Saturday, December 31, 2016
A New Year Beckons
On my way in, I met a woman a little younger than me who set herself on fire a few days ago while trying to stay warm in a tent in Whalley. Lynne became homeless about 6 months ago when her little bachelor suite was declared 'illegal' by the Surrey Bylaws Inspectors & she was given 24 hours to vacate after living there for four years. She had to abandon most of her belongings & was put up in a Shelter. She is guaranteed a bed, shower & toilet from 6:30PM to 9:30AM. She has to be OUT by 9:30AM & cannot return until 6:30PM every day no matter how she feels or how cold or wet it is outside. And she has to find her own food. She said she was grateful for the Shelter but moved into her own tent after a couple of days because the weather was good, she could have some privacy & have somewhere to go during the day. She didn't want to be on Welfare & scrounged a living collecting bottles & cans. Since the fire, she's back at the Shelter again because she lost everything, but says it's tough to sleep there with all the noise. And she's back to looking for somewhere to stay during the day where it's warm.
I listened to her story over a hot cup of coffee at Safeway. And she agreed with me when I told her she was too damn old & injured to be a hobo. I know, I know, you can't help 'em all. But this one isn't young anymore & needs to get out of the cold. So, I bought her something to eat & a hot coffee so she could get warm for an hour or so. And I was very, very glad that I had a warm, dry place to live, beat up & drafty as it is.
So, here we are, on the verge of a new, fresh, untainted year. A fresh page to draw on. A new ball of yarn to knit. A new fleece to spin. Happy New Year everyone.