I’ve always had a deep connection with the places I’ve lived. Whether they’ve been a farmhouse in Central Oregon or a dump falling apart and musty in Eugene, the walls and ceilings that surround me touch my heart and become part of me.
If I were to, say, win the current Powerball, which is upwards of 200 million, one of the things I would do is purchase each of these properties.
Next, I would fix them up.
While they are being worked on I would spend time thinking about each. What did they mean to me? What memories do I have of them? What were the good times? What were the bad? What did I learn about life, the universe, and everything?
For example, the first house I moved to in Eugene…well, it’s not a short tail. I was suicidally depressed when I “ran away” from home at a more than ripe age of 17 or 18 and had gone there with little but a pack of cigarettes and the clothes on my back to be with my recent high school sweetheart. I didn’t know where else to go. My time there was often fraught with emotional struggle, questioning, personal exploration, and the rare and usually uninspired suicide attempt. I was lost and fears of homelessness plagued me. Indeed, given my constant mental and emotional strain combined with an inability to sleep, I spent many nights simply wandering Eugene, meeting people of all stripes on the streets, striking up conversation, or simply sitting in a park staring at the moon. Eventually, after decades (probably less than a year, but it felt like an eternity) I started attending college again and slowly, ever so slowly, though still battling severe depression, to earn my Associate of the Arts degree in Psychology. I wanted to help people going through struggles like I was. And I met the person, who later moved in with us, who would become the woman I’d spend the next ten years viewing as the love of my life, my soul mate, my first wife.
That is, admittedly, a gutted summary of my time in what I refer to as The Fairy House. But it does give me an idea of who I’d like to gift it to. While this a short list of bullets, one’s that would be massaged and amended if I were to purchase, fix, and regift the property, this is who I’d want to give it to:
- A couple or young family
- Who were homeless or were struggling with homelessness
- At least one attending college to work in psychology, social services, or some type of social justice work.
The only ask is that they’d complete their degree.
So that’s pretty much the essence of it. I’d do this for the ten or so residences I lived in. Some are apartment complexes so that would be interesting, but hey, why not, with that must $$$, purchase them, leave them rent free for struggling students, families, and the like? Why not turn another into a homeless shelter or a mid-way house? And why not use each of these be an example to others who are blessed by having too much money to know what to do with as to what they can do with it?