The first thing they did was kick everyone out.
I revolted. I didn’t want to move. I had created something stable for the kids, and I was determined to stay. I settled in to convince the new owners, Bill and wife Constance, that I would be an excellent tenant. I talked, and talked, and talked even more. In the end, they raised the rent, set a bunch of strict rules about any mess outside, but I could stay.
Bill sandblasted the sidewalks. He painted the outside. Inside, he painted the walls, rewired where needed, fixed all the windows, and regrouted the tiles in every unit. He also refinished the hardwood floors in every unit. In our unit, he painted it all white but the kitchen which was painted to match the tiles. He even installed a shelf that ran around the walls about a foot down from the ceiling. The windows opened and shut as did all the doors.
Outside he created gardens where before there was dirt. He planted trees and installed brick paths where before there were tires as fire rings. Lawns in the front, back and sides were green, and plants softened the edges of the lawns.
Lessa continued her wild ride, and her sister continued caretaking her. I kept drinking.
We were living in a decent place at last…despite ourselves.