Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shelter - My Story

Like many people, when I was younger I lived in apartments. I've had neighbors leave candles burning which started fires, leave pipes to freeze so that the water to the building was shut off and it would stay off for weeks before the landlord would attend to it. I've listened through walls to child abuse. I've had landlords accuse me of damage that was already there when I moved in. I really grew to dislike apartment living.

I always wanted my own little homestead.One day I gave up apartments to move into a cabin on a friend's land. It did have electricity, but no plumbing, and a wood stove for heat. I had a job so I was able to buy firewood to stay warm. I managed to save some money and after a year or two I rented a house. That was another fiasco. The friend who got the house for me, I later learned, didn't own it. He was wheeling and dealing. The rent kept going up until I had to move. I was asked by an acquaintance to come to New Hampshire and live with  her elderly mother in a mobile home so off I went. After the mother passed away, I rented the home for a while, but the daughter had no interest in maintaining it. After notifying her about the condition of the wiring, sure enough, there was an electrical fire. My dogs were ok but it was traumatic. And it was my first night of true homelessness.

My sister sent me enough money to buy a little 17-ft camper. I had a friend with an 80-acre horse farm who let me rent a parking space. I went through several jobs before finding one that paid well and I thought, was secure. I managed to buy a little house on an acre of land and thought I was in heaven. I had sheep and goats and a garden. I had room to set up my weaving loom and work. I could have friends over.

Then the bottom fell out. Businesses were closing. My company went under after laying everyone off. I lost my house and my truck. I was facing homelessness again. I managed to get a car and another friend gave me a loan to buy a really cheap 25 ft. camper trailer. It's a 1969 model with a lot of problems. The water reservoir has been removed and water pipes cut. I never could get the heater or the oven to work although the stove top works fine. The electricity worked for a while but finally gave up. The toilet snapped off after about a week. There are holes in the floor. but it's mine!

For a year or so I parked it in another acquaintance's driveway, but that soon got uncomfortable. I decided to move back to Texas where the winter's are easier. I can put up with heat better than shoveling snow now. I won't go repeat what I've already written about the trip, but here I am living in an RV park and it's not bad for now. I'd like to be on my own land again someday, but at least I'm not homeless.

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