For those of you who have been wondering what is going on in my life (which would be pretty much anyone outside of Jay's and my family and BoB Evans), here's the scoop.
One of my best friends, Kelly, with whom I work at the big Bobby E, and I have decided to look for an apartment/duplex/townhouse/anywhere but with our parent's house together. We've been searching for about a month now, but with little luck.
We had narrowed it down to 2 houses about 3 weeks ago, but both fell through. The first was located in Greensburg on Main Street next to the Kepple-Graft funeral home. It was a nice 2-level, 2-bedroom duplex with hardwood floors throughout the house, a fireplace and central AC. It is owned by Terry Graft, who owns the funeral home next door. While Terry seemed like a nice guy, Kelly and I felt slightly offended when he expressed his concern of renting to "college kids." He then explained to us that the neighbors keep a close eye on the place for him and will let him know about who we have over. He told us that the tenant in the other side of the duplex is a lawyer in town and will not tolerate noise. To be truthful, the house was very nice, especially for $495 a month, but being treated like college kids in a dorm was kind of upsetting. We're moving out to get away from that. We're moving out to start our lives as young adults. We are not "college kids" anymore.In the end, he gave the house to another guy.
The other house that sparked our interest is in Whitney, just past the Latrobe airport. It was gorgeous for $450 with huge front and back yards, brand new carpeting, hardwood in the kitchen and laundry room, a brick fireplace and enormous bedrooms. The biggest perk to the Whitney duplex, however, was that the tenant in the other side is another friend of ours from Bob Evans. That house also fell through when the landlords expressed concern about renting to "college girls" because they don't think that we would be clean or reliable. They decided to give the 2 bedroom house to a family of 4.
The two of us were pretty much sick after being turned down for that house and angry after being pegged as stereotypical college kids when we've both already earned our degrees.
So we waited a little while and started the search again, and I was determined to find something by the end of the month. As a little rewind, I was also prayinh for a new job by the end of the month. Bob Evans has been in a slump right now. I'm sure that every business is experiencing a draught right now with the ever-increasing gas prices, but for someone who makes only $2.83 and hour, when the tips aren't there, the bills don't get paid. So when I was offered a job as a teller at the PNC in the same parking lot as Bob Evans, I was thrilled. This was about two months ago, and though it was only part time, the offer of $10 an hour with less stress sounded wonderful to me. at least I knew that I could depend on my money there, while as a waitress it is a guessing game every morning. I gave the branch manager my resume and cover letter, and waited to hear back, but I never did. I bank with PNC, so I am there at least every other day. I talk to the branch manager, but she never brought it up. Other tellers have told me that she has never contacted anyone concerning the position yet, so I figure she is still waiting for more applicants in order to make a decision.
Fastforward back to yesterday...
Kelly and I were discouraged. We are making no money at Bob Evans, we are struggling to stick it out at home, and we were about to start the house search all over again. It was the last day of the month, and my goal of finding a new home and job before May were pretty much gone. But I guess you have to wait for all of the doors to close before God can open one for you. Yesterday I started at 1:00 instead of 3:00 so that Jamie could leave early to attend a baby shower. I waited on a couple of tables within those first 2 hours, one of which was Yvonne and her mother, who come in frequently. It was by pure coincidence that I even got that table because it was in Garri's section, but because they were waiting for a joiner (Yvonne's boyfriend, Dominic, who is also a regular), they were passed on to me when Garri was cut from the floor plan for the day. The ladies were still waiting for Dom at 3:00 when Brian and Justin came in, and the table then wound up in Brian's section, who fortunately misread the floor plan and took one of my tables by mistake. He insisted that I then keep the ladies and Dominic, who had finally come in.
After taking their order, Kelly came over to talk about her opera and the Pirate game.
Sidenote: Kelly graduated with a music degree from CMU and has one semester left before having her master's in operatic singing from Duqusne. She was in an opera called Zanetto 2 weeks ago, in which she did an amazing job, and she sang the National Anthem at the Pirate game on Saturday night, at which I'm sure she also did great.
After some small talk, Dom asked her if she would be interested in singing at a party at his house this summer. She said yes, gave him and Yvonne her phone number and added, "If you guys happen to see any houses for rent anywhere, give me a call. Bethany and I are trying so hard to find a place together." She went into detail about the last 2 disappointments, and Dom then said, "You know I will have a place to rent pretty soon." He told us it is a 3 bedroom, and we told him that it would be out of our price range. He asked what that was, and Kelly said that we can't afford anymore than $700, including EVERYTHING. He said, "I can work something out for you. I'm sure."
As Kelly was getting directions to the house, Yvonne added, "Would either of you be interested in working in a bank?"
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?
As it turns out, she is the branch manager at the S&T bank in Delmont, only a 1 minute drive from the house. She said that a few of the tellers are leaving, and she needs replacements right away. We are guaranteed 40 hours a week with full-time status as well as full benefits for medical, dental and eye within 3 months. AMAZING!
It just blows my mind that when I had just about given up on my goal, there it was, smacking me in the face all at once!
Kelly and I went to see the house this morning, and it is FABULOUS! It is about 10-15 minutes from Greensburg. It is about 40 minutes from Duqusne. It is the perfect location for both of us, and it has everything that we need! It is a large stone house with a big front porch and a back patio, for which Dom already has furniture, a large back yard, a huge eat-in kitchen, 2 full baths, a livingroom with a stone fireplace, a sitting room with a stone fireplace, a gorgeous open staircase, 2 large bedrooms and a smaller one that we can use as a computer room. It comes complete with a washer, dryer, microwave, range, refrigerator and dishwasher. There are planter boxes outside for flowers and plenty of room for the vegetable garden that we've been dying to plant. And with the large sitting room, Kelly can move her piano into the house and over private voice and piano lessons right out of our house in addition to the lessons she teaches in Pittsburgh on Tuesdays.
Dom reduced the price from $800 to $650 for us, and that includes ALL utilites except for cable and internet, which will be minimal anyway.
Overall, Dominic and Yvonne, the house and the bank are all a Godsend, and we could not be happier!
We spent the rest of the day rummaging through thrift and outlet stores for decorations and household essentials. We've decided on a worldly theme for the kitchen as Kelly has been all over the world with opera. She has a lot of artwork from Germany, Italy, France and Korea, and we bought some things to tie that all together. The main living room will have a more extravagant look while the sitting/music room will get a more modern art touch. We havent got very much for the bathrooms, but we're looking for country and old-fashioned stuff i.e. wicker for one bathroom and silly/cute antique signs for the other. I think we spent about $150 total today, and we got a lot of stuff.
I just can't wait to be in and deccorated so that we can host dinner parties, and I hope that everyone can come!