Dear Friends.

I had an early Thanksgiving this year.

It happened while I was still in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I became very ill and could not continue staying out of doors (well I could have). I was burning up with high fever, joints were aching, I was not familiar with where I was at either. I rode a city bus to the outskirts of this large city trying to get to the mountain area and was stopped by interstate 40 and a large concrete wall stopping me from getting to the other side to where I could hide out and make camp.

I was ill and feeling defeated. Emotionally I was drained and feverish. I was down to my last $80.00 from working and was parched and maybe a little dehydrated also. I walked into a McDonalds with my backpack as it was closest and you get free drink refills and ordered a small drink. I sat and took my physical inventory and realized I was seriously ill and in trouble. The winds were really picking up and the flat screen was projecting 35 mph winds and getting very cold.

I looked again in my wallet, and started feeling chills. I looked out the window at the various hotels knowing I needed heat and to be inside somewhere. It was already dark outside and getting late to find a good in town camp site that is shielded. The lowest sign I could read said $39.99 Econo Lodge. I was worried about them renting me a room as a walk in with a backpack.

Well they rented me the room, damn tax…$48.48 now. I turn on the heat. I am shaking uncontrollably. I get my sleeping bag out (habit) and lay on the bed under it. Water, I forgot to buy it! Wait they have running water in the room! I can drink all I want! I can even leave it running all night just to listen to it. I drink gallons of it as I do not have to worry about running out and having to go the store to buy more.

Going to pee. It is not 20 degrees outside! I can actually not have to think about it. I can just get up and go in a regular toilet. I do not have to worry about distance from my camp site, or freezing, or finding my boots. This is the life.

Heat. I cannot normally have it. People, police see fires and come see what I am up to. I cannot use fire heat either since it would also melt my sleeping bag.  This is the life.

Television as I do not know what is on anymore this really does not interest me nor can I afford what is being shown on the commercials so I do not bother to turn it on.

Too bad I had to get sick for me to have to go inside. After my illness I was broke again and had to work harder to get by for a while. I am back to feeling better but it took over a week. I could not lay up in a hotel all of that time as you could tell. I did appreciate the luxury of the one day I could though and I was very Thankful I could afford one day.

Those 17 hours of heat and all the tap water I could drink was my Thanksgiving.



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