under the overpass…

US 1sign

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

It is hard to wake up on a morning like this and not think about the homeless.
Winter is’nt even here and in Florida we have already had our first freeze this morning-my room was 26 degrees Farenheit,not the record of 23 from last year…but enough to be reminded.
Heater? Well,yes there is a heater…but for those of you that have no knowledge of the hazards of a space heater-mine has to be shut off at night during sleep. They are just too dangerous.
Its just me and a pile of blankets and two chiuaua’s trying to stay warm together.

I have this desperate hate for the winter-the older I get the worse it becomes. I think I’m reaching a point where I’m too tired to have to bring on the extra energy it requires to get up from under all those blankets and try to do a ‘mad max’ to get clothes of some kind on my body and plug that heater in at the same time.
Its really bad to have to poop…to huddle on a toilet seat under a blanket and hope the cold seat does’nt scare everything back inside. There’s actually a slight sheet of ice on the shower floor. I’m just glad it ain’t raining.
Hmmm,well why not turn on the ‘central’ ?
Well…this place has a history of being a bit more open air then others might find comfortable. There is no ‘central’.

It could be worse-it once was and has been.
The beginning of this ‘camp’ of mine was done on the bare dirt. Bare dirt means-there was nothing here. I was younger then-more healthy then I am today…more adventure then I have a desire for now. Plus…we had no choice-we were homeless and had to set camp.

That was over 30 years ago.
I still can remember waking up and feeling the stiffness of sleeping on the ground…the rapid motions to get a fire going to warm my hands.

I am grateful for this lifestyle. It has helped me to survive and have faith in a life better then what life is like around here. It has helped me to see the bigger things out of small things…but importantly it has given me a wisdom to be thankful for what is what and how it is is how it is.
I’ve waken up in camps set up behind a highway billboard. That was a long time ago-but I remember the emptiness my body felt along with the emptiness my stomach was feeling as I held my thumb out for the hope of a ride.
I remember trying to hitch north to my grandfathers funeral-sleeping under an over pass. Breakfast was raw corn from a field across the way.
And I am grateful for what the power of being so far down on the dirt being with out a home did for me…it made me have to do something to get up out of it for the sake of my then toddler sons. We had to survive,and we did.

I hate it sometimes when I gripe about my living conditions. I’m inside…there is a heater…and running water,until the electric gets cut-and all that goes. But even then I’m richer than most…I’ve got a place to huddle,no fear of my gear being stolen. I have a stove to cook up rice and black beans…I have rice and black beans.
Life ain’t so bad after all.

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