I hadn’t planned to post until after September 1, when I should be happily crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the Queen Mary 2, on my way to take my dear husband to see art museums and sites in Italy, a trip we’ve saved for many years and postponed twice as Covid raged. I also didn’t plan to go to Europe just when the edits, author photos, bios, and blurbs were due for my new poetry book coming in 2023, but that’s the date my publisher chose, and one does not, these days, argue with publishers. And my friend, Miriam Mysteriam, and her Teen didn’t plan to be homeless in Vermont with early fall coming on. The latter meant I had to squeeze a GoFundMe campaign into trip and book preparation.
Miriam and The Teen have had a rough time lately, having to bury two elders, with all the travel, family drama, and grief associated with those events. Now that their most intense grieving period is over, they were looking forward to a move back to Vermont, where Miriam lived for many years, and where The Teen will be an incoming freshman scholarship student at Champlain College. They packed up their New York digs, traveled to the Montpelier area, and stored their furnishings while they settled in with a friend who would help Miriam find a new home for them once The Teen settled into his dorm. Alas.
The best laid plans. . . .
The friend had her own major life crisis, and suddenly her home was no longer available to Miriam and The Teen. For a short while, they lived in a tent in a local camp ground, but the storage fees, campground fees, and other expenses associated with being homeless (their cat freaked out and seriously scratched Miriam, adding medical fees to the mix) mounted, and the need to find work urgently presented itself. But how do you find work if you’re primitive-camping and there’s no shower? The need to be clean and presentable and even rested (Did I mention the freaked-out cat who doesn’t like either the car or the tent?) required them to spend precious dollars on hotel rooms. Who knew that even the cheaper hotels in Vermont cost almost $200 per night? (Seriously, the closest Laquinta is $175 per night!)
I and so many other of Miriam’s friends were listening to all this and knew we had to do something. Hence, the GoFundMe. With the help of Caren Gussof Sumption and Rachael Dosen (mighty writers, all!) I managed to get a basic page up. Not that I know what I’m doing with either fundraising or crowd funding platforms.
Did I mention you can donate to Miriam’s fund, if you’re so inclined?
Now, I have to turn my attention back to book and trip preparation and hope that folks will be generous enough to help Miriam and The Teen out until they can get settled. What a way to start a freshman year. What a way to scramble for a living. What a way to defy Covid while trying to fulfill a long-held promise of taking my art historian/artist husband to see the art works he studied for so long. What a life.
Life is ridiculous, and sublime, and infuriating, all at once. So we should all hold hands while crossing the street, right?
Stay safe, beloved community.