Thursday, June 30, 2011

Heat Changes Things on the Road

Unbelievable! I've finished my 6th year of traveling under the HEAR US banner. I start noticing patterns (that I forget as the year goes on). Winter is tough in an RV (and even tougher when you have less going than I do), but summer...well, it's another animal. Toasty Tillie (L) becomes the mobile version of a toaster oven.

When I walk out of an air conditioned building I cringe as the blast of heat and its brow-drenching humidity hits me. I long for winter. Did I just write that??! I'm the one who dislikes bone-chilling blustery winter weather. Happy medium, anyone?

Somehow I missed the in-between this year. I traveled from the verdant Pacific Northwest to good ol' Illinois just as IL soared into a mid-90s heat wave. Fortunately, I have options of cooler/warmer places to be. I have money that buys meals so I can linger in the few food establishments I'm known to frequent.

So, what about those who lack options to escape heat, cold and other weather realities? My experiences only make me more aware of kids and adults without a place to be day or night. I meet them everywhere. Ironically, I continually find more pleasant "have-nots" than "have-lots."

Nationwide, a shattering budget-crunch saga is closing one of the vital resources for homeless and impoverished people--libraries. Across our land, the one place that lets unconnected adults and kids log on to the Internet, ask for help finding information, hold a book in their hands, escape inclement weather while catching up on news, study with friends, attend enriching events for free...libraries... are slashing hours and closing. Even I've been kicked out of libraries because of reduced hours.

The heat goes on...and people do their best to survive despite massive efforts to oppress and impoverish them. When I sweat or shiver, it brings me in touch with those who can't escape the ravages of weather or the injustices of the economy. Losing touch would make me part of the problem.

The insane heat of budget deliberations in DC and state capitals reminds me that none of us will escape the blistering heat of injustice. So I guess I better spruce up Tillie the best I can and get ready for another year on the road. Makes me appreciate the generous supporters of this unconventional nonprofit organization. We're going to need all the help we can get.
I try not to bug you, but let me mention: If you can give, we're happy for either monthly donors--and it doesn't need to be a lot, or folks who buy our useful "stuff." Thanks!