Thursday, December 3, 2009

Notes from a Small Island

So--I've been missing for a bit. Perhaps the 4 of you who tune in regularly have noticed that. We've had a pretty significant family crisis and blogging about knitting (and actually knitting, for that matter) seemed trivial in light of recent events. But now that things are beginning to stabilize a bit, I thought I'd let you know what's going on. I mean, we're friends, right?

So here goes. We have moved in with my parents. On Whidbey Island. An island. Land that you can only get to by boat. Living with my parents on an Island. I am 41 years old and I'm living with my parents. On an island.

It's been no secret that things have been tough for us. Our finances have been a mess for quite some time and then there was that whole unemployment fun that went on for too too long. All that, combined with a recession and some dumb things we have done add up to the fact that we can't afford our house. And the bank has been very quick to point that out to us. We can't afford our house. We can't afford to make up our back payments (it's a BIG) number and, even if that BIG number dropped from the sky to catch us up, we can't afford to stay current. We have other debts, taxes--it's just a huge mess that we are literally unable to fix. Unfixable.

The house has been a sore spot for a long time. I've always had a love/hate relationship with it. For the past 2 years I have fought tooth and nail to save it. Because it's a Cape Cod with a big front porch and dormers in the bedrooms and a stone fireplace that I designed and a pumpkin colored dining room with plate rail and a garden that I planted. This was the only house my boys have ever known and they were suppose to grow up with Emily-the-neighbor-girl and we were going to live there happily ever after.

But now I'm ok with leaving. It's a relief to no longer think about my broken garage door and the peeling paint and the 25 year old gutters and the half finished bathrooms and the deer--oh the deer! Remember the deer?!? I'm not saying I'm not sad about this. I am. I've been devastated by this. This has changed my whole world forever. This guarantees some juicy material for my boys in therapy. And we've become THOSE PEOPLE. The people you hear about on the news each night. The people who have lost their home. And that's not humiliating at all....So I spent 2 weeks straight crying. And now we're trying to start over. Not sure what that means. But that's what we're doing. Starting over.

The boys are enrolled in school here, I'm learning where the 2 grocery stores are, and Mike is using a ferry boat, train, and bus to commute to work each day. I've started knitting again. I'm looking for a job on this little dot of land and have actually secured an interview for Monday. And I've decided to write about this adventure. For a couple of weeks, the thought of sharing this was horrifying. The blog was over. Dead and buried, like the rest of my life. And then little things would happen throughout the day that were just funny. Island anecdotes. Quirky things that could only happen on this strip of land (like the fact that my mom runs into people she knows at the grocery store. Good friends that she met at the gas station or the post office. And now they're hugging and making a lunch date because 8 years later they are best pals). My first instinct was to write to you about these things but then that meant explaining why in the world I was on this godforsaken floating commune and that opened up a whole can of worms that I was unable to communicate.

But now I'm ready. I'll still write about knitting. But I'll also write about the 2 storage units we're sharing with my parents and the fact there is no central heating in this 100 year old farm house and the fact that Mike and Eric both learned the hard way that you must wear shoes or slippers at all times on Grandpa's unsanded fir floor and the lengths my dad will go to in recycling and all the roads around here are named after the people who live here and my mom who refuses to use her dishwasher because she thinks it's a waste of time to load it and unload it but has no problem washing all her dishes by hand....

Ready for the adventure? Stay tuned!


Linda said...

Good job Jen - love you honey

Jane said...

Wow......what an incredible person you are.....sharing such a devastating experience. But that just shows what a strong woman you are KQ. You will get through this and you're not alone. So many people are suffering the same thing and others have come very close. It's a time of huge changes for many families. Praying for you as you adjust to your new life.

Leah said...

Hey - glad you decided to pick up the Blog again.

Love you!

Kristin said...

I check pretty regularly but lately without hope to see if the Knitting Queen has spoken. So glad to see you're back! And you are very brave. Blessings to you as always! Love, KB