How I Lost 12.5 Pounds & Regained My Soul

Naked, as in truth, and uncensored, I share my daily quest to survive as a woman and artist, while dealing with the complications of a full life, meddling in politics, loving my children to excess, totally permanently married and on a never-ending diet. While my soul is in constant need of repair and redemption, I struggle to do the right thing. In the meantime, let's all double the love. (Love, not sex, you fool). All posts are copyrighted material.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Old age and new times... not always compatible


Good morning, my bubbly little ballerinas~

Yesterday afternoon and this morning I spent familiarizing myself with the latest underwriting rules and conditions for mortgages for veterans of the US Military services. Then I met with a Korean War vet who was referred to me by a realtor who hoped he would qualify to buy his listing.

Truthfully the man I saw broke my heart. He had a barber shop, which has yet to show a profit, and he lived either in the one-room shop or perhaps alternated with a shelter. He was 75 years old and on service-related disability, and there was a framed certification on the wall which stated that he had taken a 3.5 hour class on handling a handgun from the Multnomah Sheriff's Department.

He had a few old porno magazines in his literature pile for customers, and his vintage shirt and levis were covered by a slightly torn barber's coat. A second coat hung on a peg on the wall, which seemed to be in better shape and I assumed was reserved for his customers.

Unfortunately, without a sizeable down payment he won't qualify to buy anything in Portland. The price inflation in real estate occurred when he wasn't watching. I could see the darkness in his watery eyes, and surely those cataracts were severe enough to make the estimate I gave him unreadable.

When I told him his payments would be over $1700 a month, he began to look at the listing sheet in his hand as he said, "I truly do favor a fireplace. Did you notice this house doesn't have one? I went and looked at it again, just to make sure."

In that moment I realized that no matter how difficult I think my life is at times, I am a fortunate person. There are options for me as I am still young enough to be considered viable by society. I am accepted into the mainstream of the community and I could certainly obtain gainful employment if I needed to do so. There are so many options for me.

This man was in the twilight of his life, yet he talked about looking forward to retiring in five years at 80. His interest in buying now was inspired by a newly diagnosed service-related disability, which had resulted in an additional $900 a month in income. Unfortunately, even with new income, he is priced completely out of the entire county.

There is obviously a time in every person's life, if they live long enough, when that person has to accept his or her fate. Living with someone else, living without autonomy and living a lesser existence. My hope is when that time comes for me I will be as graceful as this old man.

Clark County Diva

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