I spent the next few years trying not to think of what we had lost. I went through phases of feeling like a complete failure and honestly there are days I still feel down about it.
But, as it turns out the good life has nothing to do with a house or things we accumulate.
I am submitting it here in hopes that any one of you that may have gone through something like this will understand you are not alone, and that sharing it is truly part of the healing process. We started the renovation in the Summer of 2000 by pulling out a second mortgage based on the final plans.
Also, the idea of winning a cruise for my family is pretty amazing after everything we have been through together and I am so grateful for this opportunity. Our story is so similar to many people who went through the economic crash in 2008, but it’s OUR story and I haven’t told it yet so here goes. Claire and I got married in 1998, all we wanted from our family was money for a down payment for a house. Throughout the years some of the shortcuts and random “fixes” that had been made before we moved in… In addition to my job I took on the role of “General Contractor” and, after our architect delivered the signed and stamped blueprints, I cannot tell you how many times I was down at City Hall pulling permits. Contractors were hired and draw checks from the bank were printed and made out directly to those contractors. To try and explain what we did is hard if I want to keep this to less than 4 posts but basically we took an 885 sq foot bungalow, blew out the back and built back and up creating a two story, 3,500 sq ft., 5 bedroom, 3 bath home complete with a beautiful front porch. I scoured salvage yards and antique shops and hand picked antique windows and doors. Our two mortgages were wrapped together and the payments were completely reasonable. Another re-fi in 2004 with a 3 year ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) made the payments even better. It could be a challenge you faced in your own life and the lesson you learned as you overcame it, or a personal story about how something within one of the chapters of Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life personally affected or changed you. Be sure to also include your name and blog name (if you have a blog), as well as a photo of yourself and any other photos you’d like to include.
But there is one weird section I’ve been struggling with.
And it’s got that perfect Solnit touch that walks the line between universal and individual, abstract and personal.At one point someone had decided that covering the original wood siding on the front of the house with large asphalt roofing shingles was a good idea. We managed as best we could for 8 months or so and then… I had never missed a mortgage payment before and it was a terrifying feeling. If you think nobody cares about you try missing a mortgage payment. Even though we maintained our jobs, with three children and employees to pay we were suddenly drowning. In the Fall of 2008 I knew we had to walk away from our home. I didn’t know what to do but I felt I had utterly failed my family somehow and the thought of someone showing up and throwing us out made me sick. So I got in the car and I drove around with tears streaming down my face just praying that God would lead me to a rental that was in the same school district and downtown area I’d lived in for years. I had almost given up and then I turned down a street I had never been on. The premise of the story, all of the ideas contained therein, are so sharp.I mean, really, most writers would kill for content that is as good as what Solnit dishes out here.The idea of “The Good Life” for us has changed dramatically. Whether she is contemplating the history of walking as a cultural and political experience over the past two hundred years (Wanderlust), or using the life of photographer Eadweard Muybridge as a lens to discuss the transformations of space and time in late nineteenth-century America (River of Shadows), Rebecca Solnit has emerged as an inventive and original writer whose mi Whether she is contemplating the history of walking as a cultural and political experience over the past two hundred years (Wanderlust), or using the life of photographer Eadweard Muybridge as a lens to discuss the transformations of space and time in late nineteenth-century America (River of Shadows), Rebecca Solnit has emerged as an inventive and original writer whose mind is daring in the connections it makes.) a feminist rewriting of Alfred Hitchcock’s with a minor character at its center.In the film, there’s the detective, of course, chasing after Madeleine, a (real-ish) phantom woman.