Keeping Warm

Tonight I went out in the cold rain to return a movie to the video store, and I thought about how it would be to have no place to sleep tonight.  It’s so cold and wet.  I  was thinking about walking around with only an umbrella, and maybe a blanket, thinking maybe that would be enough to keep one protected until the daylight comes again in, oh about nine hours.  Thinking maybe if you just kept walking you’d somehow be okay, but knowing that at some point you’d have to stop somewhere.

This led me to the memory of a night in 1970 when my husband and I had to find a place to sleep.  Look at this photo and imagine the sky black and full of twinkling stars.  Then imagine out of that crisp, cold starry night this sawdust burner glowing red, the only other light apart from the stars.  We had hitchhiked to the northern end of California where we were living in a little cabin on the Karok Reservation, outside Fort Jones.  We made it to Yreka late that night, too late to find a ride over the mountain.  It was a little snowy, and very cold and we had no place to sleep.  We looked around and spotted this sawdust burner close to the road and its red glow drew us to it.  It looked pretty cozy, so we walked around behind it and rolled out our sleeping bags and slept at the base of it, just close enough to stay warm for the night.  What a blessing it was!  We woke up in the morning and returned home safely, no worse off for our night on the ground.

There is no such warmth here in Chico on this cold and rainy night.  I hope those without a place to sleep have found some protection tonight.

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5 thoughts on “Keeping Warm

  1. blkdrama says:

    I think about that, especially as state and local budgets shrink and it’s going to impact on the have not’s but how close are the have’s to joining the hns…
    Bonnie

  2. lynnjake says:

    You are so right. The separation between those who have a place to sleep and those who don’t is narrowing as money and jobs become more and more scarce.

  3. blkdrama says:

    Tuvia and I saw the documentary film, Inside Job, I have to hope it was a bit too one-sided but clearly the direction is for more to the richest and the poor and new poor pay. And of course, how will that impact on public education..
    Bonnie

  4. lynnjake says:

    I often see articles about people who are newly poor and it breaks my heart. I think “there but for fortune…” Today I saw a photo in our local newspaper about a guy who used to work for the state fire agency (Cal Fire), and he had a home. In the past few months he lost his job and his home and recently went to live in the shelter. He isn’t mentally ill or on drugs. He just got hit by this economy. This has really hit home for me as our city is laying off 10 police officers, four of whom will be rehired on a special grant. My son in law is one of the four who will be rehired. It all seems so skewed and unreal that people who perform necessary roles including police and fire, city mechanics and street maintenance people will be fewer very soon.(Tomorrow, actually) We will all be poorer because of it. I certainly don’t know the answer. Have we all made poor decisions, all the way up and down the ladder? I think our city should be making a big plea for people to shop locally to fatten those sales tax coffers.

  5. dkzody says:

    Lynn, this is on my heart every day. I walk the streets of San Francisco, praying for the people I see and the ones I don’t. I often make sandwiches to hand out to the people I see but that is so little. The shelters and soup kitchens continue to survive even though the numbers grow each day.

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