At the moment I am homeless. Not homeless in the sense that I don't have a place to sleep. But homeless in the sense that I don't have an official residential address.
That has been the case since I vacated my rental house at the end of May. However, I was able to push that fact onto the back burner while I was galavanting overseas for all of June and most of July. Now, as I sit on my bed at the Painted Turtle Guesthouse, with my laptop balanced on my lap -- I guess that's why we call them laptops -- the reality has sunk in.
Before I left for my trip abroad, I made an offer to purchase my apartment at Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community, and Pacific Gardens accepted my offer. (As I am a shareholder in the development company that is building our apartment complex, I am -- effectively -- both the vendor and the purchaser.) Back then the assumption was that construction would be completed during my absence, and I would take official possession of my apartment upon my return to Nanaimo near the end of July.
Now I've come back to Nanaimo, and it turns out that construction is not finished. It's close, but it's not quite there. The big thing, from a legal point of view, is that we don't have an occupancy permit. As I understand it, the City of Nanaimo will be inspecting the building later this week. The inspector will look at things like the sprinklers that belong to the fire suppression system. If the inspector is satisfied, we will get an occupancy permit. When that happens, purchasers officially will be allowed to take possession of their apartments.
Being involved during the construction phase of this project has been a lot messier than I had dreamed it would be. Along the way there have been surprises, delays, panics, you name it. From an emotional point of view, it has been a roller coaster ride.
But, through it all, the sense of camaraderie amongst us cohos has been tremendous too. We've all pitched in, volunteered for the project, and supported each other as individuals. Even after the shocks I've sustained, the reality of belonging to a cohousing community has exceeded my hopes and expectations.
Sitting here on my bed at the Painted Turtle Guesthouse with my laptop perched on my lap, a profound realization has sunk in. I am a Pacific Gardener, and that is tied into much more than a physical address.