Why the blog?

I write as the Spirit moves me. I have prayed about what I'm supposed to do with my life a lot. A lot. Writing. Writing is what I believe God is leading me to do. Whether or not He wants me to write for anyone to read is His business. Much of my writing has been therapy for me so maybe I'm the only one who is supposed to read it. So, why the Blog? As a sounding board, a note pad, a place to keep my ideas and thoughts. A place to share and promote my books, and photography. Written prayers, a place to vent. Possibly, even a place for the unknown reader to learn about the love of Jesus.

Monday, August 29, 2011

New book review

Today I received a lovely review of "Lessons Learned at Summer Camp" from Christina Irelan.  Here it is with her permission:

Lessons Learned at Summer Camp by:Colleen Wait

Synopsis: "Lessons Learned" is the story of a girls' Bible camp counselor who decides to tell her secret life story to a group of high schoolers. She feels God pressing on her to take off the mask, reveal the events that have haunted her since her youth, and to show the girls they are not alone in the problems they are faced with on a daily basis.

Review: First of all I want to thank Colleen Wait for asking me to review this book. I most likely never would have picked it up on my own and I am certainly glad I read it. I have a daughter who will be 9 in February and you can bet your bottom that I will be either making her read this story in 3-4 years or I will be reading it to her! I think that this is a great story for teenage girls to read. It could help to open their eyes and help them realize that their actions as teenagers will always affect them. Too many young girls now days think the way the girls in the beginning of this book thought...that they could do whatever they want and not have any consequences because they are just kids. That is not true by any means and I think that Colleen Wait did a wonderful job giving an example to show that you actions always have consequences no matter your age. The choices you make as a teen could very well haunt you as an adult. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A little motivation

Have you ever been in a funk, felt a little blah, then a song came on that revved your engines, gave you that push you needed.  Happens to me a lot.  Today's song is One Day Too Late, by Skillet.  Doesn't sound motivating?  Read the lyrics:

One Day Too Late lyrics
Songwriters: Cooper, John; Howes, Brian;

Tick tock, hear the clock countdown
Wish the minute hand could be rewound
So much to do and so much I need to say
Will tomorrow be too late?

Feel the moment slip into the past
Like sand through an hourglass
In the madness, I guess, I just forget
To do all the things I said

Time passes by, never thought I'd wind up
One step behind, now I've made my mind up

Today, I'm gonna try a little harder
Gonna make every minute last longer
Gonna learn to forgive and forget
'Cause we don't have long, gonna make the most of it

Today, I'm gonna love my enemies
Reach out to somebody who needs me
Make a change, make the world a better place
'Cause tomorrow could be one day too late
One day too late, one day too late

Tick tock, hear my life pass by
I can't erase and I can't rewind
Of all the things I regret the most I do
Wish I'd spent more time with you

Here's my chance for a new beginning
I saved the best for a better ending
In the end I'll make it up to you
[From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/s/skillet-lyrics/one-day-too-late-lyrics.html ]
You'll see, you'll get the very best of me

Time passes by, never thought I'd wind up
One step behind, now I've made my mind up

Today, I'm gonna try a little harder
Gonna make every minute last longer
Gonna learn to forgive and forget
'Cause we don't have long, gonna make the most of it

Today, I'm gonna love my enemies
Reach out to somebody who needs me
Make a change, make the world a better place
'Cause tomorrow could be one day too late

Your time is running out
You're never gonna get it back
So make the most of every moment
Stop saving the best for last

Today, I'm gonna try a little harder
Gonna make every minute last longer
Gonna learn to forgive and forget
'Cause we don't have long, gonna make the most of it

Today, I'm gonna love my enemies
Reach out to somebody who needs me
Make a change, make the world a better place
'Cause tomorrow could be one day too late

One day too late, one day too late
One day too late, one day too late

Listen here

Is there someone you need to talk to, say I love you, say I'm sorry, say I forgive you?  Is there someone you need to help? Something you need to do?  Do it today! Tomorrow is not promised.  

Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

James 4: 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What's your story?

We all have one even if we think we live a mundane life.  It is one of the things that makes us unique.  I spent all of July and part of August sharing with you stories of the homeless and a few of those who love on them.  My life is in my stories.  At my home congregation we have had the pleasure of sharing our stories with one another.  Each week one person was chosen to tell us, in 45 minutes, their life story.  Not necessarily their "conversion story", but their life.  I love to hear what people choose to tell about their life.  Even our preacher shared about his youth. 

The Bible is full of stories.  It's one of the things I love about the Bible.  It isn't just a rule book, a book of do's and don'ts (although that is in there).  People, real people's lives are shared through stories, Noah, Moses, Abram/Abraham, Esther, Ruth, Paul, and many more.  Paul's story is shared in the book of Acts.  

The life of Jesus is the entire Bible. It's the best story of all!! 

So, what's your story?  Good, bad, or mundane, it has made you what you are today.  Will you look back on your life and sigh, life is hard, real hard, there is no hope, so why try?  Or will you look back and think you've had it pretty good, but hey, you deserve it and more.  Will you learn from your mistakes?  Will you share your triumphs?  Will you teach others what you have learned?  

Are you ready to give an answer to your life? 

I didn't think I did, however, looking back I can definitely see how God was working in my life - in the good times and the bad.  I'd like to be able to see it in the now.  Looking back is easy. How is God working in my life now?  How is he working in your life now?  

What's your story?  I'd like to know if you'd like to share. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

My new interview by Christina Irelan

Review by: Intoxicated by Books

First of all, thank you Mrs. Wait for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions for us. We will be reading and reviewing your bookLessons Learned at Summer Camp soon, we would like to thank you now for the giveaway that you have agreed to hold at the time of our review. I’m sure one lucky winner will be thrilled to have an Ecopy of this book.

Now to the good stuff! It is so hard to make the interviews on a blog interesting. It seems like most blogs use the same questions with every author! I will try my best not to do that! I don’t want to bore my readers 
What inspired you to write your first book? 
My first book was Freedom Race.  I was living in NYC at the time and was inspired by all the creativity all around me. The storyline itself was initially a dream.

Do you have a specific writing style?
No, I don't think so.  I'm given a story, write an outline and it just flows. Anytime I've tried to force a style or perspective it doesn't work.   Most of my work has come through dreams or in the case of Captured, a nightmare. Sometimes a Bible Class or Sermon will pose a question that will inspire me. However as far as the actual "style", I don't think about it, the words simply flow. 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was a pretty lonely, shy child. As a result I spent a lot of time reading and daydreaming. In school I was always good at book essays and loved literature class. Eventually I began putting my daydreams on paper.  My first short story was about Indians and ponies. 

We are going to be reviewing Lessons Learned at Summer Camp so lets concentrate on that book a little. How did you come up with the title for the book?
The original title was God forgives, Why can't I?   The book is based on real people, real events.    I have been to camp, my kids have been to camp, specifically Bible Camp.  So much of ones life is shared late at night around the campfire and in the cabins before bed.  Thus, I staged the story at a summer camp where many lessons are shared and learned.

Is there a message in the novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely, that's why I wrote the book.  Don't go through life alone. You need friends, family, and most of all God. Never be silent. Make a choice. Don't let life live you. 

Is the book based on experiences from your own life or the life of someone you know?
Yes. It's my life.  It was an exceptionally difficult time in my life when I wrote it. Initially it was for personal use, never to be shared with the public. However as a select few friends and ministers read it and we discussed it I came to the realization that I was not alone and I would not be shunned.  In fact, there were many other girls and women who have been or were in similar situations.  Perhaps, I thought, I might be able to help someone break through their shame or demons or whatever they are struggling with. 

Did you have any part in designing the book cover?
I took the photos in a state park, designed the cover around it.  It's symbolic. We all have paths to travel down and never know what is around the corner. 

If you had to do it all again would you change anything about the book?
One day I'd like to make it longer, include more detail. 

What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Sharing it with my husband. Then my mother.

Are all of your books focused for a YA audience?
I don't really write specifically for the YA genre. I don't want to be lumped in with Twilight, Harry Potter, etc.  I write what's been laid on my heart. I'd say my writing is Inspirational Fiction for teens through adult women.  I don't write typical "Christian" fiction.  My characters have problems, make mistakes, have doubts and fears. I don't whitewash anything. 

I'd very much like your readers to put aside any preconceived thoughts about God or religion and especially about "Christian" fiction.  Take the time to read the book with an open mind then think on it before drawing any conclusions. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Awesome book review!

This is a 5-star review of my book, "Captured" as posted on Smashwords.

Emotional as well as physical survival is the theme of "Captured". Caged for years by a primitive jungle tribe reduced Lauren's existence to a daily struggle for survival. More horrifying than her life as a captive is her mental struggle with her lost innocence. Can she face her demons? Lauren's repressed emotional trauma must be faced for her to regain sanity. Like trying to hold a beachball underwater eventually her demons surge up to hit her (and you)in the face. "Captured" is a tale that will capture you.

"Captured"  is now available as an ebook through Smashwords and Amazon and will be available as a paperback through Amazon in approximately 2 weeks.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Homeless Interviews, Conclusion

One of the reasons that I became interested in the plight of the homeless was from learning about my soon to be father-in-law.  He is homeless, was homeless, may still be homeless.  When we were dating, my now husband was embarrassed to tell me about his father.  It wasn’t something he talked about.  Mark has graciously agreed to tell his story.

My father’s name is Jack Allen Wait.  My mom told me his mother called him a “menopause baby”, born late in his mother’s life.  He was at least 7 or 8 years younger than the two older children.  A brother and sister. Jack was born in Sioux Falls, SD.  My mother told me that he was constantly seeking his mother’s approval.  Could never do anything, in his mind, to get her approval.  She was always putting him down, never as good as his siblings.  He got a GED, dropped out of high school.  He was doing apprentice for a newspaper printing company when he got drafted at 19 or 20, approximately 1963, 1964.  He met my mother in Oklahoma, at basic training.  Did one tour in Vietnam, about 18 months.  He never talked about it.  Jack was married until I was 21, 22 or 23 years old.  He was getting into legal trouble, jail, due to alcoholism, drunk driving. He drank pretty much the entire marriage, except 1980 to 1984.  My mother left and moved out with my youngest sister, the next youngest sister stayed with Jack.  My oldest sister and I were in college. My mother returned 2 years later then kicked him out. They then divorced.  He began to emotionally loose it at that time. At that point he basically was moving around place to place, living off the divorce settlement and his inheritance from his father’s passing. 

I asked Mark, when did you find out he was homeless? 

I was living in Melbourne.  He came to see me and stayed in Florida for about a month.  Then about 1998, I got a call from a payphone. My dad said he was in Florida, wanted me to come pick him up.  He said he was hitchhiking through the area with a buddy and needed a place to stay for the night.  He was there for about a day.  They stayed in the garage because the other fellow was a reprobate.  A month later he called from Louisiana, said he wanted to get off the road.   The guy he was with had beat him up and stole his money, several thousand dollars from gambling.  He called, asked me to come get him.  I told him no. I sent him a bus ticket to come to Florida to live with me.  He started living with me from about January 1999.  Cleaned, up, sobered up.  Got a job.  He was able to save up money to buy a car.  Got a better job, offered job at FIT.  He then at that point snapped, did not take the job.  He was not going to work.  Started coming home drunk.  Around Memorial Day, 1999. I then told him he had to leave.  I had small children.  He was a pity drunk.  He would get very depressed and whine.  I’m a horrible person, etc.  Felt sorry for himself.  He had some money.  He hung around town for months, maybe a year, Aug 2000.  He would go through stages.  Clean up, get a job, then binge drink 3 days at a time. He would spend every cent.  He would have houses, roommates periodically.  Found out he was living in the woods at various times during the couple of years.  In the winter he would live in with people.  In the summer he lived in the woods.  He would clean up and visit periodically.  He was supposed to come over Thanksgiving 2003 and a week before that I got a police car show up in my driveway wanting to look at my cars.  They said there was a report of a car licensed to Jack Wait that was involved in a hit run.  Jack had hit a gas pump while drunk and then ran. Ditched the car.  Never came for Thanksgiving.  He came by after Christmas.  Came to the door one day, said he had liver cancer, had to go to VA in Tampa to get checked out.  I don’t know if it was true or not.  Called a few months later and said everything was fine.  He came by a few times later.  I have not seen him since 2003.  Called in 2005, said that he was sober, living in a half way house in Las Vegas, working with homeless vets there.   He was sharing a cell number and an address. I called the number and wrote letters to that address in 2008.  Nobody answered, number was disconnected.  No mail reply.   I have not heard from him since then.   My older sister took him in periodically, early 1990s. 

If he called you today what would you say? 

How are you? Things are different in my life. I would tell him about his grandchildren. 

If he needed help? 

I would not let him live with me.  I don’t need another child.  That’s basically what he was. 

Would you help him monetarily?

I don’t know, probably not.     If he was hitchhiking I know it would go to alcohol again.  If something happened to him I don’t know if anyone would know how to contact his family. 

How does his situation alter your view of other homeless? 

Makes me very leery because I saw all the tricks.  To me homeless are there because of the choices they make in life and the consequences of their choices.  There are so many avenues to go about things.   He chose his lifestyle.  He wanted no responsibility.  He had the whole VA system at his disposal, friends, family.  If he had stayed off the alcohol he could have gotten back into society.  He wanted to be off the grid. 

Do you think it was because of his upbringing? 

His self esteem was very lacking.  He was told emotions were a weakness.  He was told if he felt emotions as a man you are weak.  It would be nice to know that he’s doing alright.  It’s weird to have a relative that you don’t know if he’s alive or dead. He’s almost 70 years old.  It’s odd.  I don’t really think about him much.  It’s easier to put him off.  The only time I think of him is when I see the pictures of him.  If I hear something scraping on cement I think of him because when I was 6 until I was 10,11 we were going to build a house and we started building a basement with a tar roof.  When it would rain, it would leak.  I would wake up in the middle of the night and there would be water on the floor and we would scrape the water up with dust pans into a trash can and hear, scrape, splash, scrape, splash.  When we finished he took us to a bar about 30 miles away and he would buy us soda and pizza and we would eat that while he drank. That was kinda the only time I spent with him, sitting in a smoke-filled bar.

In a sad, small way, Mark is lucky.  He knew his father.  I never knew mine.  Another story for another day.  So, you see, the homeless are people, hurting people. They are lost children of God, the one sheep that is lost while the other 99 are safe in their field.  What do they need?  Depends.  They are individuals, unique in their own way.  The only way to know what they need is to get to know them and find out.  Each story I have told was different.  Each person became homeless in a different way.  The one similar thread, choice. Each person made a choice, a poor choice, which lead to another poor choice. Then, somehow, they lost their way and for whatever reason chose the woods.  God gave us free will, the ability to make choices.  However, the good news is The Shepherd is still looking for the lost sheep and each of these people have the ability to choose to re- you choose the word: repent, reconnect, reconcile, recover, reclaim, recover, reform, rectify their life.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Homeless Interviews #16

This is the 16th post in my series on the homeless.  If this is the first time you've visit this site or the first time since I began the series, I urge you to start way back at the first interview.  I had planned on running the series only for the month of July, however, it's taken much longer. After all, I do have 12+ hours of taped interviews!  Today's interview is with "Gayle", a 45-year-old, fairly simple-mined woman who was shy, quiet, and spoke mostly in "we".  She didn't like to elaborate and I felt like she was trying to make light of the situation. Let's observe "Gayle":

**** Tell me about your childhood.

I don't know much about my family.  I was born from Texas.  I was adopted but I don't know my original parents.  I have no idea where they are.  I don't remember my adoptive parents.  It's been so many years. We bounced around from foster homes, group homes. It just didn't work out, unfortunately.

*** So you grew up in foster care?

Yeah, mostly in foster care.  I was abused as a child, physically and emotionally.  By my mother.  That's one memory I wish I could get rid of. My childhood wasn't really a childhood. 

** Did you go to school?

Yeah I went to school to 10th grade.  I'm working on my GED.  I may be older but I can do it.  I have worked for  couple of years. I was laid off this job.  I was on unemployment but it ran out.  Laundry.  I worked in sortin, working with hospital stuff.  My brother was my supervisor. 

*** How did you learn about the shelter?

We learned about it through the Hope team.  They helped us out. We found out through another camp, through some other people.  I was surprised. I didn't think there was anybody who cared about us homeless people like that.

*** Tell me about where you live. 

We live way down, not to far from here. 

** How did you come to Florida from Texas?

My sister was down here. I came to visit and I ended up staying down here.  (she lived with her sister for a while)  she moved back to Maryland.  We don't see eye to eye.  Not at all.

*** How long have you been homeless?

8-9 months.  Its Not too bad.  All of us we were working.  We all lost our jobs.  We were on unemployment.  Once unemployment ran out we couldn't pay our rent. We ended unbecoming homeless. That's exactly what happened.  (she talks about we as her brother who is not a blood relative, a self-titled family unit.  They all became homeless at the same time. She has no other family that I can elicit from her. Calls the other woman her mom).

*** Any plans for the future?
Get out of the situation we are in.  Get new jobs. Probably get a nice apartment or a trailer that is reasonable.  That's what we are looking for.  Get out of this bad situation as soon as we can.  It's rough living out here. It is not easy.  You gotta get water every day    Gotta a take a shower.  We got a little sun shower but you got to put it in the sun to heat the water up.  It works.  But it's inconvenient.  It's not bad. 

*** Did you ever think you'd be in this situation?

No. I never thought about it.  I never thought it would happen.  The way everything is going up now with gas prices going up and everything it's just getting harder.  I just think positive.  I do puzzles, word searches, read.  Try to help out.  I do what I can to keep preoccupied.  

*** Tell me about a typical day.

Every morning we get up and we will get ready to go out and look for work. We get up and make our beds and get dressed and everything.  Get everything together, our IDs and wallets. We get out the door and get out there and hit the streets to see what we can find. 

*** When you leave do you take all of your things with you?

No.  It’s safer where its at.  Nobody bothers our stuff or nothin’ which is nice.  When we come back we get everything together for the night.  Make dinner and stuff. 

*** What do you do for food?

We got food stamps. We have a little cooking stove and we take turns heating different things up. It’s not bad.  We are not going hungry or anything like that. 

*** As a woman do you feel safe?

Yes I do.  I feel comfortable.  (she has her companions, one of whom is a man). 

*** Do you have children?


*** Who’s fault is your situation?

I’m not sure.  You got me stumped.  I don’t know how to answer that one.

*** Do you see a lot of drug abuse, mental problems of other homeless people.

No, I don’t.  I only know us and one other couple.  That’s it. We are secluded.  There are only 5 us in one camp.

*** Do any of you drink?

No. Not at all  I don’t. I quit when I was 17.  It’s not worth going to jail or getting in trouble for. 

*** Do you see your self getting out of this situation soon?

No, not too soon.  But hopefully pretty soon but not right away.  It’s not too bad.  We’re hopeful.I’m hopeful.  I think things will work out.  God hasn’t forgotten us.  He has not forsaken us.  He’s going to pull us through this.  The way I see it, it’s a big ‘ol test he’s putting us through right now.  And that’s all we can do is go through the test.

*** Are you angry at all?


(I left this interview frustrated.  I wanted to know more of her story, however, by the end I learned I wasn't going to get it either because she didn't want to talk, or she wasn't able to articulate any more than she had.  One or two more interviews and then a conclusion, I hope.)

Matthew 5: 3-10
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
4 Blessed are those who mourn, 
   for they will be comforted. 
5 Blessed are the meek, 
   for they will inherit the earth. 
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 
   for they will be filled. 
7 Blessed are the merciful, 
   for they will be shown mercy. 
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, 
   for they will see God. 
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, 
   for they will be called children of God. 
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, 
   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Matthew's Hope needs you.

For the past oh, nearly 6 weeks now, I have been sharing with you stories/interviews with several of the homeless who have been served by a group in my community.  These are real people with real needs.  Please press the "Please help" button below to view an e-mail I received yesterday.  If it is in your heart to give, please do.

Please help.

Matthew's Hope web site

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Homeless Interviews #15

Today's interview is a story we hear about all too often.  The veteran who has come back from service and cannot integrate himself back into 'normal' life.  This interview was difficult for me because my son is in the Air Force. My father was in the Air Force.  I'm simply appalled that we as a nation cannot take care of the men and women who put their lives on the line for us.  Here is "Frank", age 63 in his own words:

*** Tell me about your childhood.
I was born about a mile away. Basically I grew up here. Went to school here.  Through high school.  I graduated from there and then went into the service.  Did 3 years in Vietnam.  

*** What about your parents, siblings?  
Well, they are both gone now.  There was 9 of us.  I was the oldest.  I went into the service and all this and they never did. They just stayed home.  I was kind of the black sheep because I gotta go into the Army and played football and do this and do that.  It was a pretty normal childhood.  When I come out of the service I got married.  Wife, 2 kids and then something happened.  My wife wanted a divorce and before you know it I'm by myself.  I had a job but then I lost that.  Then it seems like everything went down hill. That's where I ended up, still by myself. I mean things happen.  Now, I'm a veteran so I just, I don't know. It seems like things could be better for me according to the VA but things don't always...they say one thing but then they do another and then you gotta go through all the red tape....and this and that and you know by the time you expect it to happen it doesn't happen. So just like financially I get a little compensation from Vietnam and Social Security but I'm for all of this 100% disability thing from the VA.  I don't know what's going on with that.  

*** Tell me more about your parents.
Well my father, my step-father.  Religious, no.  He could care less about church, whether I went to church.  Now my mom, she did go to church.  And she tried to stress church on us and make us go every now and then but the old man he didn't say nothing about it.  We go there to collect Easter eggs on Easter.

*** What about your biological father?
Well, they never married.  I come along out of wedlock.  I'm really the head of the family right now.  But then I've got, 6 of us now... I buried 4 in the last month. That's uncles and aunts and things like that.  

*** Was there any drug abuse or alcoholism in the family?
No...Well, what I had the one sister's husband bent his elbow, beer and stuff now and then but that's about it.  My step-father was hard working.  This used to be a citrus belt.  Where they grew all the oranges and he worked for a contractor who had a bunch of orange groves and he hauled oranges all of his life and stuff like that.  By the time I got up to go to work I had to go into the Army, so I couldn't really follow in his tracks.  

*** At what age were you when you became homeless?
Oh, man... I would say... It ain't been that long ago now about, I'd say about 15 to 20 years.  

*** And that's not a long ago to you?
Well...it..it's a while but you once you are homeless you don't try to keep up with time.  

*** Do you remember how it happened?
Well, no money.  I tried to stay with friends and they just... you know when you stay with friends, you know especially the so-called good friends... when you go money coming....I had compensation from the VA,... and as long as you the money is there you're fine. But if you don't have the money or they say they need it, you gotta go.  I ended up having to move out one night and the only place I had to go was right down the road from where we was staying.  In the woods.  I knew some guys that had been out there.  So for about 4 months I lived right there.  By myself.  

*** You didn't have family or children you could live with?
No. Nope.  Well I was out of contact with them, you know.  I lived right there.  As long as I was there I had peace of mind.  Nobody hassling me.   It was like paradise to me.  I couldn't have it any better.  Then my daughter, somehow she come over to see me.  She couldn't find me. Then some guy that knew me told her oh I think he's out living in the woods. But she knew, my daughter knew, I was going through this PTSD, post traumatic stress thing from Vietnam because we had already been to the VA place to talk about this and the VA recruiter told us that just, you know, if he's comfortable out there... She tried to have me Baker Acted.  She said, no, no, no,...She tried to get them to do it.  They said no we're not going to do that, he's been through enough.  That Vietnam thing, so you don't want to put him through that again. She was going to try to have the police do it.   They says no don't send the police to bother him because it might get ugly and you really don't want that.  Just leave him alone.  He's not bothering anybody. When he gets ready he'll come to us.  So, when my daughter told me that I was kinda mad and then when I thought about it...she says she was concerned about me, you know.  

No, she's up in Alabama.  She's like me.  We just parted company.  She wants to be concerned about me but she is too... wants to be... I'm 63.  I'm your father, you're not my mother.   Just leave me alone, let me have my peace of mind and I'll be just fine.

*** Are you happy?
Not really.  Not really. I mean know I tell people I'm fine, I'm alright, but sometimes I'm by myself and start to thinking and you know things start running through my mind.   Look at ya, you're homeless. You don't have this.  You used to go deep sea fishing.  You don't do that anymore.  You don't go to football games.  You don't do nothing.  You know, it hurts a little bit but then on the other side of that same coin is hey I got nobody to worry about but me.  So you know. 

(More with Frank next post)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Book review for "Lessons Learned at Summer Camp"

"Lessons Learned at Summer Camp" answers the questions "Why wasn't I told these things? Why didn't I know?"  This short inspirational fiction for teen girls and the mothers, counselors and teachers who love them confronts the wordly challenges faced by teens everywhere. Told through the memories of Angel, a summer camp counselor, who shares her story with the girls in her dorm room. She opens her heart to the girls who doubt the value of purity, as she tells of being a good girl who fell in "love", slipped into sexual promiscuity, alcholism, and a disasterous marriage.
Not only will this book open dialog between adults and teens, but will encourage and empower women who are struggling in ungodly relationships.

Carol V. Weishampel, Ed.D.

Review republished by permission of Dr. Weishampel.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just for Fun

I thought I'd take a break from the Interviews and give a little praise and post some of my favorite pictures.  Saturday, God was looking out for me and my family.  My 16-year-old daughter, who has just been driving solo for a few months wanted to go to Wal-Mart.  I was working so I let her go.  I needed some things taken to the Post Office so I had her go there first. She made all her stops safely, without incident.  Praise #1.  Later that day she and I needed to go to the bank and then across town. She drove to the bank, then wanted to stop at a clothing store. As she drove she and I talked about the car, maintenance, at which point I showed her the sticker for the oil change. I pointed out our mechanic as we drove by.  My daughter pulled into the parking lot for Beall's, slowed to a stop, attempted to put the car into park. The shifter moved, the gear did not change! Oh no! Something had broken. She pressed the emergency brake and turned off the engine. I called the mechanic, the number was right on the sticker. Here is praise God #2 - the mechanic sent over a technician, he put the car into drive, followed us the 2-minute drive back to the shop. The car got fixed and it cost all of $65.00.  God is Good!! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Homeless Interviews #14

If one were to take a slice of any population you would find people of high intelligence and low intelligence, people with mental illness and those without.  The same can be said for the homeless population. Case in point, Carl and now "Fred".  Fred, to me is pretty much the polar opposite of Carl.  The only thing they have in common is their homelessness.

*** Tell me about your childhood. 
I was born in Tambohol New York, upstate NY somewhere.  I think. I'm not sure. That was 39 years ago.  I don't remember where that was. My parents, they were alright.  Right now I'm just trying to get to see my mom.  She is up in Virginia.  I don't care where my dad is.  Me and him ain't gettin along, so...  
*** What was life like when you were little?
Working all the time. Doing everything, you know.  We kept moving around.  I had to quit school because I was working.  That was back in 1988.  I moved here in '95, to Florida. And since then I've been on my own. 

*** Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Yeah. They are all in Virginia.  Other than that, that's my life. In a nut shell.   

*** What did you/do you do for work?
I was pulling telephone cable.  Now I'm doing construction.  I was working in a bar doing security.  I do everything.   Maintainence, pressure washing, everything.  So. That's everything. But right now I am working three jobs. 7 days a week.  

*** Where do you live now?
On the street. 

*** How old were you when you started living on the streets?
Around 37  or  38.  ( can you tell me how it happened) I don't remember how it happened.   I was working at Disney then I hurt my shoulder there. I got fired from there.   Then, I went home one night and my aunt told me to get out.  I was staying with my aunt for a little while.  Since then I ain't talked to them.  I went in the woods.  Laid  where I could.  Since then I've been homeless.  That's been about it.  

*** Do see a future with you getting off the streets?
Nah.  I ain't goin to get off the streets. It saves me money that way. I ain't got no light bill. I got no rent.  I got nothing.   

*** So, you have job, you have income... Are you content, happy?
Pretty much. Yeah.  

*** Do you feel safe where you are living?
Oh yeah.  See I remodel houses for these guys.  I got two of them that works with me that stays there with me.  Other than that...

*** So you live with a group?
Yeah. A few other people.  Other than that, that's it.  

( I didn't need to ask him about church because Robert attends my church.  I see him pretty much every time I am there. He comes early, helps out with events. If he doesn't come, someone goes to look for him.)

*** What are the guys like that you live with?
They alright.  I work with them every day.  

*** How did you get involved ( with the shelter)? I had to stay outside. I was homeless so I just come up here one day. The people, the volunteeers here, they came around and invited me over to church and I been doin it ever since.  I don't know why, but I do.  Now I can't leave it. I love it.  (he laughs) I was going up in N. Carolina. I was going to church of God for a little while (in a city a little ways a way). But it was far and hard to get a ride every morning.   When I was working at the bar here I was still coming to church but I wasn't getting off work until 4 in the morning. I don't know how I made it to church.  (he laughs) but I done it. 

*** You are the first I've talked to who does not want to get out of the woods.  Are there others or is it just you? 

Just me.  That I know of. I can't afford rent. I cannot afford this, I cannot afford that.  The three jobs are kinda the same.  I help out. You get 20$ here, 20$ there.  That's
Not enough to do nothing with.

*** So if you were making enough?
Yeah if I was making enough I'd have my own place right now.  

*** It's not that you don't want to, it's you cannot afford it.
Uh huh.  Right now we been staying in houses we been remodeling, with no water and all that.  Out of the woods.  To see what it's like to have a home.  

*** What do you do when it's rainy or really cold?
Cover up with about 50 blankets.  Try to stay out of the rain.   

*** Tell me about a typical day. 
Work.  I work 7 days a week.  Other than that.  It's just like a typical day of the week. I gets me by. 

*** What do you think about the future? Do you think about it at all?
No.  When the time comes it comes.  I don't know where I'll be the next day. I might be out of town working.   I don't think like that. I don't think ahead cause normally it don't come true.  But other than that, It don't bother me much.   

*** Do you see a lot of drug and alcohol abuse of guys in the woods?
Oh yeah.  Yep I sure do. 

*** Do you think they, including yourself, are there because of it?
Probably got something to do with it.  I can't stop drinking.  I'm thinking about a beer right now.   

*** Do you consider yourself an alcoholic?
Yeah.  I sure would.  

*** Do you think if you weren't drinking things would be different?
Nope. It's just the way I got my mind set.  Normally you put something to your mind you do it. 

*** How do you think the homeless are treated?
Not real good. I mean I ain't treated that good.  I mean if it weren't for this place I'd have no place at all. They help out with stuff you need, you know.   

*** Do you get bothered by the police much?
No not really.  The only time we really got bothered with them is when they were kicking us, all of us out.  That about the only time.  Or if you're doing something wrong.  

*** Do you ever get robbed or gotten attacked?
No I don't worry too much with that.  I don't play games.  What's mine is mine.  We all watch out for each other.  It's a little community type.  But other than that.... 

*** Is there anything you would like to tell people?
Not really.  Just tell them to keep what they got. If you got a house, keep it.  You know, don't overdo it.  If you're doin drugs, quit.  Go to church.   If your homeless, come up here.  

 (A few weeks after this interview Fred has himself committed to a mental hospital for 72 hour observation because of his alcohol addition. He struggles every day, however, he knows who to turn to for help.)

Colleen Wait Edits

Colleen Wait Edits

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This YouTube channel was created to add video to my blog.  Read it here:  www.colleenwaitwrites.blogspot.com.  I write about my life, my books, my family, my cats and kids, and of course travel.