Let me also say this... I am ACUTELY aware that I have paved the path I am on. I am reaping what I have sewed. The corner I have backed myself into is entirely my fault.
The short story is this... I need to pay my landlord $1,260.00 as soon as possible. Plus rent, which I can mostly manage. Otherwise he will be listing The Bungalow as available. Which he is well within his right to do. I do not fault him in any way... he is a good man.
The long story is this... Earlier this year I decided, for a number of reasons, I was going to move and my landlord allowed me to use my security deposit and last month's rent to pay for two months. I was planning to be out on October 1, 2017... my six year anniverary of living here.
Prior to that date I was frequently late with rent, but I always paid it. I had never been late with bills in my life, but 2016 and 2017 were tough years financially. I lost my job in 2014 and in 2015 I started a new business called TLC Yard Care. I never recovered from losing my job and it has taken a couple of years to breathe life into TLC.
As October 1, 2017, approached, we decided that I would stay until April 1, 2018, with the agreement that rent would be paid on time. It was a month-to-month agreement, with no lease and no security deposits. Business had improved and I knew I could do it.
At that point, I made a pact with myself that if all of my bills were not current by the end of the year, I would not be able to continue the business in 2018. As of December 1, I was SOOOO close to meeting that goal.
Along comes December 2017. We have had snow on the ground since December 9 and we are now experiencing bitter cold. In fact, I am sitting home today, December 30, with a frozen pipe that I am trying to thaw... a huge waste of time.
This early winter caused a significant loss of income, because several Fall cleanup jobs could not be done. Fall cleanup was the most lucrative part of my business in 2015 and 2016, and most of it came in December.
Unfortunately, after just one bad month, all of my bills are behind again.
This week I had to tell my landlord that my January rent will be a little late. I am having to break our agreement. Sadly, that meansThe Bungalow will be listed to rent.
If you know me, you know how I feel about this little place that I affectionately refer to as The Bungalow and the community I am blessed to be a part of... Brooklyn, CT. And you know that I love my little business, TLC Yard Care . I could easily pack up my bags, put everything in storage, and go anywhere in the World. Literally. But I am committed to making this work, especially TLC.
The vast majority of my customers are seniors on fixed incomes, single moms, and disabled vets and I love that I am able to help them at a reasonable rate. Many of my customers pay full price, which is still a competitive rate. I am proud of what I have created and I hope to continue in 2018.
As for my little home and my community... I am in love with them.
The only way to stop my landlord from listing The Bungalow is to pay my January rent on time ( just $630.00, which I have most of) and replenish my security deposit and last month's rent ($1,260.00, which I cannot manage).
I am working. I have some TLC Yard Care related income, which is mosthly odd jobs; I do have some snow cleanup work with TLC, when it snows; I do some sitting with an elderly woman in town (a good friend and the mom of good friends); I have started Uber driving again, which is a challenge this year, because there are so many Uber drivers on the road; and I have a couple of house sitting jobs lined up with "snowbirds."
Selfishly, I am not yet ready to get a "real job" again. I feel that TLC Yard Care is a calling and some of the people I work for really depend on me. And I know that 2018 will be a great year.
I also feel compelled to share this... I am not frivilous. I have become a minimalist and spend very little money. I have one credit card that I do not use and I am trying my best to pay it off. I have car related expenses, including a car payment with just one year to go; my cell phone, which I rely on for Uber driving and internet access; electric bill, which is steep, because I have electric heat. But it's supplemented with a wood stove... part of the charm of The Bungalow; and health insurance premiums. The business has expenses and I do have to pay sales tax, state and federal income taxes, and self employment taxes. I claim every penny I make, including tips. I don't have cable, internet (aside from the "Hot Spot" on my cell phone), or a landline, which is part of being a minimalist.
I do qualify for public assistance, but I have not yet braved that storm.
So friends... I am asking for your help. Uggggh. That sentence makes me shudder. No lie... my palms are sweating.
If you are a TLC Yard Care customer, anything you give will be added to your account as a credit for Spring 2018. I will keep track of all other gifts and I will repay you when I eventually move from The Bungalow, which could still be April 1. Hopefully not.
I love you all so much and I thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
With much love and WAY too much pride,
- Terri Doyle
- Carla Sadoff
- Tina & Mark Hilton
- Lynn Macri
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