Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve Thoughts...

December 31st last day of 2015 – New Year’s Eve – and the day has begun on a mixed note.  I am able to use Erich’s car to go to & from work and to go shopping at Schnucks after, I had a decadent breakfast of chicken salad and crackers and slept till 8am to boot.  Yet I am unable to reach the realtor on either her direct line or her cell phone and have left messages on both.  I’m a bundle of nerves surrounding the issue of money even while the rest of my life is positively fine!  I am looking forward to a wonderful New Year!  Just looking around me I am reminded at all points about how blessed this year has been.  Where I am today looks nothing like where I was a year ago.  Over the course of the year I started a new job, took my GRE, learned to live alone and even moved into my very own apartment, became a biological grandmother for the first time to an amazing little boy named Jackson, and lost almost 20 more pounds.

I returned to my faith community and began to find peace with the ghosts of the past, allowing me to bring them along as memories not agonies.  My children and rented children have also done well this year – new jobs, new homes; new experiences with the loves they brought along.  I am amazed at how bountiful the blessings have been – we are all farther along on our journeys than were this time last year – who could ask for better?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


November 30thLast day of November, first day of the new pay-period.  It’s been an eclectic & smorgasbord kind-of-day.  I had the hardest time falling asleep and then slept until the alarm went off; I’ve eaten a random collection of food although I have been satisfied with almost all of it; I locked myself out of the apartment but discovered how to buzz myself into the lobby with my cell phone (I now owe the office a $5 lock-out fee) – and on & on.  Erich will be over tomorrow instead of tonight to look at my network settings – which is wonderful since I am a very tired old woman right now and want to do nothing more adventurous than put my feet up & watch television.  I have to be at work earlier tomorrow (9am) so I will need to get to sleep very early tonight.  I did get a phone call from the management – there have been bedbugs reported in an adjacent apartment so they’re spraying my apartment tomorrow – I thought I saw a bedbug on me the other night but had brushed it off as my imagination.

I’m not sure I actually ate 2,342-calories but I’m just going to leave it be.  November was an odd month of transition but the best part of it – fitness-wise anyway is that I now weigh 152½ lbs. – the lowest I have weighed in at least a quarter-of-a-century.  I have a new apartment – the first under my own name and completely mine to decorate the way I choose.  I received a 4% raise at work and I was part of the Black-Friday Team that made their SPIFF goal meaning we get a 2½% bump in our compensation for the week’s sales.  I am looking forward to the last month of the year – 2015 was an amazing year for so many reasons and I’m going to need every one of the next thirty days to list them all.  It has been wonderful to see how much good has entered each one of our lives – Lord knows we all deserved a good year this time around.  Everyone has worked hard to make the best of the last half-dozen years and all of our hard work, coupled with an immense amount of Diving Grace has made all the difference. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

The End of One Era... The Beginning of the Next

Dearest Friends & Family

It’s been a little under 36-hours since I left the courtroom after learning the outcome of this long home foreclosure process.  In a nutshell I have been given 60-days (November 10th) to vacate this property and find a new place to live.  The judge kindly extended the time normally given in such matters by a full month so that I might be able to make my arrangements. The normal duration between the closing of a foreclosure case and the time when the property must be turned over is actually 30-days.  Despite this kindness however there is much I need to do & that’s where I need your assistance.

First off I ask for your prayers that I may use the time remaining wisely and that as I steady my emotions and think clearly about what my very next steps will be I will not give myself over to feelings of failure & grief.  For most of you this is the only Ruszczak home you have ever known and I am keenly aware that there are more than just my memories wrapped into the mortar and wood.  In truth I have lived here longer than I have any other location during my entire life.  I know every crack & stain – and the house echoes with the whispers of a million memories.

Second I need help in planning and executing a series of open-house & garage sales so that I may be able to raise the money I need to actually move somewhere else.  Although I have been working at OfficeMax since April it is only part-time and now my hours have been cut as the Back-to-School season is over and the Christmas season has not yet begun to ramp-up.  I make just enough money right now to make my bills, take care of my animals, and buy my RTA pass to get myself back-and-forth from work. Please understand I am not complaining – I have been incredibly blessed by this job and being able to take care of myself without my family having to donate to my support has been life-changing.  I love the job – the people, the work, the customer interaction – and although I never intended retail to be the career I chose after graduating from college  (and the possibility of my going to Grad School is still very much on the table) I have thoroughly enjoyed my sojourn back to the world of retail.

I am also aware that right now I don’t make enough to afford most apartments – and that fact scares me.  On top of that I am more aware than ever that I need a car since I cannot guarantee that I will be able to move to a location that still leaves me the ability to get to-and-fro without one.  I want to stay in Signal Hill – this neighborhood has been my home for a quarter-of-a-century.  In addition I must now make arrangements to re-home my four cats, KazĂ© & Frankie in case I cannot find an apartment that will let me keep them (and many places won’t).
Lastly I want many of you to have certain items from this house as a token of my love for you and my gratitude for all of your affections & support (especially these last 4-years) that sustained my heart & soul through some very dark times.  I cannot fathom my life without all of you in it & am not ready to say good-bye to any of you.  But my future is really up-in-the-air at this point.

Almost everything I own is up-for-sale at this point – I want to move with the least amount of possessions I can manage.  I also want to raise as much money as I can in order to give myself the cushion I feel I need to weather the changing number of hours that retail work is known for and doesn’t leave me at the mercy of capricious reality.  I barely know where to start – it really feels like everything needs to get done all-at-once.  Any suggestions, assistance, and support you give me at this time will be deeply appreciated. 

I cannot help but feel that I am at one of life’s great tipping points and if I don’t do “this” right, I may never recover.  Although I knew this happening was inevitable given the financial requirements of keeping this property & continuing to maintain its many aging mechanicals I have yet to fully appreciate the details of my future.  I do ask one more thing of you – if you hear of an apartment somewhere close to this neighborhood I would deeply appreciate you letting me know.      

Thank You.