A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Choice - No Choice


Woodward, Oklahoma


This Buick was parked next to us all day when we arrived Saturday.  A lady was sitting up front looking out her cracked front windshield, a much longer crack than what we have.  I just took her for someone stopping to rest.  Come dark, still there, she got out and opened the trunk, pulled on a blue Walmart vest, took out her small ice chest and walked off to the store to start her shift at 9 p.m.  
In the morning when I went in to shop, she was curled up in the back seat. 
I live the way I do because I choose to.  This poor woman has to.  

When we arrive at a Walmart it is usually at the end of a day’s drive.  If I have a major shop to do I’ll do it in the morning.  I am well rested then and there is hardly anyone in the store at that time.
I surprised myself spending $198!  

After putting things away and finishing our breakfast we went in search for the propane place three miles down the road.  It looked promising.  We will be there early Monday morning then leave Woodward.

Returning to Walmart we parked over by the garden department on the other side of the lot away from the lady in the Buick.  It bothered me seeing her have to live the way she is.  I never said anything about Missy the one-eyed chihuahua’s Mom for the ten days we camp near each other at Black Kettle.  I still think about her and am glad we are no longer together.  I need to forget.  She is 45, a cancer survivor, unloved and abandoned by her family and just generally has had an A-1 crappy life.  
In spite of it all she seemed happy...on the outside at least.  

I have met too many women like her and the lady in the Buick.  It bothers me too much.  
This is why I prefer to be alone, not seeing little kids facing an uncertain future and struggling lone women. 



Debby said...

You are right. That is a sad story. Surely Walmart is aware that they have a homeless employee.

I was driving down a street. What I thought was an adolescent boy was sitting on the sidewalk next to a pile of garbage bags and things in totes. I thought it was sad. Hours later, I went back, and the person was sound asleep with those belongings. I drove past and it bothered me so badly, I turned around and went back to ask if the person needed help or a ride or something. Turned out that it was a very thing woman about my age, with jet black dyed hair. "He threw me out," she said cheerfully. She declined help. She had someone coming to get her.

In a lot of cases, homelessness goes hand in hand with mental illness. I have personal experience with that. It breaks your heart, but you just simply get to the point where you must keep that chaos outside your own door. Usually, that decision is made after months or even years of trying to lead the person to seek help.

Barbara Rogers said...

It is hard to see others suffering, often by no fault of their own. And in that I include mental illness and addictions...which weave into the personalities of those who have them. I also have experienced what some call "tough love" and having to distance myself from those I cared deeply for. I do have a heart tug whenever I see homeless people, and bring into dialog with those who are touched by their circumstances...I'm part of a group which does river clean-up here and finds the dregs left by homeless people under various bridges. No hygiene for them is a big problem.

Kathe said...

What direction are you headed for now, John? I would think Away From Tornado Alley, for sure.
Today is another day, as my Mama used to say. She lived through rough stuff and ended up chubby and loved.
Hope you win the Great Propane Hunt. The road awaits!

Terra said...

That would be sad and difficult to see those women in their harsh circumstances.
I hope they find help soon.