4 days down during my 2 week temporary homeless stint all over New Jersey, and it's going great! Due to my floors needing to be done over after catastrophic damage from my hot water heater bursting, Awesome Girlfriend Megan and my friends get to take me in like a stray puppy during these two weeks.
My Thursday night started at my home away from home, Kite's at Minerals. We had our Minerals Sports Club Monthly Member Social Mixer, and it was so much fun getting to see my friends, several of them have been enjoying my Homeless stories. Some of them would show up at Kite's and say "Hey Homeless Steve!" The jokes about me using their empty boxes to live in wrote themselves. We had some drinks and many laughs per usual. Shout outs to my pals Deb, Annie, and Kevin who also offered up their spare beds to me during my homeless stint. I'm so blessed. I then was able to crash at my besty Jasen's. Jasen is the first friend I ever made here, and he's still my best. We enjoyed the Josh red wine I brought over, caught up on our days and then went to bed. Spot my nephew was so excited I was sleeping over his place! Then attempting to relax on the futon in his spare bedroom, I was almost ambushed by his 4 foot tall stuffed panda BEAR, Bobo. I forgot he kept Bobo in the spare room, and he was watching me licking his chops during my stay. Jasen's futon was very comfortable, I feel that now I'm becoming an expert in futons during this homeless stint. The morning was amazing. So easy, and getting to cuddle with Spot was absolutely therapeutic. I loved my pets growing up, and of course love my Pets Of The Week every week, but honestly that feeling of unconditional love from a Pet just can't be beat. Spot was vibrating with excitement, so happy to cuddle with me. Success!
After Steve Andrews said I was "just sitting, drowning my sorrows with cups of wine in my friend's empty house," I decided to switch it up a little for my Wednesday night. I went over to my besty Jasen's place and enjoyed fantastic steak and wine with our buddy Spooner. Shout out to Spooner, who is also volunteering his place for me during my #SteveWorldTour - Homeless Edition. Spoon also is a master when it comes to marinating steak. Delicious porterhouses that he seasoned in salt, pepper, montreal seasoning, and marinated overnight Jasen gets credit for the smart@$$ Snap candid he took of me while we were enjoying steak and wine, where he said my bros were "feeding the Vernon homeless." I realized it was the first time in many months just the three of us hung out with my toddler nephew American Bulldog Spot, and it was a wonderful time. I successfully thrived two nights at JG and Tati's, there may be one plant casualty but I don't think it was my fault. I think that it's likely due to old age of the plant that caused a leaf to fall off, not my fault, but JG and Tati will be my judge on that. I can't wait to swing by my place after work and take more progress pictures, hopefully we're getting there eventually.
These past two nights I have been crashing at JG and Tati's place in Vernon on Campus. How lucky are they? Awesome Girlfriend Megan and Steve Andrews like to point out that for some strange reason there seems to be a recurring theme of friends not wanting to be home while I'm visiting. I think it's just a strange, funny coincidence, right? JG is very tech savvy, and I'm not. He was so sweet to set his lamps for me that are controlled by his Alexa (I failed miserably during my lesson over the weekend,) and sent me a guide on how to work his Apple TV. After just 20 short minutes of struggling, I was able to put on my Red Sox playoff game and felt right at home! Their place is so immaculately clean I'm just trying to not dirty nor break anything. I also forgot to bring wine glasses, so fortunately my plastic Boston Strong cups were able to help me stay classy. At one point I found myself avoiding walking on their area rugs with my cup of wine to dodge any spilling risk. I dodged a major bullet. Apparently Youtube went down Tuesday night, and I was watching the Sox on Youtube Live. If Youtube went down while I was watching the game, it would have resulted in an immediate major panic attack fearing that I broke their nice TV! Fortunately for me, Youtube went down approximately 20 minutes after the Sox game ended.
These next couple of weeks are going to be a challenging, major adjustment. These weeks will also be a reminder of how lucky I am to have my wonderful friends in Jersey. It's not everyday when you learn your home isn't available to you for two weeks. I'm lucky where there will be someone working on my place and I can check on it everyday, morning and night. In late August, my hot water heater broke, resulting in catastrophic damage to the 40 year old solid oak hardwood floors. I live in a one bedroom condo, with no loft nor basement. The insurance adjusters looked over my place and made the recommendation we do my entire floor over. The water made my floor split in the kitchen, and rise all the way to both my bedroom and living room requiring a complete overhaul. Since my hot water heater had likely been leaking from July to late August, I've likely been breathing in mold fun for the past few months. Fun times, right? No wonder why I've been sick so often the past few months. My eyes tend to water much more at home than work, this could be a reason why. This weekend Meg and I were packing as much as possible and bubble wrapping my favorite possessions. Then yesterday I received a call from my landlord, where the contractor was asking for me to remove every single thing I have on TV and night stands. I had to leave work, frantically dump everything into trash bags, and then help move night stands and lamps around --- basically I was a contractor assistant for 45 minutes and less than thrilled. I completely understand wanting me to move stuff on my TV and night stands, but to even have ME move the stands for them? Ah well. At least they seem to be very hard workers. I was frazzled and out of sorts at work all day after that ordeal.
Homeowner tip: you can get a hot water heater alarm to let you know when things go awry, for $20 these days. If you don't already own one, I highly recommend this. These inconveniences are not fun, and I'm lucky to be owning instead of renting in this situation. Even though it's a rental situation, I still treat my place like its my very own. I always encourage everyone to try and see silver linings, and see adversity as opportunity whenever possible. My life has blessed me with an amazing family and so many spectacular friends. The thought of being homeless for two weeks can be extremely humbling and at times frightening.
How lucky is Meg? She was more than happy to take this picture while shaking her head in disbelief --- probably because she can't even believe how lucky she is, right???
The outpouring of support from my friends has been so touching. Between my first and most frequent roomy, Awesome Girlfriend Megan, to Jasen, JG and TG, Brad, Sally and Douglioso, how lucky am I? They have all offered for me to stay at their place during this process. I'm going to be doing a rotational schedule of sorts, trying to stay on Campus in Vernon as often as possible to keep my leased Jeep Compass from going even further over my mileage. This week the jackpot winners getting custody of me are Meg, JG and TG, and Jasen. How lucky are Awesome Girlfriend Megan and all of my friends?
My plan as the worst house guest ever is to at least bring over a bottle of booze for all I'm putting everyone through. Living out of my Jeep Compass has been an interesting experience already! Night one I went to Meg's in Hackettstown, showing up with my suitcase and a bottle of wine. She got pizza, and we enjoyed Monday Night Football together (when her tv stream was functioning at times.) We had one minor hiccup, where I had Meg turn on her air conditioner because I was hot. She then vented that I turned her bedroom into The Frozen Tundra while we were watching the Packers at Lambeau Field. How lucky is Meg? I'll be keeping you posted here and on social media the latest, fun developments on my #SteveWorldTour - Homeless Edition. #WhatCanPossiblyGoWrong?