Tag Archives: Homelessness

Challenges and thoughts about being homeless

I’ve been talking about answered prayers lately and tiny miracles that happen every day and some bigger miracles I have witnessed, but what about when God doesn’t answer your prayers or not the way you wanted him to answer?

Getting baptized in English Bay Vancouver BC with my son by my side

Getting baptized in English Bay Vancouver BC with my son by my side

My faith continued to grow stronger, JC went through phases, he would be one way with one person and a totally different person with someone else. Throughout the 10 years JC and I were together it seemed God would put special people into our lives, we had miracles happening all around us and his adoptive mother always said God had a special plan for JC. After we moved to Mission and  JC started driving gravel truck he came home late one night all excited about meeting a pastor from close to where he had grown up. He was going on and on about how we would join the church, some thing he had promised many times. I started attending the church, I coaxed JC into going once and the pastor had cried to see JC walk in with me. Mind you he had cried any time he saw me walk through the door without JC. He told me that he knew he was sent to Mission to save JC and he felt he had failed. The pastor, Pastor Jim, had a race car that he raced at the Mission Raceway Park where JC was the burn out box director, the church had a band and needed guitar players and JC played the guitar. If there was ever a pastor who could get through to JC it would have been Pastor Jim. He did talk JC into going to couples group counseling that he and his wife were teaching and we went one time and JC refused to go again even though we had a really good time.

Pastor Jim told me one day that he had gotten the assignment to start a new church in Mission, a “new age” type church and they had moved to Mission the same month we did. When he hit town he looked for an office and found one on James Street. He said he knew that starting a church was not the full assignment and he was being sent to save one person, he just didn’t know who. But as soon as he met JC he knew. His wife Janet told me that every Sunday Pastor Jim would stare at the door hoping for JC to walk in and if he saw me his hopes would be lifted and if JC didn’t walk in he would cry. JC spent a lot of time with Pastor Jim because they had the common interest in cars and he would sell Pastor Jim parts etc and they would talk about God and JC would promise to go to church and then not show. I never talked to anyone about the abuse with JC, not my friends or family, Pastor Jim and his wife Janet were the only ones I told, after I had left JC because I wanted them to know and maybe help him. (yes that is not a typo, I was worried about JC and that he might kill another woman some day and yes I did go back to him after that)

I used to pray all the time for a sign from God as to whether I should stay or leave, JC would act like I was a one-night-stand that didn’t know when to leave and I felt so unwelcome. Just when I had enough and was ready to walk out the door something would happen and I would stay. JC would have a weak moment and cry and say how much he loved me, or he would injure himself and I would care for him, or some times he would be in trouble and I would bail him out or stick by him and he would be so grateful and he always promised he was going to turn over a new leaf and things would be different, but they never were.

There was one consistency throughout the 10 years, God always came through for me, my faith grew stronger, I grew stronger. I had my truck and was doing scrap metal, had my own place to live and my life was moving forward. I felt JC was holding me back and that I would never find happiness with him because every time I was with him there was so much drama and trauma. I was sick of JC’s antics, sick of him pissing people off, sick of having to move because of him, sick of him showing up at my door and crashing on my couch, sick of his personal ads, I had had enough.

That is when he decided he was going to volunteer to go to Africa, I wasn’t sure why he was doing it and kinda half expected he would never really go. I thought he was doing it because he knew I truly had had enough and he had to do something drastic to prove he was a changed man. Of course his adoptive mother was thrilled because she was always disappointed he didn’t live a more Christian life.

As the time for him to leave for Africa drew closer I softened, between talking to his mother who was so thrilled about what he was doing and it really appeared he was leaving because he sent his tools etc ahead; I thought I would see how things went in Africa and if he followed through it would be the most unselfish thing he had ever done and I would support him until it all played out.

While he was in Africa no contact was easy of course and it made being away from him so much easier, I thought of him but of course I didn’t know what he was doing while he was there. His mother would call and say she had heard from him and he told her to tell me he sent his love and missed me.

I wrote all about Africa and his return here http://wp.me/p1wKh3-rd

My mom and step dad called and said they would like to help me get a mobile home as part of my inheritance. I moved in July and wouldn’t let JC even stay the night, I knew my folks would flip if I did. In September he got a job in Red Deer and left, it was over between us.

It was 2008, scrap prices were the highest in history,  then the economy tanked in fall and prices dropped from $350 a ton to $80 a ton almost overnight. Every morning I prayed to make a certain amount of money and every day I got it. I would pray for a TV and I would either be given one or find one on the street somewhere. I started flirting back with a handsome young guy who had flirted with me for a couple of years and I had been committed to JC and not responded. I even went on a date.
I was making my payments to my folks and then in October my step-dad panicked and said we had to sell the trailer and he thought I should get a “real job”. Every morning I got a call for either my mom or my step dad badgering me to get a real job or go on welfare. It didn’t even make sense, I was able to make my payments hauling scrap; there was no way I could make my payments if I was on welfare and there was a 6 week waiting period for benefits and there were no jobs, unemployment was the highest it had been in decades. They suggested I get a job at the local gas station, like I could just go get a job when I wanted but I would have made minimum wage and could get laid off at the drop of a hat. I was going crazy!! so stressed I could not believe my parents were doing this. At least with scrap I could work 7 days a week and I was making my payments. They said that if they got a good price for it they would pay for my movers. Gee thanks, you can get them to move my stuff under the nearest overpass.

Dec 1 2008 I was featured on the cover of the financial section of The Province Newspaper for being a woman self-employed hauling scrap metal. The calls started coming in for work so fast there were days I did nothing but answer the phone.

JC started emailing me saying he was doing well, making good money etc and I didn’t respond to the first few and then on a particularly sad day I responded with a friendly reply. His next email was more loving.

I cooked Christmas dinner that year at my place and had my whole family and friends for dinner. While we were having dinner my mother mentions that her and my step dad are going on a cruise to Mexico for 8 weeks mid January. I said, “You are going to Mexico for 8 weeks? I didn’t know that” She looked rather sheepish, realizing what I must be thinking she said, “Well yes but it is a prior commitment.”

I didn’t say anything but I was thinking, “And what am I if not a prior commitment?”

I was heading out the door for work one morning and my land line was ringing; I decided not to take the call because I figured it was my mom or step-dad again and I just could not take it any more. But I heard the answering machine click on and I heard JC’s voice. I stopped dead in my tracks and then just before he hung up I ran and grabbed the phone.

We had a pleasant conversation and I told myself it meant nothing and went on with my day. I called him to ask him a question about scrap (just an excuse to talk to him again) we called back and forth for a couple of weeks, he got a transport truck and was getting back into trucking.  He had laid the groundwork and then came the call, he was crying, he had been given 6 months to live could he come out to BC and talk to me.

I have written about what happened next a few times so won’t now, you can read about it here http://wp.me/p1wKh3-rd

I of course was praying daily and God came through with a the job of a life time. While my folks were away I got a call from a man I had met through Pastor Jim, he had an excavating company and sold it; he needed all the scrap in his yard cleaned up in 4 days. It was so much I had to get other scrap haulers to come and get some of it, I made 2 trips a day for the 4 days and that month I made $7500. I was able to get caught up on all my bills, buy a new laptop and had the money in the bank for my payment to my folks when they got back from their trip. I thought for sure if they got back and I had managed to make my payments they wouldn’t make me sell. But my mom sent an email from the ship saying it was imperative I find a place to move before they got home.

I held off telling him about my folks selling my trailer because I didn’t want him to think I was needy but after two months of seeing each other and things going well I told him.

In the meantime I prayed for God to some how make it possible for me to buy a house. A small house and/or a fixer upper was fine. I prayed for a small yard big enough for a small flower garden, where I could have Kato. On water of some sort would be preferable and most importantly I said he would have to be really creative because I had no money and a lousy credit rating. I told JC about my prayer just in passing and let it go.

My folks sold the trailer at a $20,000 loss and I had two weeks to move. I had no idea where I was going to go. JC called from Alberta, he started the conversation with, “I don’t know why I am telling you this” and proceeded to tell me that he had been talking to a guy who had a house for sale in a place called Blaine Lake Saskatchewan and he only wanted $5000 for it and was willing to carry the mortgage for $200 a month. I immediately thought it was the answer to my prayers, I didn’t want to go to Sask but I hadn’t specified where I wanted the house to be and if God wanted me to go to Sask I would go to Sask. JC called to say he had been hired by a trucking company based in Sask and asked me to marry him.

I talked to my son about it and he said to go for it and I wasn’t even talking to my mom any more. My mom and step-dad were telling everyone that they were selling the trailer because I went back to JC, which was not the truth. The truth was that when they reneged on the trailer deal I thought, “all bets are off” and thought what the hell, I might as well give it a try and thought maybe it was God’s plan all along. Give JC and I time apart to figure out how much we really love and need each other. I put my faith in my parents and they bailed on me and left me worse off than I would have been if they hadn’t “helped” me, maybe it was all a sign JC and I were meant to be together.

I called the guy with the house and he seemed like a nice guy, he told me the place was completely furnished, had a fenced yard, and a small garden, it had been his mom’s house and she had died 6 years ago and the house had been empty ever since. He said he was sick of mowing the grass every week and decided to sell. I asked if he wanted me to send him some money and he said no just give him a call when I was heading out so he could go and air the place out before I got there. I told him I was giving away all my stuff except what I could fit on my truck. I talked to him about 5 days before I was heading out and everything was a go. He said to call when I was leaving, I could come by his house for supper and he would take me over to the house, as far as I knew I was driving by myself. I had told most of my customers I was leaving and to find someone else to haul their scrap but I had kept my biggest customers thinking I would come back every few weeks to haul their scrap because I made such good money it would be worth it and I didn’t want to let everything I had built up all at once,  Something (God) told me not to say anything yet.

I had worked every minute I could trying to make some money because I wouldn’t be working at first out there. Although JC had all these ideas of things I could do for work out there. JC had been short of money when he started trucking and I sent him money several times and he promised to pay me back when I got there,.

My truck broke down two days before I had to be out of the house and it was in the shop until moving day, and cost over $1000 to fix. I called the Realtor and told him there was nothing I could do about moving, I didn’t have enough money to get movers. JC called that day and I broke down, it was hot, I was exhausted, and he said, “don’t worry Babe, I’ll park the truck and hop on a plane and be there by tonight and I’ll help you move.” I couldn’t believe how sweet he was being, I was so relieved, he had never helped with a move I had always moved by myself even when we were together, but he took over and told me to rest he would load the truck.  I gave away all the furniture and only kept my keepsakes, clothes, Christmas decorations, a couple of lamps, my TV, radio, I gave away art work, patio furniture, entertainment unit, full dining suite, almost new couch and love seat, two fully furnished bedroom sets bistro table, so much stuff I just gave away.

He worked all night, and at 9:30 am the next day we were at the top of the road about to enter the freeway when he pulled the truck over and said, “You’d better call Rod.” I was planning on calling once we were on the road for a bit but I thought oh well I might as well call now.

I heard Ron say, “Hello.”

me- If Carrie, I’m called to say I am on my way.

Rod – Carrie………… I have good news and I have bad news.

me- what is it, what’s the good news?

Rod- I heard your truck was broken down and you don’t have to rush getting out here.

me- Well I got my truck fixed and that’s why I am calling, we are heading out now. What’s the bad news.

Rod- Well……………I guess I should have called you……………….

me- yes??

Rod- I went to the house to air it out and take some mementos out of there and a guy approached me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I sold the house. In my head I was screaming, “Oh my God what have a done???!!!!”

me- it would have been nice of you to call me before I gave away all my furniture.

I hung up and JC asked me what was wrong. I told him and he said, “Well you might as well take a couple of weeks and ride with me before you come back and figure out what you are going to do.”

I didn’t say it but I thought, “What do you mean a couple of weeks, you asked me to move to Sask and marry you, we’re in this together.”

I was numb, I could not believe it. I wasn’t sure but I swore I saw satisfaction on JC’s face and his whole attitude changed right before my eyes.

He asked if I was coming for a holiday for a couple of weeks and I responded – I guess so, I am homeless now.

We were down the road a few miles when he dug in his pocket and pulled out a slim gold band and tossed it in my direction saying, “I bought this a while back, you might as well have it now.”  The gold washed off in two days to reveal white plastic. When I told him he shrugged and said, “I guess I got sucked in again. I bought it when I was down south.”

Again I won’t bore you with the details

You can read excerpts from my journals here http://wp.me/p1wKh3-h5

After losing the house in Sask I lost my faith in God, how could he do that to me, I had been so sure it was the answer to my prayer. Now JC had me exactly where he wanted me, totally dependent without my family. So much happened that last two years we were together (I really have to write a book) but after I lost the house everything changed back to the way things had been before he went to Red Deer, in fact things were a lot worse and he kept saying, “You always did so well with out me”. After we split he would say that I always did well without him in my life any time I cried. I started to wonder if he was punishing me for being successful without him. I firmly believe that was the case now when I look back and now that I know all the lies he told through that time.

I went through hell after we split because he had made sure my truck wasn’t running, he had worked very hard to destroy my business and it almost destroyed me but somehow I managed to hang on and I am sure that pissed him off to no end. The whole first year and 1/2 was hell, I had no hope, I stopped praying, even if I did pray nothing happened but I think it was because I wasn’t believing when I prayed.

And THEN I called on the cabin at Hatzic; when I walked through the door of this cabin I let out a gasp; THIS was the house I prayed for!! and ever since I have been grateful, apologized to God for doubting him and life has unfolded in miraculous ways. Even finding money that I didn’t know I had from 1996 that made it possible to buy the cabin. The owners of the cabin happened to be the boss who fired JC from the resort and who had written ,me a lovely letter of reference when I moved away. Every step of the way was carefully orchestrated and fell into place; nothing short of a miracle.

I got the job at Ccon which enabled me to get into the cabin, JC called Ccon, lied and got me fired, but the time I worked there gave me enough hours to get disability when I had my 2nd heart attack. Then JC tried to get me kicked out of the park by placing phony complaints about me, twice he has tried to slander me through a blog he starts but every time he ends up closing the blog and there are no negative effects on me whatsoever.

Yes I always did better without JC in my life and even when he is trying to destroy me I do better without him, and I know why; because God intervenes on my behalf.

I know now that JC couldn’t handle it that I was successful without him and didn’t want him back so he lied about dying, he came back knowing my parents would disown me if I went back to him but he hadn’t counted on my parents handing me to him on a silver platter by making me sell the trailer. He must have gotten a real kick out of that. Then he orchestrated the house deal, I have no idea who I was talking to about the house, JC gave me the number to call, he must have been so proud of himself, he managed to strip me of everything in 6 months. There is no doubt in my mind that he came back to bleed me dry and then destroy me. How evil is that?? to waste 4 years of your life trying to destroy someone just because they had the nerve to be successful after you tossed them out.

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I Am Just So Dang Tired

Some things to ponder.

I have typed up several lengthy (what’s new) posts recently, and haven’t finished any of them.

My new job starts in the new year and I have been having anxiety attacks because have been disappointed so many times in recent years I have begun to doubt anything good will ever happen in my life. I hate being negative like that and like they say “negativity breeds negativity” or what you dwell on you bring to fruition. Its just so hard to not be guarded when all your dreams and hopes have been stomped on and you are alone.

It doesn’t help that I live in that hell hole. It is no longer a place I dislike: it has become the symbol of everything horrible in my life. I hate the place with a passion and it is sucking the life out of me. Better than nothing? Barely. I have been so cold lately, so cold that with my winter boots on inside my toes have been so cold they hurt. So cold that I went to bed at 7 pm last night with all my clothes on and my winter vest so I could snuggle up to the puppies and be warm. It’s very hard to be enthusiastic about anything when you are that cold all the time. No hot shower, if you cook anything you have to unplug the heater. Even having a sponge bath and washing my hair was a 2 hour ordeal yesterday during which I shivered uncontrollably.

The puppies go straight to bed when they get home and I have been really doubting how fair it is that I keep them with me. I am horribly short tempered.

I can’t even be excited about my new job, its like the cold Sucks all the life out of me. When I talk to my boss – find my conversation is stilted because all I can think about is how cold I’ve been and am going to be when I get home.

I have lived in worse places with JC but never have I been cold like this. It is inhuman. I can’t begin to imagine what it is like for the homeless. I tell you this; its no damn wonder they aren’t looking for work or too chipper.

I haven’t been posting much or going to other blogs because the only way I get the internet is if I have my phone over the stove. (Don’t ask me why) and my back is killing me from leaning over plus I didn’t want to be a downer and all I can think about is how cold I am. I play Suduko or word mole to pass the time.

I was going to shut the blog down because I just can’t do it but so many people use it to vent and support each other I have decided to leave it up and switch my setting so that comments don’t get moderated. JC hasn’t commented since I busted Norma and he’s probably moved on. If I am not posting he won’t have anything to comment about anyway.

Until I get a decent place to live I can’t do anything else. I feel totally broken again and the only tie it has to JC is he put me here by destroying my business or that’s the way I see it. Still dealing with the after math of being with him 2 years later.

My mom invited me from Christmas dinner, it seems rather superficial to go and put on a happy face when the rest of the year I am living in abject poverty. Its hard to have the Christmas spirit, this is the first year of my adult life, the first year in my life there won’t be any decorations or a tree. Even in Walmart”s parking lot I decorated for Christmas. I am just too beaten down, too worn out to care.

Here is a passage from the bible I thought very interesting. I don’t know where my faith has gone either. It used to be strong but after I lost the house in Sask, JC’s mother (the woman who quoted scriptures for every event and prayed with me and encouraged me to look to God for answers) lied to me and JC abused and lied and stripped me of everything and I discovered the depth of his lies; my faith has left me also. I want to believe in a higher power, someone who wants the best for me and I want to be patient but I am hanging by a very frayed thread.

Timothy 3:1-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

Godlessness in the Last Days

3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

I will be back when I am able.

If I don’t see you before Christmas, have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season! Thank you all for all your love, encouragement, support and kind words in 2011. You guys brought me through the worst times of my life, how does one say thank you adequately for that?

Remember NO CONTACT!!!!!

Love always
Carrie

Thankful For The Memories

I used to love all of the traditional holidays, and as much as I love Christmas and the decorations I think my favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. It was my favorite because you got the big turkey dinner, the family get-together and none of the commercialized gift crap.

I started a tradition at my Thanksgiving table that as we ate we would go around the table and everyone had to say what they were thankful for. It didn’t matter what had gone on in someone’s life they were still expected to come up with some thing.

Years ago before Kris was born Victor, my 1st husband had lost his brother in a tragic fishing accident. They had been fishing and drinking out on the lake in early spring so the water was extremely cold. The boat flipped, there were three of them and only two life jackets. Victor was going to swim for help, he was the most physically fit. Don was a big guy, couldn’t swim and was panicking so they got him in a lift vest first. Victor’s brother, Micheal,  was wirey and probably weighed 75 – 100 lbs less than Victor and had the other life jacket on. They decided Victor should stay with Don because he was stronger and could keep Don from drowning and Micheal would swim to shore for help.

Michel and he argued about the life jacket, Victor wanted Michel to wear it and Micheal wanted Victor to wear it. Micheal agreed to keep it on but he swam a ways and then turned and threw it back to Victor.

They waited and waited; it wasn’t that far to shore; but it was dusk and they couldn’t see if Micheal made it. Finally after calling out and not getting a reply Victor left Don and swam to shore. He ran down the road calling for Micheal, nothing. Then a truck came by and they hadn’t seen any one.

They got Don out of the lake, but they had to drag the lake the next morning and found Micheal, he had drowned only a few yards from shore; they figured he had succumbed to the cold. Victor had a horrible time dealing with his brother’s death and at the reception we had at our house after the funeral he ran off down the street so consumed with grief I imagine he was trying to out run it.

I went to go after him and my older brother John (a weight trainer, who was solid muscle) stopped me and said he’d go. A while later I saw the most heart wrenching scene I have ever seen; coming across the front lawn was my brother with tears running down his face packing Victor in his arms like a baby. He packed him into the bedroom and tucked him into bed.

That Thanksgiving my mom was cooking the Turkey and she thought it would be too painful for Victor to say what he was grateful for so she didn’t do it. When we got home Victor said,”We didn’t say what we were thankful for this year” I told him my mom didn’t think we should because it would be too hard on him. He said,”But I’ve been thinking about what I was going to say for weeks.” I told him to phone my mom and tell her.” So he did. Micheal loved the thankfulness thing and would have been proud of his brother.

Another favorite Thanksgiving was while I was living at Cultus Lake. It was a fall similar to this year, very warm sunny days and brisk cold nights. The salmon were spawning, the crowds of summer had left until next year, the lake was like glass and the full time residents were out walking enjoying having their lake back. I wasn’t going to do a big dinner, my mom and step dad were on vacation, my cousin had plans, it was just Kris and I and I was quite looking forward to not having a house full. Then my brother called and asked if he could bring a date for Thanksgiving dinner.

Me: Oh! uh! sure! See you tomorrow, whenever you get here will be fine.

I jumped in the car and ripped down the hill to buy a turkey. There was no time to thaw a turkey so I had to spend the extra money and buy a fresh one. It was bar none THE best Thanksgiving dinner I have ever eaten or cooked. I kept it simple, Brussels Sprouts in a cream sauce, home made stuffing, no sausage, or nuts; just good old fashioned bread stuffing with fresh herbs from my garden. mashed potatoes, sweet potato broiled with brown sugar glaze, corn, and my favorite casserole of broccoli, cauliflower and Durkee onions. I had everything prepared the night before so it was just a matter of popping things in the oven.

I put the bird in the oven and walked to the lake, stopping to have a chat with my girlfriend Tina on the way. She joined me for a glass of wine on the dock. It was such a beautiful day, so warm I decided to take a dip in the lake with my clothes on,and was just going up to the house looking like a drowned rat when my brother pulled up with his “flavor of the week”, a gorgeous model. I got changed and we went for a long walk, played in the playground.

My brother pushed me on the merry go round until I couldn’t walk and thought I was going to be sick, then we wandered home. I had no idea how long to cook a fresh turkey but before we even opened the door we could smell its deliciousness. Dinner was flawless and we ate until we had to undo our pants moaning and groaning asking each other,”Why do I always do this?” They stayed the night and I sent home leftovers for both of them. It was a glorious day.

This year I am thankful I have memories like that; so many wonderful memories.

Even the last year JC and I were together; he had told me he wanted me to move out, his sister was still staying with us and his mom had given us a turkey. The bird wouldn’t fit in our tiny oven so I decided to cook it on the barbeque. As always I made my own stuffing and this time I kept dinner really simple but it was so tasty. I wrote JC and his sister each a letter saying what about them I was thankful for. It was a very nice dinner, bitter sweet because it was like the last supper but we had good conversation even though JC had to say it was nice to finally get a decent meal. I went to bed alone.

In the morning there was a letter from JC on the table for me and he had shoved one under the door of his sisters bedroom. They were nice letters; too bad he didn’t mean what he wrote. Mine was blank on the first 1/2 and he started by saying,”I have no idea what I was supposed to write above.” Then he said he needed to change his attitude and promised he was going to change, things were going to change……for the better. Two weeks later he made us miss his nieces wedding.

Ah well. I am thankful I no longer hold false hope that he will change. I recently heard he has not changed at all. I’m not surprised but it is little consolation.

I am thankful I have healed as much as I have and I actually go days without crying.

I am thankful for everyone who visits my blog, them sharing their stories has helped me more than I ever thought it would and more than they could know.

I am amazed and thankful that I have had almost 43,000 hits and almost 200 followers. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would reach that many people.

Every time I check messages and there is one that says “thank god I found this site” or “You literally saved my life” I am thankful I started the blog and I am accomplishing what I set out to do.

I am thankful my son is working and happy, although I miss him horribly.

I am thankful he messaged me yesterday and said, “Everything is going to be ok. I love you” .
I messaged back. “Why do you say that!? Are you ok?? I love you too Honey”.
His reply: Lol I was being supportive; I know you’ve had a tough couple of years.
Me: Oh! Thank you but stop it! you had me worried.

I am thankful that my puppies love me.

I am thankful that I am not sleeping in my truck.

I am thankful I have hope for a better future because last year I didn’t have any hope. And without hope life isn’t worth living.

I am thankful I laugh regularly now.

I will be thankful when this weekend is over and I don’t feel so lonely.

     HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! to my friends all over the world. Tell me what you are thankful for this year or share a Thanksgiving memory.

Letting It Be

One of the things I learned through the 10 years I was with JC was that some times you have to let things play out. I used to make things happen, but there was no way you made JC do anything. Plus for the most part while we were together we were leaving it in God’s hands, we prayed alot and I drew alot of peace and strength from that. Since JC, I haven’t gotten the same sense of being at peace when I pray. Before I met JC I wasn’t a “nonbeleiver” but after I met him and his mother my belief grew very strong, and it has just been gone since things turned bad the last time we were together. You csn’t laugh at me but I actually thought God had brought us together and whenever we were about to break up my truck woid break down or he would get injured and circumstances (God) brought us back together. Naive eh? It took me 9 years to believe anyone could purposely sabotage someone’s vehicle or purposely injure themselves. I was always waiting for him, to go to the store, to go to Christmas dinner, to take me to emergency, you msme it I waited. When day after painful day I waited for my truck to be fixed I learned patience and I learned to wait,  it was out of my control; I had to let it go.

Yesterday I woke up and needed smokes so immediately got up and took a sleepy eyed Laila for a walk to the store. It was peaceful, the sun just coming up, me in my pj’s, macassins, sweatshirt and no contact lens in. Au natural! Poor neighbours!! I went in (couldn’t tell you who was in the store but it was crowded ) and the smell of bacon and eggs made my stomach growl. I got a cup of coffee and the newspaper and made some small talk with the little Chinese lady that consisted of alot of smiling, hand gestures and head nodding, then headed home.

I wasn’t looking forward to working and had $40 and 1/2 a tank of gas so didn’t feel panicked about making money so I sipped my coffee, ate the rest of an apple pie and read the paper front to back. I didn’t get out of the house until after noon with a “come what may attitude”.

I have been really plagued with indecision about what I should be doing with my life, whether I should give up on scrap; I am just not able to do the job the way I like. But I don’t know what else to do; work at Tim Horton’s or WalMart for $10 an hour part time? But yesterday I decided to let it go. My first pick up was one of my favorite customers, Symons Tire, I love those guys; and then I dropped my weedeater at another customers, Prospect Equipment and once again enjoyed some easy banter. From there I zipped out to a new customer I picked up last week, the distribution centre for MTF stores. They had 3 pallet jacks to be picked up. I was very proud of myself that I got one on the truck all by myself. It took a bit of doing and I was laughing out loud by myself as I struggled with the damn thing; but with a chain, a load binder and using my sides as a ramp I got the job done and it was time to head to the scrap yard. When I got back to Abbotsford I drove past Home Depot (also a customer) and saw they had some scrap out. I was loading it when a couple of guys yelled out loud”Hey! Lady Witha Truck, how are you doing today?” one of the guys was hanging out the window but I didn’t recognize him. I waved anyway and yelled back,”Great thanks”. I went back to loading and then heard a voice say,” It is you! I saw the pink sign on the truck door and thought it must be you”. I turned and saw a homeless guy I’ve talked to many times in the past, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten his name but I greeted him with as much enthusiasm as he had greeted me. He asked where my big truck and the crane went. I told him I had to get rid of it. He said,”wow, that’s too bad, you were really a force to be reckoned with, like you were my , well, you were like my hero. You were really doing it, better than the guys.”

Me: Shit happens you know?

Guy: Yeah, don’t I know that!.
Guy: I am so happy I ran into you, I’ve wondered where you were. Hey I have something I want to give you, you’re gonna be so excited when you see it and if you don’t mind I’d be honored if you take it. He pulled the lid off a rubber maid container he has strapped to a small trailer he pulls behind his bicycle.

Me: That’s a nice set up you have there.

Guy: Yeah its everything I own, a down sleeping bag and another one that I use as a mattress, a change of clothes, that’s about it.

Me: you’ve got it very neat and it stays dry and it looks good. The guy proudly pulled the lid with a bit of a flourish: Now you can see inside.

Inside the container his sleeping bag was neatly rolled up, his clothes folded and he pulled everything out to get a towel from the bottom. Wrapped in the towel was a pair of wire cutters he hands to me: They have a life time warranty at Canadian Tire. He says.

Me: wow! That’s super, I can always use wire cutters. Would you be offended if I gave you $5 for them?

Guy: I didn’t expect anything for them but if you want.

We talked for awhile about scrap prices, where he sleeps at night and I asked him if the cops leave him alone and he said yeah except to wake him up to make sure he isn’t dead.

Me: You know…..if it weren’t for the generosity of a friend who lets me live in his trailer I’d be sleeping in the bushes right along side you.

Guy with a wink: I wouldn’t mind and he giggled nervously and I just wanted to give him a hug.

Me: I had better get going.

Guy as he extends his hand: I sure am glad I ran into you!! You are a really special lady you know.

I shook his hand and thanked him.

Me: you take good care now ok? And we waved goodbye. I got to the scrap yard and as I went over the scale I hear, “You’re breaking the scale!!!” and turn to see a nice looking guy who haul scrap and we laughed. They called him back into the office and I yelled,” Your in trouble now”.

As I back up to the scrap pile to unload the owner Carlo gives me a wave and walks over to the truck: Hey Carrie, how are you today?

Me: Great! And you? Carlo looks tired and is covered in dirt but he flashes me a big smile of perfect  white teeth that seem brighter because he is so dirty: busy day but I’m good.

I unload and go over to the nonferrous section. I am unloading my nonferrous and hear,”Hey Lady Witha truck!” and look up to see another fellow scrap hauler and give him a wave. As I walk into the office another one of the regulars, an older guy I see there often greets me with: Hey smilie, you staying out of trouble?

Me: Of course! I’m too old to get in trouble.
Him with a snort: Too old.
Me as I pushed past him: excuuuuuse me, coming through. And everyone in the office laughed.I got $120 and it wasn’t even 4 pm yet. I took the dogs for a much needed pee and walk and then went to Shoppers drug Mart for some face cleanser. When the cashier rang up my order she asked if I wanted to donate to their cause. I asked what the cause was and she replied 100% of what they collect goes to help women who have been in abusive relationships. I told her to add $5 to my bill. She was squealing with excitement! “You get to sign a butterfly!” she explained $1 you get a leaf, $5 a butterfly and an acorn with $10 and she’s only had people donate $1 so far. I had a laugh and told her I was in an abusive relationship and we discussed how emotional abuse is much harder to heal from than physical abuse. She is young but very mature and I tell her about my blog. From there I go to the grocery store, there’s a guy a guy playing the guitar, he’s pretty good, has a raspy voice and is singing a country song that got me feeling like a dance. Just as I get to the door a guy is walking out, I don’t recognize him but he says, “Your trucks keep getting smaller Lady Witha Truck.” Me: ALOT smaller! And laugh.

I grabbed a few groceries, took the dogs for a walk stopping half a dozen times to let people pet them. Laila performs and gives high 5’s right on cue. A lady leans out as she drives past, “Hey are those Shar-pies? They’re beautiful.

Me: Dad and daughter” thanks yes they are!

We get back in the truck and as I drive past the guitar player I feel I should be giving him something but I’m heading home and don’t want to stop. I get to the first intersection and turn around. I pull up, stop the truck and throw $3 in his guitar case as he sings “You gotta know when to hold them. Know when to fold them. Know when to walk away and know when to run.” I smiled at him and said,” Have a good night”.

I think I got my answer today

http://www.cptryon.org/prayer/special/serenity.html

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change
Change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Yesterday I felt I was exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment in time and I was at peace. One day at a time.

Love to you all.

Knowing When To Fold Them

There is an old Kenny Rogers song that goes something like this:

“You gotta know when to hold ’em
know when to fold them
know when to walk away
and know when to run
Don’t count your blessings
while you’re sittin’ at the table
there’ll be time enough for countin’
when the dealin’ done.”

My apologies if I didn’t get it exactly right; its been alot of years since I heard that song but it has been playing in my head lately.

Hal really pissed me off the other day and I felt helpless to do anything about it. I hate, I mean really hate, being dependent on anyone, so really did not want to accept more money from Jim to get home that night.

It burns my butt to not be totally self sufficient and I can hear JC’s voice ringing in my ears,”See?! I told you you couldn’t make it on your own, I told you someday you’d realize all I did for you”.
But he was wrong, I see all the things he did to me not what he did for me.

When Hal started accusing me of avoiding him, demanding to know how much I was getting for the truck, and talking over me when I was talking and then getting angry with me for not shutting up and saying I was talking over him. I found myself getting frustrated because he was twisting my words and refusing to understand what I was saying. Then it hit me; I don’t have to put up with this any more from anyone, ever again. I know what is fair, I know what is right, and I know when I am being played for a sucker.

I was frustrated, crying and angry but I took control of the situation.  I know he is bad mouthing me and you know what? I really don’t give a shit, I don’t have time for that kind of highschool bullshit. Yeah he’s got $350 of my hard earned money and I got the “shaft” (excuse the pun I couldn’t resist) Like I said to Hal that night, “If I wanted to get screwed over I would have called JC.  I don’t need to go looking for assholes. You knew the position I was in financially and you took advantage of it. I am done with you. You have nothing  to say that I want to hear and I have nothing I want to say to you.” Sure I sat in a parking lot in Langley crying my eyes out, sobbing to the dogs about how unfair life is and asking them ,”what do I do now?”

Then I saw the dumpster behind me and thought, “Nothing like digging in a dumpster to take a girl’s mind off her troubles.” I got a really nice vase, a tall one, you know they’re about 2 & 1/2 feet tall? the kind that sits on the floor with tall grasses in it. It has a $60 price tag on it and I can’t find a thing wrong with it. I also found the cutest Halloween decoration, a Styrofoam pumpkin head with a top hat that just needs a bit of glue, priced at $25. Three nice sweat shirts, 3 cardigans; a white one, blue one and a black one and they all fit me. A few blouses and a dress and jacket in an oriental design I haven’t tried on yet. I also got some really nice smelling vanilla hand soap in a pretty clear glass pump dispenser that I gave to my girl friend and she loves,  she also picked out a glass flower ornament that she liked.

When Jim called to say he was in Langley I was already asleep with my head on Laila, one good thing about really bad times; you know a night sleeping in the truck isn’t going to kill you. The worst thing that happens is you don’t have a toothbrush in the morning, your contacts are stuck to your eyes because you slept with them in and you kinda look like a raccoon because your mascara is smudged.

Sure I fell into a depression the next day and wasted most of the day feeling sorry for myself and when every one told me I should have called the cops and when the guy who wanted to buy it offered me $400 and said he had a tow truck waiting to pick it up I told everyone, “I can’t talk about it right now, I can’t make a decision right now, I will have to get back to you.” and I weighed my options.

I call the police;
I know Hal is an N and I know he’s probably already done damage control, I have a 50/50 chance the police will even listen to me, I have nothing in writing and neither does he so it will be a he said/she said scenario and the cops probably can’t do anything and will tell me to take him to small claims. It would prolong dealing with an asshole and I really don’t need that in my life.

As it is Hal has cost me $850 ($350 I paid him, $300 I lost in the sale of my truck, and at least $200 I would have made on the job in Port Moody I missed and someone else picked up) Plus I’ve wasted more hours on that man than can be calculated because he is always late and if I hadn’t bought the other truck I wouldn’t have been royally screwed because he took so long fixing my GMC and I wouldn’t have had any way to make money to pay him.  I shudder to think about it and it makes me really angry but do I want to waste any more time on the asshole? Do I want him in my life in any way? No!!

Some times doing nothing is really doing the best thing. I don’t want to feed Hal’s need for attention through conflict.

So if I am not calling the cops my other option is to find a driveshaft, buy it and install it myself but that means I have to sit on the phone trying to track one down. Not having phone reception where I live means I will be cutting into time I could be using to make money. I need to make money because I am dead in the water without it.

So like the song says, “I decided to fold and walk away.”
I called the buyer and told him I can’t accept $400 could he do $500? He said he’d ask his son; yes they would go $500. He got a tow truck to pick it up and take it to his place. I said I have to work to make enough money to buy fuel to get the registration to him and he said not a problem. I did a few pickups that I missed last week when my truck was down, now there was even more. So I had a good money making day and got $279 for 3 hours work.

I called Jim and said I’d have his $550 by the end of the day. He said not to leave myself short, he would be happy with $300. I said I wanted to at least pay the $400 he lent me to buy the 1974 Chev. I also owed my girlfriend $100 and wanted to pay her.

So yesterday I was able to buy a jug of oil for the truck, a new pair of work gloves, stock my cupboards with groceries and dog food, and even bought myself a pair of cowboy boots at Value Village for $20. ( For whatever reason wearing cowboy boots makes me feel more confident, when I was still with JC he told me that when I wore my cowboy boots I had an air of confidence about me, that can’t be a bad thing)

Now that I have walked away from the table what are my blessings?
1. I handled it, I didn’t let the bastard intimidate me, I didn’t feed his sick need for drama and attention and walked away with my head held high.
2. The guy who bought the truck got a good deal and I was out $350. Oh well, I really like the guy who bought the truck and guess what! he owns dump trucks and rebuilds antique cars; what does that means? he has scrap! and he is going to call me to come pick up within the next week.
3. I could have spent all day
looking for a driveshaft and then gotten frustrated trying to put it in and possibly had to deal with Hal again today and wasted another day I could have been working. Instead I made almost as much as I lost ($25 less) big deal and today it is all ancient history; I can close that page and move on. It was 10:30 by the time I got to Jim last night but I paid him for the truck and that felt wonderful!!!
I paid my girlfriend and by midnight I was sitting at my kitchen table drinking a ice cold Mike’s Hard Lemonade and eating a turkey tv dinner.

With that out of the way I can focus on getting my butt out of this trailer and I have a few ideas about how to do it. I’m quite excited about one idea but will save that for another post.

Once I am out of here and have an internet connection I have a new career idea I am excited about and could put all my experiences over the past 12 years to good use. But that is a post of it’s own also.

So that’s all folks!
Like my blog says; Playing with the cards I’m dealt, the best I can. This time I decided to fold and walk away. Next time? who knows; I guess we’ll see what I get dealt in the next hand.

Hugs to you all.
off to work I go……hi ho hi ho.

(written Tuesday morning and posted on Wednesday)

The Here and Now

I thought maybe it was time to give an update to where I am at as far as getting my life back on track, mentally, emotionally and financially.

I am disappointing myself lately; somewhere along the way I lost my “I’ll show them, no one can keep me down, F you all attitude” that has always gotten me through the tough times in my life. Does a person run out of that sort of resource? I literally look for it, try to will it back, but nope, not even a morsel of it anywhere. More times than not I just feel beaten down and like I am flailing in a huge ocean and no one is throwing me a life raft. All around me things are sinking, my business, people I thought cared, my health, and I am treading water helpless to stop it.

Where I live has alot to do with it,for me anyway, my home is my sanctuary and I always try to make where ever I live welcoming and a place I feel safe and secure at the end of a long hard day. I am ashamed of where I live. I know there are people who live in worse situations but it would be impossible to get too much worse without being homeless. I am thankful I am not homeless.

It isn’t the area; as much as not having phone reception, internet or TV is a pain in the ass; there are things that compensate. Like a few weeks ago I took little Laila for a walk to the corner store/gas station/restaurant /community meeting place. It was a warm summer morning, as we walked the only sound was the crunch of my feet on the gravel and the snorting of Laila (shar-pei’s sound like piglets). In the field beside us were people, some wearing big straw hats like they have in China, some draped in East Indian garb and one or two wearing baseball caps; picking blueberries.

Across the street there’s a pasture with a dozen or so beautiful thoroughbred horses fattening up for winter, grazing. Laila was very interested in checking them out and as we stood watching them they realized we were there and started to walk in our direction. Then one of the biggest, a grey dappled stallion came galloping straight at us. There is no fence just a narrow ditch and for a moment I thought it was coming over it but he screeched to a stop right at the edge only feet from us and snorted, and gave us the “evil eye” with one eye. I swear I could feel his breath and Laila and I got the message loud and clear to keep moving.

The grey dapple and another horse can always be seen standing under the same tree, head to tail; swishing their tails to keep the flies off each others face. Cute.

As we carried on the crunch of my feet on the gravel startled the frogs in the high grass along the road and they gave a little shreak and then we could hear the plop of them hitting the water in the ditch. Aside from that there wasn’t a sound. I stopped and listened; to silence. We carried on and the high grass changed into bullrushes/cat tails, probably an acre of them and they opened up to a pond where ducks were swimming; momma and her brood; some of them with their little bums poking up wiggling as they fish for food under the waters surface. There were lily pads; some in bloom with yellow and pink flowers, and off to the side, standing so still I almost missed him was a crane on one leg waiting for his breakfast to swim past.

At the store there was a couple of Harleys parked and the two riders wearing black leathers were on the veranda having a smoke and coffee. The smell of bacon and eggs frying wafed from inside as did the lively conversation of the same 6 men that congregate there every day. They sit in the same corner, actually there is only one table in there, drink gallons of bitter coffee and solve the problems of the world. As I walked in I overheard one of the old timers say, “Yep, that’s when the world went in the crapper; that’s when it all started.” followed by the others mumbling their agreement. Then they fell silent and all looked at me as I smiled and got myself a coffee. I guess the tiny bell ringing as I walked through the door alerted the little chinaman that owns the place because he came running out of the kitchen. I told him I was just getting a coffee and he nodded his head, waved his hands in the direction of the coffee pots and scurried back to his eggs and bacon. I bought a paper and my coffee, nodded at the bikers as we passed and Laila and I made our way home. All in about 1/2 an hour; I can’t think of a better way to start a day. Doesn’t it sound like a little piece of the 1950’s was somehow forgotten? The twilight zone, the town that time forgot. It could be heaven on earth if I didn’t have to make money and if I had running water, sewer, and wasn’t living in a 23′ holiday trailer where I bang my head 15 times a day, the dogs have to be in bed when they are in it because there is no room to walk. It is a great holiday trailer; I can envision a family making memories to last a lifetime in a little trailer like it. But at the end of two weeks mom and dad would be longing for a nice hot shower and the luxury of laying on the couch, mindlessly watching tv and telling the kids to go outside and play in the traffic. And they would have had water and sewer.

I can not tell you what going to the bathroom in a bucket does to your self esteem, and I will spare you the details. But it doesn’t stop there because then you have to dispose of the bucket’s contents! I have to pack water, I finally started getting it from the river down the road instead of driving down the hill; it saves me $10 in fuel and an hour in time. I probably shouldn’t be drinking it but what the hell; live on the edge I say. I have to boil the water to do dishes, wash etc and some days I get home too late to get more water or I’m just too tired to lug it up the hill so I give what water I have to the dogs and do without. The holding tanks are full so when I fill the sink with water to wash it drains into the tub, so once a week or so I have to bucket out the moldy water from the tub. I made my little outside shower and it is better then sex when I can get it timed right to have a nice hot shower. Even a cold one is better than nothing; the theory behind the shower is that the person using it is on vacation and will be available when it reaches its desired temperature. If I get home after the sun sets I have missed my opportunity for a hot shower.
I feel like Ma on Little House on the Prairie; without Pa.

As for my health; I was working at getting my teeth fixed and I’m about 3/4 done, I have about 4 more teeth to get pulled and then I get my partials, but when the scrap prices dropped I stopped going into Surrey with my scrap because it was better prices locally (I will cover work in another post) my dentist is down there and I just didn’t have the money to throw into driving down there. PLUS I am a big chicken and the last time I went alone I was in tears as the receptionist held my head and he had both hands and a foot in my mouth pulling my tooth. Ok so I’m exaggerating a bit but I was traumatized ok?!

So anyway, now I have had an absessed tooth for over a week; my ear aches, my throat is sore, and I am having chest pain. (When I had my heart attack I had an absessed tooth.) I know they won’t pull it while its infected so I got some antibiotics; they looked familiar but I couldn’t remember why until I started taking them; I am allergic to them and they cause excruciating pain in my chest and yesterday I thought for sure I was having a heart attack, then I got a urinary infection and then it dawned on me; I can’t take those antibiotics, they made me violently ill last time. So now I am waiting for the effects of them to wear off. I have to work today to make enough money to pay for more antibiotics I can take.

Not going to Surrey has been a good thing and maybe that is why it happened that prices dropped, my truck broke down and it was better to stay local. I have gone to Surrey once in a while just to keep that door open and almost every time I’ve been in the area I have seen JC, one day 3 times. I know it was fluke, he didn’t even know what I was driving until he saw me that day and I could tell he was surprised. He was on his bike and pulled over; I don’t know if it was to talk to me but I kept going and then he passed me on the freeway going home. I know her dad lives out that way so he could have been heading over there and it was just a fluke he passes me again. Either way it is a nice feeling to know I am not going to run into him at any point in my day and I find myself getting way more tense and reminiscent when I have to go into Surrey. I actually dread having to go down there but I have work in the area and money wins every time.

As far as James (that’s his name; I never called him JC) is concerned, I will cover more about him in another post also. For now I must boil some water to wash and go to work. Have a great day all. Hugs Carrie

Kato The Great Hunter

I have been giving Kato alot more freedom lately because he’s been so good about not buggering off (well except for that time he killed the possum but we already crossed that off when he saved the barn swallow so really that time he buggered off can’t count).  Anyway he enjoys laying on a blanket in the driveway with Laila on a rope where she can’t bug him and he can get up and sniff something if he chooses. I know it makes him feel superior to have freedom she doesn’t have.

Or I will walk them down to the creek and throw a ball for Laila while he hunts for frogs. Then I leave him down there and he usually he follows right behind us and takes his place at the end of the driveway; its become our regular routine.

Well today I felt especially proud of him and guilty also because I tore my rotator cuff yesterday and was in so much pain I got Laila in the trailer and when he decided to play silly bugger and not come when I called I just left him out there, left the gate open and figured he’d come in when it got dark. I woke up at 10pm to him barking and went out there and he was still guarding the driveway, he hadn’t had supper or anything and Laila had laid with me all night and not eaten either.  I fed them and went right back to sleep so the poor guys didn’t get much attention. So today I walked them to the creek and when it got time to leave Kato ignored my calls and wandered down along the creek. I thought I’d take Laila home and go back for him if he didn’t show up a few minutes behind me. The creek has been getting higher for some reason, maybe beavers again and he did get himself into a bit of a predicament the other night chasing some thing and ended up on the neighbors side of the creek and couldn’t get out. When I found him he was struggling to get up the bank but even then he had blackberries to get through. I went home to get my lopers, gloves and boots and leave Laila at home but I guess the poor guy thought I was just going to leave him there and managed to struggle out. I had just gotten my boots tied when I saw him coming the length of the berry field limping quite badly. Consequently, today I was a little worried he might do the same thing (not at the neighbors, he learned that lesson but some place even worse) I went looking for him and he was no where to be found. I self counselled telling myself that he always comes home and not to worry.

I busied myself loading stuff for the flea market tomorrow and then I saw a big brown dog running across the road in my direction. Right away I thought, “Shit!!! That dog looks mean, I wonder where he came from and Kato is loose, if this dog attacks him he won’t stand a chance.” I started to get down from my truck to go search for Kato again when I noticed the big brown dog was limping; just like Kato. Then I noticed he was only a brown dog from the shoulders down and Kato’s color from the shoulders up. I said, “Kato?” he didn’t even look at me and I thought I must be mistaken but I called him again and he came towards he and then did his “I’m ignoring you routine” where he looks in the other direction. Using my “mad” voice I said,”Get over here! Don’t  you ignore me where the hell have you been??”. Well he ain’t talkin so I will never know but I think he probably got himself into a bit of a jam or mud bog but was he ever frisky!! Like a puppy he wanted to play and all I could think of was how was I going to get him clean! Then it dawned on me, the river!! So we walked down to the river which is clear glacier fed water and I took some shampoo with us and much to his chagrin he had a bath in the river and voila! My Kato appeared as the big brown dog washed away.

You know he is limping horrible tonight but he is one happy puppy. It does my heart good  to see him happy. And the bonus was a couple who saw us heading down to the river stopped to see what we were doing and we ended up talking for almost 1/2 an hour. They lost their dog 2 1/2 weeks ago and just loved Kato and Laila. Twice I said what a pleasure it was to talk to them and they thanked me over and over for letting them pet the dogs. You know I really liked them, they were the kind of people you know you would enjoy as friends.

That’s something I miss about JC, I am really quite shy, he would invite people over that he didn’t know, drop by someone’s house the next day to say hi and I just never would do that. It was something I loved about him.

It was a good day all in all but I’m feeling lonely tonight. It’s hard to be in pain and all alone living in a place that feels nothing like “home”.