just want to start by saying I do sincerely apologize for taking so long to write again.
wow, just noticed it was November of 2017. That’s when I moved into my own place. Now it’s August of 2018.
I can’t believe it’s been that long. I digress…
So… fo the good part
As I mentioned, I moved into my own place on Nov 3, 2017. I live in a small trailer. It’s no taj mahal, but it’s all I can afford and even better, NO lunatics.
I reside in Arizona. As I write this at 8:40AM on the 16th, it’s a cool 91 degrees. I’LL TAKE IT!!!!! LOL
The only Major bills I have are Rent, electric, food, and internet.
The rent on this trailer is the cheapest I could find in most of Arizona. That’s my main reason for moving to this area of AZ.
My electric bill is cheapest during winter months.
Big big difference from these summer months. Just hope it doesn’t go up TO much or else..”who knows?”
We all know food isn’t cheap. So I have to buy a lot of certain items like pasta because let’s face it, a pound of spaghetti is a lot cheaper than a pound of hamburger.
Along with my internet payment I’m fairly broke for the rest of the month. But I’m NOT homeless!!!!!!
Even though I’ve been here almost a year now, I have very little furniture.
I’m typing this on my old laptop that sits on a 3 foot by 3 foot card table.
About a year ago I managed to score a computer chair very cheap at a thrift store and that’s what I’m sitting on now.
It’s extremely dry rotted so it’s phony leather exterior has been peeling off and looks like a dog with a case of terminal mange.
I have a TV that sits on a small stand that was donated to me by a charity organization.
All of them are fantastic people and did a great deal for me. I would love to give them a shout out but will reserve it for the time (if it comes) when I talk with them again to ask permission.
The only real extravagance I have is the queen size air mattress I bought from a large retail chain and managed to shoehorn into my tiny bedroom. (I’m a big heavyset man and a full size mattress would never have worked).
I don’t have cable. My internet is my only connection to the world at the moment. I keep up with current events by visiting various websites.
Most of my trailer park neighbors don’t speak English.
We do try to communicate but with my diminished hearing and their accent it just doesn’t work.
Sometimes it does get lonely with very few people to talk with.
Well other than the last few lines, It’s not a terrible place to live so…
The Bad part
When I left my last place of residence, I couldn’t take everything with me. I owned a minivan at the time and could only take suitcases and small furniture. I packed my van with everything that would possibly fit. I had to leave some important things behind. Like all the passenger seats to make room for what I was going to leave with. A real bed that was to big. If I tried to tie it to the roof it would have looked like I was driving around with my own source of shade.
I also had to retrieve the office chair that I am now sitting on. and a few other things I don’t now remember.
Well, about 3 weeks after I left I started getting phone calls from my previous landlord. “when are you coming to get this stuff out of here?” I tried to explain I wouldn’t be able to get there until the following month when I got paid.
That didn’t seem to phase him. He called almost daily harassing me about the situation. He also texted me daily after calling “Just to make sure I got his voicemail messages”.
Well the following month I called him early in the morning to let him know I was on my way to get the rest of my stuff. The trip there was going to take 4 hours one way for a total of 8 hours driving.
I began my trip at 8AM. I wanted to get in and out of there as quickly as possible and be back before sundown. In December, daytime is warm enough for shorts and T-shirts but at night? No way.
I arrived around 12 noon. He was not there to meet me so I called his cellphone and was told he wouldn’t be able to get there. But the gate was open so I could retrieve my things without him being there. I retrieved all of my passenger seats and the office chair. I had to leave the bed behind. Another item that was donated to me from the charity Org.
Here comes the bad part…
I started my trip back immediately. About 3 hours into the trip back, the van started to slow down and the engine was making a god awful racket.
Pulling over, I opened the hood and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. (I’m no mechanic but if something was broken I might have been able to spot it)
The noise had stopped when I pulled the vehicle over and put it in park. So I figured it might have been that long ride down the mountain and now it had worked itself out. Very nervously, I got back in the van, put it in drive and started to pull back out onto the highway. All of a sudden there was this HUGE banging sound from the engine. It scared me half to death. I immediately pulled over and tried to put the van in park but the gear shift wouldn’t budge. That’s when I realized it was the transmission not the engine that caused that banging sound.
well… there I was, stuck on the side of the highway and it’s getting dark. I called the police and they showed up about 20 minutes.
The officer explained there was nothing they could do but call a tow truck. Well, I was broke and couldn’t afford a tow. I had insurance but didn’t have roadside assistance.
The officer called a for a tow and the guy was very sympathetic but of course he wanted to be paid.
At this point I’m going to leave off how I got the van home for another day. that’s a story all by itself. One of which I know you’ll like.
It is late December 2017 and the van is now home.
After calling around for estimates on the cost of a transmission, either new OR rebuilt, the price fluctuated little. General estimate was right between 2500 to 3000 dollar range. At the low end, that’s more than I paid for the van so I knew at that point the van would never be driven again.
Well after telling my landlord everything I just told you guys, he says that he may know someone who can fix the transmission much cheaper.
I said “great“, let’s get him over here.
The landlord through whatever means, gets ahold of the guy. He shows up to check out the van. I figure it’s gonna take awhile, so I left him to it and went into my trailer to wait for a knock on my door from him to give me a price for fixing it.
I don’t know exactly how long it was, but I suddenly hear somebody yell, “call the fire department!” and a lot of yelling and commotion just outside my door.
I open my door to see what all the fuss is about when a cloud of black smoke smelling of burning rubber hits me full in the face. I got out of the trailer, away from the smoke to see my van going up in flames.
By the time the fire department arrived it was to late. The van was nothing more then a shell. Nothing was left.
I never did get a straight answer as to how it happened. All I know is the guy that was under the van somehow started the fire and when it became uncontainable, he ran off. I haven’t seen him since. I asked my landlord about him and he said he could have been here illegally and skipped back over the boarder to avoid any blowback.
The way things work in this world. I have to laugh sometimes or i’d never stop crying.
Just a week before the fire, I had canceled the insurance thinking I could never afford to get it fixed.
Even through all of that, it wasn’t the worst part. Just 14 days later, January 8, of 2018, at 3AM I get a text message from my brother telling me that my mother had just passed away. I lost all ability to focus on life for awhile. Needless to say I’ve been struggling ever since. The grieving never ends. You see, my brother and I, to put it lightly are estranged from one another. That’s why I got a text. He couldn’t even put his hatred of me aside to call me. What hurts even more is, I don’t hate him. I could never hate him. He’s my brother. So I grieve for my mother alone. With no family to turn to.
It’s been over 8 months since my van burned in that fire. not having transportation has been a big struggle. My disability causes me great pain
when I have to walk anywhere. I can’t afford to take taxis so I’m pretty much a shut in most of the time.
A few months ago I found this site called, GoFundMe. I put up a plea for help to raise money for a vehicle.
If anyone can help me out, God bless you. If you can’t I’m just grateful you stopped by.
I’ll give you all the link even if you just want to see what was left of the van.
Here it is: https://www.gofundme.com/9gtcb-car-replacement
Thanks everyone. and oh yeah. I owe you the rest of the story so don’t go away. : )