Thursday, July 9, 2009

Leif's Twenty-First Home - Sun City Center, Florida - March 2005 to February 2006

In March 2005 we moved part of our household goods and all of Leif's, including his Yamaha motorcycle, to the house we had purchased in Florida. Since I wasn't going to be able to move there permanently with the rest of our things until September 2006, we had two extra bedrooms he could use and live with his dad while looking for a job and a place to live. He set up one room as an office/entertainment area with his computer, stereo system, television and a love seat, and the other as his bedroom. He spent a lot of time in his office area online, looking for jobs, playing online games, and searching for women to meet and date. Peter W. appreciated having someone there for company, at least part of the time.

Leif found a job working for Amscot, a financial services company that makes payday loans and offers free money orders. He had hopes of moving up in the company and was promoted to assistant manager at one of their storefront locations, but a fellow employee had it in for him and he ended up leaving the company and going to work for Alltel in their Tampa call center. Since Alltel had purchased Western Wireless, the cell phone company he had worked for in Manhattan, Kansas, he came on with some seniority and a little bit better wage than a new hire would have gotten, and again hoped to move up.

He still seemed depressed to me, but not as much so as he had in Manhattan. However, he still would get down in the dumps, couldn't sleep, and would take his back pack out on his cycle and get a couple of six packs of beer and sit in front of the computer drinking one after another until in the wee hours he would finally manage to drink himself to sleep in his chair.

During his time living in this home with his dad, Leif sold hjs Yamaha cycle and bought the fast yellow Suzuki you've seen photos of. That seemed to brighten him up. He knew that we disapproved of his taking on a loan for a more expensive cycle (he had paid the other one off) when he still owed us a lot of money, including the money for the Dodge Stratus we loaned him the money for when he graduated from KSU in May 2003. Despite the friction over that, he loved riding that new cycle around the Bay area at terrifying speeds, making us terrified that he would kill or maim himself or someone else that way.

He also totalled the Stratus in an accident in Tampa in December 2005 on his way to a date and then bought the silver Mazda RX-8, saddling himself with large monthly payments for two vehicles. He loved that car, too!

We had hoped he would be able to save up a nice nest egg while living here, since he had minimal expenses, but he kept spending money wildly, another symptom of depression. He could been in good financial shape, and we tried to talk to him about it and about how he was going to have to move out when I finally moved down to stay and would need money for a deposit on an apartment and money for more furnishings, but he insisted it would be "no problem." After he died, I found an email he wrote to someone else that said he had saved up a thousand dollars before he moved out of our house. I didn't know he had managed to save up even that much, but it was a drop in the bucket compared to what he should have saved.

In January 2006, right around his 31st birthday, he met Donna and was captivated. They knew each other barely six weeks when they decided to get an apartment together in Tampa. He moved out of our house and into that apartment in February 2006, and lived barely two years longer.

The photos above are:
1. Leif showing his grandmother, Marion S. Kundiger, her first (surprise!) cell phone, which he and I got her for Christmas, on December 25, 2005.
2. Leif in his "office" in our house in Florida, March 13, 2005, only a few days after moving in there.
3. Our home.

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