I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Mount Airy is a truly special place with some of the greatest people on this planet.
Let me explain.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve lived in two places (well, three now, but we’ll get to that in a minute or two).
I was the beneficiary of the kindness of a co-worker when I first got this job. She gave me a room in her home in order for me to be able to move here and take the position at The News, and allowed me the time to get my feet under me.
But all good things must come to an end.
As her relationship with her significant other grew, it was time for me to get out of the way and let that relationship blossom. I did it gladly.
To get out of the co-worker’s place, I moved in with an acquaintance of a friend. My own relationship was blossoming, so my girlfriend came along as well.
And at first everything seemed to be moving along swimmingly, but that quickly fell by the wayside.
Let’s just say things didn’t work out. The girlfriend wasn’t happy and I wasn’t happy. (My roommates probably weren’t happy either, if the truth were known.)
Suffice to say it became apparent over the past couple of weeks that a change was needed and it needed to be made quickly.
Which is where the trouble began.
As a newspaper reporter, I’m never going to get rich or make an executive’s salary, but it’s a job I consider important and a duty to the community I cover.
So I was in a bit of a pickle. I needed to move asap but had no cash to put down for a deposit or to turn on utilities.
Nevertheless, I began searching the Internet this past Thursday to see whether there was anything available.
The first phone call I made was to a couple here in Mount Airy who have some rental properties they’d posted on the Web.
Which is where the magic began.
Knowing we couldn’t afford it but desperate to move, the girlfriend and I agreed to look at a condominium Thursday afternoon.
We were hoping against hope.
We were honest with the owners, explaining how we needed to get out of the place we were living, but that we were in dire financial straits. (The girlfriend, who recently relocated to the area herself, is working herself to death looking for a job, but nothing yet.)
The condominium was beautiful, but there was no way we could afford it.
“Is there any chance you have anything a little less expensive?” I asked, to which she replied that there was a house available she could show us immediately.
Following her to the property, both the little lady and I were physically shaking with nerves because of our current situation.
Then we pulled onto the street and saw the home. My girlfriend grabbed my hand. “This is it,” she said quietly with tears in her eyes.
Apparently, more than two dozen people had looked at the property, but the owners were waiting for the right tenants, since one of the them was born in the home.
Looking over the house it was obvious that the landlords had gone above and beyond in prepping the place for the chosen tenants.
New carpet throughout. New floors where there isn’t carpet. Freshly painted walls. Custom-made cabinets. New lighting in every room.
It was perfect!
But I still didn’t have any money for a deposit.
“We’d like the two of you to be in this place, so we will work with you on that,” the owner said with one of the kindest smiles I’ve ever seen. “Will you guys be needing any furniture?”
Since most of our stuff is still scattered across several states, we said, “yes.”
The next morning the landlord invited the girlfriend to help her straighten up the place for us to move in on Monday, Oct. 1.
While working they chatted a little more, and by the time I showed up that date had been moved up considerably.
“We want you two in here,” the owner and her husband told us. “It feels right and like you’re the people we’ve been waiting for.
“Go get your stuff and come home,” they said as tears of happiness flowed from my girlfriend’s eyes. “This place needs you and you need to be in here tonight.”
Long story short, within 36 hours last week we decided it was impossible to stay where we were, found a place, were given a little furniture to get us started and made friends with two of the kindest people we’ve ever known.
As they were leaving us in our new place, our new landlords said two words:
And the place is tranquil, filled with love and full of laughter.
So finally, we’re truly home.
To my new landlords: Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! You truly have no idea what you’ve done for us.
It just goes to show that in Mayberry, magic is still possible.
Keith Strange is a staff reporter at The Mount Airy News. He can be reached at email@example.com or 719-1929.