Behind a brightly colored, overgrown bougainvillea bush in Linda Vista hides the modest home of Christine Hauser. Shes lived in the house for more than 20 years, but this week shes getting kicked outevicted for defaulting on her loans.
Hausers known the foreclosure was coming for some time, she explains, as she leads me through her house stacked to the ceiling with boxes and possessions shell likely lose in the shuffle, but, she says, she believes shes done everything she could. When the police come knocking May 1, shell have no choice but to go. As of yet, she hasnt found a place to live.
I still havent figured out exactly what Im going to do, says Hauser, whos managed to collect $275 from friends, which shell use to help pay for the storage space she rented for the few things she cant bear to leave behind.
People who know Hauser call her Tie-Dye Chris or simply The Tie-Dye Lady, because her main source of income comes from the tie-dyed shirts, dresses, kids clothes and even underwear she creates and sells at craft shows and bazaars. Her regular vendor spot is at the Seaside Bazaar in Encinitas on Saturdays and Sundays, but she travels to bigger craft shows across the country when she can.
It was one of these bigger shows, in factthe Kenny King RV showthat Hauser partly blames for her financial woes. She spent $400 for a spot and stocked up on tie-dye products, expecting to sell more than shed ever sold before.
I thought itd be my salvation, she says, looking down in noticeable embarrassment, but it wasnt.
That financial hit, combined with generally poor sales during the previous few summers and an accident a few years earliershe was hit by a car, leaving her with chronic back and knee problems and prohibiting her from working for a timemade the downward spiral more like a high-powered vortex that sucked up her savings.
Finding a cheap new place to live would be easier for some, but Hauser has 23 catsyes, 23and she refuses to abandon them. She rescues cats and, because shes somewhat of a softy, she ends up keeping them.
I look in their little eyes, and promised that I wouldnt leave them, she says, and Im just such a cat personthere just has to be a way to get through all this.
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