Candy ~ H-O-M-E
This is Candy Girl… in full stalker mode, lol… she loves the camera – which makes taking pictures hard. As soon as I pull out the cell phone and point it at her, she starts purring like crazy and runs over to rub up against it… not exactly the perfect pose. Getting her to stay far enough away to actually take a picture is NOT easy. Nor is getting her to stay STILL for the 0.3 seconds required to snap a decent shot. Most are pure blur, or a super closeup of her ears and the top of her head. She’s amazing – she’s got such a personality, but never fails to read our moods. If either Jeff or I aren’t feeling well, or are depressed and down, or if my anxiety is out of control, she goes into full snuggle mode. If she’s not “needed”, she loves to hide under the bed and scratch the hell out of our ankles as we walk by, or try to sneak into the fridge every time we open it to check for an open can of fancy feast, or sit on the toilet and watch the water swirl, lol… I’ve never really been a cat person, though I’ve owned quite a few. But she changed that, lol…
Note the lovely blue color of the motel walls – while I actually like a sort of french blue color, this one is kind of bright and overpowering, and they only bothered to do one coat over the textured wallpaper. Lovely, no? And goes so well with the burgundy diamond patterned drapes, burnt orange doors and trim, and the 37 colors on the flowered bedspread!!! But, for right now, it’s home. And we do what we can to make wherever we’re staying FEEL like a home to us. It’s important. Our life is very… temporary? transient? inconsistent? right now. So whenever we move into somewhere new (it’s usually every few weeks), I’m quick to set things up to make it as homey as possible. We have our 438 pillows, 2 comforters, featherbed and sheets. Those go right over whatever is on the existing bed. Then, my “kitchen” gets set up. The motels always have a microwave and mini fridge, then I have my Keurig coffeemaker, my crockpot, my little 2 burner hotplate, and 1 tote full of pots, pans, plates, utensils, cups and dishdrain. This motel has a dresser, and I was able to set up my entire kitchen right on top of that. I’m not a big fan of doing dishes in the tiny bathroom sink, lol, but it means there’s no letting them get out of control – there’s no room for that!!! We have a few framed pictures that we display, and then the little things that always go in/on our nightstands. It’s hard keeping things consistent, but it’s important. We’re under a lot of stress, and both still struggle with not having a real HOME. So, instead, I do my best to make where we are “home”. And so far, it’s working pretty well. We don’t have much stuff – though what we have is still too much. I’d say maybe 8-10 totes or so worth of stuff (you know, the ones that are like $6 at walmart), but that doesn’t include our bedding or the clothes hanging in the closet. One or two of those will be going back to my mom’s attic when we make our move – we don’t need to take our kitchen with us, or our Christmas decorations and ALL of Jeff’s tools. We’d like to get it down to 6 totes maximum, including bedding and clothing. Which means I have to go through all my clothes again :(.
It’s amazing, to me, how much I took having a home for granted. I’ve always moved around a lot, since childhood. Before I had my son (so 15 years old), I’d lived in… 13 different places. All within the same large city, different areas and neighborhoods, though. Then with my ex, we lived in 10 places in the first 8 years, then owned a home for 5 years until I left. I got my first apartment on my own in 2009, but only stayed there a year. Jeff and I have moved around some, first staying with his parents and helping them prep for a move south, then my mom helping her prep her house for sale, then into a lovely home of our own – it was a stretch for us financially, but we were so proud of our little farmhouse. We took on a roommate (oh, BIG mistake) and then wound up losing it and almost everything in it when we got locked up. I’m 34 years old, and I’ve moved… 28 times. NOT counting the hopping around we’ve done since getting out of jail. So maybe that’s why I’m so okay with the whole moving from hotel to hotel temporary living thing. I’m used to it. But until a few months ago, I always had a place – an apartment, a house, a room in a parent’s (or in-laws’) house, to call home. Home was an address. Homeless was something I never had been, and never would be.
I can’t wait to get where we’re going though… we’ll be living with family, we’ll have a room in their home, yes. But I know it’s going to feel like, it’s going to BE, home. Let’s face it – with the way the economy is headed, I think family members sharing homes is going to be becoming more and more common. The family offering us the room is having financial trouble of their own, so us being there will be a help to them, and it will be a huge savings to us over a hotel. And it’s family that we’ve both wanted to spend more time with, get to know better, anyway. What better way than to share a house, lol??? You REALLY get to know people that way!!! An adjustment all around, but that’s okay.
But… and this is me dreaming, of course – it’s nowhere in the close future. One day, we’re going to have a home of our own again. We’ll rent an apartment for just the two of us, at least initially. Hopefully, one day we’ll be in a position where we can BUY a home. We’ll paint the walls the colors we want, choose color schemes and curtains, furniture and bedding. We’ll sign the papers, get the keys, and walk into our new home together… you know, the way they show it on the real estate commercials. Because for “people like us”, people living on unemployment (for now) or paycheck to paycheck, with no health insurance and a vehicle that probably won’t pass inspection, people with serious medical and dental issues they can’t take care of because they don’t have the money, people with a criminal background and recovering (or recoverED) drug addicts – something like owning a home is seen (not only by society, but also by those of us living that way) as a fantasy – a dream that will never come true. An impossibility. But there’s one little thing not taken into consideration in that equation. Our determination. And this is a dream we’re not willing to give up on. Owning a home of our own. What does vary? Is the definition of “home of our own”, lol… Because if we’ve just watched the news, we’re in doomsday prepper mode and think that home should be an isolated cabin in the mountains somewhere with solar panels and plenty of hunting and farming land. If we’re in sentimental/nostalgic mode, we want either a nice house on a cul-de-sac in the suburbs with plenty of kids around, or a farmhouse on the outskirts of the suburbs. If we’re in screw what everyone else thinks mode, we revert back to what we were headed towards doing just under a year ago – downsizing (mission accomplished, lol – though NOT in the way we planned!!!) and buying an RV. We were a week away from putting a hefty deposit down on a beautiful used motorhome when we were arrested. Guess that wasn’t meant to be at that time. We had a whole bunch of plans surrounding that, having to do with how we’d earn an income to sustain us through the year, where we’d spend each part of the year, etc. That’s still a very important dream of ours… although we’ve gone from calling it a dream, to calling it a goal. To me, that makes it more – real. Attainable. Doable. Possible. But some days, yeah, we just want the American Dream. A house, white picket fence, 2.2 kids and a golden retriever, with a minivan and sports car in the driveway.
What’s come out of all of this moving and talking about moving and prepping to move again is this – to us, home is in each others’ arms. As long as his shoes are under the edge of my bed, as long as my nightshirt is hanging on the bedpost of his bed, we’re home. As long as we can hug and kiss good morning and good night, hello and goodbye… we’re home. As long as when I’ve just had a screaming match with my mother over my sister’s betrayal of me and her unwillingness to stick up for me, or when he’s been thinking about his adoptive parents disowning us, we can cry on the others’ shoulder and feel their arms wrap around us, we’re home. That cheesy saying? Home is where the heart is? Is so true.