Last year, within the span of two months, two of our long-time residents moved from the Girly House. We had all developed a comfy cohabitation, and it was more distressing than I let on that the equilibrium of the house was about to change drastically with the introduction of two new tenants to the mix.
I guess I wasn't the only one stressed. All of a sudden, for no apparent reason, the house started having problems. First, just two weeks after we repainted, something leaked from upstairs into the newly-renovated downstairs apartment. In another apartment, a window blew in during a windy night. A bathroom faucet loosened up on the sink. A kitchen cabinet's center post came unglued. A kitchen faucet started leaking. A toilet stopped flushing. Another second floor leak ruined the ceiling in a first-floor bathroom. And somehow, a feral cat managed to get into the basement, but couldn't get out, and meowed pitifully for days until we finally left the door open long enough for her to find her way out. Our house was obviously crying and having a nervous breakdown!
So, one evening, around dusk, I decided the house needed a good talking-to. I made sure everything was quiet. I spoke calmly. I reminded the house of it's inglorious past as a crack house, and how we saved it from that fate. I reassured it that I loved it and wanted to keep it. I reminded it that we were getting older, and couldn't do the physical work like we used to. I told it that if we kept having problems, we would be forced to sell it. And I wrapped my arms around the opening between the two rooms and gave it a big hug.
I told my son. He thought I was nuts. But so far, so good.