I Was a Squatter. Day 262.

It was in my dream, but it lingers still and seemed so dang real.

I broke into my old house on Shamrock Drive because nobody lived in it. Along with all of my pets and kids, I set up my bed, put our family kitchen table back where it used to be, making sure to line the legs up with the tiles that Roger and I installed in 2005, and let the dogs run around the large, fenced-in back yard.

The glossy black front door was locked tightly with the deadbolt and the room-darkening shades in the front side of the house were always pulled low, like an inch below the wooden trim that Roger and I painted, semi-gloss white. I had butterflies intertwining in my chest bones, keeping me on alert to inform the others to not make noise.

People never knocked like I thought they would, and the owners were out of town, but I knew it was coming, so I never truly relaxed. I woke up this morning knowing it was a dream but I couldn’t shake the emotion, the fear of being homeless.

These are actual fears I had when we lived in Massachusetts before Tunnel to Towers came to our rescue. I used to wonder what we would do.

I Googled land in Western NC to put a trailer or RV on until we figured it out, and I looked up dilapidated old farmhouses in flood zones. I researched the tiny home laws in the different counties that were close enough to Tye, and I also wondered if we would be able to rent a place, but with COVID that was not happening. The market was a mess, people were sick and dying from a horrible pandemic, and we didn’t have the right people in our corner. I was determined to find us a way to create a home in North Carolina, no matter what it was.

I wonder what would have happened, how we would have done it on our own, and I just can’t

My dream, though, shows me that I’m still not over that fear, that vivid thought that someone would take us away from our home or that we wouldn’t be able to find one. We are at home now, in a place that is perfect for us, private, safe. Home.

More than anything, it reaffirms my gratitude to T2T, my understanding that we do deserve this happiness, and my never-ending celebration of it all.

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