Friday, October 23, 2009

Our own private housing crisis ...

Slip slidin' away ... you know the nearer your destination the more it's slip-slidin' away ...

My home, our home, at 17 Woodland Drive, is no longer our home. The bank did what the bank has threatened to do for the 15 years we had this predatory lender ... they foreclosed.

I could have paid. I could have refinanced. I could have done a loan modification. I suppose I even could have delayed with a bankruptcy.

But when you combine a predatory lender with an angry ex-spouse you get ... foreclosure.

Spouses have to sign for any changes to occur when they have an interest in a property.

But it's only a thing. Things don't last.

There are memories from 17 Woodland. There are some wonderful memories ... Birthdays ... first everythings for 4 of the 5 kids ... tooth fairy visits ... food creations that went well ... and some that didn't but we laughed anyway.

And then there are the other memories. Police visits because of violent assaults by Mom. Vicious attacks. Screaming at neighbors. Clothes, dirt, grime, purchases all piled so high we couldn't walk around them ... and the yelling if we tried to fix it.

So we did the final cleanout. Since mom was taken out of the home (unwillingly but SO necessarily) we had already gutted 60 cu yards of trash in dumpsters. Old stuff that was too "precious" to part with had already been disposed of ... after she passed it by on several walk-throughs. Old carpet too rotten to stay on the floor. Newpapers, magazines, handouts from who knows where ... all kept for the possible day ... but not taken by her when she left ... and again, passed over in walk-through after walk-through.

That stuff had incredible power. She brought it up time and again in court... DON'T YOU DARE DUMP MY STUFF. Some had to go. Insects, space, time required it to go. But so much we still held on to. She would come and get it. She demanded it all stay for her inspection. For her to cherish. For her to control our lives with by it's demanding presence.

But then, a move-out date loomed. There was no choice. What freedom we had when we moved her stuff out for her to take. Of course, she took almost none of it. "But don't throw it out."

Stuff controls us. Not just her, all of us. I felt such freedom letting go of so many things. Letting go of this house that was always too big as a project ... too much to be done by a busy family ... to rehab a house in as bad shape as it was 18 years ago ...

So we let it all go ... a total of 120 cu yards of stuff we pitched. So much more we sold, gave away, recycled. Working to make a blessing out of all this ... stuff.

And we are beginning to walk in freedom. We're STILL sorting through, pitching, protecting the very little that's priceless.

Stuff ... holds us with an angry death grip. God begs us to let our stuff go and hold on to Him. Our stuff comforts us, helps us not see our own weaknesses and our own flaws. It also cruds up everything, gives us stumbling blocks beyond measure.

The house is gone ... but the home is still being built.

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