Home at Last

February 14th, 2010

Yowza. What a week. We’re home (at last) but our Internet is squirrely so the updates may be spotty for a couple days.

The short version is thus. We lost power at midnight last Friday night. We got it back Thursday afternoon. At which point we discovered a broken water pipe. The plumber fixed it Friday morning and we were back in our own house Friday night. Whew.

I am not going to lie. It was a tough week. And it got me thinking about homelessness. The agency I work for has a variety of homeless programs, but when most people think about homelessness, they picture the shaggy-bearded guy living in a box on the street. In all honesty, that’s mostly the picture I still have too.

But the true definition of homelessness is much broader. It includes people who are bunking up with friends and family. People who stay with a friend as long as they can, then rotate on to another house, then another, then another.

That type of homelessness doesn’t get all that much attention, but it really struck me last week just how hard it would be to live like that. It’s emotionally draining to be a perpetual guest, particularly one under adverse conditions. You feel like you’re imposing on people. You don’t have any space of your own. You’re on edge all the time lest your toddler or big dog destroy something. It’s exhausting.

And you can’t have much stuff. We carted the bare necessities around with us (at least our definition of bare necessities!) and it still filled our car and required a couple trips back and forth to unload it all. And even that didn’t feel like much and we were constantly asking – “do we have the X?” and realizing we didn’t. Imagine if you had to carry your whole life around with you and cram it into someone else’s space?

We’re grateful to be home and I’m feeling particularly sympathetic for those who don’t have a home to return to.

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