Little houses for the just-dumped woman.
That’s the business I was about to start when Funk decided to ruin our lives by running for mayor. I had even built a prototype on land we owned in Missouri, and it came out achingly adorable.
My premise for that enterprise was, because it seemed like so many 50-year-old women I knew were being discarded for a younger version of themselves, I wanted to build the newly-dumped a home they could afford, would be maintenance free, and was gorgeous enough that it would take some of the sting away.
To that end, each month on bulky item pick-up day, after retrieving my kids from school, we’d scout the neighborhood collecting antique windows, doors, moulding, and flooring from the side of the road, all of which were headed for the landfill. My entire garage and basement were stuffed full of magnificent building materials—free supplies that my kids moaned about having to haul into our van and then into our home.
As if they wouldn’t financially benefit from their mother’s newest brainstorm.
Some of those items went into my prototype: a 300 square foot home with every available inch utilized, much like on a ship. I placed leaded windows up high towards the cathedral ceiling and surrounded the lower walls with tons more windows to let in the view. I insulated the hell out of it to keep heating costs low. A gas stove warmed the entire space and provided an open flame for the just-dumped to daydream killing their exes by.
Soon after that sliver of loveliness was built, Funk ran for mayor and won. And soon after that he was run out of town. Literally. Job offers were extended, and the next day mysteriously disappeared. It didn’t take long to realize Funk had been blacklisted by the “establishment.” The regime in Kansas City wanted to make sure he would never run for mayor again, and we were forced to move from our children’s childhood home. (That story will be told in the 3rd book of the C’mon Funk Series.)
Anyways, this how we found ourselves in DC. It’s also how my brainstorm got placed back on the curb on bulky item pick-up day.
Fast forward 13 years, Funk just returned from a mayoral forum that consisted of four previous Kansas City mayors. His consulting company’s team and I prepared him for what I suspected would be a continuation of the attacks he endured as mayor. Given my intuition, I wanted cold, hard facts to accompany the question regarding what Funk had accomplished in his four-year term.
It is obvious to anyone who lives in Kansas City to see that Funk brought the city back from the brink of bankruptcy and placed it on solid financial footing, so we focused on the crime rate. And while I knew that Funk had reduced crime, I hadn’t realized just how significantly he had done so.
From the FBI database of violent crime statistics.
• Violent crime in Kansas City has yet to return to the low rate it hit when Funk left office
• Put another way: Kansas City’s violent crime rate was at a 20-year low during Funk’s 4-year administration
• Violent crime fell by one-third (33%) in Kansas City from 2007-2011—Funk’s time in office
• The number of crimes that went unsolved increased by half in the five years before Funk’s administration (unsolved, and by half, meaning, the police did not catch the bad guys 50% of the time). That stopped when Funk became mayor and instituted a culture of accountability
• Case clearances during Funk’s administration increased by nearly one-third (clearances and increased by one-third, meaning, the police did catch the bad guys 30% more of the time when Funk served)
Unfortunately, Kansas City’s crime rate has gone back to what it was before Funk became mayor, only worse. A sad testimony that politics is rarely “for the people” anymore. Yet when you do get that uncommon person who wants to help level the playing field for the other 99%—poof!—made-up scandals abound and dreams die, and in Kansas City’s case, citizens died too.
Here’s to you if you don’t give up trying to make life better for yourself and for your fellow human, despite what seems like unobtainable logistics. If you stay married to your husband when his dream takes precedence over your own, especially when yours would’ve made a ton of money, and his only placed your bank account in the red.
The Photo: My little house idea has been resurrected—though I’ve changed it up a bit! I’m about to find a way to build an artist retreat on this little plot of land located in my beloved Hawaii. More on that in a later post.