Saturday, May 11, 2019

Weekend Wrap-Up: A Leap of Faith that Hopefully Doesn't End in a Giant Splat

Image by Marta Cuesta from Pixabay

I have reached a crossroads in my life. Not a little itty bitty crossroads either. A big hum-dinger of a crossroads. So big, in fact, that I wrote the following poem and note about it:

cricket silence
between scraping sounds
autumn begins
for me a new beginning
or perhaps the end of all

Jane & Cie

The Hokku (Haiku) portion of the poem was written by Jane Reichhold. The Ageku, or closing stanza, was written by me.
Come the fall, I should have pictures of the old hotel my son is buying to renovate. This probably sounds a lot posher than it is. This building is in a town listed on the Colorado Ghost Towns website, and it needs a lot of work.
For me, this move is literally either a new beginning or the beginning of the end. I have run out of options.

Here is the Grover Hotel. I am going to be in touch with the Colorado Historical Society on Monday to see what needs to happen for us to receive a grant to help us with renovation. 
The Grover Hotel was built in 1900, at the point when Grover was a boom town. After it was a hotel, it was a church, a hospital, and then a boarding house. I am not entirely sure how long it has been vacant.
There are significant repairs which will need to be made, including the roof. My son and I are meeting with a plumbing contractor and an electrician on Tuesday. We are fully committed to making this building once again as beautiful as it is stalwart. It has a lot of problems, but we believe that it can once again be an asset to this tiny town.
Concurrent with my commitment to making this move 100 miles from Denver, I made the decision to quit my job. 
I have never been unemployed for long periods of time. I've worked ever since I was 16 years old. Being unemployed makes me feel like I've given up, even if logic dictates otherwise.
I had two cars: a 2011 Ford Fusion and a 1998 Subaru Forester. The Forester was bought used and ignorantly. Always take any newly purchased car to your mechanic for inspection before committing to purchase. I did not do that. The Forester has been a money pit, and it overheated on me for the last time last Friday. I am going to let the mechanic sell it for parts.
This leaves me with only the Ford Fusion.
Working as a delivery driver comes with significant risks. Fortunately, the only two accidents I've been in with the Fusion have been minor and the other driver was at fault in both cases, so their insurance covered the cost of repairs. As a reminder, never make a deal with the other driver, always go through the insurance company for repairs. 
If I had agreed to have the parents of the young lady who slid into my car when the roads were icy pay me for the initial estimate, I would have been screwed six ways to Sunday. The initial estimate quoted repairs costing less than $500. The actual cost was nearly $2000. 
In any case, I am not in a position to risk my now sole vehicle by working as a courier. I need to concentrate on preparing for the move, including getting rid of a significant amount of stuff. 
I am very nervous about this move. I have plans to sell handcrafted items. I will be revealing my blog dedicated to these items early in the week, once the inspection has come back. The inspector wants to consult with a structural engineer regarding the foundation before he gives us his final assessment.
I am really no longer able to work "normal" jobs. Once the property has been purchased, I am going to have to go to social services in the county where the property is located and talk face to face about why my 401K, which I can't access without a significant penalty until I reach retirement age, is preventing me from qualifying for SNAP. Thankfully, I get Medicaid, but I don't get SNAP. I find this ridiculous, considering that I made less than $10,000 last year.
This place really is the last stop on the line for Yours Truly. If I can't make a go of it here, I'm well and truly done. 
I have a strange and amazing imagination and a lot of fine ideas. The problem is getting people to know about me.
I am also not known for my normalcy or for being sugar and spice. I am not sweet, petite, or pretty, and I tend to speak my mind. One person referred to me as flinty. I identify as a curmudgeon. I have heard that well-behaved women rarely make history. It would be a shame if such a badly behaved woman as myself was buried by time and dust, I think.

Click to Enlarge

I'll go more in depth with this issue later, but I think that it's worth mentioning that many people can no longer afford to live in the city. This house is being purchased with money that my son's father inherited. I can tell you this: $200,000 may sound like a lot of money, but it isn't.
We could piss this money away on rents of $1200 per month (and rising) for a modest, two-bedroom townhome. I love this place, I really do, and at $1200 a month, it's cheap for the Denver metro area. But the rent rises every year and staying here has become unsustainable for two disabled people who are receiving absolutely no help from the housing authority.
We could buy a condo in the outlying areas of the Denver metro area. The only acceptable one we found would have been $240,000. It had three bedrooms and one bathroom. My son is inviting a friend to live with us. We would have felt like we were all on top of each other pretty quickly, and there would always have been a queue for the loo. Not fun!
We could purchase a mobile home for around $90,000 and piss away $700 a month on lot rent. Mobile homes do not earn equity, they depreciate like a car does. I will discuss the money pit which is the mobile home that I own and am clearing out to sell at another juncture. Everything is broken down in this place and I have never had the money to replace or repair it. There was a flood which required treatments for black mold in the aftermath. It's possible that the place will need to be condemned. I'm hoping it can be salvaged because I'd like to potentially get back a little money from it.
The Grover Hotel will cost $90,000. Admissibly, it needs a lot of work, which will come out of the remaining money. However, it has six bedrooms spread out over two floors. It has a basement. It has an attic. It has a back yard. I'm not sure who you'd have to kill to get something like that in the Denver area, but I do know you couldn't get it legally.
Housing costs are driving the working class out of the cities. This means they either have to make long commutes, or they end up unemployed and on welfare living in rural areas. 
Denver, like other major cities, likes to brag about how they've created apartments with wonderful amenities right next to the transit hubs. While this is true, the rents start at $2000 per month for a closet (small studio apartment). The working classes cannot afford to live in these places. I guess we can set up tents in the parking lots of abandoned buildings, hope that the restaurant throws out some edible food, and use the area between dumpsters for our toilet while hoping not to get bit on the ass by a rat. No, I'm not being hyperbolic. This sort of thing is actually happening every day.
My son and I will come back to Denver once a week for our woodworking class and pick up a week's worth of groceries. Denver is more than 100 miles from Grover. We may visit the Botanic Gardens once a month. We lose out on all the cultural activities that we loved, such as going to the museum. I was working, which meant something to me, but I have to stop doing that and hope for the best when it comes to creating my own products to sell.
This is the sort of thing that happens when people are punished for being part of the working class and for being disabled.
We need to stop looking down our noses at the working class. Not everyone can or wants to be a CEO. That person at the McDonald's who made your burger and fries enabled you to not have to make your own burger and fries. Why in the world anyone believes that people in the working class should be punished by being forced to live in poverty is beyond the scope of my imagination.
American society as it currently stands is not sustainable. We either need to implement changes that benefit the middle and lower classes or things are going to break down even further. This never leads to anything good.
I hope you will all visit my new website when I reveal the URL. I want to do some giveaways and think of ways that we WAH folk can help each other.


1 comment:

This is a safe space. Be respectful.