So I know I promised no more 'missed' days.... but this weekend really freaking sucked. Like. BIG. TIME.
This was the kind of weekend where I just wish I had stayed in bed - done nothing and slept... just slept the whole weekend away.
But I didn't.
Hail Mary was out of town doing this ball-room dancing thing.... so didn't come home from work because the class is a two hour drive away (don't ask - lolol) - and to my surprise The Boy went to bed very worried that Hail Mary wasn't going to "come home."
Honestly - that kind of broke my heart - but made me happy at the same time.
I didn't think much about it - I've been putting them to bed on my own for years, so to me it was "business as usual" - but as I tucked them in The Boy, with a very worried look on his face said, "Mom.... [Hail Mary] is going to come home again..... isn't she?"
For a moment I laughed it off - then it dawned on me that he
Which is kind of funny because this week the kids and I attended the out of town wedding of a lesbian friend and The Boy said to the girl who we are friends with, "Does this mean you're breaking up with my Mom and we won't see you anymore.....?" Which had everyone laughing. So that night I had to explain (again) to The Boy that while I am lesbian who dates women that *doesn't* mean that every woman I am friends with is someone I'm dating.... lol
So. It was good to know that Hail Mary is having a positive affect on the children and their hearts. I know she worries about this a lot - pretty much every day and any time she has to be stern or correct or discipline them - she worries that they won't like her..... but kids need boundaries and I believe that they *want* people in their lives to appropriately set them for them. I am - no WE - are very lucky that Hail Mary takes such a serious interest in being a co-parent to the children.
So that was Friday.
On Saturday I had to drive the kids out to Bubbie and Papa's house so that Bubbie came watch them while I work. I had several sessions booked for the day - the first one had cancelled in the middle of the night because their little one woke up sick.... :( Not serious sick, but caught something at the first week of school sick.... poor kid. But, we re-scheduled and I got to sleep in... yay!
Then I headed downtown. There are several places that we (PDX photogs) shoot in and around Portland. On the waterfront on Water Ave is one of the busiest. There is a fire station there, and a giant parking lot. Almost every race that's run in downtown goes through this area. There is a large overflow parking for OMSI and there are runners and walkers and bikers and local business in the area.
There are two roads that lead up to the fire station- Main and Salmon. I have parked on either of these streets hundreds of times. Both of these streets end at the main parking lot and on all four corners, there are (and have been for several years) homeless camps.
Actually.... there are homeless camps alllllll over Portland. They are currently lining the sidewalk in front of civil buildings in downtown, they frequently take over parks and whatnot.... to say that homelessness in Portland is a bit of a problem is an understatement.
However, this is also a VERY popular location for photos - just while I was there four other photographers showed up to shoot people there as well... so - I have continued to use this space and I greet the people in the camps with a friendly smile and sometimes money or food. The camps are big - each one has at least 6 to 12 people there almost all the time, so that's about 20 - 30 people homeless people on either side of the street when you walk into the area and when you walk out.
On this day I pulled up and both sides of both streets were fully parked up and the only open spot was at the front of the line about 15 feet from one of the homeless camps. As I parked I thought to myself.... "Well, I think it's 'okay' because they wouldn't break into a car so close to where they are.... right?"
So. F*cking. Wrong.
But, I parked the car, tucking my Tom Tom under the seat, pulled out my camera gear, locked my car, greeted the people I saw with a friendly nod and a hello and walked to the area to meet my client.
My second job was a freebie for a client who I knew really wanted to get pictures done, but I also know they can't afford them...so I when I had an opening between two jobs I set up a session for them for free which they were "super excited" about.... so excited that they never showed up, never emailed or called.
My next client came and it took longer than usual because they were new and their kids needed a little more time to warm up to me and to getting their picture taken.... which was fine, I didn't have any other plans for the day. We finished up after about two hours and I headed back to my car.
As I approached ... my spidey sense started to tingle.
There were no people..... both camps were empty..... why?
Then I looked at my car and stomahc started to sink..... my small window had been broken out. By this time I was directly between the two camps and carrying around $8K in camera gear in my bag.... which started to make me feel really scared.
So I quickened my feet and jumped in my car locking the doors..... glass was everywhere.
Once I was *in* my car - I looked up to see people gathering back at both camps......
I backed up and calmly drove down the street to another area away from the camps, my hands shaking, glass crunching under my feet and my ass. Good times.
I sat in my car crying because every penny I had just made for the day isn't going to cover the deductible on my car insurance AND.... I already needed that money to pay bills.
I called Hail Mary - but she was working and didn't answer so I left her a message.
I thought about calling the police, but a broken window isn't *that* much to fix and I know a car accident has to have more than $500 worth of damage for them to come out and write a report.... and surely a window isn't more than $500? Right.......?
I sat for a while feeling sad.... then I started to panic..... where were the Kindles?
Where is The Girls purple Leap Pad.........?
Where is my phone charger.......?
Where is my Tom Tom......?
Losing the Kindles sucks. If you recall, that was the kids "big" present this last Christmas, a Kindle Fire for each of them..... and both were now gone. Awesome.
The Leap Pad...... Why take my kids Leap Pad? It's a baby game... with Electric Company and Kids Bop and Alphabet games on it.... but it also had picture and movies that The Girl had taken on it.... pictures and movies from when we were all still living in our house with El Capitan - memories from a time when we were still a family. Memories taken by small, pudgy three year old hands..... gone. Lost. How am I going to tell her?
And.... my Tom Tom. So.... in ten year of marriage El Capitan had *not* been the world's best gift-giver. We either never had enough money - or he just kind of sucked at it.... no really. He *sucked* at buying me things. There was the Christmas where all he bought me was The Snoop Dogg CD - but not like a really good one... kind of a crappy one. I never got an anniversary present.... we were waiting to get something "big" for our ten year... but that came and went with a $6 bouquet of Safeway Carnations and dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (and a quickie on the living floor for fun.... just sayin'). Which was fine..... I mean - it's not like he totally forgot or something.....
But, I was always getting lost going to weddings and job and calling El Capitan at home or at work to go online and help guide me to where I needed to go.... and so ONE CHRISTMAS.
ONE GLORIOUS F*CKING CHRISTMAS...... El Capitan bought me that years brand new TOM TOM - which was *awesome* enough... only on TOP of that he had bought Snoop Doggs voice for it!!!!!!
You can actually go online to Tom-Tom and buy different celebrity voices for your Tom-Tom so that you don't have to listen to the boring voice.... Snoop Dogg say's cool things like when you get to your final destination he say's, "Thanks man.... I had the time of my life....." or when follow his directions and turn left or whatever he'll say, "yeah.... just like that......". The kids LOVE it.
I loved it. It was the first (and *only*) present that El Capitan ever got me that I loved.
And it was gone.
I sat there crying.... it feels like every part of the life I had before just keep getting.... removed from my life. It's not that I haven't moved on.... I HAVE moved on. I am happy with my life. I am happy to be an out and proud lesbian. I am *thrilled* to have Hail Mary in our lives..... and I am happy that it *seems* as though my kids have (so far) made it through alllll of this: intact.
Thank f*ck for that.
However..... I was still married. I was *happily* married and I love my house and my studio.... and my couch and my table and my built in hutch and my bed..... and my hand-painted bathroom...... there are only a few things I still had and the Tom Tom was one of them. Anyone who has ridden in my car *knows* how much I LOVE my Tom Tom. And now it was gone. My one and only gift from El Capitan.... it was gone, too.
Then I got out of the car and started looking.....
Hand-prints covered the side of the car where the window was broken.
Footprints from some Converse-Shoe-Wearing-Homeless person kicked both the passenger & drivers doors.
A metal piercing dent in the drivers side door.... wait - WHAT?
I look again..... and now I'm seeing all kind of scratches and piercing dents where some kind of metal object was used to hit my car..... great. I walk back over to the window and now I can see that the FRAME of the window is BENT!!!! F*CKING BENT!!!! and there is a large piercing dent in the BODY of my car where the car meet the door/window frame... and it's bent.
They CROW-BARED MY WINDOW to break it.
Just busting out my window and stealing my sh*t wasn't *enough* - we have to BEND the sh*t out of everything to do it......
I follow the hand prints and find them on my trunk..... I open the trunk and see an empty place where my Black KitchenAid mixer had been sitting..... I had only *just* put that in my car to take to the new place - and it was hidden under a few blankets and stuff..... but they left the blankets and all our sweatshirts and CD's and even some money (though they took most of my parking/gas attendant tipping money out of the center console) - and dug out my KitchenAid.
So then I call the cops because now I *know* this is doing to be a lot more than $500 to fix..... and the very nice lady cop tells me that she knows exactly where I was parked and that in the last two months there has been a serious uptick in crime around these locations.... awesome.
I ask her why they would leave blankets and nice sweatshirts and she tells me that they only want electronics or metal to sell for heroine. She is very nice and very compassionate - tells me I did nothing wrong (but it all feels wrong that's for sure!) - and she gives me a case number......
So THAT was my weekend.
On Sunday doing my Goddaughter's senior session..... my currently working camera died.
SO THAT was my weekend..... sigh.
I hope yours was better.
PS..... in spite of having full Comprehensive Insurance through a major company - apparently I'm NOT covered for "mayhem" as advertised..... good times. Gooooooood times.