Monday, February 22, 2016

Finding Shelter

 Home sweet home....

Can I write this?  Maybe.

It's a mind-boggling, twisting, tear inducing and scaaaary thing to do, finding shelter.  It's also very lonely.

One of the hardest things to deal with is when friends, of course well meaning (and god bless them for even trying) suggest things that are soo out of the range of anything I could cope with, envision or spend the rest of my life enduring.  I have moments of thinking - do you have any idea who I am?  Do you not know me after decades of sharing and friendship?       One was a co-habit thing where you have a communal kitchen - vegan only - and everyone collects their urine to put on the "organic garden".  I am sure that is somehow actually safe and a good nutrient for the soil, but no one is going to see my pee, period.  Of course, another is trailers, oops-sorry, we're supposed to call them manufactured homes, they are actually cardboard camping things (the ones I can afford) and if you don't believe me just go look, with the HOA, and slot rent, they are tres espensivo.  And most are cash only,  anywho, they ain't cheap, those cardboard boxes, anymore.

I know that those who are willing to help are offering advice because they love me, want me to explore all my options, to be safely sheltered and know, sadly, how limited is my ability to do so. I am not really ungrateful, just frazzeled.

The price of housing in Portland is crazy, simply crazy!  One of the most expensive states in the nation! The house that I rented  - tiny, 65 years old and never improved in all that time, meaning no insulation, 1940's electrical wiring and a roof that was literally melting off - that I so rudely had to leave after 32 years of renting...and should have been allowed to buy (somebody, please! go crush that fucking absentee landlord!) sold, 60 days after leaving for $300,000 in as is condition. Meaning he didn't have to lift a finger to improve it in any way. (btw,when I moved in it was valued at $47,000)     1 1/2 years late - in my exodus- it has increased in value to $500,005.  This is why, after years of pleading, he wouldn't sell it to me......Enough crying over spilled milk.  And my god was there a long sentence in there!  Oh yes, and did I mention that I fixed, with my own $$ as many fixable things as I possibly could over these 32 years, including sinking my IRA into a new driveway and wind tunneling a 40/50' tall tree?! I am a tedious complainer. So?

Now, in this economy, in this area, I am looking for something in the range of $115,000 - with a generous ! down payment.  If you live in Detroit, Michigan that would probably get you a mansion, or for that matter in most of the rest of the country, well, lots of it.   So far what I've discovered is that for that amount of money I can get a crack house - and that would be if I rent two dumpsters to get rid of all the garbage left, maybe four and didn't mind the black mold on every wall, ceiling and inside the kitchen cupboards....jeezes!  Oh yes, yes, and could tolerate for some time 2 junker cars in the back yard.......

It IS that bad.  I have however/how ever, been able to find a couple of things that are livable.  I would sink into a deep, deep depression and god knows what else if I had to live there though.  Dark, small, smelly places in 55+ condo communities.  Please believe me, 55+ condo's are now actually 75+ condo communities. In these things, 75 is not the new 55!   I've been to two and both do not have any - I'm not lying here - residents that are not stooped or using canes, walkers, etc.  And unless you are Swiss, they do seem to have a large percentage of people who keep their hair color until the end, the only color going on there is sad grey.  It does not escape me that I myself am going grey.  

 It sounds like I hate the elderly, actually I do not.  I find the history of their lives wonderful and beautiful.  And love it when I get to hear such reminiscences, there is always something so true there.  I just don't want to live around them.  Visit? yes. Live, no. I'm just being honest here folks.
And please, if you think in any way that you fall into this range, I am not talking about you.  You are perfectly wonderful!

I am a HIPPIE, and a snobbishly intellectual one at that.  Is that pretentious, rude, arrogant?  At the very least it is snobbish and not very intelligent... whatever.

All of this wouldn't be so terribly difficult (and this is a real sob story - most of you have already heard it, sorry) if the "three" - sib's that is , had not stolen from me a very good 5-figure sum.  And if you are one of the three...go fuck yourself.  Motivated out of greed or self righteousness, who knows.
But the outcome for me was the same, no matter which - or both.
I know that makes me sound like a terrible person, I probably am.  But there is very little room for graciousness and forget forgiveness, that ain't even on the table at this moment! when people lay their hand on your shoulder and say "But you know I love you, Liv" and then shut the door stone cold.  No matter what you say, that is not the definition of love.  I am working on bitterness with my therapist, I am working hard!

Have I mentioned the fact that I did as they suggested....what am I, (I'm really liking underling) a lamb being led to the slaughter??  I invested in one of them Mutual Fund's, y'all , and promptly lost $5,000 in 60 days.  Instead of slitting my wrist's, I choose to look at that as if I just got batshit crazy at the roulette table.  Easier to forgive oneself for wantonness, sort of.

It will be over soon, it will be alright, I'm not going to die.  And eventually I will stop bitching and just get on with what there just is to get on with.  But right now I feel trapped and pretty damn angry and it doesn't help that I have temporarily lost the whole "Buddha -Zen- surrender", blah, blah, blah thing. And please do not put your hand on my shoulder and tell me to breathe, I may bite it.
I certainly hope you find all of this funny, laugh or you'll cry.   And ... I have 74 days to do this in. 74 is way better than 60.  Still laughing.

I'm thinking - lot's of windows, lot's of light, a view of something other than roofs, kids yelling, laughing and green grass.  I'm thinking of laying my head down at night and not being scared and waking up in the morning looking forward to going out to a tiny little all-mine kitchen, making a perfect cup of tea and sighing, with gratitude.

Love, Liv



  1. Oh, Liv. This sounds so hard. May you find the place that is perfect for your beautiful, artistic, sensitive self. It's good to hear you stick up for yourself -- the rest of them be damned!

  2. E,
    Ahhh, thank you my dearest. Words to warm my soul.

  3. I hate it when people I care about have hard times. I care about you. However, I love it when people take the hard times and turn them into something remarkable on the written page. There's life and there's art. When you combine them with honesty and insight you make something beautiful and you conjure up additional strength. Good post, Liv! I am so *&%$@! sorry you are going through this. I am sending good thoughts your way. I am also hoping for the very best for you.

  4. keep that vision. Portland is a cool place, I've visited several times, but oh so expensive. my son and daughter-in-law tried to move there. they did move there, thought they had enough money to tide them over til he found a job. four months later, no job and all their money all but gone, they returned home to here. decided here was not such a terrible place after all. forgiving is not the same as forgetting. you can forgive (and you do that for yourself, not for them, so that you don't stroke out from the poison) but that doesn't mean you forget. fool me once shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me.

  5. Colette,
    Thanks for the words of encouragement, Colette.
    It's really lovely and helpful to know you are thinking of me.

  6. Ellen,
    Perhaps I should move to your neck of the country.

    Yes, fool me once...etc.
    I think I've been fooled in the double digits.
    Thanks for writing.

  7. Hope you've got a posse of ferocious realtors all over the state scampering about looking for a special place where you can take root and blossom. As for Detroit, it's already changing, as always happens where the artists start to congregate. Artists and immigrants. A friend's son who is a sculptor and moved there a year ago described how his entire neighborhood smells like delicious curries every evening. Bonne chance!

  8. A,

    Yes, I've got three and you're right I think I'll yet another.
    I don't want to go too far in the state - daughter is here in pdx.
    And frankly, I don't find much diversity in this state. I love other cultures and would be in heaven smelling curry, among others.

    Just an aside, I go on a Google sometimes and look up "ruined buildings" sometimes, just for their beauty. Among the best are those in Detroit - churches and theaters being the best!

    PS: I'm looking a Mexico and India too!

  9. That sounds stressful with a capital S. OMG.

    That house with the vegans sounds like my idea of hell! I've been crazy, crazy busy lately but its so nice to see your words again. Keep breathing.

  10. Hi SJ!!

    I thought that's what must be going on. I hope it's good busy :)

    Yes, it's extremely stressful, but mostly depressing. I never thought I would be in a predicament like this at my age. But yes, breathe in breathe out...if only to stop the panic attacks...hahahah

    I can just see you, rushing out to work and then stopping to grab the pee can and dump it in the pee recycler...crack up!

  11. I so understand that feeling where you know you'll eventually be at a place where you accept what's going on, where you find whatever is out there to be found, but in the moment, you're just like FUUUUCKKKK.
    I'm listening. And I'm so sorry it's this hard.

  12. Maggie,
    You get it, you so get it. Thank you.

  13. I am reading this and I am thinking: "The only thing I can do is send you a huge transatlantic hug". That is all. Everything else is pants.

    Greetings from London.

  14. ACL,

    That'll do! Much appreciated.

    Haven't heard "pants" in a long time - gave me a laugh.

  15. This does not seem like too much to ask at all.