Getting back on track after when life intervenes…
By: SA Rowner
When she put her children to sleep that night, Sarah never imagined that it would be the last time she would be saying Shema with her children in their home of 13 years.
After all, why should she?
Her life had been pretty much postcard perfect. Growing up in a middle-class frum community to a father who had a mail-order business and a mother who was dedicated to her family’s well-being, and for the little extras they needed, occasionally did shaitels on the side.
A comfortable relatively simple childhood was quickly followed by high school, seminary in Eretz Yisrael, a year of shidduchim, and finally, Yossi.
Gentle-mannered, yet with a ready smile and a kind word for all, their chasuna was held in a beautiful Lakewood hall, with only the splurges that have become the norm for today’s times.
Starting out in Lakewood, Sarah took a job as an interior design consultant, and her husband spent three years learning in kollel before partnering with a friend in a successful online business.
B”H life treated them well and along came a succession of children. The growing family quickly outgrew their newlywed apartment.
Buying their home was a proud milestone moment for them. While the move itself was tough, as any move is, they happily anticipated the returns over the years by having their own beautiful place, along with the new carpet smell and room for the family to grow into.
It even had a playroom for the kids and a guestroom for their parents along with the brand new kosher kitchen.
Pretty soon there were seven little ones, and their life, while busy, was moving smoothly along the tracks.
Until the night of the fire.
Later it was determined that a faulty extension cord was the culprit, but to Sarah, Yossi, and their children that night, what had started the conflagration made no difference at this point. They needed to get out – NOW – and make sure everyone was safe and sound.
Working smoke alarms quickly woke sleepy-eyed children as the parents quickly and as calmly as possible guided the scared little ones out a side door, where lights were turning on and window shades adjusted as the neighbors awoke to the commotion.
Firetrucks, sirens, flashing lights, and smoke ruled the next few hours of their completely disrupted night.
With Hashem’s help, the damage would be fixable, and it would take a few months’ time. But what now? Where would they live?
Their homeowner’s insurance had to provide them with a similar-sized accommodation, but what should they do, live out of five hotel rooms on the edge of town? Yes, there are houses for rent, but they quickly learned from the real estate agents that no landlord wants to rent their house for just two to three months when they could get a year lease from others.
And even if someone were kind enough to help them in their time of need by extending them a short-term rental, there’s the incredible hassle of moving. Twice! Who wants to have to move all the furniture out of their house, into the rental, and then back into their house again when all is said and done!
Could there be a better answer?
Looking online, Sara came across LakewoodHosts.com
Beautifully furnished houses, with kosher kitchens, linens and towels included for short term rentals. It even had a playroom for the kids and a guestroom for their parents along with the brand new kosher kitchen But would their homeowners’ insurance go for it?
Sarah and Yossi called the Weinbergers, owners of LakewoodHosts, and guess what? Their scenario is not unique, and this is, unfortunately, an occurrence that they have much experience dealing with.
And it turns out the insurance company doesn’t have much choice! Five hotel rooms a night is expensive and doesn’t adequately suit the needs as an alternate dwelling for frum families.
The Weinbergers graciously agreed to work directly with their homeowners’ insurance company, and in a few days, all was settled!
No moving trucks needed!
Unpacking their suitcases of clothes in the most beautiful surroundings of their Lakewood Hosts kosher home for the next three months – rent free, courtesy of their insurance company – Sarah reflected on how perfect a setup this ended up being.
Things happen that can throw life off track. So if you or someone you know has an issue in which their kosher home becomes unlivable, it’s good to know Lakewood Hosts has a place to get you back on track.
Postcard perfect, in fact.