don’t call me homeless–call me “officially without residence”

deal’s on.  deal’s off.  deal’s on.  deal’s off.  deal’s on.  it’s a little hard to make life plans when you’re not sure if you have a place to stay.

my home in winnetka was on the market for a long time–in fact, the entire year i visited facebook friends i worried that it would sell and i would be out of the country or on the road. i am very happy that the new owners have a baby and two dachshunds and they will love this place and make it their home! on the other hand, i’ve been weepy.


getting approval for a mortgage is ne plus ultra difficult and the new buyers have been stretched in their patience.  without approval for a mortgage they cannot afford to purchase the house.  without knowing that they have the mortgage, i’ve dithered about buying renting or even looking for a place to live.

this past weekend, i divested/sold/gaveaway all my possessions except what i can fit in the back of my car. i still wasn’t sure the buyers were moving in, but i had to move forward as if i knew they would. i was helped by so many friends–and my son eastman who came home from college to help me. he could sell a ketchup popsicle to a lady with white gloves–he’s that good at the garage sale wheelin’ and dealin’!


several times this week i have been approached by deer.  whether in the forest preserve where i run, the streets of winnetka, or in my own backyard.  i think they were saying goodbye.

for some native americans, the deer totem is a signal that one is about to experience great change and possibly go on a journey. this deer was in my backyard. i felt sorta bad because i didn’t know her name and i didn’t have anything except beer, diet coke, and perfume in my refrigerator. such a bad hostess!


on tuesday morning, the new owners pulled into the driveway.  the missus and i hugged and i said “welcome to your home!”  i felt that teary thing coming on and then stopped myself–the moment was not about me letting go of a house, it was about a young couple starting a new life.

as eastman and i pulled out of the driveway, i called the renaissance hotel.  full.  the marriot.  full.  the super 8.  full.  wow, being homeless is a little harder than it looks.  then we called eastman’s dad, my ex-husband.  with a great generosity, he invited us to his apartment.  tomorrow, i visit the brazilian consulate to get a visa so i can visit facebook friends in brazil.  after all, i am free to roam the planet. and then i drive eastman back to college.

there is a moment in a young man’s life when his mom has to say “wow, you’re an adult, i respect you, i rely on you, and i admire you.” this past weekend was that moment. especially when he told the radnors h to the n when mr. radnor came into the house on sunday afternoon and said he would purchase the remaining pieces of furniture for twenty dollars but only if we transported all of it into his home. those pieces of furniture are now resting at the winnetka community church rummage sale storage facility. we had our limits.


this afternoon, i gave five bucks to a homeless dude sitting on the sidewalk and i asked him to pray for me.  i know we all struggle with what to do in the face of seeing someone who is homeless.  i am not in that position.  i shouldn’t use the word homeless, i should use the phrase “officially without residence”. . .

doesn’t it sound very very downton abbey british to say “officially without residence” — and now i visit facebook friends. .. . everywhere!

5 responses to “don’t call me homeless–call me “officially without residence”

  • Smiley

    Brasil-second-largest consumer of cocaine in the world! No wonder they are so thin and happy! Freedom is in your mind.

  • tpaige3

    Very Downtown Abbey British, indeed! Safe and fun travels!!!

  • Missus Tribble

    The last time I found myself with no fixed abode, I used the opportunity to travel England and stay with friends – so I always had a roof over my head, but was never tied to any one place.

    Then I met my husband and my life changed yet again 🙂

  • Don Wainwright

    Good job on the furniture negotiations! I’ve had similar situations over the years where some people tended to push the limit when they think you’re out of options. Best feeling in the world when you solve the problem by giving the stuff away to a third party. I call this technique “The Indiana Jones BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement)”.

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