Thursday, May 04, 2017

Vacancy Behind The Locked Door

                                      COMPOSITE PHOTO/EDITS BY RUTH RADER

Money. That five-letter word will either get you a private room or a park bench. Tonight I almost ended up sleeping with the squirrels. Not because I didn't have money. I had over $200 cash in my pocket. But I probably didn't look like it.

This is because I boarded a shuttle bus out of California this morning. And I was dropped off in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

The act of getting up too early coupled with walking into a noisy trailer trash factory otherwise
known as Walmart put my mind on a ragged edge. So I sat down in the attached Mickey D's and
powered-up my phone.

And I called...

"Good morning, this is Snoots Hotel...how may I pucker up my tight ass and help you?"

And I called...

"Welcome to the Snob Chalet. Are you from the immediate area? Because if
you are, the Snob Chalet has a strict 'no locals' policy."

And I called...

"This is the Nose Higher Than Our Rates Hotel. Don't even think of using cash. Currency is
dirty and is used by (ahem) persons that our guests are not comfortable associating with. If you
(chuckle) insist upon using cash, you will be expected to post a $350 deposit at check-in and we
we will
also put a ten-day hold on your credit card."

Years ago, a few lines of information on a piece of paper
and a reasonable amount of  CASH  would buy a tired
traveler a bath and a bed for the night. That doesn't happen very often, anymore.

Every lodging facility that I contacted today (with the exception of one, obviously) began the
conversation by asking for my banking information and a question about where I otherwise
resided. None
of the hotels (and motels) that I called (I contacted ten different ones) focused on my needs or
comfort as a paying guest.

Finally, I got lucky when I called number eleven on the list. A woman (representing a National
chain and no, it isn't Motel 6) got an earful from me when she answered the phone. After I
finished my frustrated rant there was a silent pause and then the woman said: "I think we can
work with you."

"You mean that I'll have to mop the lobby and then you'll consider giving me a room?"
I asked, salting my words with sarcasm.

The woman sighed. It wasn't an angry sigh, but more like a sad affirmation of the obvious.

"We are becoming more and more disconnected in this Country" I finally said.

"Well, let's get you a room for tonight" said the woman.

And what she did had nothing to do with plastic or wrinkled bills or my residency or socio-
economic status. Nope.

One day I rode down a side road with a friend of mine and stopped at little motel. It was
beautiful there and I can still smell the lilacs and see the woman's gracious smile. There was
no one hiding behind a fortress-like, wraparound desk. No bay of cameras that rivaled an urban sheriff's office. No sharp-eyed glance of suspicion.

The woman simply wanted to open the door of her B & B and make a new friend.

Now, I ask you...after reading this...where are our "United" States really going?

In conclusion I would like to share this well-known song because I believe it belongs here:



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ruthie On The Road, Update

                                                     PHOTOS/EDITS BY RUTH RADER

April was a very busy month for me. That's why I didn't post here...because I was on the
road.



I left McMinnville, a screwed-up crazy lady and a list of broken promises at the
beginning of this month.

After spending some time on the Coast, I met a young man who
drives a U.P.S. truck. His mother advised me to go to a community in Northern California
where she swore up-and-down I would finally find some real answers to my permanent
housing problem.



So after they gave me a very bright lantern and a 2017 Road Atlas, I set-out to hitchhike
down to California. But some angels of the road met me before I left Oregon and we
ended up having an impromptu meeting at a local Sherri's restaurant.



We discussed my options while we ate dinner and then designed signs for me to use on the
road.



Later that night they put me in a motel and the following afternoon, I ended up boarding an
Amtrak train bound for Auburn, California.

When I arrived in Auburn, I was told that I couldn't even spend a single night in their
shelter because I am not a legal resident of Pasco County or the State of California. In the
end, every claim that my friends in Oregon made turned out to be nothing but bullshit. Period.

I traveled from Auburn to Grass Valley to a creepy hamlet called North San Juan before I finally
recalculated and ended up in the mountain town of Susanville. And it was in that community that
I found a reasonable path out of California.

A man with a shaved head (he's a peace officer) drove me 100 miles in his big, black pickup
truck through the California outback to where I am now: Alturus, California.

GOOD MORNING FROM ALTURUS, CALIFORNIA!!

I am in a motel here and have been for the past couple of days. I will leave here tomorrow. It is
pretty nice here and everything was easily arranged. I can see a green field below snow-capped
mountains outside of my room's window. I have a flat screen, plenty of food, lots of coffee, great
Wi-Fi and a very comfortable bed that I have been using to catch up on some much-needed
sleep.



So Desiree Young is going after Terri Moulton, some Russians want Putin to step down,
Kim Jong-Unreasonable has his fat finger on the firing button and Donald Trump is pissing
people off again.

And I still don't have a decent place to live.

Sigh.

Whatever shall we all do?

Well, it has occurred to me that even if World War III starts today, I am still going to have to
get my laundry done.