Katherine grew up on the opposite side of the same rural county, but her parent’s had land near my home that her family had been passed down through the generations. The outdoors in our simple little town, was her playground for many leisure hours as well.
Being raised in the south men find it appropriate and important to teach children to hunt, fish, boat, repair simple vehicle problems and regular maintenance, as well as sometimes a trade. My father was able to each me about carpentry, horse training and maintenance, operating tractors and other basic farm equipment, hauling loaded trailers, catfish farming, and camping skills.
Kat’s dad was a painter and finisher, so she was trained in that manner, as well as in gardening, landscaping and sheet-rocking. She would have to tell you more and I hope she will write a few blogs about herself as well, because no one can really tell a story about herself, like she can. She’s a wonderful writer and has such a way with words.
We seriously are the loud kids on the block. We have children, that are a bit wild. When playing in our tiny living space, the sound of two giggling munchkins is of course loud. The sound of two upset, fussy kiddos is really terrible. We’ve had run ins with the police only because we are loud.
One day while at a park in Portland, we had just finished moving our luggage from the front cabin into the bed quarters, I climbed into my captain’s chair, began finding my items for my morning get ready routine. I spoke casually to Kat about our upcoming day, when I felt something on my right arm, I looked down to see a SPIDER crawling on me! I was startled, shrieked and Kat had to help me get it off, then I was shivering with the creepy crawlies for several minutes later! After I had settled down, about twenty minutes had passed since the incident, a knock came at our side door. I got out to see who it was, a police officer told me they were responding to a call about screaming, I apologized for the alarm and having to come out, since it was only a spider on my arm. She laughed and asked if we needed anything, I said no and she responded with “have a nice day then” and she walked back to her vehicle.
It’s really strange the number of times we’ve been approached by the police. My goodness, the scariest time was in Elizabeth, Colorado. We hadn’t lived in Colorado long. We had stayed with friends but that hadn’t worked out like we had hoped. They had us out back in a tent, with no heat, at least in our little neon, we had a heater and could run the car all night to stay warm. We didn’t stay there but six weeks and we left to be in the car again. I had just received a settlement from a previous car accident and we were on the hunt for a camper. We hadn’t much but we thought it would be enough to improve our situation. After driving to several parts of the state looking at different for-sale campers, we decided to stay overnight at the WalMart in Elizabeth. We had to use some of the money, instead of panhandling in several feet of snow. There were days that were in the negatives, we were forced to get off the street and stayed in a hotel for several nights. However, this particular night we were in the car, in hopes of saving for the camper.
We had been asleep approximately three hours, it was two thirty in the morning, a violent banging scared the crap out of us. There was a brightly lit light shinning in my face, after being dead asleep, which hurts really bad by the way. There was an angry male voice shouting “Who are you? Give me your license” “Who else is with you” “How long have you known this person travelling with you?” “Where are you from?” “Are you sure you aren’t bank robbers?” “How many kids do you have?” “I’m calling DHS now, stay put, I want these kids taken from you tonight!”
We were mortified, in an immense state of sheer turmoil and panic. This man wanted to take our children because we lost our home, because all I was doing was working temp jobs and side gigs before the settlement came and we started searching for a camper. Since, we were poor. No other reason. We showed him our money, we showed him our food stamp balance, we showed him how much food, formula, water , diapers and everything we had. We explained the situation in detail. There wasn’t anything else to do except wait for what the DHS worker had to say.
A black GMC suv pulled in a few spaces from the police car. A person rolled the window down as the officer approached the vehicle, they conversed for a few minutes and the person exited the driver’s door. They asked to see the children, I obliged. Then they informed us all three (Kat, the officer and myself) there wasn’t a reason to take the children. They stated being homeless isn’t a crime and as long as they are cared for, healthy, and fed then there wasn’t a reason to remove them from our care. They could see they were resting, chubby and okay.
Two and a half dreadful hours went by during that charade. After the DHS worker left, the cop looked at us sternly and remarked “I wish I could’ve ripped those children from you, people like you don’t deserve them. Now you get out of here and never come back to this county again.” For the following several hours the children slept soundly, but Katherine and I were too shaken up, too frazzled, too panicked, too heartbroken to do anything but drive away and cry.