I was homeless for about seven months from September 2017 until March 2018. I had always been the one to provide a place to live for my kids and our furry friends who are all like family to us. It didn’t have to be that way. I’m the one who decided to move back to Oregon in May 2016 and then rent a house in Keizer, Oregon on the same cul-de-sac where my kids and I lived for 10 years from 1987 until 1997. From the same landlord too. The kids were young then and Megan came home to our house on Krystie Court in 1992. The house I rented in 2016 had the exact same layout, and the exact same landlord except the rent was no longer $475. It was now $950 a month for a three-bedroom house with a good-sized yard and a huge double-car garage. Only one bathroom though. Mike Fischer who rented it to me two times, said he and his buddies built a bunch of these houses back in the sixties, and yes, they did have the same layout. Now he has sold many of them, but 1386 Krystie Court was still his and he’d continue to rent it. We had lived at 1366 Krystie Court all those years. The same neighbors we had back then still live on the cul-de-sac as well, 26 years later. It was surreal to rent that house on Krystie Court remembering how my kids played there, especially when my son brought my grandson Jeremiah up for a visit.
I also was the one who decided to “give” the house rental to my son Stevie and his girlfriend Liezl because the landlord at their rental was selling the place. They had two friendly pitbull dogs, and I knew they’d have trouble finding anyone who would rent from them. I also knew that Mike Fischer would be cool with it because that’s the way he was. So I told them I didn’t need a big house anymore since all of the kids, including Stevie, were grown now. Maybe I needed a smaller place.
I really didn’t know what I was doing when I put all my stuff into storage in Salem, Oregon and began to couch surf at my kids’ homes. My youngest still lived at the yellow mobile home in North San Jose with roommates now, and she had Sydney the dog and Guinness the cat. Guinness was mad at me when I’d visit because I wasn’t around anymore. I felt so bad. Sometimes I’d stay in Megan’s room at that house which was no longer mine and it did feel weird. I stayed with my younger son and my grandson and baby granddaughter quite a bit, but my son was going through a terrible breakup while I was there. I was glad to be there for my grandson who was six at the time. I drove back and forth from Oregon to California, not sure where I’d end up. My friend bought a house in Vallejo and asked if I’d move in as a roommate and watch the place because he still had his place in San Francisco. I almost went for it. I came so close to moving back to California where sometimes I felt I belonged, but he got a little wishy-washy and I decided not to go for it.
I figured I’d rent a place in Keizer next to Salem, Oregon close to Stevie and Liezl. The whole time I was homeless I telecommuted for work full-time, and my employers didn’t even know I was homeless because I didn’t tell them. I still signed in every day and showed up to work. They would’ve been pissed off beyond belief had they known. But I still showed up. I still worked. I’m not sure how, but I did it.
I remember spending new year’s eve 2017 at my friend Colleen’s house in Corvallis, Oregon because the Deep Woods Band was doing a huge Summer of Love 50th anniversary celebration show to bring in the new year’s. 2017 had been all about the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love for me. I was 10 during that time, and still remember it.
Ultimately, I landed an apartment in Lincoln City, Oregon on the Oregon coast, a cute one-bedroom. I loved it there so much and would’ve never left if I hadn’t met my boyfriend Savoy, and now we live together in Eugene, Oregon.