If you have never visited the Central Coast of California, perhaps you should plan to make it a destination at some point. I still feel like a visitor here after almost 3 years; there is much to see and do. One of the phenomenons that I’ve become accustomed to are rainbows. There are rainbows everywhere, it seems, when the sky is barely lit and the slightest drizzle coming down. Last Friday evening, I was driving Maycee and myself to meet my boyfriend and his kids for his son’s 14th birthday dinner. Not uncommon to the past six months we had a bout of rain, and the sun was just peaking through the clouds above the greenish red hills. My daughter, a contemplative, beautiful, emotionally attached yet goofy child made this statement to me as I pointed out the rainbow our car was directly heading towards: “Look, Maycee, look at the rainbow! I knew we’d see a rainbow!” “Wow, Mommy! You know, it’s like the world is God’s home, and He uses rainbows to decorate it!”
You know, it’s like the world is God’s home, and He uses rainbows to decorate it!
Tonight was a banner night. My daughter’s room received a new ceiling, a rainbow of sorts. This may sound totally, completely, and utterly boring. But, for me, it was a banner night. After persistent rains pushed through a rusted, old metal roof on my 35-years-new mobile home, we ended up with saturated ceiling panels, like sponges, and the sponges started to leak. Maycee’s room being the worst, the entire ceiling had to be pulled down, and for two months she has been sleeping in my room, and I’ve moved from the living room back to the cluttered master bedroom adorning all of her toys, stuffies, and wall hangings awaiting the ceiling repair. Now I see the light…
I sat on the loveseat in my living room after getting Maycee to bed, watching DWTS, Body of Evidence, checking the Lakers’ score on TNT.com (go Lakers), and a bit of the 11 o’clock news, and I began to chuckle. Perhaps it was a cackle or a giggle–not too sure. Nonetheless, it was one of those quiettomyself moments when I was observing from the inside out the ridiculous state of my own being. This house. Why did I buy this house? Why do I continue to stay in this house? Everyone I know and love tells me it is a moneypit, a black hole, a lemon–the leaky roof is only one of many catastrophes this house has inhabited. I sat on my loveseat and chuckled with no one else around because I know this is true, but I continue to endure, as if to leave this house would be a metaphor for how I handle adversity. “If you manipulate it enough, life will work out.” Is this some famous quote? Nope, just a very poor coping mechanism.
Back in 2009, from March until July, 5 WHOLE MONTHS, Maycee and I lived on the west side of town, very similar to the “west side” of “West Side Story”. We stayed in a one-bedroom townhome situated in the prestigious area of Cook and Western–well-known to say the least. It was not that I researched the location, let me tell you. It was a desperate move made under desperate circumstances that included finding housing for me, my then 5-year-old, our jack russell terrier, 3 cats (go ahead and say it-Oh, My Gosh!), 2 fire-bellied toads, and our hamster, Dafnee. The townhomes were the coveted “pet friendly” variety boasting a large vinyl sign with red writing: MOVE IN WITH US. WE TAKE PETS. From the front of the complex it looked doable, even pretty, with lovely flower beds and freshly laid sod. The manager of the place, a quirky but well-dressed man, even said he’d rent us an available unit next to his so we’d feel more safe. RED FLAG WARNING. The price was right. Jackpot. We’re in.
Within those 5 WHOLE MONTHS we had our car egged for parking in front of “the wrong house”, heard (and later saw) our neighbor’s back car window get shot out by a disgruntled somebody, witnessed numerous meanwhitelady screaming matches against her 5 small children and inandout of prison boyfriend, and we were awakened one early 2AM morning as cars on our street were smashed by a wreckless driver who sped as fast as he could for who knows what reason. I eventually had to give our jack russell to my sister in Fresno, as when I’d go out at night to let him potty, I never knew what character I was going to run into in the bushes or behind the large sidewalk trees, some were human, some were not. Booming radios from massive parties across the blocks and barking dogs were our background music. I could probably write an entire blog–no, I KNOW I could write an entire blog on the wake-up call I received. Next to the manager’s unit so we’d be safe. Just call me Kasey Klueless.
Why did I buy THIS house. The Yellow Submarine we’ve titled it. I even have a little yellow wooden sign that my mom and step-dad made for me when they first came to visit. In my last post I mentioned that I cashed in my retirement to afford the place. A kaleidoscope of the ocean is visible from the highest point in the park amidst beautiful trees, close to a country store, 3 restaurants, and a gas station. By chance, during a “get away from the apartment” outing, Maycee and I stumbled upon it. When I entered the community it felt like an oasis…little houses of different colors…lush, green lawns with a playground, walking trails, two clubhouses and swimming pools, even a gym (hmmmmm, I might have time to use it some day). Luxurious and seemingly out of reach until I found the Yellow Sub. Old, cheap, with owners wanting to sell and quick. Me, scared, “all alone”, and wanting out of the “West Side Story”. It probably wouldn’t have mattered if the roof had been completely missing, let alone had it been disclosed that it was a leaking sieve. The Yellow Sub was going to be mine: mine and Maycee’s, starting over, away from current fears, a place to call home, once again. We now have Maycee’s height marks on her bedroom door jam. How can you leave that? “We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine. We all live…”
A metaphor. If the world is God’s home, and He uses rainbows to decorate it, then my little crumbly submarine isn’t too bad by comparison. The world is pretty darn scary. This home is a pain in the neck, but it isn’t scary. And, as I continued to think about it more with the minutes ticking by it dawned on me that I relate to my house in a love/hate sort of way. It’s broken and needs repair; it needs unconditional love; it needs to be seen beyond the surface; it needs patience; it needs more time. It needs me, and I need it, and Maycee needs stability. Now for how long my SWM shoestring budget can afford to keep the motor running only God knows. However, with a brand new roof sealed watertight, and a handy boyfriend to help with repairs, the Yellow Sub is ready to sail along the ocean floor once again.