Friday, November 30, 2007

Home Ownership

I've tried it, and I don't like it one bit...home ownership. I'm a gypsy. I've lived in at least 20 houses over the course of my 55 years, moving 7 times in the 15 years I've lived in Texas alone! I like to be able to give my 30-day notice and hit the road or find a cuter house in a better neighborhood or get swept away by some man who moves me somewhere I've never been. I like the adventure of relocation. I'm not one to develop cobwebs in the ceiling corners or fill up a garage with 30 years' worth of memories. Too short a trip...time to move on, look, love, learn, then leave.

I think that this all stems from the fact that in 1972 my house burned to the ground one night when my first husband and I were out drunk with our friends at a bar. It was a rent-house...and we were young college students, so it wasn't filled with things we couldn't do without, but when we needed a change of clothes and a toothbrush the next morning, we didn't have it. The whole thing turned out to be one of the blessings in my life. It taught me just how illusive the idea of owning anything we care-take instead of actually owning things and how easy throwing things away or giving things away can be.

However, I did weaken and bought a little condo a few years ago. It was fun to realize that I didn't have to keep that dirty,vanilla-babyfood creamy color on the walls. You shoulda seen me at the paint store. I wound up with a yellow kitchen, two sky-blue bedrooms, a peach-colored living room and powder blue hallway. It was so great...kind of like living inside a painting. I was giddy for several months until the heating/air-conditioning unit broke and had to be replaced to the tune of $5000! Then, it seemed like every other thing needed to be replaced...water heater, oven, window frames.

One night the condo unit's plumbing line backed up and spewed liquid sewage up through my kitchen sink in the middle of the night, flooding the floor with a greasy, blackish, foul-smelling water mixture into which I stumbled with bare feet when the odor woke me up in the dark.

That was it! I put the condo on the market within a week. In rental-year's past, all I would have had to do was call the friggin landlord and have all those things fixed at no charge.

Now that SalGal and I live with The Ancient One, I figure that my caregiving fees are balanced out by not having to pay when the gutters need cleaning or that tree in the back needs to be chopped down. I'm just passing through...this house and a gypsy life.



I, on the other hand, am a nester. I like to move the furniture in, hang the paintings, put up the shower curtain and settle in for approximately five years. And by the way, KK, we are NOT chopping down Ceasar. He has been working as hard as he can to stay alive and I will climb up in him and refuse to come down if you call the tree choppers. Jesus, I have to hide anything I like so KK doesn't see it as trash and throw it away. She would throw away my cat if he wasn't so quick. But...he is useless (except for killing roaches) and he leaves white tufts of hair everywhere and sometimes hairballs which are disgusting to look at. In KK's mind that warrants a mess and that means he belongs in the trash. I literally have to guard my stuff from her. If I say, 'look, these pants have a wine spot on them', the next day I find them in the trash. Did you ever know anybody who throws clothes in the trash if something spills on them? She does that all the time. Did she never hear of the Dry Cleaners? I have to say her condo was really adorable. And boy was it neat. Even the trash was filed properly. The way she describes it sounds like a giant Easter egg but it was very charming. I had a condo in Santa Fe for a few years and I liked owning instead of renting. You don't have to answer to anybody and nobody can do anything about it if you stand nekked in the doorway while hanging your Christmas wreath. It's your damn doorway so screw them. Freedom.

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