Saturday, September 3, 2016

Pants on Fire! From the Department of Corrections and Clarifications

"The fact that the job [of POTUS] comes with a place to live is a plus for me, since I am essentially homeless, having spent the past five years living in my mother-in-law's apartment." —Questions to Ask Yourself Before Running for Prez

Correction: I am not a homeless person. That whiny remark slipped into a post I wrote one week ago, when my housing situation was exactly the same as it is today. Soon after I hit "publish," a helpful friend pointed out that I have "a nice home" right in Randolph, the town where we both went to high school. In fact, I have two nice homes in Randolph. One is big and the other is small. The Big House is at the top of a small hill, and the Little House is at the bottom of the same hill. The Big House has a refrigerator but no bed, and the Little House has a bed but no refrigerator. I also have a set of keys to an apartment in France.

And yet, I feel homeless. Why is that? Obviously, a question for a professional. (Warning: The following answer has not been vetted.)

First the Big House, the one on the hill. My parents bought it in 1945, and my husband and I lived there with my mother from 2007 to  2012; I have explored my relationship to it in depth. In May a "For Sale" sign went up next to the front walk. In June, the sign began to sag slightly forward, as if depressed. In August, a big wind attacked the towering maple next to the garage and a large chunk of it landed on the roof. The roof has since been repaired, but I mourn the loss of the tree, which you could see from the kitchen sink; a family of squirrels lived there. I await with a mixture of hope and dread the day somebody buys the house.

This brings us to the Little House. It is adorable and I love it. In May, I spent several weeks loading stuff into the back of a Subaru that used to belong to my husband and now belongs to my ex-husband (I lead a complicated life), and then driving the fully loaded Subaru from the Big House to the Little House, where I unloaded it. I did this many times. Then I took pictures of the Little House and put them on Facebook. Then I locked the door and returned to France.

The apartment in France does not belong to me. It belongs to my mother-in-law, who is in a nursing home. It is filled with her things. Her Louis the Umpteenth furniture, her Made in England teacups and Provencal platters, her designer dresses, her massive silk floral arrangements, her costume jewelry and elegant shoes, which I sometimes wear. To be honest, I am kinda tired of living with other people's things, however beautiful. I would like to live with my own things for a change. Hence, the Little House.

I have not yet slept in the Little House, which does not yet have a bed. During the time I was moving, I stayed with a very kind friend. I have stayed with lots of very kind friends over the past few years. Did I mention that I also have a standing invitation to stay with my ex-husband at his apartment in New York City? When I'm there, I sleep on the couch. Like I said, I have a complicated life.

When I say "I locked the door and returned to France" I am talking about the old door, which has since been replaced. That's because the Randolph Fire Department had to break into the Little House the night Polly's BBQ restaurant caught fire. Below is a photo of the Little House as it looked in August, after the restaurant was demolished and the back wall of the Little House was replaced, along with the front door. The Nicest Landlord in the World sent this photo to me in an email. He said my stuff, which he moved out of the way of the demolition crew, was safe. xo Sadie
Photo courtesy of Phil Godenschwager.

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