Saturday, December 20, 2008

Never Too Old To Learn!

The snow has been coming down lately. I was able to get a new pair of boots fortunately before it started. At least this will keep my feet warm which is so important. When your feet are warm, it helps your body temperature to stay up.

I've been watching for others on a daily basis. You can always learn something from watching other homeless people. I call myself a work in progress. I never feel as though I've learned too much. You can never learn too much.

If nothing else, you learn what to do in any given situation, you learn new tricks. And sometimes you learn what not to do, by some of the dumb things that people do on a daily basis. You can always learn. Always!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Manic Day

It's cold and rainy out today, about 38 degrees. It's not quite freezing at 32 degrees, but it's cool nonetheless.

It's important to keep dry during weather like this. Once your clothes (jacket, hats, gloves, and especially shoes) get wet....they stay like that the whole day. The worst feeling for me is "wet feet"! I hate"wet feet"! I'm looking at a guy sitting on the steps of a church across the street, and he appears to be drenched. I can see his face from here. I know the "look"....hopeless, dejected, and one of embarrassment when people walk by.

Like me...he doesn't beg. He just sits....passing the day, minding his own business until he can possibly get into a shelter for the night. Most shelters don't open until 6:30 or 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Family Affair

I'm starting to see more and more homeless "families". Sometimes one child with a parent or parents. Sometimes multiple children are present. I'm wondering how the parents get by without being stopped by the authorities. Especially when school is in session, and the children are not in school on a daily basis. Hmmmm. Makes you think.

I feel for the children. Not many shelters accept families with children, or even children for that matter. I know it has to be hard, as it's hard just me by myself. Many that I see, the children don't complain. I wonder if many ever had a stable home to begin with?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I hate "Meeeces 2 Peeeces"!

The place where I'm staying may have a rodent problem. I felt a mouse crawl up my leg last night! (At least I HOPE it was a mouse....and nothing bigger!) It appears to be relatively clean, but that "little guy" tells a different story! I'm not afraid of them, I just don't like "sharing my bed" with them. Upon further inspection this morning, I found some mouse poop on the mattress. Yuck!

Cup Half Empty or Half Full?

It's been a while since I have posted to this blog. Things have been rough, but I feel blessed to be alive nonetheless. I count my blessings everyday. When some see the glass half empty, I see it half full. There are days though when it's hard to stay positive.

The weather is changing. The shelters are at the "max". Cramped. It's a shame, because some have been shut down to make way for the "elite" and "professional" set. They are trying to close Franklin in NW!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Like Oprah & Trump.....The Big Give!

I have a big heart. Always have, always will. Even in my current state, where I have virtually nothing, I am always thinking about the other person. I can't explain it, just never have been a selfish person like many.

I had the weirdest dream last night. I don't know if all of this stress has triggered me dreaming something like this, but it was weird. I dreamed that things were hard for me, but suddenly, I became very wealthy somehow (don't ask me....i can't remember how.....i woke up! lol) Suddenly, I went from walking everywhere to driving my dream car a BMW 750! (I actually woke up feeling guilty that I had such a nice car. Can you believe it? I felt guilty about.......a dream!) I had a nice condo or house with as many rooms as I could see in a dream. My kitchen cupboards were stocked to the hilt. That part I remember very well. And yet, what stood out most in this dream, is that every day I would get up, and start cooking, and filling to-go containers with food. I would then assemble everything that was needed for a homeless person to enjoy a meal. I then loaded my new Black BMW (beautiful) with all of this food. I stuffed it with as much as I could. I knew what it's like to be hungry for even a moment. So I packed my car so that no one would have to go hungry. Then I went on the "prowl". Driving by parks, abandoned lots and anywhere that I knew there would be homeless people. Then I would get out, and start handing out the to-go boxes. It was a weird dream.....but a very good one. I felt like Oprah on "The Big Give"!

The Walls Are Closing In.....!

I have CLAUSTROPHOBIA! This in a city that is getting smaller by the minute. I love DC, but there are times when my claustrophobia / anxiety disorder get's the better part of me. There are times when I have to sacrifice what little resources I have to get away from the city for a minute. I've lived in NY and New Jersey also......suffocated!

DC has fit the bill so far. But it's changing, and becoming more Metro-whatever. It's kind of a good thing tho.......because i'm witnessing history being made. But bad for me, because I can't cope sometimes. The amount of people in some locations, i.e. China Town, Union Station areas and many more, is stifling sometimes. I deal with it the best way that I can. I'm like a side-winding snake or a crab....I avoid the crowds many times. Don't get me wrong, I can go to events, shows, movies etc. (my buddy took me to see D.L. Hughley about 2 weeks ago) but I have to leave soon eventually when the crowds start to M.O.V.E.

Better Beginnings

Back in the was much better for me. I come from a good family, where I was always provided for, and had the best. Even when I became an adult, I worked hard in almost everything that I did. I've been in and out of Corporate America for many years now. The gigs that I've had paid me out the wazooooo, and basically paid you for "just showing up". I've been used to having the best when it comes to apartments, condos, and homes. So you see, I have'nt always been homeless. It just goes to show that it can happen to anyone and anytime.

I was caught off guard the first time that it happened. I had failed to plan ahead, and it cost me dearly. I remember it well. My first corporate down-sizing! What is down-sizing, I said? I had never heard the terminology before. I learned very quickly, and boy was I in for a rude awakening.

I remember getting my "pink" slip. Wasn't even "pink". I felt cheated! (lol) At least give me what you say you're going to give me.....right? You're giving me a pink slip.....that's not even pink! (I can find the humor in this now.....even though at the was devastating).

Being that it was my first time, as I said, I was not prepared. I was used to having thousands of dollars in the bank, travelling with friends, eating at the best establishments etc. I had a nice car at the time.....which basically saved my hide. Everything started to reverse on me with the job loss. No longer did I have the mega cash on hand, no more eating expensive. The so-called friends....bailed out on me. Bills started to mount. My savings......wiped out. Zero. Zilch. Then came the fabled EVICTION NOTICE! Uggggh! I still have problems saying that word now. My nerves were shot. I was scared out of my gourd. I ended up selling or giving my furniture to neighbors and friends, and put whatever else I could in storage. I couldn't even afford a large enough storage area to house all of my vintage, and antique furniture. (That still pains me to this day. One of a kind items. Irreplaceable!)

Anyhow, to make a long story short, everything being dissolved from the home location, it was me and my car now. I remember finding a little gig thru a temp agency. Having a gym membership, I could still shower etc and clean up to go to work. I wanted to work. I wasn't used to not working. So I slept in my car, drove every morning to B_ _ _ _' _, worked out briefly at 5 and 6 am, just like now, and then went to work.

What made this time so difficult was that it was going into the winter month's. And at the time, I was in the mid-west. Midwest winters are "NO JOKE"! Temperatures in the teens, with a windchill factor added in! Whew! I remember putting blankets, and comforters in my car trunk. It was soooooo cold. I would drive around and find quiet, private spots where I would be undetected on the street. I wanted it to appear that my car was just a parked car, and no-one would be the wiser. Until those night at 2 a.m. when you have to go take a whiz in -10 below weather. ( Note to self: May you never again "piss into the wind"!) I remember having to start the car 'every 5-10 minutes. I counted by my watch, and it seemed that every 8 minutes, my fingers and toes would go numb. I couldn't risk any frost-bite damage to my hands especially, since I made my living with my hands etc......'typing, multi-tasking'. I had to learn a lot of little tricks to survive. It was harder in the mid-west than here in DC. There weren't all the "agencies" that there are here to help you out. So in order to eat somedays, I had to charge lunch on my gas cards, and store the food in my trunk. Only things that were non-perishable though. Also, it had to be something that could be eaten at the time, because in this weather, anything else would be frozen if left in the car. And I had no microwave or any way to warm it up.

Just a brief overview of my 'first time'. I would never wish it on anyone. But just goes to show that it can happen to anyone, no matter what status in life.