…continued from part 1
I’ve received the call before. You know the one. The “I’m
afraid I’ve got some bad news” call.
When I finally arrived at Adam’s house after a long day of
travel, I was still messaging with my sister, Linda about my day. We sent
several messages back and forth and I told her I arrived safely.
Then she called.
I answered happily, thinking how wonderful it would be to chat with her instead of texting. Only she didn’t sound happy. She had just got off the phone with close friends of our sister Janet and delivered the bad news to me.
Janet is dead.
Sometimes when we travel, I like to bring my own pillow.
Silly, I know, but for whatever reason, it makes me feel comfortable. My pillows are all goose-down and super cozy, and I’m used to them.
Last week I jumped in the truck with my son, and we made our way to Oregon. I honestly wasn’t sure where I would be sleeping any given night, so I brought my favorite pillow along.
I’m glad I did too, because I used it when I came down with a head cold. That pillow was a soothing relief each night. Continue reading
I’m sitting down to write at a beautiful, peaceful setting that I want to share with you. I helped my son move this week, and it was a bit stressful, but to top it off, I caught my husband’s cold (yes, I’m throwing you under the bus John).
For the last two days I’ve been surviving on DayQuil and NyQuil, which has helped, but I’m still having trouble breathing.
So I’m going to keep this short, and go lay back down for a little while.
Our trip up to Oregon was a good one, with our first stop at my best friends house. She had a wonderful meal prepared for us when we arrived and we were treated like family, as usual. Continue reading
Why is it that no matter how much stuff we have, it’s still too much? And how come moving is so stressful, even when it’s a move in the right direction?
Yesterday we spent the day packing up a trailer full of my son’s belongings so he could move to a different state. It was stressful.
Ed and his moving truck – 1920’s
Today, we are hitting the road to drive the truck and trailer to his new home. Continue reading
I left off yesterday sharing my ordeal with a surgery and Judd’s lack of empathy.
This went on for all of June and July, while I was working full-time. In August, I finally felt better physically, but things were still very strained between Judd and I.
With Mrs. S’s blessing for time off, I flew back to Maryland in early August to help my youngest son and new daughter-in-law move all of their belongings to Pensacola Florida. We had a fun trip caravanning across several states, and I loved helping them settle into their new home. Continue reading
It was the week after Christmas and we were in Summer Lake Hot Springs spending time there helping out our friend, the owner. He needed to be away from the place for several days, and asked if we would take over for him.
There were four little one-bedroom cabins and a three-bedroom house on the property and he had rented them out for the holidays. Since there would be some turnover, we were to take care of things. Continue reading
We lived on the river near several walking trails and went out for walks most days. Walking hand in hand we made our way down the trail towards the river and beyond.
The Deschutes River
We hadn’t talked about “that night” and it was eating me up inside.
I should back up a bit. I left out a lot of important details in yesterday’s post. Not sure why I skipped most of 2008 and went right to the end of that year.
Maybe because it was a year of change.
Working from my home office, early 2008
Being a realtor during the housing crisis was definitely challenging.
I got my real estate license in 2002 and quickly worked my way to top producer. But by 2008 I was not only no longer a top producer, it was all I could do to make enough money to cover my costs of being a realtor.
Something had to give.
Surviving a bankruptcy and losing my homes was not easy.
Even though I knew they were just “things” I was losing, it was still painful. But, I had a distraction through it all, which made it so much easier.
I met Judd in November, just before the holiday season, and he took me to one holiday party after another. He sold advertising for a local publishing company, and his job came with a lot of invitations.
We had a lot of fun, and I felt like Cinderella.
For Christmas he gave me a beautiful silver cuff bracelet that he had specially ordered for me. He said it was a Wonder Woman bracelet, because I reminded him of her.
My Wonder Woman bracelet
I will never forget the realtor that worked with my banks to ‘short sale’ my homes. She was a bitch.
Yep, I went there.
She treated me with such disrespect and down right contempt. I was already mortified and embarrassed, but this woman was actually enjoying kicking me while I was down.
And speaking of down, have you ever experienced bankruptcy? It is a life altering decision to make in the first place, but oh once the process starts you’re put into the “undesirable” category.
Which is where you will stay for at least 10 years.
2007 was just an all around crappy year for me. Being a realtor who owned two homes during the housing crisis was a double whammy and just about sent me off the deep end.
Not only was I losing my homes, but my income had plummeted. And if you don’t know how it works for a realtor, let me explain.
We pay for everything.
I left you hanging, I know. I’ve actually tried continuing my story several times now. But I keep getting stuck.
I hated that time in my life and honestly it’s hard to look back now, knowing what happens. But the other morning, when I was thinking about it all, I remembered two important things
I got through it and survived. And, I learned an amazing life lesson
So, I’ve decided to just write and go from there. I left off telling you I was neck-deep in bills and my income had plummeted. I had two mortgage payments and was desperately trying to save my homes.
As I sat at my big dining room table, looking at all of the bills that were covering its surface and I made the decision to let my dream house go. The mortgage was twice as much as my old ‘70’s house, so the smart thing to do was to move back into it and try to stop the bleeding. Continue reading
I purchased my dream house in May 2006, and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Every thing about this place spoke to my soul. I truly felt as if I was “home” for the first time in a very long time.
The back yard was quiet and beautiful and I spent most of my summer days out in that yard or on the deck. Inside my house was decorated exactly how I wanted it. Everything was perfect.
I love this picture of my boys laughing and joking in my back yard
many days spent on that little deck
Everything was perfect
Except for the two house payments I had.
2006 was shaping up to be a good year for me. I met “Tom” in May and by the end of that month I had another wonderful surprise.
My real estate business was going strong and I was making great money. Everything but the kitchen and exterior of my ‘70’s house had been remodeled, and I was feeling confident and accomplished.
I was having fun dating Tom and, because of our polar opposite views on religion, we were having wonderful conversations that would go on for hours and hours. It was stimulating and as someone who is a bit of a debater, I loved every minute of it.
Tom was a charming gentleman who loved a good glass of wine and a lively discussion.
Looking out my window I could see the top of a crocus poking up through the snow. I took a deep breath and let out a sigh of relief. Spring was finally here.
Still in my jammies and slippers, I grabbed my cup of coffee and headed to my computer to check my email. My little dog, Bella, reluctantly followed me knowing I would turn on the small space heater in front of her bed by my desk.
This had become our routine together. I was 46, single and my best buddy and roommate was a four-pound Chihuahua. She curled up with me each night, ate next to me each day, and loved me unconditionally.
It was a perfect arrangement. Continue reading
I’m a bit snobby about myself. From the time I was little, I had this idea that I would be somebody, go places, or change the world. I pushed myself to do things other people wouldn’t and I kept going, no matter what.
We don’t know what life lessons will come our way when we are so young. Me in 4th grade, in my homemade dress.
Maybe we all feel that way?
Perhaps we are born with a sense of self-importance, and it isn’t until life lessons teach us that we are all basically the same, that we learn to accept our own insignificance? I wrote before that I never thought I’d be “one of those women”.
But there I was, dating a man who was verbally and emotionally abusive. You would have thought I’d learned enough from that experience to humble me, but apparently I needed another lesson…or two.
To this day, I am uncomfortable even saying his name.
When 2000 rolled around, I was a 40-year-old single mother of two teenage boys, starting over with no education or career. My job had been, stay-at-home mom, helper, maid, taxi service, farmer and wife for a lot of years. Starting over was not going to be a cakewalk.
At the time I thought 40 was old, or at the very least on the verge of old. I was embarrassed to be starting over at such a rip old age. Oh what I wouldn’t give to go back and tell that young lady a few things. Now I’m closing in on 60 and trying very hard not to see myself as old again.
starting over at age 40
Just before my 40th birthday, I got a job in sales for a local furniture/interior decorations store, in a big two story building in the heart of downtown Bend.
It was a bit surreal to be working downtown after all of these years. The last time I’d worked there, was in 1978 when I was 19. Part of starting over after a divorce is taking a step backwards. For me, this was a giant step backwards. Continue reading
When my husband and I made the decision to separate and divorce we agreed we were going to be the couple that could do it the right way. What we hope for and what becomes reality can be quite different.
I’ve heard it said that whatever you are fighting about during your marriage is also what you fight about during the divorce. I had no idea just what a fight I was in for. We couldn’t agree on anything. Continue reading