Sister, Can You Spare Your Home?

What’s next as Lorna strikes out on her new life?

Ah, my future path is so clear. I'm ready!

In March, I made an offer that was accepted on a sweet little condo, perfect for Scrappy and me. Maybe it didn’t have granite kitchen counter tops or a circular staircase, but each room had ceilings and covers on all electrical outlets. I couldn’t wait to move in into my home. As it happened, I would have to wait a long time.

I didn’t plan to apply for a mortgage after the mortgage pirating profiteering crisis leading to the Wall Street Bail Out. A year before, bankers begged to give mortgages away if you had a pulse and could sign an “X” on the dotted line. Getting a mortgage on my modest home proved a bit significantly ominously more difficult. I had my own great credit history and, with Chuck’s monthly payments, qualified for the mortgage. I also had a credit history entangled with Chuck’s. My name was on the mortgage of a house and another property I no longer owned—one credit card with a balance, too. While the terms of our separation stated he was supposed to refinance those properties and pay off the card, he wasn’t made of money. And he couldn’t take care of these financial terms quickly enough to satisfy the Mortgage Gods who saw me on paper as a “risk.”

I'm sure those mortgage geeks imagined me as big a risk as this. Well, they weren't TOO far off, except for the scary looking robot thingy sneaking up behind me, the dark hair, and I never wear garter belts--too uncomfortable.

Chuck, being in the financial business, found a mortgage broker known for being “creative.” He assured me my mortgage would close by the beginning of May. Since another term of endearment separation was that I had to pay Chuck rent to say in the “Broken House” until I moved out, I became a renter in the home that was mine for the past 20 years. But it was only for a month, so I sucked it up was grateful.

As April wore on, I could see Creative Mortgage Man didn’t walk on water like I was lead to believe. Closing my mortgage was pushed back to the middle of May and he needed volumes more documents from Chuck and me. Believing that he was telling me the truth (naïve dolt) and not wanting to rent my former home for another month (dignified cheap-skate), I decided to move out May 1. My younger sister and her husband own a vacation home in Keene, NY. They offered it to me for as long as I needed it (rent-free). We all thought it would only be a couple of weeks. I needed a little R&R in the peaceful Adirondacks. My older sister and her husband have a large covered trailer into which we moved all my earthly possessions, save the few things I took with me on my “vacation.” My “stuff” was hauled to their house and I hauled Scrappy and myself to Keene.

No, Scrappy. I drive the main roads; you drive the back roads.

As I walked through the “Broken House” one last time, I was uncharacteristically dry-eyed. I’d said my good-byes so many times, the final farewell seemed anti-climatic. The only room in which I cried was Alex’s room. And cry, I did. I cried for Alex and the pain he locked inside. I cried for me and my irrational desire to understand Chuck’s motives for leaving me. I cried for Chuck and how hard it would be to come back to this big, empty house. Then I stopped crying.

My two-week “vacation” in Keene was great. I had good cell-phone coverage, but no Internet. TV reception was as good as it was in the 1800s. I got quite chummy with the local librarian who let me borrow more than the normal quota of videos and DVDs since they were only open three days a week. I read, wrote, took Scrappy for walks, and spent a great deal of time pestering Creative Mortgage Man.

During this time, I called Mr. Haley’s Comet (aka, Phil) to let him know I was officially single and doing fine. He was relieved and had a story of his own to tell me. His marriage had been on the skids for several years, but he was holding it together for the sake of his children (the youngest would be going off to college that fall). He knew once the kids were gone, his marriage wouldn’t last. I suggested marriage counseling (it worked so well for me both times). When we spoke again, he told me his wife wasn’t interested in counseling. He wanted to see me, just to talk. I agreed, but made clear I wasn’t the “other woman” kind of gal. We saw each other and the same sparks that ignited 30 years ago lit up the already bright day. We talked a long while and many times after that. In short order, he left his wife. Their formal separation followed.

Maybe we should have shopped around for a different counselor.

Two weeks stretched into four weeks, which distended into six weeks. Taking care of my mail/bills, seeing my family or friends, and doctor appointments became nightmares since I had a 2-hour round trip facing me. By mid-June, my younger sister and her family needed their lodge back—summer was here and her kids were out of school. The sellers of my condo were also getting nervous. They gave me an ultimatum: “Close by June 30, or we’re pulling the contract.”

I forgot my Buddhist axiom not to worry about the future, when the universe gave me a reminder that was hard to ignore. On June 10, 2010, I was struck by lightning.

Well, it wasn't quite like that...

Say what?

~ by Lorna's Voice on November 9, 2011.

25 Responses to “Sister, Can You Spare Your Home?”

  1. I think we were separated as birth… 🙂

  2. The tree I was standing near-enough to was hit by a bolt; it traveled down and the current “splashed” in to the air due to the deluge of rain. That current super-charged me.

  3. Oh, yes … absolutely. I am a firm believer that there is no greater object to have than our mind. We can have all the treaures that life can give but without our mind to store the memories ( good or bad )
    life would be meaningless.
    Namaste,
    Izzy

  4. Well since I’m behind with your stories, I have the added benefit of not having to wait for the next saga of your life. Were you truly hit by a lightning bolt? I’m going to go find out! xo

  5. It’s odd how attached we can get to a physical place. It’s just a place. The memories we carry with us anywhere we go…right?

  6. For real. Tomorrow you’ll see how it plays out. 😉

  7. As you read the story, it must feel like all this stuff is happening at once, and some of it did, but some of it was spaced out so I got a breather between disasters… 😉

  8. I’ve always believed that and haven’t been disappointed–even if it took a while. 😉

  9. SL, no one would believe it! I wouldn’t believe all this stuff happened to one “no body” in one lifetime. But thanks for the uplifting comment. Let’s hope eventually an editor or producer finds my story as engaging as you do. 😉

  10. The last walk-through through the house sounds so sad. All your memories and your spirit were invested in those four walls surrounding you everywhere at the end. But …. it was time to move on. You were/are very strong.
    Namaste,
    Izzy

  11. Struck by lightning…? literally or figuratively??? WOW….With every post I am truly convinced that Your story has the makings of an Inspirational Movie…truly, not exaggerating and no flattery here either…! 😉
    Luv always,
    Sparky Laurie

  12. Struck by lightning…? literally or figuratively??? WOW….With every post I am truly convinced that Your story has the makings of an Inspirational Movie…truly, I am not exaggerating and no flattery here either…! 😉
    Luv always,
    Sparky Laurie

  13. No one can tell the future, but you have to have faith. Believe you deserve good things, and you’ll get them!

  14. I often wonder how much one person can actually endure. Today I wonder, how much more can Lorna handle? I’m glad you are a Buddhist (as am I), gives me hope that you can handle most anything – and I figure that’s why your sense of humor is so awesome too!

  15. Wait a minute. You can’t leave it that way. Struck by lightning? For real or no? You’ve got me dangling now.

  16. Yes, I’ve always believed that, either consciously or unconsciously. I trust in the universe to be a kind and generous provider. My life is absolutely sublime right now, and I’m appreciating every moment of it. I know how quickly things can change, so I just live in the moment and enjoy what comes. Each experience is a gift, whether it feels like it or not.

  17. Yes, but it makes for a great story. I sure couldn’t make this stuff up! 😉

  18. Life is MUCH easier these days. I assure you! 🙂

  19. Good grief, Lorna. Has anything been easy? You are one strong woman.

  20. sometimes life is a complete pain in the …. everything!

  21. You’ve certainly got a life worthy of an epic novel. I’m with Phil in that things seem to fall into place despite the malfunctions of the universe.

  22. I’m almost finished, Phil. I have a few “side stories” I will “road-test” for the book, but my story is nearing an end. I think two more posts, maybe three, in this saga and it is done. What are we going to do? 😉

  23. Yes, it figures, doesn’t it! Alex was living in Albany, NY with roommates. He had graduated from college and was working. He made sure to stay away as much as possible, but keep in contact via phone and visit every once in a while. While I lived in the “Broken House”, he stayed with me, Once “Chuck” moved back in, he stayed with him. The “Broken House” will always be home for him. 🙂

  24. Where is Alex during your move? Is he grown up and on his own, or living with Chuck? OK, if ligthning struck aheroine in a novel, it’d be had to believe, but for you at this point, just fits right in. 🙂

  25. I’m reminded of a quote, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” Seems to me a good many things are starting to fall into place, even if there are a few obstacles thrown in for good measure. Now about that lightning thing you left us hanging with…

    More please!

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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