Saturday, April 3, 2010

How Do I Begin.... tell y'all about this past week? It started out pretty lousy.

New battle with PNC coming...more about that on Monday.
No money! Registration on The Conversion Van Of Wonders coming up April 1st.
No money! No Gas!

You get the picture.

Understand at this point I am ambivalent about being alive. I am...dis-passionate. I don't care if I live, I kinda prefer not to die. If God taps me on the shoulder and says the condo is ready, I'll ask for two days more just to pick out colors and accents. I won't complain, I'll go readily.

I hope they get FOX NEWS in Heaven as well as basic cable.


I am without resources and run out of gas while it's pouring outside about 100 feet from my fav convenience store. I trog through the mess seeking the warmth of being in shelter from the storm.

After a bit of time, the manager gets my attention and nods, pointing out someone who had left some money for me there a couple of weeks back.

SIDETRACK: Please understand, I am not soliciting donations. What I have been blessed to have received comes from the care and compassion of people who see my situation. And while it is a relief when some cash comes my way, often a BIG relief and just in the nick of time, I prefer to do my best to be my own resource.

I had written this lady a thank you note and left it with said manager a day after I was handed her gift. Now I could thank her in person. In the note I explained that the day I was handed what she had left for me, I was out of gas and it was raining and cold and what she gave me was a HUGE help!

We got talking and she told me she would handle PNC for me with an iron fist, but I assured her I am pretty good at taking stuff on myself. We shared common experiences and this and that when she steps up to me and hands a sizable amount of money. History was repeating itself!

I honestly and with passion decline her offering to me, but she was quite insistent, giving me a fine example of how she would deal with PNC on my behalf! And it could not have come at a better time.

One of those moments when I went from wanting my heart to simply stop beating and wake up in my condo in the sky, to being ok with being alive and moving along.

I see a comment posted here from a couple of the young men I mentioned previously in a posting, offering me some Italian food at their place of employ. I show up at said restaurant and am treated to ziti with meat sauce and a meatball, with bread by one of these young men.

Delicious...a very big treat! And GREATLY appreciated!

Ok..makes me feel even better.

I am parked up at the WalMart the following day just kinda hanging there, when 2 young ladies arrive at the van and give me a two bowl dog dish, treats for Bob The Van Eating Dog, some really tasty crackers for me and water. The bowl is a BIG help, more than I knew. Especially for water.

Bob is grateful, and I am as well.

So March 31st arrives and PNC has REALLY botched my account and direct deposit as y'all will see Monday. The same young lady who helped me the 1st go 'round is unable to get anything fixed this time. She was really and sincerely upset on my behalf and went the extra mile. It's Pittsburgh H.Q. that is the problem.

After Monday they become my "hobby" and I will be their problem!

But I digress....

Before I have to head off to the spot I will staying in for the night, I happen upon a couple of my former neighbors who invite me to have a fresh, char broiled burger with them. I tell you, this was the juiciest burger I have had in a LONG time!!!! Damn tasty and a wonderful treat.

Understand that before midnight fell on April 1st, I had to be settled in at the parking lot for that branch of the bank. I knew that after 12:01, I could not be operating the van on the road. So it was there I slept until the bank opened. And, as you now know, nothing got fixed.

I park the van in a spot away from that branch and just plan on living there until this coming Wednesday when I get funded again.

SIDETRACK: It probably would have been REALLY helpful if I had posted recent pics of the van. I have the addy for this blog written all over every side window and that kinda also let's people know I am sans a proper abode.

This nice lady pulls up and begins a conversation with me, asking about the whys and wherefores of my current circumstance, when out of the blue she insists I accept a 20 dollar bill from here. I try to graciously decline , but she is quite insistent. I thank her and wish her a Happy Easter and she goes on here way.

I stare at the 20 and think to myself:

I can hold onto this, hoping some more resource comes my way or I can try to utilize it in a way that helps not only myself but New Jersey Education and other institutions.

I opt for the latter.

In the shopping center there are 2 places I can go and "invest" the 20. I choose the liquor store simply because I figure the volume of business there would increase my chances.

I buy one ticket. A scratch off "Black Jack" game with a bonus circle at the top. You scratch off the bonus and if an "A" for Ace appears, you instantly win 50 bucks!

I scratch it off and there's the Ace! I don't even bother with the other parts of the ticket and hand it to the clerk for redemption. I watch the video monitor to see $50.00 appear ...but that never happens.

It says "$100.00" instead!!!

Go figure.

The registration for the van is $75.00, leaving me with a bit to play two more tix and the Pick 4...which I win another 15 bucks for gas.

Feeling all full of myself, I walk back to the van when I spot 3 bags of groceries outside the door on the blacktop. In them I find food for Bob (seeing a theme here?), two microwave dinners for me, a gallon of water, wipes, whole wheat bread, a jar of PB&J All-In-One, bananas, and I can't recall all else right this moment. But on the receipt it was noted a pregnancy kit was purchased as well. So to my anonymous benefactor I say Thank You and hope the results of said test work out what's best for you and yours.

Not long after that, a gentleman drives up to the van and asks me about stuff and what my plans are. We talk for a bit and then he heads off to do some shopping.

A short time later, he pulls up again and hands me a $25.00 gift card for A&P, who happen to be having a really good sale that week! He said he wished it could be more, but he finds himself currently unemployed and not sure what his future brings.

I regret that I was on the cell with my attorney when he pulled up, but I had to finish the conversation I was in the midst of. I hope he finds what he needs very soon.

Got registration renewed and back out into the world. And the next day, in the same spot, a very nice lady brought me some hot food and a bag of food for Bob. Bob now has 3 medium bags and one LARGE bag of brand named food! VERY nice! My food was delicious.

Not long before the world takes it's toll again. Happens....

Friday evening I am in the convenience store I am known to haunt when I get into a conversation with a lady I have seen over the course of time at said store and she asks me about what is what and what I am doing about it. After a bit of conversation she is headed out the door and pushes some cash into my hand, refusing to take it back and wishing me the best.

The cash, as with most of what I get, goes in the gas tank. Since I have moved on from where I was parked so long, the van is my heat and electric, thus running a LOT! Just before I started typing all of this, it began to over heat. Guess that's some new issue for me to deal with. But I digress....

Today I am at said store conversing with the clerk when I see this lady again at the door, motioning for me to come outside and talk with her. Next thing I know, she once again pushes a rather substantial amount of cash into my hands refusing my hesitation at accepting it. She tells me that it's from loose change she has collected over the course of time and wanted me to have it...period. I told her I wanted to pay it back, but she refused that notion. So I made her a promise, that I offer to all who have helped me over the course of this chapter in my life.

I'll pay it forward when I am get myself re-established. And the choice to pay it forward to will be The Salvation Army and Wounded Warriors. And when I make said donations in the future, if I am still blogging, I will post copies of receipts that will be in the name of "Those Who Helped Me Along".

For the first time in a while....I have a full tank of gas, got caught up on some bills, bought food...and found some calm in myself.

Then I had to go to the storage place and deal with my belongings that were trashed by the mortgage company. It's worse than I had at first thought. Did I mention that the storage space's roof leaked? Discovered that last weekend. At some point I'll detail that whole episode...the day of the eviction...but not tonight.

In some 45 minutes from now as I type this, Easter arrives. As you, my faithful readers know, I am sitting out holidays. For me they are false promises that things are nice and ok. So no Easter Basket for moi, no family get together, no big dinner. Just me and Bob in the van...parked somewhere.

Doesn't mean the significance of Easter is lost on me, just the non religious trappings and rituals are off my radar. But from the gifts, well wishes, and offers of support I see why God offered to humanity what He did. Mankind is redeemable. There is inherent goodness in most people. More instances of support occurred over the last couple of weeks that I should have written about when they happened. I regret the lapse and am appreciative of ALL of those as well.

The folks who helped me are not wealthy people. Some are of very modest means. They feel a need to help, not just on my behalf, but something inside them feels complete when doing so as well. And I hope that where I ultimately wind up and how I ultimately make out does not disappoint anyone who happened my way. My goal is to pay it forward sometime in the future with the memory of everyone who helped running through my head and soul as I help someone or some cause I come across down the road.

Happy Easter and God Bless You All.

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