Christmas-Fire Update

Once Upon a Time, I could say anything I wanted here in Ye Olde New Blog ‘cuz, ya know, it was, like, ‘just us’. Since the fire there’s a lot more of ‘us’ and I don’t know who they are anymore. You Old Timers will probably be able to Read Between the Lines fairly easily. The rest of you, just take it at Face Value.

My daughter’s family is still safe and warm in that slightly larger hotel room with kitchenette. Did I tell you that last time? I can’t remember. I don’t remember much at this point to tell you the truth it’s all just such a blur. It’s getting a little cramped in there but it’s better than where they were and it’s shelter from the storm we’re having today. In that regard, I know just how completely lucky they are. For some people out there, tragedy strikes and no one even notices. They go from teetering on the edge but having a place to live to sleeping under a bridge in a matter of hours. I am grateful the family is not in that position.

So far, no luck with the Apartment Hunt. Like most other people I heard and read about the Housing Crisis before now but I didn’t really get my head around it until now. I’m still trying to do that, actually. Back in the Dark Ages when Hubby and I were apartment hunting, before we moved into the house we lived in 7 different apartments. Sometimes it was just us, back those Early Days, and sometimes there were 4 of us. While moving will never be listed as One the Most Fun Things To Do in Life, we didn’t have much trouble with it other than straining our backs. It’s not because we made a lot of money, we certainly didn’t. There were many months we had trouble making the rent but it was always the top priority. It was because there were apartments.

Looking back now, it seems like there were a lot of apartments in a lot of different neighborhoods in a lot of different price ranges. We cruised the classified ads–back when there was such a thing, just looking for a place to live is vastly different now–find things we thought we could afford and go look at them. We always kept the neighborhood in mind, we lived in many diverse neighborhoods where the only common denominator was our income level which was not what would call at that elusive Disposable Level. With one exception, back those crazily intense Just Us Days, we never lived in an apartment complex. We lived in apartments inside cut up houses in real neighborhoods.

A few years back, work was completed on a rather large apartment complex in Good Ol’ Downtown New London. They’re not cheap. Not by anyone’s estimation. Before that, for several years, other smaller apartment complexes or condos maybe, popped up down there. Two more are Coming Soon with another about to host a Grand Opening in the next few months. Granted, these places are Modern and Safe, very chic. So perhaps they’re worth the rent being asked. I don’t really know. I do know that for those prices I can make a mortgage payment so…..

I’m told all this Housing Boom is due to Electric Boat (or EB as we call it, you must run those letters together as if it’s an actual word to say it properly) and their hiring of, I think it’s like, 5000 new employees. Something like that.


But, keep in mind that EB lays off too. It’s a cycle. In a few years, when the pendulum swings to Not So Rosy, they will do just that en mass.

In the meantime, rents are sky high.

Even in those apartments as I described above, most of which are not Modern and some of which are not necessarily what one would call Safe. They’re nice apartments, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t have the amenities of those complexes. No pool. No gym. No private parking. No Starbucks in the lobby. You get me? I’m kidding on that last one. Nope. The two are just not on par with each other. Yet the rents remain around the same asking price.

I know landlords have to make money, I’m not against that. (The Term Landlord herein refers solely to a private person who owns rental property not to the lovely LLCs that are greedily buying up the same multi-family houses and quickly turning them into dumps.) I do ask that they realize, if they are trying to compete with the New Improved Shiny Complexes, they should upgrade their old a apartments to have a better chance. If they can’t afford that, perhaps they’d like to lower the rent from the stratosphere to some place where everyone can breath. The landlord gets money and a lower income family stops struggling their butts off to pay 2k a month to live in a small hotel room with their three children.


Then again, what do I know? I certainly had no idea at all that soooo many people wanted to come and live and in my little City by the Sea.

I really didn’t.

Rebeca and her family are still there. They were very much hoping, that given all the money collected, they would have a Home for Christmas. Yet, even with all that money, no one wants to rent to them. Their income level isn’t high enough. Not one single State Agency has stepped up to help. Not one. I don’t want to hear any bitching from the Peanut Gallery about how easy it is to suck off the State and not have to work. So far, they haven’t even gotten SNAP never mind someone to talk, just TALK, to them about how to find housing. Again, so far, not one local organization that claims to be of assistance to people like this in dire times like these has offered their helping hand. It seems as long as they’re in a hotel room everything’s hunky-dory as far as these people are concerned.

What a joke.

I’ve always said that, despite opinions to the contrary, this country is very happy to let anyone and everyone die cold and hungry in the street.

Although at this point, I suppose I must admit, that my information here is all second-hand. (Except where the Housing Crisis is concerned, you can get that info in Your Town USA.)

Yet it is Christmas. I know there’s stress and strain on the family. I had hoped to ease that a bit when paying for that room past Christmas. I had hoped to be able to work a little Christmas Magick for the kids. This is absolutely no year at all for Santa to ‘forget ‘ about them or ‘not be able to find them’. This year, for them, Christmas means more than ever. I would actually go so far as to say that is probably the most important Christmas of their young lives, except Reighna who has no idea what’s going on because she’s not even a month old yet.

Alas, in the end, my ideas to make things a bit more homey and Christmasey for them will not be put into action. I hope when they wake on Christmas Morning they are delightfully surprised.

We have worked very hard on our end to make the house as Christmasey as possible, we even bought a live tree for the first time in decades.

Hubby baked cookies and helped me wrap presents. Nikki and I had a lot of fun stuffing stockings. I haven’t stuffed a stocking for a child in many moons and it was delightful. All of the old Christmas figurines are out and on proud display. The front window has a warm string of white lights and the sill is holding angels, bells, and Christmas teacups.

I hope to have a nice relaxing and fun filled day with my family on Christmas, after all, truth be told, it is our very first one and we’ve waited a long time for it. Too long.

After that, I don’t know what’s going to happen. 2k a month is a hell of a lot for one little room when it could be paying rent instead. We have some cash that people donated and I kept in reserve for just this foreseeable occasion so that will get them through a little longer. We have not touched the GoFundMe money yet but, if this keeps up, we will have to. On that front, I am happy to report that we are only $140 shy of our original 5k goal! Not too shabby! Many thanks to all of you who donated and I ask you to share that link so we can keep the fundraiser ‘alive’.

My wish this Christmas is that my daughter’s family find a place to live. If there any landlords out there reading this in New London, Groton, Waterford, and the like, who are willing to give this family a chance please get in touch.

I would really love it if my oldest granddaughter got a home for her 4th birthday which just so happens to be Valentine’s Day. She is the light of my life, my sunshine.