The door was swollen from the leak in the roof. The carpet by the doorway was frayed and bunched. The mail was piled at the door below the mail slot forcing me to put my whole body against it. It was mid-January and bitter cold, but still the harsh odor of the house hit my nostrils like no other smell I had ever experienced. For more than a year I had a favorite song that I played constantly. Recorded by Tom Waits ,"The House Where Nobody Lives" was the title. This was that house in every way. From the piles of newspapers to the peeling paint. The windows were covered in layers of contact paper and blinds under curtains and plastic. It had been years since anyone had entered the house. It would be years of cleaning and clearing out the mountains of hoarding before bare floors would be found all through it from a lot of work and a bit of love.. Like a line in the song:" Without love it's just a house where nobody lives." It was my job to bring some love back into it. To sort through the mountains of trash and save pictures of the family and a precious few salvageable keepsakes.
To me the house was a place to heal from severe nerve damage to my spine, the pain of my recent separation and later divorce. To change my way of life, shed the baggage literally and figuratively. The house was my "reality check" showing me what I could become if I kept collecting things until I was old. Living in the house allowed me to create World Guy Foundation and dedicate myself to walking across the country for diabetes awareness. This smelly, cluttered, house destined for destruction saved my life.
Now all these years later it is time to leave. I have cleared it out and made it ready for the next family to make it a home. And I am soon to be back on the road to share diabetes prevention and control with exercise. My new job, my new life.