After two days of taping gleaning down in Virginia, (which although the people were incredibly lovely, still felt like two weeks!) I came away feeling grateful for some things, I of course, had taken for granted.
I say, of course, because most people I know, take the issue of their housing for granted. Sure, they may go through some tense times as they look for a new apartment or go to buy their first house, but down in Virginia, I met a family — mother, father and five children –who lived in one motel room. They had lived there for almost 5 years– yes, you read that correctly, 5 years. I met them because one of the groups I was working with, delivered meals and fresh produce to this family’s motel room, since the family was short on “food” money. The father works– making this family part of the working poor– and they pay $237 a week for that room–but the cost of the security deposit plus first and last month’s rent, has made it impossible to move it out of that motel. How I looked at my home with new respect when I returned this evening. Yet I can’t help but think — how absurd. For the smallest amount of money, it seems that we should be able to get these families and others out of this trap…I mean it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that something is wrong with this picture as well as the kind of programs that are in existence, which don’t seem to be helping.
At the same time, upon arriving home, picking up the mail and throwing sweaty clothes into the washer, I raced to the refrigerator and took out a bottle of seltzer. How phenomenal, how refreshing!! How grateful I am– because for some reason, I can’t quite figure out– I couldn’t find seltzer OR club soda in Winchester, Virginia. What’s that about? I don’t know, but I am so grateful to be in, my more than one room home, with my little seltzer machine. The big things and the little, we must give respect to all of these treasures.