While I do not actually sleep in my car except on rare occasion, my daily life is all packed in my vehicle.
My little Saturn is my closet, dresser, pantry and bookcase. Because I sleep several different places and have nowhere to leave my things, I carry them all in the trunk and backseat of my vehicle.Quilt, pillow, blanket, towels, soap and shampoo, jackets, clothes, shoes and boots, toiletries, vitamins, bottles of water, some food and a plethora of books travel wherever I go. As well as jumper cables, some small hand tools, paper towels, paper plates, plastic silverware, some rope, paper, pens and pencils and a pencil puzzle and word game book (not Dell, I am still unhappy with them). I am better at packing, but things still tend to get messy and out of place every couple weeks.
I have this winter once the snow began stayed at my oldest daughter’s home. The vacation home owned by a very nice man is about half a mile down the road and I have permission to sleep there. But the water is turned off for the winter and the home is kept at 40 degrees. It takes forever to heat up the one bedroom with the electric space heater he left in there, and going out in the cold at 11 pm to drive down and go through the process of carrying in of blankets and pajamas to sit in the cold waiting for a room to heat up to 50 to lay down and try to get warm just doesn’t seem worth all the trouble. Then up at 7, get jeans back on, out in the cold to start the car and let the ice or frost melt off the window to drive back to my daughter’s while I really, really have to pee very very badly…
So I sleep on the living room floor at my daughter’s. Their house is very small, about 960 square feet. They have two bedrooms (one for my daughter and her hubby and one for my 16 year old grandson), a tiny office, a living room open to the little dining area, a galley kitchen behind which is room for the washer and dryer. That’s it. There is a folding table with a desk chair for my computer in a corner of the living room away from the tv area. I have a few books and my computer there, and that is my spot. A stool next to the table holds a couple changes of clothes. There is no extra closet. So except when I am washing dishes, or cooking when my daughter works late, or down at the barn taking care of the animals, this is where I am. I can hardly wait for the weather to get a little better so I can sit out in the front lawn on a bench and read.
I so miss having any space of my own. It is long years without any. No bedroom, no room at all. Yet I am grateful that I am not outside in the cold and snow. Day after day, month after month, this is my life – the life of a homeless person with an address. One of those who falls through the cracks.