Monday, July 22, 2013


One of my first surprises is that the lower down the food chain that people are, the more they seem to want to form community... banding together and offering support. Sharing information about sources and resources. Something I've not experienced in a traditional housing situation.

How many "homed" people know their neighbors?

When is the last time you shared anything with a neighbor?

Seems the more expensive the housing and the more money you have, the less you reach out to others. Smells like inverse logic, doesn't it? Those who have, keep it to themselves... those who don't have, share with others.

The campground we are in has two sections: one for permanent residents with trailers/RVs and the area I am in is for transients/vacationers. There are some interesting people living here and they all have stories. I quickly learn that you can't judge them by their appearance (and I should not have done that anyway, duh!). There are no "losers" here, just people in transition doing the best they can at this moment. The lesson of "living in the moment" is being driven home with this experience and with GiGi's condition.

1917 Vogue Magazine
There are surprise "gifts" every day.... one of the campground residents is a professional musician of punk/rock/bluegrass and has toured with some very well-known bands. He picks up a four-string dulcimer and plays the most amazing and beautiful music while wandering the campground. Shocking what sound he can get from only 4 strings... sounds like at least 12 strings. His fingers just dance up and down the frets. I want to marry his hands, or have them grafted onto my arms instead of these slow, stubby fingers that struggle to strum a tortured sound from a guitar.

The musician and his lady/wife have run a couple of shops where they sold things. The shops went under for various reasons, but they are planning their next one... they both have a passion for finding things to sell, making things to sell, and selling to people.

Most of the people I meet here all have one thing in common: they cannot afford the high rents in Santa Cruz County on their low wages or fixed incomes. They are making alternative choices that give them a bit more control over their situation. They are turning trailers and RVs into "mobile" apartments, sometimes stringing a couple trailers together to give them what they need. 

There is a young single mother who lives in an Airstream with her daughter and has an extra trailer as the playroom. She is doing her best for her kid on her single income. Across the way, there is a married couple with a two teenagers who have a large RV, plus a second trailer where the husband lives. They almost divorced until they found this solution. People thinking outside the box for solutions.

As people in the campground tell me their stories, I come to realize how heroic they are... living through terrible life events and figuring out how to go on from there. They have not lost their hopes and dreams.

Maybe there is hope for me and GiGi yet.

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