Continued from last blog
Now I was sorta lucky. I was homeless in a small town not a big city. I had a long standing reputation as a very hard worker. I knew a lot of roofing, carpentry, landscaping, tree cutting and various things to make money. So when I could get there I usually had work I could do. I had some houses that I did yardwork at on a regular basis. Some of these kind folks knew my situation and so would always feed me when I was there working. Anytime I was walking around and would see some kind of work going on I would stop and ask if they needed help. Most of the time if it was a construction site I would get to work. They had gotten used to seeing me on all the jobsites and had heard I was a good worker.
One of the big yards I used to do a lot of work at was up near Philpott lake. On the days I did work there I would make it my last stop. That way I could hike to the lake and get myself a bath. I could also camp back in the woods out of site for the night. I could usually catch a ride back to town the next morning with one of the factory workers.
I also lived a full winter in my car one year. One of my cousins owned a little plot of land that the soil couldnt be perked on. So he couldnt build anything permanent on it or sell it. It had a little rutted dirt road that went down into it with a little curve and then you went over the creek on a concrete bridge. I lived there the whole winter because noone could see my car from the road, it had a creek to bath in and my cousin owned the land so I didnt figure I would get arrested for staying there.
Let me tell you, bathing in a mountain stream in the wintertime is beyond COLD! It must do something for your immune system though because that is the only year I have ever went without getting a cold. This is also where I almost became another homeless statistic. I woke up one morning freezing to death. When I looked out I realized there was three foot of snow and NO way for me to get the car out to the road. I was so cold my lips were purple and there were icicles in my mustache.
I had almost froze to death even though I had piled clothes, blankets and a comforter on top of myself before going to sleep. Needless to say, this was one morning I skipped my bath in the creek!
Now here is a good example of how people dont want the homeless around. One day I went to work. I spent a hard day at work on a roof. Near the end of the day I had pulled a muscle in the arch of my foot.At this time my car was broken down so I thought I had gotten lucky when the boss offered to give me a ride. Boy, was I ever wrong! I got him to drop me off at the top of the little dirt road because I didnt want him to know that I was homeless. Well, I go stumbling down this rutted slippery dirt road in the pitch black dark. When I got near to where my car was parked I held one hand in front of me. I kept expecting to run into the rear bumper. Well, when I was sure I was right in the middle of the spot my car was parked on and still no car I took my lighter out of my pocket and struck it to see. NO car! This is in the middle of the winter, it's night time and freezing cold. I have a pulled muscle in the arch of my foot, I'm twenty miles from anywhere in the middle of the woods and my damn car is gone!
I spent two weeks without even a car to live in. Come to find out, the nieghbor decided he didnt like my car being there. So even though it wasnt his land, even though there was a creek and plenty of woods inbetween me and his house( i couldnt even see his land), he decided to have my car towed. Since it was private property, no wreck involved and the nieghbor told the tow truck driver that he owned the land, this was not reported to the police. So when I called them they had no idea what I was talking about. Well, finally, only because my best friend worked for one of those rent-a-center places, while he was delivering he happened to see my car in a towing impound lot.Well, thankfully my cousin was cool enough to call the place and the nieghbor and raise enough hell to get my car back. I guess the asshole nieghbor had to pay the bill. I sure hope so anyway!
I am now 38 years old and I still dont have a place to call home. I DO have morals, values, hopes, dreams, goals and plans though. I never robbed or harmed anyone or broke into anyone's place while I was homeless. I never begged for what I got either. I have worked hard all my life for the little I have. Not ALL homeless people are bad people. Not ALL homeless people bring their situation on theirselves. This blog is so long it will probably take up my whole page and nobody will want to read it. But even if I kept on writing I would never be able to get the point across of how hard it is to make it much less get ahead when you have no place to call HOME!
In the movie Pay It Forward, the guy says....Close dont count! Until you crawl your ass into that stinking nasty dumpster and pull the trash and newspapers over you just to keep warm, YOU JUST DONT KNOW!!!!!!!!
No words were ever more true my friend!
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