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Well, when y'all got together, when unemployment meant we couldn't afford to stay in California any more, and got us the money to get out to my parents' place in Arkansas I said I'd pay it forward and write.

And then when our RV burned down and you got together again and saved us from homelessness again you didn't hear anything but World of Warcraft diaries from me from four months.

I desperately owe y'all an update, so join me below the Big Orange Pastry below and I'll do my best to give you one.

Well, I don't fling my coffee grounds out the back door any more.

Although we have woods, and birds, and raccoons, and even deer occasionally out here, some of whom may want the free food if not the faceful of hot coffee leftovers. No, we're trying to be better people so I started a compost pile. I suspect that this compost pile only serves to strengthen the poison ivy, but we're trying, dammit.

We're staying in a cottage in a small town on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. The only similarity to Arkansas is that it's a very small, quiet community. There are a number of differences - namely that the Cape is covered in a web of these charming, picturesque small towns, each of which has real stores so that we're ten minutes away from everthing we'd need and not forced to drive to the "big city" an hour and a half away to avoid Wal-Mart.

Also, the "big city" an hour and a half away is Boston. Which, well, counts. Come to think of it, Providence, RI is about an hour and a half away.

There's a game store ten miles from here, and bookstores and libraries all over the place. The libraries have science fiction and homeschooling sections.

We had a winter. The cottage has heat and everything - it is a very nice three-bedroom home in the woods. Although I do appreciate, deeply, that LL Bean makes flannel-lined jeans. We bought Little Loner a sled and it never snowed again. All the locals were incredulous about the mild winter we had here, and warned us of the brutal eighty-five degree summers we could expect.

We laughed about that for a long, long time.

So, we're recovering. I don't have a job yet, but I get leads almost every day so I remain hopeful. I'm thinking seriously about changing careers, but I don't know what to. Apparently they automate lighthouses now so that's out. We also don't have a game group, but we did find some homeschooling groups so Little Loner has little friends now and Mrs. Loner isn't so isolated.

It was a wrench getting Massachusetts license plates - I'd like to keep the California ones as a memento, but I expect California will want those back.

Mrs. did manage to break her ankle at a playground during one of these kids' group meetups, and getting that sweet, sweet Romneycare has been a challenge because she lost all her ID in the fire. But, I've mailed the request for info that MassHealth asked for yesterday, and we expect to get her replacement CA ID in a few weeks.

So, things get better. I don't have screaming bad news to report, and it seems like a long time since I've been able to say that. We've made one NE Kossack meetup so far, and we should be at the next one too. I may even be able to scrape up a NN12 membership.

Thanks again. We would have been in a shelter in the Bay Area if not for you. We would have been in a shelter in West Memphis if not for you. Don't ever think that I will ever forget this.

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