Now that I have had a little time to exhale, I realized some things about moving. First of all, we have too much stuff. A lot of stuff. I really had convinced myself that I was doing a fantastic job of donating unwanted items and disposing of items that had no use, but really, I had not. This became apparent when I found myself staring at a mountain (it literally looked like a mountain) of unwanted items and trash piled up by the fence. I was stunned. I thought I was doing okay. Over the years we had accumulated far too many items. I discovered a disturbing number of flat irons and curling irons. I think I counted fourteen. Do not judge. Then there were plates. So many plates. I could provide every human in the city with one plate each. And in my mind, I felt like I needed more clothes, but really, I do not. I found clothes in several closets. They had been there for years, waiting to be worn. Speaking of closets, my super special book closet also contained book after book and board games that I was desperately holding on to, waiting for someone to play Scattegories or Taboo with me again. It was not going to happen. I had to get real with myself. We simply have too much stuff.
One of the most important things I learned is that home can be wherever you are. We create homes with family, friends, and traditions, despite the physical dwelling. I could not have survived our relocation fiasco without my family. Despite the various places we had to go to, we still tried to find time to get together and we were able to do some of the things that we loved. We played cards and cooked crocked pot meals. We celebrated the kid’s birthday and created a patchwork costume for the baby. He ended up being a reindeer in October. Like I said before, do not judge. We did the best we could because we were together. Of course, there were some shaky days when we thought we could not take another minute; but we made it through together, with love and prayer. Home is where you are.
Another thing that became painfully clear, is that the lack of affordable housing is a major issue. I became keenly aware of families seeking temporary shelter weekly. Meeting a homeless man at the pizza place bought me to tears and further highlighted this disturbing issue. I began researching the cost of apartments. I knew that it was expensive; but the prices that I found were astronomical. It is impossible for an individual, a couple or even a family to be able to afford these places on a minimum wage or low wage salary. It is just not possible, and it is not right. When I notice a problem, I try not to simply complain and move on. I try to think of ways that I can help. I decided that it is my responsibility to contact local housing officials and demand more. When I am with young people, I can try to stress the value of building credit to secure quality housing. I can donate to places like Habitat for Humanity. I am sure there is a lot more that I could do. It is probably a lot more that we could all do. Let’s all do something because throughout this process, I discovered that we have far more than we think.