I have just returned home to the homostead from a trip that had rubber ends, originally planned as a jet set 2 day turnaround to see Janelle Monae perform in Vancouver. I did go to the show, and it was amazing. But way more amazing than my current state could handle. I sat down mid way through, glad to only have one very enthusiastic superfan between me and the row break.
My life in the last month has ground to a halt. I’ve been really sick, my body has hit a hard wall. This time the point of vulnerability has been my bladder and kidneys. In some ways I am surprised that this is my first serious complication of this system. I am on any given day probably dehydrated. I don’t like to be in the world with a full bladder and nowhere to relieve it. This same pressure also sometimes sees me dressing down (leaving parts of my truth on a shelf at home), to access fragments of invisibility that one needs to pass through the hellgates of binary bathrooms. I’m under the impression that trans folks have more complications of our urinary tracts as this problem is endemic. Compound that with the feeling that can slide between discomfort and fear about dropping one’s pants for a doctor or clinic. For me I think it came about as a combination of a bunch of things, but it was really just a matter of which point would blow.
A bunch of years ago I had a Volkswagon Jetta that blew it’s heater core on my way to San Francisco. The nice guys at the jiffy lube showed me how I could bypass it with 15$ of parts from the hardware store. I did that. Returned home. Proceeded to replace the heater core, which involved pulling the whole dash and steering column. The next road trip the water pump went. I replaced it. And it promptly blew again immediately on start up. The head gasket was shot and there was nothing I could do to prevent every other point in the pressure system from blowing out one by one. When the pressure of the system is out of balance, something will always blow, you just can’t be sure which piece will give out next.
This time it was the piss pathways and stress affected adrenals. So I was in pain. And on meds. That made me tired. And messed up my digestion. I weaned Searyl as to not share the meds with them. Which added a pretty upset kid to the mix while removing my greatest magic trick as a parent. I called my mom. Through the bites, hits and tears I called in help and stopped showing up for things I was signed up for. She came up for a stretch of days and then took Sea home with her. Full nights sleep and the drugs doing their thing I seemed to be getting better. I missed the kid and had tickets to a show so I headed for the coast. And then it flared back up. Back on another round. Decimate the bacteria. Even the good ones.
We didn’t leave to come home when I thought I would, and then the trip took 4 days instead of 1 and a half. By the time I got home I was absolutely assured in a feeling that has been building through all of this.
Thinking about the pieces in the systems, the pieces that add and demand pressure, throwing off the balance I have looked at everything. What can be shifted, dropped, restructured?What pieces have run their course?
Of course the guesswork of this is always guess work, and there is always some amount of greener grass in a different configuration, but I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to be leaving the homostead. This will be my last summer here, and it is bitter sweet. 5 years in this house, and building home in a way that had at its foundation a belief that this was my forever home, I have learned a lot. I moved to the kootenays with this romantic notion that I would live somewhere quiet and grow food and babies. And I did. I also lived with heaps of different people, some of whom were really rad and some of whom took my generosity for granted in really abusive ways. Homesteading is not a one person project. Especially one person who is also trying to parent a toddler, work as a director of a small non-profit and freelance in community education in ways that have me on the road. I want space in my life to build trust with people over time, living on a land project that requires many hands puts a fire under the trust building process that has hurt me enough times for me to have learned.
I want a home for me and Sea that feels just right for the two of us. Somewhere we can walk to a park and a store. Somewhere we have neighbours, but aren’t required to have roommates. We want to stick close to the incredible community we have built here in the valley, but the geography of it doesn’t suit us at this stage of things.
So here’s the ask.
Please help us find the perfect little spot, in one of these neighborhoods (Nelson: lower fairview, downhill from Latimer, near Burrells/downhill from Lions Park, Rosemont near the store or Castlegar: downtown, Millennium Park, Lakeview). We are most likely looking to rent, but should luck align, a purchase could maybe in the cards. We need 2 bedrooms and have a cat (maybe 2 if the one who took off while we were gone comes home). A small yard with space for a little garden would be cool, but I don’t want my main leisure activity to be weed whacking the wild back anymore. Other things I’m ready to not do this coming winter include heaps of shoveling and firewood. Since the housing crisis is real and exists in small towns too, I know that many good places never get to the public market, but are passed between people- if you know of something please let me know. And over the course of the summer, please come harvest fruits and help me downsize; I will be having a running giveaway til I move out (August/September).