It is during times of distress, duress, and trauma that you learn who your true friends are. You can have an idea of who they are during good times. But it’s the hard times that truly reveal who the people are that really care about you.
When I determined that it was time for me to downsize, despite the warnings friends gave me nearly three years ago, I was traumatized for a few reasons. First and foremost, I had to move away from the lake that gave me such solace for six beautiful years.
Then, there was the realization that I had too much STUFF! It was overwhelming. That’s when my first friend stepped up to the plate. Sherry Rudolph operates a business, Legally Clean. She pitched in and packed all my books, CDs, and the kitchen! She even brought one of her workers to help pack up the dishes, pots, pans, utensils, and packaged goods. Sherry came twice and her help was invaluable!
Then, my realtor friend Lisa took me out to look at apartments. Even though I didn’t take any of them for one reason or another, Lisa referred me to the guy who packed the truck up. Tyrone brought his sidekick Randy and they did a really fast job of getting everything into the truck, with the exception of a few odds and ends that they fit into their pick-up truck.
The real distress came when the apartment I was to move into suddenly became unavailable because it was on the 5th floor and of the two elevators in the building, only one was operable. Security told us we could move the bed and a bookcase up in the available elevator but we had to carry everything else up the stairs. Well THAT was not going to happen. So, I was forced to decide whether to put everything in storage or leave it in the truck (at $44 plus per day), until I found another apartment.
On top of all of that, I missed the entrance into the storage facility, kept on driving with Tyrone in the pickup and my dear friend Marika in her jeep following me. I turned into a Shell station, saw I had room to maneuver the truck through the station back on to the street to get back to the storage unit. Only problem was that I miss calculated about one foot and tore the fender off or a woman’s car parked at the pump.
Let’s talk about trauma! Luckily, I took the U-Haul insurance @ $14 per day and the lady nor her passenger were hurt. The time we spent reporting the accident to the insurance company really took its toll on our little caravan. So, I decided to drive the truck from Hollywood to Wilton Manors, where I thought I could get a storage unit to unload the truck. But U-Haul’s storage unit was very expensive and the one free month came after I paid $189 plus tax. Turns out I left my stuff in the truck for four more days, for a total of five days @ $44 plus another $95 that I didn’t know I would have to pay for the dollies and furniture pads that we never used but someone (who, who, who) broke the seal and so I got to pay $25 just for the unused pads! and $14 a day for the two dollies (sheeeeeeeeeeeesh)!
Anyway, Marika saw that I was simply overwhelmed and offered her extra room to me. I spent the night there and the next day, I went to see an apartment in a senior complex owned by the friend of another friend of mine, Carolyn. This place was tiny but very clean and fully furnished. At first, I thought I could just move my bed and a few pieces of my furniture in there but after some more thought, I decided to take it furnished and leave my stuff in storage. However, when I left that complex, my car decided she was going to be sick. Oh, nooooo, that just wouldn’t do.
So, my son, Michael suggested that I just stay with Marika, help her out financially, get my car fixed, and leave my stuff in storage until I find the place I really want to live in. Then, Marika shouted out, “I could use a roommate!” That sealed the deal! So, I had two storage units, until my dear friend Jus’ Cynthia accompanied me up to the smaller unit, yesterday morning, to consolidate all of my stuff in the larger unit down in Hollywood. That done, now I just have to seek a nice, clean, modern, apartment that will contain my stuff and not cost me the arm and leg my old apartment was costing me. I’m downsizing from $1,256 a month to around $800-900 a month. I feel better already.
Now, I’m living comfortably with Marika and plan to move into my own place by May 1. What has happened is that, after living in Fort Lauderdale (the third leg of the Bermuda Triangle), since 1985, I’ve decided that I like Hollywood and will be looking for a place here. It’s 10 miles closer to Miami, where I’m contracted to do a play “It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues” with the M Ensemble. The play opens April 6-21, and rehearsal began February 25. So, for the next two months, I need to be closer to Miami. The downside is that I’m 10 miles further away from my father (93), who lives in West Palm Beach. Oh, well, there’s always an upside and a downside.
In the meantime, I’m not homeless and I feel very loved. That’s what’s important in life! and friends make that possible. Marika insisted that I keep a positive outlook. When I said “I’m homeless,” she said, “No you’re not!” She took me to her mechanic, who fixed my car in one day and didn’t overcharge me. Having my car repaired really took a load off of my mind.
I can get by with a little help from my friends! And the love from my family is so appreciated. My father, brother, son, daughter, and grandchildren all expressed good wishes for my safety and comfort.
Thank you and much love!