it? And we even lived fairly near each other once before we knew each other! Yes, I am very blessed. God has been so faithful to us through the years and still is. Without Him things could have been much harder. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear Bettie! xoxo

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