Lauren and her husband made a list. Portland, Boston, Seattle. A few other cities, too. The couple had good jobs, they did not have kids, and the dot-com bubble had yet to burst. They could move anywhere. Away from Texas and to the East Coast, or the West Coast—anywhere they wanted. It was a luxury, and they were not about to waste it.
Lauren and her husband did their research. They talked to friends; they studied job markets; they looked at weather.
And finally, Seattle won. Of course Seattle won.
The couple packed their belongings and moved to the Pacific Northwest. Lauren had one friend in Seattle, who referred her to us, and that was how we met Lauren, way back in the year 2000.
But while we looked at houses, Lauren and her husband needed a place to live. Her friend did not have room to host them, and Lauren needed something short-term and flexible, which ruled out your standard rental. So we—Johnine and Gaile—volunteered our place.
We were living on Whidbey Island at the time, but we had a place in Seattle, too. We stayed there when our work required us to be in the city for several days, because no one wants to commute between Seattle and Whidbey Island. But Lauren and her husband needed it more than we did.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Lauren will tell you. “I mean, they needed that place. But that’s Johnine.”
We rented it to them for a month, until we found a house in Fremont that Lauren and her husband loved.
But here’s the thing about renting like that: it builds a friendship.
We’ve stayed friends with Lauren ever since. She came to Gaile’s 50th birthday party. When she moved to Shoreline—this time with kids—we found a new house for her. And right now, we’re helping her find a place for the third time.
That’s what we love about this work. We get to help people, and we end up with friends. What more can you ask for?