and it forcefully reminded me of the determination I had a bazillion years ago. First read what Danny had to say here, then I will tell you about it.
Well, go on! Read Danny’s post! sheesh.
I was 25 years old..had just been divorced and had two babies to care for. I also had no discernable job prospects. I quite literally applied for work at every single place that had employees.
The rent was past due by two months on the apartment we were living in and I had zero income. I had applied for food stamps and received them, but no child support from the ex and no welfare money was approved.
I had already sold every single item that could be spared. The kid’s cribs, two dressers, the kitchen tables and chairs……..every single item that was not absolutely necessary was sold to try to pay bills. I even sold my rattletrap of a car.
Nothing came through and I found myself, with two kids under the age of three, on the curb. There were no homeless shelters, no church would take us in…I was seriously considering suicide as the way to go. At least, the kids as orphans would be taken care of. Then I got pissed. My ex always said I was too “stupid to make it without” him. I was going to prove him wrong.
I remember finding an abandoned car in a local dumping ground under the Jackson River Bridge and moved right in. At least we had shelter. There was a box of old mason jars in that car…as well as a few lengths of twine. I scrounged the dump for anything I thought would be useful. I cleaned out the car and made a “home”. There were herbs and wild fruits (blackberries mostly) all around the car on the banks of the river and in the adjacent woods.
I took all the jars to a local gas station where the bathrooms were always open and washed them. I also filled each of them with water before we left. Back at the new digs, I fished out an ancient pot from the dump site, washed it with some of the water I had brought back and went to pick berries.
I cooked those suckers down to a jam…no sugar as I had none. Put the mess into jars..wrapped their lids with pieces of twine and let them cool. I sold each jar for 2 dollars a jar. I ended up with 18 dollars and a few requests for future jams.
After a year and six months, the kids and I moved into a brand new apartment. It wasn’t easy, God knows, but I worked my way out of extreme poverty. After two and a half years I was able to buy a car and put the kids into daycare and kindergarten.
Thank goodness neither one of my children really remember those years. They may have a vague memory of “camping out” but nothing more painful than that.
People that are “stuck” in poverty do not have to stay there. I would imagine it is easier to work one’s way out now that we have such things as homeless shelters. It just takes the right mind set.