Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Letter: 2010, 11, 12, 13 and 14

Christmas Letter: 2010,11,12,13 and 14

      Yes, it's been that long since I've written a Christmas letter. And it wasn't for lack of things going on in my life, quite the contrary.
Let's start in 2010:
      In April 2010, I accepted a job as a census taker. I lost that job two weeks later when my fingerprints came back that I had been a very bad person. Unknown to me at the time, a crime I committed while I was 21 years old (my friends and I were drunk and they were going to teach me how to hot-wire a car), had not been updated in the FBI database and I was listed as two-time felon. I was only found guilty of a misdemeanor tampering with a vehicle. In any case, in this day and age when background checks are so cheap, I was unable to get a job. As my 99 weeks of unemployment loomed to a close in August, 2010, a textile recycling company, USAgain, hired me to find locations for their "mailboxes on steroids" so people could recycle anything doing with textile - even underwear! Unfortunately, out of the 8 of us that were hired, seven of us were let go the same day. They pitted us against each other to see who would work the hardest for them. On October 5, 2010, I received a 30 day notice from my roommate and by November 6, 2010, I was homeless.
      I spent the first 4 months with a friend who allowed me to keep my cats, Mowgli and Ming, with me in an extra bedroom in her home. Because I didn't have a job by mid-January and I told her when I moved in it should only be a few months before I landed back on my feet, as I have never had a problem finding a job, she asked me to leave by the end of February. 
       March 2, 2011, I was in a homeless shelter. My sister used her Hotel miles and put me up in a Homewood Suite on the 1st, but then I was on my own. I stayed in the homeless shelter for 2 weeks while I waited to get into "transitional housing" with the Fairfield-Suisun Community Action Council. Mowgli and Ming were staying with a couple I met while I was emceeing a Boy Scout Banquet.
       March 15, 2011, I moved in to transitional housing. I didn't know the woman who I would share the master bedroom with, but she seemed pretty straight forward. I'll call her Blondie. We became friends and totally understood each other.  She said it was due to the fact that I was a Taurus while she was a Scorpio. I do know I could leave ten-thousand dollars on the dresser and she wouldn't touch it. And she knew that if she asked for some of it, I would share, so there would be no reason for her to touch it. In April 2011, I noticed what I thought was another hernia - I had a hernia operation in December 2009 and my stomach was poking out again - so I went to the surgeon who did the previous one. I'll call him the "Hottie Doc" because we just seem to click. I wanted to make sure that the county insurance I had would cover the operation, so I had to go back the following week. That's when the abscess under my belly showed up. Instead of having hernia surgery in May, I had to have an abscess drained in the O.R. On June 1, 2011, I had hernia surgery. That was the same day my aunt found out she had pancreatic cancer.
      After I healed, I resumed my job search. I was also making some headway into clearing up the FBI mess. I think that was taken care of in May sometime, where they got it right. I kept looking for jobs, going to interviews, with nothing on the horizon. Meanwhile, outside of my roommate the rest of the women, the other four, were raised by wolves, I swear! The Program Director was also a mean person, telling us once a week, "If you don't like it here, leave. There are plenty more people where you came from. Believe me, you won't be missed." She says that to homeless women trying to better themselves. It was hell. Read my previous posts for an idea. I am writing a book on my journey through homelessness called "Homeless...But Not Hopeless". Then I had a nervous breakdown.
     My sister, who lives in Midtown Sacramento, had offered me her couch to sleep on, but at that time, Sacramento didn't have insurance for the indigent and Solano County, where I've called home for more than 20 years, does. My doctor referred me to a psychiatrist to deal with the breakdown. I didn't want to commit suicide, I just didn't want to live that life, with those people. That may sound snobbish, but I was taught differently than the people I was forced to live with and was comfortable with the way I had lived for the past 45 years.
      In October, I received a call to ask me if I wanted to be the next Office Manager of the H&R Block in the Target Center in Vallejo. Although it was a temporary job, it was a job. Of course I accepted! On the home front, the house we were living in was foreclosed and we moved to a larger house in Suisun City. That's when the real fun began. Read previous posts of this blog to understand what I mean.
       Because this job was temporary, I continued to look for permanent work and was offered a position as a clerk in the Welfare to Work office in Contra Costa County. I was originally assigned to Pleasant Hill, but there was a need in Antioch, so that's where I went to work. The day after accepting, Blondie and I were on our way to celebrate with a steak dinner when a 16-year-old boy, who had just received his driver's license, ran a red light and t-boned my car, totaling it and injuring my neck. Now I was homeless, without a car to get to my permanent job so I could lift myself by my bootstraps. I had no credit cards and not even a bank account. Thank God I had friends. One of them let me use her debit card and another paid for, a rental car, so I could get to and from my new job. Although I had given my 2 weeks notice to H&R Block, they fired me because I didn't have a car to get to and from work and to and from meetings. (I didn't get the rental until 10 days after the crash - H&R fired me a week prior)
     To add insult to injury, in California, if you are not insured and get into a car crash, even if it wasn't your fault, you cannot sue for pain and suffering. I ended up losing 2 jobs because of this crash, but I couldn't sue because my insurance ran out two weeks before the crash. I didn't pay my bill because I didn't receive a bill because my agent, who has since been fired due to negligence, didn't change my address. In fact, the afternoon, before I left the office to pick up Blondie for dinner, I called and left a message for my agent because it seemed like it was time to pay my bill. The kid's insurance company did reimburse me for the car that was totaled and paid for the rental, but that was it. I was on my own.
        I did lose my job with Contra Costa County in July 2012 because I was late too many times and took off too many days due to the neck injury. My left hand would go numb without warning, which my spine surgeon said was normal with that type of injury. Prior to becoming homeless, I applied for Social Security Disability because I couldn't stand for long periods of time due to the arthritis in my knees and the only jobs available required one to stand for long periods of time. They kept rejecting me, I kept appealing and the first week of August 2012, I had a hearing. I hobbled into the hearing room and told the judge all that had happened. The following month, I was awarded Social Security Disability and have been surviving off of it since.
      It's better than being homeless, but I really want to go back to work. I had neck surgery in June 2013 and my left hand no longer goes numb without warning. I have medical bills up one side and down the other because Medicare doesn't pay for everything and although the health insurance when you are an indigent is great in Solano County, if you bring home more than $600/month, you have a share of cost of the extra multiplied by 1.5. So in order to activate my Medi-Cal, I have a share of cost of over $900! I need a home health aid as I don't get around too well, but don't have $900 a month for one. My food stamp worker told me that if I worked I could get one cheaper. Hmmmm....
     Radio lost over 50% of its jobs in the recession and they haven't come back. In November 2011, I met a literary agent who told me that if I was serious about my writing, he could make me a best selling author. He was the one who suggested I start a blog. In 2015, I need to get to it, and assemble the book as it is already written in bits and pieces, through this blog, Facebook postings and my journal. Then I could finally get a new car, as the one I have can't seem to pass CA Smog standards and the tags ran out in September 2013.
      So that's been my life in a nutshell since 2010. My Aunt passed away from pancreatic cancer in December 2011. I found out via text from my sister while I was training for H&R Block. Mowgli passed away in October 2013 due to hyperthyroidism.  Ming likes the single life, so since she's now 17, she gets what she wants. I hit the half century mark this past year and need to get on with the second part of my life.
      Have a wonderful year!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Remembering Steve

March 30, 2014

            I met Steven Bise before I met him. I was working at a small station in Placerville where they were too busy, or just didn’t care about going over airchecks. I sent my cover letter and tape to Steve and he sent me a letter back, giving me pointers on my breaks. No one had ever done that. I was lucky to get a rejection letter. Which I did, eventually, from Steve. It wasn’t really a rejection per se, he said that maybe sometime in the future I could work the overnights on KUIC. When I interviewed for a part-time job at Quick 95, I was working afternoon drive at a station in Davis. I interviewed after work. Steve stayed and interviewed me at 7pm. I ended up getting the Sunday night, 7 to midnight slot. After losing my gig in Davis, Steve gave me more hours filling in. Finally, I got the coveted overnight gig. I was always looking for a better gig, that’s what one did in radio. Until a few years into working with Steve. That’s when I realized Quick 95 was radio fantasyland. No one was fired unless one did something stupid, such as theft. That was unreal in radio. I stopped looking and really focused on working my gig. Steve was the reason I became the disc jockey I did. He worked with me, tirelessly. Steve and I remained friends even though he laid me off twice. Who does that? But Steve was that kind of man. During both of our second employments at KUIC, Steve was raising teenagers. He once told me, as I can be quite passionate about my work, that he knew why God put me in his life. It was to prepare him for teenagers. I didn’t think anything bad of that remark, it was just true. I don’t think I ever saw Steve lose his temper. I pushed him, but he never lost it in my presence. He was so mellow, that when the thermostat caught fire in the control room when he was on the air, he didn’t panic. He calmly walked out and asked if someone was there to work on the thermostat because it was on fire. I don’t know about you, but I would’ve freaked out!
Steve’s daughters meant everything to him. The morning Delaney was born, Steve called into the station to let everyone know he was a dad. I was on the air when he called, and he was so happy. Delaney, I think he and your mom named your after some hippy group. It could’ve been worse. I think his second choice was Hot Tuna.
            I remember the first time Steve laid me off. He wanted me to come into work early and I couldn’t understand why he wanted me there. He wanted to tell me in person, but I forced him to do it over the phone. I swear I heard him crying. I wouldn’t doubt it. Steve gave everything and more to his work. When he was laid off, he said it was okay because he was able to be a house dad.
            Steve was meant to play the bass guitar. As the bass guitar anchors the sound of the band, so did its player in Steve. There could be thunder and lightning all around, but Steve was Mr. Cool even in the toughest of storms. I looked back on his Facebook page and what I wrote on his last birthday rings true. I was glad to be able to wish him a happy birthday. He fought the valiant fight.
            The world is a harsher place without Steven Bise. He was the best boss anyone could have asked for. And a better friend. Godspeed to you, Steve. Have fun in Heaven’s Bluegrass Band.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I've Got A Name (Remembering Mowgli)

     Many people name their cats on what the pet looks like. That's how we get names like Shadow (blue or gray) or Patches (usually a calico or tortoise shell) or Snowball (usually a fluffy white). Others name their cats because of things their cats do. We once had a cat that wouldn't shut up. We named him Sounder. We didn't learn until years later that he was probably deaf.

       I had just gotten a teenage cat from the pound and wasn't sure what to name her. She was a cross between a calico and a tabby, something that is now known as a Caliby. I began like most and named her after her looks. I was going to college at the time and the night before in Economics class we had been talking about Matisse. I thought that would be the perfect name for a Caliby - Matisse. She had just about all the colors that come in a cat and was 'painted' with those colors by God. Matisse was it.

     We went to the vet before going home, Matisse and I, to make sure she was all well before introducing her to her new sister and companion, Maggie T., who herself was named after Lady Margaret Thatcher. Maggie was a stray who had her four kittens under my then neighbor's porch. I named the kittens before I named her. The neighbors called her Shadow, because she was a blue (actually gray) cat. She had two tortoise shell cats, both female. I named the more outgoing one Socrates and her sister was named Aristotle. There was a male Himalayan I named Confucius and a wild tuxedo female I called Monet, after my favorite painter. I thought to myself, what woman could have given birth to such Greatness? Only two names came to mind: Lady Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir. Since 'Shadow' was not a gold color, Maggie T won out. Many people name their cats Maggie, which is why I made sure she had that T after her name. She wasn't just any cat named Maggie. She was Maggie T, the mother of Greatness. Although I wanted the tuxedo cat, Maggie won me over and by the time I moved, she was mine. When Matisse received a clean bill of health, we went home to meet her sister. They soon became best buddies.

     I called to Maggie T and she would come running to me, but when I called for Matisse, the new cat just looked at me. She was not responding to Matisse at all. A week after I brought the new cat into our home, she needed a name she would respond to. Someone suggested I name her after the lead character in my favorite book. Since my favorite book was "Atlas Shrugged", I called her Dagney. Maggie T came running to me, but the new cat just looked at me. Hmmm, I thought, they sound too similar. How about I name her after the author? So my new cat became Ayn. She still wouldn't respond to it.

     At work I was mulling over names. The new cat didn't respond to either of the first two names I had given her. She certainly was energetic, though. She REALLY wanted to go outside, but I wouldn't let her until she was spayed. She literally climbed the walls. She reminded me of the Jungle Boy. What was the name of the cat in the "Jungle Boy"? I asked my co-workers. They said it was Panther, but I knew that wasn't it. (I later found out it was Baghera, but after watching the movie, this cat was definitely NOT Baghera, the worrier. No, this cat was an adventurer.) This cat was the girl-cat version of the Jungle Boy.

     When I came home that night, I called for Maggie T and she came running to me. Then I called "Mowgli!" and the new cat came running to me! She looked at me with eyes that said, 'Gee, mom, it's about time you learned my name!' And for the next 14 years, Mowgli was indeed, the girl-cat version of the Jungle Boy.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Remembering Mowgli (part 1)

      She chose me. I had gone to the Solano County Animal Shelter (the SPCA in Vacaville was closed at that time) to find a companion for Maggie T, a wonderful stray cat who entered my life six years prior. I was thinking about getting a black cat because I had just recently lost my Tuxedo cat, Herfy. Although Herfy hated every living thing (including Maggie) except me, Maggie missed having a companion around all day while I was at work as a clerk for Yolo Superior Court. Since the shelter closed at five each day and was open only Saturday mornings (I don't DO mornings, especially on my day off), I had to use this small window I had after being fingerprinted earlier that day for work. In any case, I was looking for a black cat.

     They had black cats. There were black cats and black kittens. I petted them all, even though I wanted to get a cat, not a kitten. I must be the only person in the world who loves cats but can't stand kittens. They are annoying. So I petted all of the black cats, but none of them had any personality. They just sat there. Some purred, some didn't. A big purr was a must for me as there is nothing more comforting to me. Herfy had a big purr and a BIG personality. I likened her personality to that of Cartman from "South Park". Because she was abused so much by both my mother and my brother, I was the only living thing she loved. One time, when my brother lived in Oregon, after my mom passed away, I went up there for Thanksgiving. I stayed in Herfy's bedroom. We were both stoked. My brother finally gave Herfy to me when she was eleven years old. He got tired of her whiny meow. I could understand as Herfy meowed whenever anyone spoke. You had to be talking to her of course because why else would you be talking?
     Back to the Animal Shelter. None of the cats in the first room seemed to care. I walked into the next rom, which was the last room that cats went before they were exterminated. Simply because no one would adopt them. Please, if you have a cat or dog, get them neutered. It is so sad to know that everyday thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized because there are too many of them. (Note: The Solano SPCA does NOT euthanize healthy pets.) There were a few black cats in the 2nd room as well, but none really jumped out at me. But there was one cat that did.
     She was seven months old. That's no longer a kitten, right? (I found out it's worse. It's a TEENAGER.) I put my fingers in the cage and scratched around her ears and she meowed. And purred. And purred some more. The purring was louder than the meowing and that was loud. She was silky soft, with striking golden eyes. As I went to look at the other cats, this calico/tabby, now known as a caliby, kept meowing as if to say, "Mom, I'm right here! No need to look at any other cats. I'm the one you want!" I could hear her when I went back to the first room. So I went back, scratched under her chin and the purr began rumbling. She wiped her whole head around my fingers, making sure only her scent was to be found.

                                                 She chose me.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


   I stink. I'm not putting myself down, but I really stink. I haven't taken a shower since Wednesday, July 3rd. Then I went shopping and sweated. It was near the end of the record heat wave. I sweated the next day too, though I had to turn the oven on and keep it that way a few hours to cook some killer (ask Christine Craft, she'll tell you killer is the right word) ribs. I have run out of clothes to sleep in because it has been so hot, I haven't left my apartment to do laundry. The laundry room isn't that far from my apartment, but I know I can't take a shower every day. I am in a tracheotomy collar and it takes a full day for the pads to dry after washing them. I only have 2 sets of pads. So the best I could do is take a shower every other day, but why? I've no place to go. I'm not allowed to drive and that's driving me up the wall. The girls run out of their cat food in 2 days. While Mowgli will be just fine on the dry food, Ming doesn't have any teeth. I have put water in the dry food for her but she won't eat it. She will eat the dry food between the two feedings of canned food a day-they split a can of food in the morning and at night, though I think Ming eats most of it. When she eats the dry food, she drops most of it out of her mouth, but will not eat it unless it's in the bowl. Weird cat. In any case, when she runs out of canned food, I'm going to hear about it. I already hear about it when it's feeding time and she doesn't have her bowl full. There is one flavor she doesn't like-the Salmon flavor-and leaves some of it in her bowl. I tell her I won't open a new can until she eats what's in there. I point to the bowl that has food in it. I will go into the living room and within a few minutes will hear her metal I.D. tags banging against the ceramic bowl. About an hour later, I will put fresh (canned) food in her bowl and she's a happy cat. I know she's happy because she purrs when she eats.
     But back to me. I stink. In the past year since I have been disabled, I haven't been too physical. You know the old saying, "if you don't use it, you lose it"? Since I haven't been up every morning to go to work, I have become lazy. Add in severe arthritis in my knees (really, the last orthopedist I saw took one look at my right knee MRI and said, 'how do you even walk? You have no cartilage there') and you have a middle aged fat chick who is not able to do much. Since my neck operation, where they shaved three discs, opened up the area around my spinal cord and fused two things, I am not allowed to lift more than ten pounds. But I have a life that needs living and I got tired of the big bag of garbage sitting in the middle of my small kitchen, so I took that and the garbage in the can, out about an hour ago. That just about did me in. I was going to shave my legs and take a shower, but I am beat after taking out the trash. I need to shave my legs because when I do laundry later today - I need to because all of the t-shirts I have been wearing are all dirty and stinky - I will be wearing shorts. And while most people could care less, I can hear my dearly departed mother's voice in my head, 'you want to go outside like that? You want people to think you're gay? Or French? Geez, why bother to shower at all!' Besides, I like the feel of newly shaved legs against my 600 thread count sheets. Which I also need to launder. I have about eight sets of sheets and they are all dirty. When I say dirty, that's what I mean. Like my body of late, I wait until my sheets stink before I change them. It's not that I don't like clean sheets, it's just that it takes so much out of me to change them.
     So I stink. Here's a funny thing: when they were releasing me from the hospital, they were showing my sister and I how to change the pads in the neck brace, actually COLLAR from Hell, and suggested that I wear tops that are open wide at the top. I, of course, came in a tie-dye t-shirt that was kind of tight around the collar, We got the shirt on over the brace and then the collar over that. I stayed that way a few days until I took a shower and put a regular nightgown with a big opening at the top. The pads rubbed against my skin and irritated them so bad, I have been wearing big old t-shirts to soften the blow. What I wasn't supposed to wear, has actually helped me. I found that ironic.
     I know I stink and I am tired of stinking. I have nowhere to go, so I will now change out collars, shave my legs and take a shower. Because I am tired of stinking.

Friday, April 19, 2013

When you Dance With the Devil, There Will Be Hell to Pay

"You don't know what it's like in here! You don't have any idea why I'm here! It's not all my fault! I was set up!"
     That was my brother screaming to me over the phone from Sacramento County Jail. He is there on a DEA hold. He was arrested Friday, April 12, 2013. They broke the door down and arrested him and are holding him without bail. He is being treated as some kind of drug kingpin. My brother has been smoking marijuana for more than 40 years.
     Of course I have no idea what he is going through. I have been a law abiding citizen since August 2, 1985. That was one day after I was arrested and charged with two felonies-Attempted Grand Larceny and Conspiracy and a gross misdemeanor of having burglary tools. My two friends -Tom, who was 19 and John, who was 17 (I was 21 at the time)- and I went to a famous used car lot (think Cal Worthington) on Kietzke Lane in Reno, after drinking all night long at the MGM Grand Casino. They were going to show me how to hot wire a car. I suggested we use my car, but John insisted that we would not get in trouble even if we were caught because his family was friends with the owner. We didn't count on a stakeout across the street. Apparently there had been a rash of car thefts in the city. John was right, the owner refused to press charges on any of us, but it was an election year and having detectives work overtime trying to catch car thieves costs a lot of money. Money that the District Attorney had to account for, especially since she was up for re-election. The judge, though, realized we were just hapless kids on liquid courage. He put us, Tom and I, on probation for a year (John was remanded to the custody of his mom because he was 17) and said that if we stayed out of trouble, he would drop the charges and we would walk away with one misdemeanor charge of Tampering with a Vehicle. We did stay out of trouble, paid a $300 fine and I have not seen the inside of a jail cell since those initial 18 hours. Unfortunately, the FBI didn't get wind of the dropped charges and they were on my record until April 2012, when I finally was able to get them changed. Which is probably why I couldn't get a job for three years. It's why I was fired from the U.S. Census. But all that is behind me and that is where it will stay.
     No, I don't know what my brother is going through because I don't break the law. Although I think marijuana ought to be legal, it isn't, so I don't buy and sell or grow it. I don't want to see the inside of a jail cell. Ever. Again.
     As for my brother, since he has been busted for the same crime two times before and has an outstanding warrant out for him in Oregon, the inside of a jail cell and soon the inside of a prison cell might be all he'll see.
     Because when you dance with the devil, there'll be hell to pay.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Homeless, Again? (Part 2)

     I can't count the times I heard, "God comes, but in His time." What does that mean? God created man and man created the means of telling time through calendars and clocks and such, so how can He come in His own time? Is there another time that humans are not familiar with? I understand that in the Old Testament, since that is when God created time, it may have taken more than a week to create the world and the accounting is more for something so that even the feeblest of minds can comprehend, but is there an entire different dimension of time that only God follows? It just never made sense to me. Until the morning of October 4, 2012.

     I had been awoken around 9:30 with a loud knock on the door and a sheriff's deputy (who was kinda cute, by the way!) accompanied by the manager of the apartment complex and the locksmith changing the lock on the door. I was being evicted for non-payment. The day before I had received my first disability check from Social Security and got a money order for the amount of September's rent, which was past due. I tried to give it to the manager but he refused because the eviction process was too far along. After having been homeless from November 4, 2010 to April 21, 2012, I was about to be homeless again. Not even six months after getting my own place, I was going to be a nomad, moving every other month or so. And my poor cats. Cats are not like dogs; dogs crave adventure while cats crave stability and routine. In the time I was without a home, they were first being taken care of by a couple, who then split with the main caretaker moving 600 miles away. The secondary caretaker was not good at taking care of cats and it showed. So in February 2012, after staying in one place for almost a year, they were taken to another place that already had two cats. It was kind of funny though; the second place was the neighbor of the crazy house I stayed in and their two cats names were Mickey (after Mick Jagger) and MeMe (because it was all about her). My two cats were Ming (a Siamese mix) and Mowgli (the girl-cat version of the Jungle Boy). Four cats all starting with the letter M. They could have monogrammed the entire cat collection of bowls, etc and it would have worked for all of them! But back to the issue at hand. I was going to be homeless, but what was going to happen to my senior cats?

     After finding out that the apartment complex would not accept my back rent the day before, I had rented a U-Haul and bought some boxes. However, I couldn't bring myself to put the boxes together. I had done some laundry the night before but they locked the room before I could get it out. (The week before I had put $30 on my laundry card, so I wanted to use at least some of it.) I put on my robe and went to the laundry room to fetch my clothes. While there, I saw a young family and found out they had just moved in. I tried to sell them my card, but they didn't want to buy it. I warned them about paying their rent on time, as the landlord didn't mess around. They didn't even care that I was at the mercy of the federal government as I waited for a lump sum from Social Security. After folding my clothes, I went back to the apartment to start my day and somehow move as much as I could out of my apartment and back into storage. 

     After reading my Bible and saying my prayers (as I do every morning), I sat down to have breakfast. About halfway through my yogurt, the phone rang. It was Jason at my bank. He was calling to tell me a large sum of money had been deposited in my account overnight. I told him that, yes, I know that Social Security had put my first check of $1510 in the account a day ago. He told me that there were two more deposits totaling more than $10,000!  I asked him where it came from and he told me  Social Security. The lump sum had come! In God's time.

     Because I couldn't comprehend in totality all that Jason was telling me, I asked what he was doing the rest of the day because I would pay him to help me move. He suggested I ask how much it would cost to stay there. Wow. I had not even thought of that. I would end up paying all of those costs anyway plus have an eviction on my record if I left. I thanked him and hung up the phone. 

     The day before, as I was leaving the apartment to go get the U-Haul, I met a lady who gave me a bag of groceries. She didn't know me and I didn't know her, but she said that she helped at the local food bank and brought extra groceries home for her neighbors. I was flabbergasted. Here I was, a perfect stranger, and she was giving me something she had worked for. Although I had plenty of food, I knew a lot of people who didn't. I figured I would give it to them. I thanked her and told her of my pressing issue of homelessness. She said she would pray for me. Later that evening, I went to her apartment and we exchanged phone numbers. When I got off the phone with Jason the banker, my neighbor was the first person I called to thank her for her prayers. Towards the end of that call, another call came in. It was the California Highway Patrol asking if I would like to come in for an interview as a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Yes, my life was full of cliches that morning. 'In God's time' and 'when it rains, it pours'. 

     My next phone call was to the apartment office where I asked if I could stay. I wasn't enamored with the place or its managing methods, but I signed a contract stating I would stay for a year and I don't like to break my word. I know it's old-fashioned, but I believe in a person's word. That is why I wanted to stay. That, and I would be able to stay in a place longer than six months. Six-thousand dollars later, I was paid up until the end of the year and in my apartment until April 30, 2013, as long as I paid the rent on time. I am waiting for a Section 8 voucher, so I would only have to pay $500 a month, but they have none available right now. But that's okay, because I am not homeless. I am where I am supposed to be, in God's time.

Footnote: I just realized, while writing this, that October 4, 2012, is exactly 20 years to the day since I was baptized. 

In His time.