Thoughts by Richard Bleil
The sound of the dryer running is in the background noise today in the house. This might not seem like a good topic for a blog, and certainly isn’t a source of joy for many people, but for me it’s the sound of heaven on earth.
My readers know that it has been many years since I’ve had my own place. For about the past five years, I’ve lived in basements, bedrooms and really sleezy motels. I can’t say I’ve truly been homeless because of the hearts of my friends who opened up their homes to save me from sleeping in the streets, but it was never my place. I’ve always tried to keep as small a footprint as possible in my friends’ homes, isolating myself in my room, avoiding using the kitchen or main living areas, and keeping as quiet as possible. Now, understand that these are not restrictions placed on me by my friends, and if I were to open my home to somebody in a similar situation, I would want them to have more freedom than I allowed myself, but I have always been harder on myself than others especially in forgiving pasts. And to be fair, I also understand that this self-isolation may not have been what my friends were hoping for. By trying to keep a low profile, I’ve also isolated myself from my friends and their families, and it’s possible that they had hoped for me to interact more. If this is the case, I hope they will forgive me.
Now I have my own house. I paid for it with cash, so as long as I can afford the taxes, I should be fine. Slowly the house is taking shape. I began moving boxes in and discovering the house more intimately than walkthroughs can provide in the cold and the dark. Utilities came next, mainly electricity since I couldn’t use the heat for gas until the plumbing was hooked up. Once I had the three big utilities, then I obtained internet.
Today the process continues. I had some furniture delivered, a washer, dryer and chest freezer. The house has lost much of its echo and is starting to feel more like a home. Heck, I fell asleep on MY couch today. So, to say that the dryer is running, it’s my dryer. I don’t have to go to a laundromat, or use an apartment laundromat, or find a time when my friend’s washer and dryer are open. I understand that people don’t like doing laundry, but trust me, it’s a different story when it’s not in your own home. Some of my readers know what I’m talking about, and others have probably forgotten the laundromat trudge. And with a ten-year warranty on these machines, it’ll save money in the long run over coin operated.
I’ll pay more each month than I have recently, with utilities, taxes, repairs, insurance and whatnot, but on the other hand, I save in a few places too. I can give up my mobile hot spot, cancel my storage unit and cancel my car wash membership that is now too far away. And there are other freedoms, like a big development today.
A couple of days ago, I reached out to the Humane Society to inquire about a cat. I love dogs and cats, but if I have to disappear for a day or so a cat can take care of itself, so for the time being I’m thinking cat. As it turns out, the local society requires you to fill out an “application” to adopt a cat, and my application was approved. The next step is to set up an appointment to meet the critters. I’ve been debating if I’m serious about adopting such a fur baby, but today, on a whim, I stopped by a pet store. Five hundred dollars in cat beds, cat trees, cat toys, cat food, cat litter later is a pretty big indication that my heart has already decided.
So, there it is. Every day in every way I’m making my house a home. Today I even discovered that under the NASTY carpet in the main bedroom is the original wood flooring, so hopefully this weekend, before the main bed arrives, I’ll be pulling that up. I’m paying far more attention to how this is all shaping up than I have in the past. It’s a far different world coming as far as fast as I have in the past few months, and I hope I’m not making too many mistakes (but I’m definitely making them). And yes, if you wish to join me in this journey, please keep reading.