Day One: Setting up my new glamping life

This entry is about my camper yes…but it is more about the kindness of strangers which I experienced many times this day.

Today was the big day! I met the people who sold the camper to me, and being kind people, and maybe thinking me a (little bit crazy), they

  • Towed my camper into town 35 miles. I had no way of towing it with my Honda.
  • Set me up with a very nice and comfortable mattress till I get the one end fixed that has the bed
  • Set me up with plywood and jack to support the bed
  • Helped me stabilize the camper once they delivered it to my lot

Were it not for their great kindness to me I would not have a home so I am humbled and forever grateful. They didn’t have to do any of what they did. They probably thought the way it would go was I’d come and see it and pay them and take away the camper. They had to wait two weeks for their money too but once they understood my situation they let me put down a deposit and waited for the rest. Appreciation for kindness (and maybe kindness itself), is in short supply these days….but I hope this shows you, readers, that kindness still exists. It isn’t dead.

So here it is. I wonder what I signed up for but after two weeks in my car and three years of living with other people in their homes, I am so grateful for a real bed and a little place of my own that I sat and cried when everyone left. I was that happy.

Now the synchronicities. I got a free Shop vac at a garage sale before I knew I was getting this camper. I needed it to clean today!

Faith: I had my first challenge. The socket to plug in my camper for electricity didn’t fit my plug-in.

I hadn’t even dreamed this would come up. I didnt know what to do. My first thought was I’m gonna freeze to death this winter because I won’t have electricity to plug in my heater. The people who brought my camper thought maybe an adapter but didn’t know for sure. A real nice lady named Dottie didn’t know either. (Dottie is super cool. She’s 76, lives in this luxury huge camper on wheels, has tattoos from head to toe and is the daughter of a mortician. More stories later!)

So this place is going to be my new friend.

I took a photo of the socket and plug and went to Menards to seek wisdom in the form of Kevin, (who I gave a great recommendation on their Facebook page. Kevin ROCKS). He took a look at my socket and plug, thought about it for five whole minutes and then went to a shelf and whipped out this puppy:

for the paltry sum of 31.00, I came home and plugged it into the electric box, flipped on the breaker shut my eyes in case the camper exploded, opened them gingerly to see a light on and I was off to the races!

Kevin at Menards is a GOD. They are gonna get a lot of business from me the next few months.

So I cleaned. And I busted out my Crock Pot and threw in hamburger and Rotel tomato salsa and onion and garlic salt and tomato sauce and turned it on to see where that could end up.

I found some pretty interesting things. Like a deer jawbone. In the windowsill. The lady who sold the camper to me thinks it has good juju so she said she left it where it was and thus, I shall leave it where it is. I ask no questions. I flow.

Also found cool Christmas lights. I found the burnt out bulb and put in the extra bulb in a bag at the end of the string, and Preston bango I got Christmas lights! In August! More good juju!

Also found a Hawaii cup with an 8 ball in it. 8 is the symbol for eternity so …..That’s right more good juju!

I have only begun to love the camper but you can see what ive done so far. I hung new curtains. They are actually valances, but they work for my tiny camper!

Doesn’t my bed look pretty?

The first meal in my new tiny home in the Crock Pot yielded Crock Pot spaghetti with meat sauce and lots of parmesan! Photo is mid-cook. It was yummy!

My camper needs lots of love. It also needs a name! Please help me name my camper. Put your ideas in the comments! I will announce the winner and your prize will be me painting the name on this soon to be famous camper (because we still have a year to go living this way and I’m going to keep sharing with you all).

Problems solved today:

  • Plug converted from 53 amp to 14 amp, 31.00 at Menards
  • Waterproofing with Duck Seal on seams and around window seams.

Next project:

  • new weatherstripping for outside windows

Money saved:

  • 700.00 security deposit if I had an apartment.
  • 200.00 of a 700.00 apartment rent if I had an apartment

Total saved: 900.00

Camper cost: 800.00

Plug adapter cost: 31.00

Ahead: 69.00

See you next time! Thank you for following me! Share the adventure! It is raining and thanks to the Duck Seal put on my home is not leaking! I love the sound of rain on the roof. That and Kate Rusby playing softly is seeing me cosy and warm in my new little home.

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The night before camper day!

Ok. I’m still living in my car. After the initial shame and guilt and shock of it which I went into here, I find that there is no shame in sleeping in my car any longer. It is not a marker of failure. It is simply a different kind of shelter. I don’t know how that mind shift happened but my perceptions are different. I am no longer focused inwardly or selfishly. I am focused outwardly.

I’m so excited. It’s the night before I get my tiny home. I have been planning for two weeks how I’d fix it up and make it mine, but today I felt quiet, and peaceful and I went to the beach on Wisconsin Point. I was alone out there. I love being alone out there. There are just the gulls, the wind blowing off of the lake, and the sound of the waves breaking on the sand. There are lake-smooth round rocks of every color, black, red, white quartz, (and Lake Superior agates if you are really lucky), black and red rocks, all tossed and rolled by the world’s largest rock tumbler, my wonderful lake. I saw a bald eagle fly overhead yesterday. I sit on a driftwood log and let the wind play through my long hair; the sound of the wind and the waves breaking on the beach, and all of the kinks in my nerves get smoothed out; the anxiety breaks up and disappears, and all becomes right in my world.

I speak to The One Who is Greater Than Me who is known by many names and many religions. Wakan Tanka or Tunkashila to the Lakota people who I spent six years with teaching in the public school on the rez. I speak to Spirit often. I feel that there is something larger than me. I cherish that.

What a circuitous route I have taken coming home. I travelled the world and many states, and went through so much growth and expansion spiritually and mentally. Home is meant to be a rest for me, but it seems Whoever is In Charge thinks that I need to keep growing, hence living in the car the last little while. Hence being pushed into a different lifestyle with the tiny camper–but now I wonder when it went from being pushed into the camper to becoming a conscious choice to live this way and not bow down to the rents and landlords and feel as so many do that they have no choice but to conform and pay up.

Not everyone can buy a camper. Here I got blessed. There are tons of used campers for sale for any price really because in this country, everyone camps and fishes. I got lucky with mine being so inexpensive. It was a Gift.

It took losing a lot to uncover the important things and the real friends who are few but true. We know life isn’t about “who dies with the most toys.” We yearn for more and we seek more –hence explorers and pastors abound. Some of us travel to find ourselves. Like that book “Wild” about the woman who up and hiked the Pacific Coast Trail to come back to who she was, the woman her mother thought she was. Or the Eat Pray Love lady.

My journey was outward and now it is inward. It is in contemplation of the lake and birds and wind, and the space between extravagance and poverty.

This is what I am thinking as I spend the last night in my car. Tomorrow will be the start of a different and simpler kind of life.

I have more to unload. I still need to lighten up. More on that later.

Good night dear readers. Have you felt the call to simplify or have you been unceremoniously pushed into the worst that could happen only to discover that maybe the worst thing is turning out to be the best?

New life, new anthem

This song, to me, is about self love and connecting with all aspects of self even the dark parts, and learning to love yourself despite mistakes made, and constantly recreating your life so that he mistakes lead you to positives and growth.

This Fire

John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting

And all the lies

Tell me a story

The truth and the lies you’ve been told

There goes the night

There’ll be another

So darling you don’t have to go

We will oh we will

Step out of the light and live like shadows and where you go I’ll follow and I won’t

Be no trouble

I’ll be the spark that feeds your fire and watch your flames grow higher and I won’t no I won’t

Let this fire go out.

All that was lost

for all that was broken

I’ll find a way to make up for your pain

I know it’s hard to rebuild these ruins

But think of the life we could make

We will oh we will

Step out of he light and live like shadows and where you go I’ll follow and I won’t

Be no trouble

I’ll be the spark that feeds your fire and watch your flames grow higher and I won’t no I won’t

Let this fire go out.

<instrumental>

Step out of the light and live like shadows and where you go I’ll follow

and I won’t

Be no trouble

I’ll be the spark that feeds your fire and watch your flames grow higher and I won’t no I won’t

Let this fire go out.

In which I ponder the lies we tell ourselves and how I am learning to speak my truth even if my voice shakes

We like lies.

We claim not to like liars but we do.

We like the people who butter us up. We like feeling validated. We fall for it and then wonder how the carpet got pulled out from under us when these types take advantage of us.

We like politicians who tell us what we want to hear. We all say we know politicians are liars. None of them keep campaign promises which are usually do gooder crap about how they’re going to feed hungry children and then don’t do it. We vote for the one with the best lines in the end. Politicians are like bad boyfriends we know are bad for us but we fall for the lines (read lies) every time.

I get tired of lies and the lying liars who tell them. They need to be called out but calling out self aggrandizing liars for what they are requires us to recognize we fell for their crap in the first place and we don’t like to admit we can be wrong. When our politics possesses us like Satan himself and we’d rather vote for the team so we can one up the “competition” or the “enemy” and “win,” rather than vote for the good of the country (that means the good of all, even the people you don’t like. This is a democratic republic after all. Other people than you live here and deserve the same rights and freedoms you enjoy). It takes recognizing some groups in our society are historically oppressed and this oppression goes on today. It means recognizing the truth of racism and misogyny and not trying to deny that real people get hurt when one group dictates for everyone else.

Lies. Liars. It is because of the liars in my own life I learned and am learning to stand up and speak up. This is what I think of the whole buzz around the possible peace deal between North and South Korea.

Big Liar

Kim Jong Un is the biggest liar of them all. He is fooling everyone. He is a dictator who kills and imprisons his own people and he has been sidelined and sanctioned for good reason. His human rights abuses are shocking. He engages in human trafficking of North Korean girls to China to make money. If they come back pregnant by Chinese men, they are forced to get an abortion. No one is free in North Korea. Those who resist, die.Human Rights Watch notes that North Korea’s human rights violations are unparalleled in the world:

They include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence. North Korea operates secretive prison camps where perceived opponents of the government are sent to face torture and abuse, starvation rations, and forced labor. Fear of collective punishment is used to silence dissent. There is no independent media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom.

There have been numerous warnings by North Korean experts and those who have defected not to be taken in by Kim Jong Un’s sudden wish for peace. He recognizes that he is the linch pin of the whole peace process and his self importance pleases him for he is as narcissistic as they come. He is charming and funny and he is using it to charm the world so that he gets what he wants. He recognizes that there is a US president who not only publicly admires dictators, but who is deluding himself with daydreams of all the accolades his troubled presidency will get if this comes together. Kim Jong Un knows the President of the United States will look the other way while he kills and imprisons and takes the rights away of his own people. So he is bowing and kissing in order to win freedom for himself to rule his country without the interference (sanctions) of the world, open his markets to the world to bring money into North Korea.

South Korea’s leader is no better. He wants peace so badly so he can look good to his people that he has removed the propaganda speakers at the border so as to appease Kim Jong Un. To make it look as if North Korea is also interested in peace, North Korea has been said to appear to be doing the same on their side.

The freedom to be a murderous dictator is the price of peace between the Koreas. And we are so enamored of the lie, we are failing to ask ourselves why now? Why is Kim Jong Un so suddenly interested in peace now after blustering and threatening Japan and the US and Korea all last year?

The appeasing by Kim Jong Un is not new. He and his father before him have repeated this cycle for years. Usually it is so they can get something they want–sanctions lifted, funding, armaments, etc. Joel Wit, a North Korea expert who has been involved with negotiations with North Korea since the Clinton administrationin an interview on National Public Radio yesterday says he feels North Korea has come to the end of their nuclear weapons development program which accounts for some of the sudden change in attitude:

But I also think the North Koreans may have reached the end of their development programs for nuclear weapons and missiles and may have decided that now is the time to shift gear – gears and to improve their economy. And so that means improving the external security environment so they can build up their economy.

KELLY: Oh, that’s interesting. So you’re arguing that maybe North Korea is thinking they wouldn’t have that much to lose by freezing their nuclear program for a bit.

WIT: You know, the North Koreans think months ahead, and I think they’re very different from us. So they probably had a number of game plans in place. And, you know, this was probably part of their game plan, and they’d been thinking about it for a while now. And I’ve heard things like this in private discussions with the North Koreans but certainly not having a meeting at the level of Kim Jong Un and President Trump.

Professor Robert E Kelly, an Australian at Pusan University in South Korea takes it one step further in a recent interview:

ROBERT E. KELLY: Well… (laughs) It’s probably in the middle…I don’t actually think that the ‘maximum pressure campaign’ really resulted in this opening. I think this is because the North Koreans now feel that they have nuclear deterrence with the United States, which is to say, they can strike the United States with a nuclear weapon. That means America cannot attack North Korea, because they might nuke us in return. And therefore, that gives North Korea room to negotiate.

I think that’s what this sort of ‘spring of summitry’ is, because the North Koreans aren’t just meeting with Americans, but with the South Koreans; with the Chinese; probably the Japanese and the Russians. They met the IOC (International Olympic Committee). And what they’re doing, basically, to my mind, is shopping around their program. So I don’t think that they are coming to the table to capitulate, as the President has intimated.

I think they are coming, basically, looking for a deal. And if we don’t give them something, if we don’t get some kind of deal out of them, they will just go back to the defensive crouch they have been in for years.

PT Barnum says a sucker is born every minute. We need to watch that we aren’t the suckers in a grand charade. Kim Jong Un plays chess. Our president does not. He shakes hands with dictators, praises dictators and legitimizes them instead of asking himself in the face if the horrific things Kim Jong Un does to his own people why no American president has ever visited with a leader of North Korea. Kim Jong Un lies about his human rights abuses daily, presents a face to the world that is a lie and lies to his own people with impunity and forces them to lie so they don’t die. He knows how to flatter and smile and joke.

Which one is wise? I will leave that to you to answer.

If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Kim Jong Un is lovebombing is for a reason. Just like a narcissist does. We should be asking ourselves why.

If the leaders of the world have no conscience, it is up to us, the people of the world, to stand up for the oppressed and brutalized people of North Korea. Unification of the Koreas will not change life for them. In the end we will be selling our soul to appease a monster who has no intention of handing over any power and democratizing North Korea.

Poem of the day: Anne Sexton, “45 Mercy Street”

In my dream,

drilling into the marrow

of my entire bone,

my real dream,

I’m walking up and down Beacon Hill

searching for a street sign –

namely MERCY STREET.

Not there.

I try the Back Bay.

Not there.

Not there.

And yet I know the number.

45 Mercy Street.

I know the stained-glass window

of the foyer,

the three flights of the house

with its parquet floors.

I know the furniture and

mother, grandmother, great-grandmother,

the servants.

I know the cupboard of Spode

the boat of ice, solid silver,

where the butter sits in neat squares

like strange giant’s teeth

on the big mahogany table.

I know it well.

Not there.

Where did you go?

45 Mercy Street,

with great-grandmother

kneeling in her whale-bone corset

and praying gently but fiercely

to the wash basin,

at five A.M.

at noon

dozing in her wiggy rocker,

grandfather taking a nap in the pantry,

grandmother pushing the bell for the downstairs maid,

and Nana rocking Mother with an oversized flower

on her forehead to cover the curl

of when she was good and when she was…

And where she was begat

and in a generation

the third she will beget,

me,

with the stranger’s seed blooming

into the flower called Horrid.

I walk in a yellow dress

and a white pocketbook stuffed with cigarettes,

enough pills, my wallet, my keys,

and being twenty-eight, or is it forty-five?

I walk. I walk.

I hold matches at street signs

for it is dark,

as dark as the leathery dead

and I have lost my green Ford,

my house in the suburbs,

two little kids

sucked up like pollen by the bee in me

and a husband

who has wiped off his eyes

in order not to see my inside out

and I am walking and looking

and this is no dream

just my oily life

where the people are alibis

and the street is unfindable for an

entire lifetime.

Pull the shades down –

I don’t care!

Bolt the door, mercy,

erase the number,

rip down the street sign,

what can it matter,

what can it matter to this cheapskate

who wants to own the past

that went out on a dead ship

and left me only with paper?

Not there.

I open my pocketbook,

as women do,

and fish swim back and forth

between the dollars and the lipstick.

I pick them out,

one by one

and throw them at the street signs,

and shoot my pocketbook

into the Charles River.

Next I pull the dream off

and slam into the cement wall

of the clumsy calendar

I live in,

my life,

and its hauled up

notebooks.

15 Unusual Quotes that Helped me see Things Differently

Excellent article that I recommend. From the blog: “Did you ever had something that you never wanted to let go? Do you have a place that you constantly want to return to or do you have something in your mind that you can’t shut off?

Excellent article. What quotes have affected or touched you? Go over to her blog and comment!

https://wp.me/p9HmHx-3L

A quick thought in a grey/blue day in a cemetery

I thought the greyness of today’s sky shot with blue was an apt metaphor for life. There is always a blue patch in our bad days. We just have to look for it. Greyness soon passes and we do not have to hold on to the memory of our grey days otherwise we miss the clear blue days.

I am snatching quietness at a cemetery which is full of life. There is a deer and a flock of turkeys rooting amongst the graves for whatever turkeys eat. Maybe grass or seed. I wrap myself in peacefulness after the busyness of the day. The wind blows strongly around me and I see the life thriving in a place of endings and this too, is life. Endings are also beginnings if we only change our thinking.

Poem of the Day–On quitting school: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

He left school to attend Cambridge.

(Written at Eighteen)

FAREWELL, 1 parental scenes! a sad farewell!
To you my grateful heart still fondly clings,
Though fluttering round on Fancy’s burnished wings,
Her tale of future joy Hope loves to tell.
Adieu, adieu! ye much-loved cloisters pale! 5
Ah! would those happy days return again,
When ’neath your arches, free from every stain,
I heard of guilt, and wondered at the tale!
Dear haunts! where oft my simple lays I sang,
Listening meanwhile the echoing of my feet: 10
Lingering I quit you with as great a pang
As when, erewhile, my weeping childhood, torn
By early sorrow from my native seat,
Mingled its tears with hers, my widowed parent lorn.

With a little help from my friends…and one Catholic saint

I have had a difficult life and I have always questioned why but then as I grew, I stopped questioning it and devoted myself to looking for the good, no matter how small amongst the difficulties. I have striven to provide encouragement to others and deal with people in a good way no matter how unpleasant they are for it is easy to love others when they are pleasant to us but we are called to love one another even when someone is at their least lovable. Even if that love is never acknowledged… Love anyway. Is someone treating you badly? Find the good in them and love them anyway. You might have to set boundaries to love yourself, because Jesus doesn’t expect us to be a doormat, but love the sinner. Pray for them. Forgive constantly. Little things done with great love especially acts that are ignored or never seen are particularly precious to Christ. A smile. Holding a door open. A random act of kindness.

I know the way and I try to love and I am often disappointed when I am not loved in return or it seems the love I give is taken for granted or ignored altogether as unimportant. That is my ego getting in the way because I want or expect to get something in return but life doesn’t always play fair. Love isn’t wasted even if it is not reciprocated. It isn’t unimportant or insignificant to God and sometimes that is my only consolation. The lesson of course is to not focus on me but focus outward on others.

I am so far away from what I wish to be in God. I have trouble managing my temper, I don’t take criticism well. I should take it in silence but I don’t. I can be opinionated. It is a struggle being decent to others who treat you like you don’t matter. But it is the right thing to do, make these little sacrifices–love those and show kindnesses to those who don’t deserve them, sacrifice your wants for someone else’s needs, suffer in silence without complaint. I believe in this I have the help of St Therese of Lisieux who came to me while I was in the midst of loving someone who did not love me and who spent an extraordinary amount of time daily showing me how little they loved me. I suffered so badly I couldn’t take it anymore after three months so I prayed for help and deliverance and on the floor beside me in this decidedly non Catholic household was a St Therese medal with roses on the back. I had to look up who she was because I was not Catholic.

When I found out her “little way,” which was precisely what I was enduring , trying to love some one who not only had zero understanding of the concept but who could not return it, I understood immediately I was not alone or invisible to God. If no one else could see my love or accept it He could. He also loved me and does, despite my many failings, and so I do not have to worry about perfection in this life for God loves us the way we are right now and we can show Christ to everyone through little kindnesses and random acts of love that may go unnoticed by others but make a difference to the one you are doing it for and God. Be kind without making a big deal about it. Find the good in suffering or as I like to say find the silver lining. Don’t complain all the time because complaining makes you blind to your blessings and we all have blessings every day.

I keep a gratitude journal to stay positive and I endeavor to always encourage others and be positive around others. I get a lot of help and positive reinforcement from my friends who have been hard won. I lost many people who were friends in name only and when I needed help or a friendly face were nowhere to be found and uninterested in keeping in touch. I was devastated when I discovered a friend really wasn’t a friend. I took it personally and believed something was wrong with me or I had done something wrong. I had to learn I am not everyone’s cup of tea and become less sensitive to rejection and criticism. For these things focus us inward and too much inward thinking makes us selfish.

The friends I have now are a positive force in my life and I hope I am a positive force in theirs. They help me to achieve more and be more and support my faith even if theirs is different. They accept me for who I am and I hope I accept them for who they are amd I try to be encouraging and positive for them.

My life may have been or may be difficult but…others suffer more than I. I look around and see so much pain and anger and suffering and loneliness in others and it hurts me to know others live in such a loveless state. In a society that is predicated on selfishness and fulfillment of the individual over being part of a community it is easy to see that such a focus on individualism breeds selfishness and self love and greed, while the poor are ridiculed for being poor and called lazy, despite poor economies that force two parents to work, or circumstances that create single mothers or single fathers, where poverty is considered by the upper classes as a moral failing, and so the upper classes use this to justify overlooking the less fortunate. The excuse that the poor take advantage of the rest of us is a poor excuse too. It portrays the poor as swindlers which they are not. Christ told us to love one another and help the widow and orphan and the poor.

On the other hand I see those who brag about how much they give and this too is selfish self aggrandizement. I too am a part of this society and still am learning to be less selfish myself so I understand the struggle and that many do not realize what they do.

So I get by with a little help from my friends, God, and one Catholic saint. They have given me a most interesting life in which I have received many tangible and non tangible blessings, been a lot of places in the world, and been given many opportunities to show love to others even if it has largely been unreturned. My pain at not being loved in return is a sacrifice given in the service of love and that pain doesn’t matter half so much as loving does.

Love matters. Its the love that matters. I am glad I have loved those I have loved. They needed someone to love them even if they did not understand it or return it.

So love anyway.