tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In case you couldn't guess, this will most likely just be another blog about the bar, the boy, and the lake. So if you've already heard enough about all that, you should probably hit your browser's back button.

The bar. Sigh.
The public auction for the building is the end of this month. This auction is very confusing. I've had to try to explain it to everyone who asks. The auction is actually only for a second mortgage on the building (the mortgage that's in foreclosure that's held by Charlie). Whoever bids the highest is buying Charlie's second mortgage, and then still has to pay off the first priority mortgage held by the bank. My bosses will attend and bid, and we will hope for the best. But we still assume that Charlie will bid the full amount (yes, on his own foreclosure) so that he can then pay off the first mortgage and own the building. That is what his attorney told us when they finally turned down our offer to settle.
He has been made aware that if he ends up owning the building, we will dissolve the corporation and the Brookside will cease to exist, and he will be left with nothing but an empty building., but he still seems to want it. I believe it must be some kind of personal vendetta at this point for him. It certainly wouldn't be a wise investment on his part. But who knows. I think the man is probably crazy.
We can only hope that he isn't able to get financing for the first priority mortgage, and we don't get outbid at the auction, or that somehow, we are able to purchase the first priority mortgage from the bank.
We are still hoping for a miracle.
I say we... But I'm a realist. A cynic, really. I don't believe much in hope or miracles.

I spent all my savings on the down payment for this place, but I've been putting a little bit of money away for the last couple months. Plus I got a small deposit back from my rental. I was so proud for being able to squirrel away so much in such a short time. And it looked like a lot, until I realized I've enough in savings right now to pay all my bills for one month of unemployment. I've got a lot of bills. Shit. One month.
If the auction is the end of this month, and then assuming the buyer (assuming it's not us) closes with the second mortgage and the bank in about 30 days, we've got about a month and a half, maybe two months in business.
That's not much time to try and save more.
Shit.

And what do we do about an income? Do we job hunt? I know I want to stay on right until the bitter end. I know we've all promised to. I also know that the other girls have other jobs or working significant others. I don't. I don't have anything but this. When it's gone, I have nothing. We'll all apply and qualify for unemployment. But it will take time to start coming in. And it'll be a fraction of what we claim, and will only be a tiny fraction of what we actually make (tip income). So it won't be nearly enough to sustain.
We're screwed. Or more accurately, I'm screwed.
I did put my resume in for two different jobs this week. If for some reason I get an interview, I'll hope that they'd be willing to wait to take me on after the business closes. That's IF I get an interview, and IF they'd hire me. Both positions I'm a bit unqualified for. But I figured, what the hell. Might as well throw in my hat. I've got a few years of management experience now and I come with excellent references.
I hate the thought of job hunting again. For so many reasons.
Anyway...
Sigh.

I miss the lake. Every. Fucking. Day. So. Fucking. Bad.
When I don't have work to keep me occupied, I literally cry off and on all day. It's awful. At home, at the grocery store, at the bank, at the drive thru at Dunkin. It's beyond my control. When I'm home it's worse. It's all day. I can't stop it. I don't remember a time when I've been this terribly unhappy. I wish every day that I could turn back time and change my decision to leave. I daydream every day about the new tenants not working out and me being able to go back. It's not healthy. It's all I can think about. I've talked to my old landlord. He knows to contact me as soon as one of his properties opens up again. Even if it's the one across the street from the lake, where I first started. I'll go back. I'll sell, re-assign my owner financing, or just walk away, and go back. Crazy, I know. But I would. I am so miserable.
Who knows. Maybe someday I'll feel settled here. Happy, even. Maybe someday I'll learn to love it here, and won't want to leave. Somehow.
Or maybe someday I'll end up with a husband and leave here to live with him.
All kinds of things could happen.
Although I admit, that last one is probably pretty unlikely.
I belong on the water.
Someday, somehow, I will get back to it.
Until then, misery.

I still don't see the boy much. So, no lake, and still no boy.
At least when I lived at the lake I had that to entice him. To swim, to fish, go boating. Now I have nothing to offer. And I don't see him a whole lot more than I did before. Maybe a little, but not much.
The only difference here is that he stops by for just a minute while he is out riding the trails. Usually once or twice a week, only for a minute. Does a wheelie on the lawn, says I love you, and he's off again. It's really only a minute or two, here or there. A couple times I've asked him to come for dinner and he has. He stays for about 45 minutes and heads back to his dad's. Once last week he bribed me into picking him up late at the fair by saying he'd spend the night at my place. I was so excited. I thought maybe it would make him see that staying here wasn't so bad. He came home late and I took him back to his dad's early. I'm not sure it accomplished anything.
This isn't quite what I had in mind. Maybe someday he'll want to come home again. This is his home, too. I am his home. He just doesn't see it for some reason. And it breaks my heart. He truly is all I have anymore. I still don't know how to cope with losing him, too.

I have been primarily alone for a couple years now. Yes, I have seen someone, but they live away, and have a life and kids and lifestyle, all separate from my own. We have been together, but separate. It has always been the way. And as long as it lasts, it always will be.
I haven't had a real "partner" for two and a half years.
I often wonder what my life would be like if I did. Would I be so miserable if I weren't alone?
Of course there are things I miss about having a partner. The friendship. The togetherness. The coupling. Always being together, always having each other. Never waking or falling asleep alone. Spending your days and nights together. Doing things together, or nothing together, every day. Yes, you can be lonely in a relationship. But in a good and healthy partnership, this awful loneliness doesn't exist. Maybe I would be happier if it didn't.
Who knows.

I was going to go to the lake yesterday. I shaved my legs, put on shorts and a tank top, got my folding lawn chair out of storage... But I couldn't. The only landing is the one where you can look across the cove and see my old house. I just wasn't ready for that yet. And so, I didn't.
I still think that maybe I need to spend some time with the water. So yesterday I decided that today I would go to a beach. I don't know of very many (even though I was born and raised in Maine), so I would just go to the one that I know. The one where my father last gave me away. Even given the circumstances, it's still one of my fondest memories. I was happy then. I loved life. Everything was perfect. I had my children, my family, my father...
But it's cold and it's raining.

Maybe I'll just stay home and try to escape in a book.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I turn 44 tomorrow. Holy shit. Where has the time gone? Where has my life gone?
I could get all philosophical here, I want to, but I won't. But I will say... the time has flown by. My life has flown by. One minute you're in your twenties, living it up, having the time of your life, struggling with the woes of youth... the next minute you're aging faster than you ever realized, and your life is close to over. It's bizarre. Time flies. Life flies.
But I digress.

I dreamt of the lake again last night. I still do, every night.
At least I don't wake up crying in the morning anymore. Not all the time, anyway. I still long for it, mourn. I'd still move back if I possibly could. I continue trying to accept my decision and move forward, but it's still a work in progress.

I still don't see a whole lot of the boy. I have seen a bit of him by default lately. He had to come here on Sunday to meet his sister to do some algebra homework for summer school. The week before, he spent two nights here because his dad was out of town. But generally, he still stays at his dad's. He hasn't really popped over to visit much lately. I'm hoping that will change.

I keep telling myself I didn't give up the lake for nothing. It wasn't just for the boy. It was for me, too. Even though I loved the lake more than I even knew I did. I gave it up for home ownership. For a future home for myself. For not having to search for a rent somewhere when I'm older. For stability.
At least, I keep telling myself those things.

There are all kinds of things I'd like to do with my savings. I'd like to buy a pool. I'd like to have my lawn treated (there are an abundance of ticks here), I'd like to buy more plants and trees for my property, to "make it my own" and to pretty it up a little, I'd like to make improvements to my fire pit area, buy some outdoor furniture, the car needs a brake job...
But I don't dare spend any of my savings, with the bar being up in the air.

We still have yet to hear from Charlie on our offer. He has had our proposal for a week and a half now, and still no answer and no counter offer. And he has yet to post the notice of public auction yet as well, even though he could have posted it since July 9th. I have to assume he hasn't posted the notice yet because he is considering our offer. At least, I hope that is why. We all wait on pins and needles. A few of us, including myself, with our lives hanging in the balance.

I continue to consider the possibility of getting a dog. Many of you saw on facebook that I had a doggy visit last week with a friend's dog. She was so sweet and easy. But so big and drooly and sheddy. Lol... And I wonder, if the bar closes.. How would I afford to feed her??? How would I afford any dog, let alone, one that big? Part of me thinks I would be better off with a small dog. One that eats less, poops smaller, a non-shedder would be nice, one who's easier to travel with... One like Pixie, the one I got when I first moved in with Mom. She ended up staying with Mom when I moved to the lake. She was/is a sweet little dog. Maybe I'll start stealing her from Mom on occasion. Mom said I could.
I just don't know. Maybe I'm just not ready yet in general. Sometimes I feel like I can hardly take care of myself. Although, I bought a bunch of dog stuff (dishes, toys, chews) while I was shopping yesterday, and I don't even have a dog. What the hell... Who knows.

I had better go get ready for work.
Be well.




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I'll try to make this as positive as possible... Ok, that's a lie.
But I do have a bit of a story to tell about a little bar on the corner, so stay with me, if you can stand the negativity.
Besides, my psychiatrist only sees me once every two weeks for 30 minutes, and that's primarily to handle my meds. And I haven't been seeing my therapist lately, so this blog is all I've got. So, on with it. Get comfy.

I miss the lake.
I dream about moving back almost every night. And every morning I wake up in tears. Over and over, sleeping and waking in the same repetitive torture.
Call me crazy if you will, but if it didn't work out with his new tenants, I would probably sell this place and move right back.

It certainly hasn't proven to be the answer I was looking for with my boy. Not yet, anyway. I mean, I have seen him a few times, and more often than I was seeing him, but it's only been for brief moments. He stayed here for two nights the first week I moved here. The first night, begrudgingly, because he promised he would, and the second night was a surprise, who knows why. He came for a short visit with a friend. He came over to do some algebra homework. He came over yesterday for a couple hours. He was planning on spending the night, maybe even a couple, since his dad has gone out of town for work for a few days. So by default, I might get some overnights with him. I was so excited. But then, at the last minute, he decided not to. Even when his dad is out of town, he still won't stay with me. That hurt. I can't possibly express just how much. I cried all night.
Losing touch with him has been the most painful thing I've ever experienced.
And leaving the lake, in an attempt at "getting him back", has proven to be unsuccessful and even more painful. I gave up one love for another. And it has yet to be worth it. I don't know if it ever will be. Right now I'm just left with nothing.

I've tried and tried to see this in a positive light. Tried to "retrain my brain". Think of all the positives. How I own my own place now. How it will benefit me in the future... I mean, really.. If I look ahead, who wants to be 55, 60, 65, and searching for a place to rent, that you can afford? I'll have this. It is affordable. It'll be paid off by the time I'm 53. And the lot rent is minimal. And the lot is lovely and private, the last in the park, so it's almost like having my own land, kind of. It'll be low cost, low maintenance living, and it's mine. All positives, right? And besides, nothing says I have to stay here. Because it's so nice, and it's location is so nice, it would be easy to sell if I ever want to move on.
But it's so hard to see the positives right now. All I can see is the fact that I'm still missing my boy. And the lake. :(

In other news... As many of you can see from my facebook posts, I am having a visit right now with a potential new doggy friend. A couple friends of mine have a dog that they've been considering rehoming due to their lives becoming super busy, and they heard I was looking, so... We all thought it might be a perfect coincidence.
She has been with me a couple days now, and has proven to be super easy and super sweet. And my cat who typically hates dogs has decided that she's ok. She was actually caught (on camera) rubbing all over her the other night. That was shocking. She's hopped in the car with me and delivered the boy to basketball practice and summer school and to his dad's, and gone to the bank, the pharmacy, and pretty much all over town. She loves to ride. She hung around the yard with me while I put plants in the ground, she slept in bed with me (and what a bed hog!). As I'm writing this she's laying at my feet. She's easy, sweet, friendly to everyone she meets... She's pretty close to perfect. So, what's my hold up? I don't know. Am I ready? Am I ok with dog hair and drool everywhere and poop in the yard? Am I ready to be tied down to caring for something other than myself and a cat? (Not like I have a very happening social life). And what happens if I lose my job in a couple months and can't afford to keep her? Because, there is that possibility...

You see, the little bar on the corner is in trouble. And we've been trying to find a way to explain it to our customers for some time now. So why not start here.
A long time ago, the lady who owns the building that we do business in borrowed money from a man named Charlie. Charlie placed a lien on the building. He eventually took the lady to court and filed a foreclosure suit against her. Charlie ended up winning that suit and was granted a civil foreclosure. Her right of redemption ended on July 9th. At this point, Charlie is now able to begin the process of conducting a public sale of the property. If there is an auction, bidders will be bidding on his mortgage only, and the sale will still be subject to the Credit Union's first priority mortgage. So essentially, at the public auction, he is only selling his interest in the property, his second mortgage, so to speak. Which is an astronomical amount.
As far as we know, it is Charlie's intent to bid for himself at the auction, and outbid anyone there (which would be no one other than us, because who the hell would want to buy a second mortgage on a property???). We assume that he intends to outbid anyone there, and somehow try to pay off the credit union as well, with the intent of walking in and taking over the Brookside as it stands. Well, that's NOT going to happen. Both the credit union and ourselves have recently made that pointedly clear to him. The Brookside isn't part of the deal. He'd be buying the building ONLY, and NOT the business. And we've recently reiterated that to him in a proposal we sent to him. We offered him a settlement in lieu of foreclosure. In that proposal, we made it clear to him that the business was NOT going to transfer with the sale, and that his interest was in the building ONLY. No business, no inventory, no licenses, no equipment, no utilities, no nothing. Not to mention, probably no customer base. Just a building. We are in hopes that this will sway his way of thinking. We now hope and pray that he will agree to our proposal and accept our offer of settlement. And then we would finance his second mortgage (our offer), and the first priority mortgage with the credit union, and become the final and sole owners of the Brookside. And when I say we, I actually mean Matt and Annette, not me. I just say we, because it feels like we have been a team through all of this.
Although I don't believe in the power of prayer, I guess it can't hurt. So if everyone could keep the little bar on the corner in their prayers and thoughts... It has been in existence far too long, as long as I've been alive... too long to see it come to an end. It's a legacy, a staple. It is home to so many customers, and a living to several employees, me being one of them. I'm still hoping that it will turn out in our favor, but we just don't know.

What will I do!?!? A house payment, a car payment, all these bills, and no money coming in... file for unemployment (which won't be anywhere near what I actually make), search high and low for a job that will pay me what I make now in order to make ends meet, who knows how long it will take me to find a decent job... And so much for going back to school.. I don't know what I'll do... And because of my down payment on this place, my savings is gone.. I'm not prepared.. I'm so afraid.. And that's a gross understatement..

To have  all of this weighing so heavily in my mind, added to everything else in life right now, is entirely too overwhelming. I feel like I can't possibly cope with it all. Losing my boy, losing the lake, losing my job, my sole source of income, and quite possibly the only thing I have left that gives my life any meaning...
It's too much. It's just too fucking much.

Well, I guess I should go. I have to deliver a pair of sneakers to basketball practice because the boy forgot them in my car. Even though he doesn't want to hang with me, I'm still a sucker for doing shit for him. That either makes me a good mom or a pushover.
Whatever.

Be well.