Washed Away

a series of vignettes from people on how they've made home in the world

  "I bought it for the great tree," says Karen of her new home in a historic area of Sugar land, Texas.

"I bought it for the great tree," says Karen of her new home in a historic area of Sugar land, Texas.

I am a fifty year old female public defender who lost 80 percent of my belongings in a rental house during the Texas tax day floods. I was displaced in the middle of the night and had to live in a hotel. I have family in the area who did not offer me a place to stay. They simply couldn't be inconvenienced.  It greatly damaged my view of home, family and security. I lived in the hotel for a while, spent two nights with a friend, a stranger took care of one of my dogs and I paid for boarding for the other one. I luckily found a somewhat "low end" apartment that would allow me to bring my dogs.  It was a melting pot of people of different backgrounds, incomes, and ethnicities. I hadn't lived in an apt in over 20 years!   And, this wouldn't have been where I'd have chosen to live.  But they were the only ones who would let my dogs live with me. They were oh so kind and lovely.  It was nice to drive in and have people greet me everyday after work!! While I've now moved on and purchased a home in an "appropriate" neighborhood. I'll always remember how "at home" I felt sleeping on a mattress with my 2 big dogs in that tiny little apartment.  For some reason, I still miss it somedays.

It sounds strange to say but, while painful, it ultimately has turned out to be a very positive experience in my life.  It "washed away" relationships that needed to be gone instead of pretending they were something they weren't and truly strengthened some other ones. ( My sister came in town and stayed at the hotel helping me try to wash and save things.) It left me far more resiliant and forced me to develop better self care habits. I took up cycling to keep myself from falling into a depression. It worked. I was never materialistic and I'm financially stable so it was fine in that regard.  It really did give me a greater peace and "zen" feeling that has been very empowering! Life changing!!  - As told by a woman who wished to remain Anonymous


Point-of-View is an on-going documentary project of people's vignettes about making home in the world. Stories are minimally edited to retain the author's voice. If you have a vignette, send us a note

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