The Lonely Road

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Every morning i awake and feed all of my wild life. Then i go off for my early morning walk.This is usually around   5 am. I love this time of day,nothing is really moving, except nature. It is tranquil, and peaceful,and how i imagine life must have been years ago.

I walk a mile every day,in all, different directions, to simply see and be one with the earth.She really is so beautiful, and Majestic.

On all occasions i will run into the little creatures just waking up, or the occasional skunk trying his best to beat daylight and get to his home. All so fun to see.

The other day i thought i heard a rare noise,as it sounded like a human cough.I was pretty far into the woods,and was rather surprised to hear another human.

When i rounded the corner heading down towards the creek,i noticed a small sigh, then that horrible rattling cough.I was at the least curious, and somewhat concerned.

I didn't see any structure to indicate  a person was around, no tent, no lean too,nothing. So as not to scare anyone i said a quiet hello,i am walking on our great earth,and enjoying her views. if i have trespassed onto your property i will leave.My apologies. 

I did not get one word, just that cough.So being me, i climbed into what looked like a hole in the side of a hill, ( fox den) later determined by me.

I was appalled and amazed at what i found. The cough was coming form a man, homeless,he was told by County DSS, they had no place form him, and no help at the moment.All they could offer was a one time emergency food stamp card,He took this, and bought all he could of non perishable items, took his fishing pole, and went as close to the creek as he could get.When he was told the first time he was on private property, had to leave, he simply moved down creek, and landed where i found him.

I asked him, if he would like to come to my house, get a hot meal, coffee, shower,warmth, he said but i stink, i said well the shower will fix that.

He climbed out of that hole, with his bag, and off we went as we are walking he tells me this in one lonely road you walk..I explained that was why i chose it, it is so peaceful.

As we walked and chatted i learned he is 73, and was in NAM, His parents are gone, and his only sister has not spoken to him since he was drafted, she was against the war, and said he could have hid, or ran to another country..

I took him to an urgent care, he had 3 infections, they gave him meds,as he would not have been able to pay for them asked him to come back in 4 weeks,make sure he was better. This man told the DR. she found me in a hole, she is not my daughter, and has no responsibility for me.I am homeless. I informed the DR, i will bring him back.

When we left he again said, one lonely road you walk..but i will be at the end, if you ever come back.

Well not so fast i told him,when we got back to my place,i showed him my kitty setup. It is an 8 by 12 shed, insulated, with heat, and lights. I said could you live in something like this? Or would it be to small. 

He looked at me and said, this is for kitties, they can not be out in the cold! 

I told him i had another just like this one, never been used, just finished making it, his for the taking..He looked at me, no more hiding? no more running when i hear someone? No more being cold? I said no none of that meals will be with us..

My road is not so lonely anymore, i now have a friend who walks with me..

It only takes one act of kindness....  )0(



Donna Added Sep 11, 2017 - 4:33pm
Dannl- he is a wonderful man..he brings a new found joy to me..Something felt as though it was meant to be..
Jeff Michka Added Sep 11, 2017 - 4:38pm
Nice story and good recount, Donna.  Good to see your writing again.  Is this gent still in the cat shelter?  Good one on you, Donna.  We need to do more than talk about homelessness.  You did something!!! So proud of you!!!
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Sep 11, 2017 - 4:41pm
This was really good of you Donna! I can just imagine how most people would react in the same situation. My father was homeless for a while after my mother died. He managed to get some friends and family to look after me and my brother while he looked for a place for us, but he slept more than one night on the street. I'm sure he would like to have met someone like you back then. 
Donna Added Sep 11, 2017 - 4:44pm
Yes he is, the shed is made solid, and very winter-proof, he would not move into the main house with me, so he has his own space, eats with us, has a house key, comes and goes as he chooses..We are working on getting Vet benefits back, as he now has an address, i find no reason he can not get back what he is owed.Told him if we need to we will find a fee legal advocate..Must be one somewhere,that would help..
I like to write, but so much here is always the same, i usually just comment..
Nasty Added Sep 11, 2017 - 4:45pm
I suppose this story is to illicit comments on how wonderful you are. But it seems so contrived, it is hard to believe.
I read a similar story about a group that saved a whale, that had the whale forever grateful.
Donna Added Sep 11, 2017 - 4:51pm
I need no one to tell me how or who i am. What i do, i do with my heart, not for anyone's gratitude.
Nothing wonderful about me, simple gal.Which is how i like it..)0(
Donna Added Sep 11, 2017 - 4:52pm
Jenifer- homelessness can hit anyone at any time, i could never over look any one in pain,it is not in my nature..Glad your dad was able to overcome all..)0(
Donna Added Sep 11, 2017 - 5:06pm
Ok all- remember, no computer at home, so i am not ignoring anyone on my post, just take me longer with the little phone, and my old eyes to reply back..
Peace, have a good evening..Be Kind )0(
Jeff Michka Added Sep 11, 2017 - 5:10pm
"Nasty" sez: I suppose this story is to illicit comments on how wonderful you are. But it seems so contrived, it is hard to believe.- Really, or "just hard to believe" by someone who talks the talk, but never ever walks the walk, or is "just Nasty.?"
Dino Manalis Added Sep 11, 2017 - 5:14pm
Wonderful, be careful of those lonely roads!
A Classicist Writes Added Sep 11, 2017 - 5:15pm
What an absolutely beautiful story.  Whenever I despair at the state of humanity, I shall think of you and read this wonderful, wonderful story.  Thank you...
Nasty Added Sep 11, 2017 - 6:14pm
Jeff Michka. I have helped many people and continue to do so. BUT I DON"T WRITE STORIES ABOUT IT! What you think about me is not important to me.
Nasty Added Sep 11, 2017 - 6:27pm
Mr. Yoder.
The whale story later turned out to be a fraud. It was the one about people cutting a fishing net from a blue whale.
A real story last week, was about a fisherman who cut away a fish net, possibly inspired by the fake story, and the Whale turned around and killed him!
Feel good stories are nice, but can be deadly.  Don't Whales suck up minnows by the thousands for food?
There is a romance about the homeless being victims, just as there is about whales. But when I worked downtown Los Angeles and had to deal with them on a daily basis, I quickly lost the romance.
opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2017 - 6:36pm
Great story Donna. You are quite someone.
Donna Added Sep 11, 2017 - 6:50pm
Nasty so  due to your seeing first hand what homelessness  is you choose to look away. I find nothing romantic about an old man who served his country being alone and homeless. Maybe books or the young view it in a romantic way. I find it  disgusting.                  Dannl I'm not sure if I'm the only one who Could hear or if I was the only one who really listened.  That I find is a difference .Some are open others are closed.. Spiritually..Michka. I do like you  .                                      Opher it's how I live.. 
Donna Added Sep 11, 2017 - 6:52pm
Nasty.. I write what I live.. Not up to your standards. You may feel free to keep commenting  or find a new article to comment on.. No hard feelings.. 
Donna Added Sep 11, 2017 - 6:54pm
ACW.. I would prefer you think of  all who help.. I'm one little gal.. Whole world full of those who help every day.. 
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 11, 2017 - 8:13pm
Beautiful. Even if unreal, I hope it will not be tarnished by some of the crudeness I observe from some here. This is not to advance censorship, as your action speaks to possible virtuous action at the highest level. I have an experience with kindness that will result in access to 7 figure monies in less than 8 months.
wsucram15 Added Sep 11, 2017 - 10:13pm
Donna..I love you, best person on the net. :)
wsucram15 Added Sep 11, 2017 - 10:14pm
PS thank you for finally writing a story.  J
EXPAT Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:08am
I took in a homeless guy who worked off the books most of his life helping truckers, and couldn't get disability. He hurt his back and couldn't lift anymore. In exchange for cleaning my Bar, I gave him $100 a week cash, and let him stay in the store room.
He paid me back after 2 years by selling the antique clock from the front of my business and leaving town. He got $500 for it.
Most of the homeless I knew were no good bums, who would rather get drunk and beg, than work. I always knew of jobs for anyone who wanted to work.
I met a family at Christmas , year old baby, who had rent money but no furniture. He was just starting a new job. I let them charge $5000 to my credit card, with the understanding he would make the monthly payments.
In Feb. they sold the furniture and left town, leaving me with a $4500 debt.
I help families in Thailand, but in America people are only homeless, because they are fucked up.
Good luck with your G.I.
Nasty Added Sep 12, 2017 - 2:24am
Well Donna. The Kumbaya singing of your praises as God's chosen humanitarian is going great. Good Job! There isn't a dry eye on WB........except mine!
You will write the story on how it ends, won't you.
Nasty Added Sep 12, 2017 - 2:31am
P.S. Hope your end is better than EXPAT.
George N Romey Added Sep 12, 2017 - 10:54am
Donna great story and a stark reminder of how vulnerable so many Americans have become. Our national shame.
Donna Added Sep 12, 2017 - 11:04am
Nasty- If having an ending will make you happy yes i will write as things progress. I know all the horror stories of taking one in who is homeless. I also know this man is a VET.With help, and a place to temporarily stay, he can afford his own place within a month or 2, that is the goal, to get him off the street, into a place of his own. 
You stated on the feed in your article, you were attacked by those whom you chose to comment on, i have done neither here, or on your article, why do you feel the need to match the name to the personality?
Hey i saw the comment, you also do good things, but choose not to write about them,thank you, for doping good. you claim you have no good ideas, maybe you need to be more open,and listen to the inner voice, then maybe you will have an inspiring idea..
I am sure no one tells you how or what to write, so give others the same courtesy. 
Expat- Sorry both times you helped you got screwed.Has happened to me as well, still i feel a need to keep going. 
WSU- you know this is just me..
MJ- thank you.Walking is my escape..
Dr. i look at the comments this way, positive,is always nice,and makes for good conversation.  negative, gives me reason to think..If i find it was simply that one being negative, it is all the thought i give, if i find,  maybe i should have done more research,or looked further,i will take that as a lesson learned. 
I am Wicca/Pagan-this is how we live. At least those who really are open to the spiritual side of earth, and nature.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:48pm
I don't have words to say, really. I just like to give you a big hug.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:54pm
BTW: I usually get insulted from my fellow Swiss when I talk of my work in Africa. They tell me: "Why don't you help the poor Swiss !! You don't care about your own people but help Blacks in Africa !"
Sometimes I don't understand the world.
But that was just a remark and has nothing to do with what you do which I find exceptional.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:57pm
Hey George
We were worried about you because you live in Irma zone and weren't hear for a while. Good to read you. And thanks for connecting on LI :-)
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:57pm
I was in Togo and the Swiss were helping there. Of course, the Americans were there also. 
Stone-Eater Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:58pm
HERE not hear. NOT AGAIN !
Donna Added Sep 12, 2017 - 3:11pm
Sef- you are a man of many worlds..Do the Swiss really need your help? Seems, that in Africa, the need is much greater..
So glad you are ok..was worried due to where you live..Just how bad did you get hit? 
Dr Green how goes the election? 
George N Romey Added Sep 12, 2017 - 3:14pm
Power and wifi out for couple of days no real damage here but the Keys in very bad shape. People in the Keys cant get out.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 12, 2017 - 3:22pm
Do the Swiss really need your help? Seems, that in Africa, the need is much greater..
Right, thanks. I don't see a difference between and African or a European (or an Asian...or whatever). Here nobody needs to survive. The state supports minimal needs. There no.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 12, 2017 - 3:23pm
Damn. I mean here everybody is taken care of by the state....
Donna Added Sep 12, 2017 - 3:38pm
That is where my cousin lives, we have not heard from them since Late Sunday.I assume it is due to no lines for cell least that is what i am hoping for..
Jeff Michka Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:01pm
"Nasty" sez: I have helped many people and continue to do so. BUT I DON"T WRITE STORIES ABOUT IT! What you think about me is not important to me.-I'm soooo glad to read you are a total font of humanity, Nasty.  I Really think I'd rather not read your stories anyway, that would detracted from Donna's.  Still think your comments chumped a good soul, and said more of you, than her.  Unlike EXPAT, I see homelessness as a dynamic social problem that will take "all hands" to solve. Also, unlike EXPAT, I don't see all homeless as lazy and responsible for their situation.  Apparently Donna felt more needed to be done and moved ahead first person to do something, not pontificate.  I'd ask Geo R if he was doing something, but know despite the pontification, he isn't doing anything.
wsucram15 Added Sep 12, 2017 - 10:00pm
Glad to hear you are ok  George.  we were concerned.
Ari Silverstein Added Sep 13, 2017 - 11:10am
I commend you on your generosity but I think you took a terrible risk.  The man is a stranger and it’s not smart to approach one in the woods by yourself, especially if you’re a woman.  It’s also not smart to get too close to someone who may have an infectious disease.  It’s especially stupid to let one into your home.  My advice, if you wish to help homeless people, is to volunteer at a homeless shelter.  This will keep you a lot safer.  After all, the world could use more generous and caring people.  Should something have happened to you, the world would have one less.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 13, 2017 - 11:49am
Donna sez: due to no lines for cell phones...-I know situations like this get a little tense, but, gee....cellphone=lines?  Perhaps no power to celltowers or damage, but "lines." Thanks, I needed a small chuckle before sttling in reading a new mail list.  LOL Hope your people are okay.
Rick Fontes Added Sep 13, 2017 - 12:21pm
To be sure Donna took a risk.  But to a greater or lesser degree we all risk our lives whenever we step out of our homes, drive a car, engage in small talk with strangers, eat food prepared by faceless strangers in public venues and so on, ad infinitum.  We are all free to choose the degree of risk we will accept and quite often a quest for safety will limit our freedom.   To participate in any sort of society entails risk.   
Donna Added Sep 13, 2017 - 4:47pm
Ari-Thank you for the concern,I am a gal who acts on what my heart and gut instinct tell me. Safety, i guess is not the first thought that comes to mind. All i knew was he needed someone, and i was the only one around.
Rick- Very well stated..Playing it safe is rather boring also..
Jeff- So glad i could give you a little chuckle..guess sometimes i should proof what i write, but then you would not have smiled! 
Dannl- It appears,i have found his nephew, who is more than willing to help his uncle, he will be in town this weekend, if all works out, he will have family, and be living in his own apartment, within a week. Nephew owns his house, with an apartment built in for mother-in-law, who has since moved on to a facility.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 13, 2017 - 5:13pm
Donna, it was perfect.  My wife recently said something like that which drew a chuckle from me that resulted in a newspaper swat like a bad pet gets, LOL Thanks, I usually have both chuckle and smile without much stimulation.  So glad i could give you a little chuckle..guess sometimes i should proof what i write, but then you would not have smiled!- You do just fine, Donna.
Becky Wardell Gaertner Added Sep 15, 2017 - 2:54pm
This is an amazing story.  Most of us live in such fear we would have called 911 instead!
Donna Added Sep 18, 2017 - 7:59pm
Hi Becky.  I believe  I heard him for a reason almost as though the Goddess led me to that spot on that day. I refuse to live in fear to me that is not truly living. One has to be at peace with oneself as well as their surroundings to truly live life. Also I'm Wicca Pagan.. So I think differently. 
Jeff Michka Added Oct 16, 2017 - 7:12pm
Glad to hear you are ok  George.  we were concerned-i'D KIDA HOPED HE WOULD HAVE "gONE WITH THE wIND..."  No, I HAVE NO more USE FOR OL Geo more than he does about kids of draft age.