Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I'm in Pennsylvania, Campers!

And in fact, I actually went back to the YWCA for a couple of nights in Wheeling, West Virginia.

But now I'm here.

How did this happen?

I've done a whole lotta running!

When I left Burlington, Iowa...a woman picked me up and drove me across to the bridge into Illinois. That first ride led me to many more which eventually brought me to a cluster of truck stops east of Toledo, Ohio.

A trucker dropped me off in the middle of the night and I walked out to a guardrail by the ramp to the Ohio Turnpike. I sat there and tried to get a ride from 3am to 10:30am but no one even slowed down. Not a single soul.

Finally I walked over to a chaplain's trailer at one of the truck stops and convinced the guy there that I am not an ax er. [I use a chainsaw!]

He drove me to a nearby town and dropped me off.

I walked into a Lutheran church building and a preacher stopped me in my tracks.

"What do you think you're doing?" He said as his hands balled into fists.

"I came in to ask if you if there's a place to get a free bit of food here or a ride or a rest. I'm hitchhiking through from Burlington, Iowa and I've been outside all night." I explained, mindfull of his body language.

"Well we have kids here and we don't know you and no we can't help you!" He answered with a superdose of malice in his voice.

He was going on about 9/11 and school s and ists as I walked down the hall and back out the door.

I ended up sitting on yet another guardrail outside of that little town later on that evening, fiddeling with my flashlight.

A man drove by, stopped, parked and then backed-up.

He gave me the standard "Lady, what are you doing here?" look and then smiled.

He ended up feeding me at Mickey D's and then got me a room at a mom-and-pop place in Fremont, Ohio that night.

He explained that he drives an ambulance in the area.

The next day I limped into the Fremont Police station where the desk people took one look at me and called an ambulance.

No, my friend wasn't driving but the EMT's know who he is.

They took me to the hospital in Fremont where I was fed, watered, x-rayed and otherwise tended to. I got a cast, two ace bandages and a crash course in how to use crutches.

Diagnosis?

Bad business in the tendons and ligaments in my left foot.

I was sprung from there and taken by van to a homeless shelter in Sanduskey, Ohio...some twenty or so miles east of Fremont.

When the driver wheeled me into the shelter office, a big Black man glared at me and asked, "Kin ya take care o' ya own needs?"

I looked at that man, my driver looked at the man and the man glared back at both of us. Then my driver backed me out of the office and loaded me back onto the van.

He was angry and so was I.

He drove me back to Fremont and checked me back into the same motel that I had left that morning. I stayed there overnight and the next day I was sent by taxi to the Greyhound station in Sanduskey.

Why?

Because the hospital wanted to send me on to Pittsburgh.

See, the hospital in Fremont tried to get some cooperation in finding me a reasonable place to stay in Sanduskey via that other hospital. But the Sanduskey hospital told me that the only way that they could get me a respite bed was to admit me into the local psych ward!

"That's what you get when you ask for something for free." sniffed the Sanduskey hospital "social worker."

I declined...and with a verbal payback attached.

Sooo...the only thing that the Fremont hospital people could figure out to do was to send me on a bus to downtown Pittsburgh.

Yeah. With no money, at 9pm on a Saturday night with no guarantee of a simple way to get out of there.

I took the money that they gave me for the bus and got a ride down to a cheap motel.

The next morning, I took off the bandages, cast and crutches and three them away in a dumpster.

Then I limped down the road and finally got to Mansfield, Ohio.

The shelter in Mansfield is unique in that every room has its own tv with full cable.

I stayed there for two days and after a 12-year-old boy [the kid from hell!] walked in on me after I got out of the shower,[The little brat figured-out how to pick the lock on the bathroom door!] I decided that it was time to leave.

So I walked out of Mansfield and got picked up by a man who owns his own business.

He took me to beautiful Best Western motel outside of Youngstown, Ohio and gave me money for pizza. The next day he and his wife picked me up and drove me to the town of Green Tree which is located outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Was God watching me?

Oh yes!

You see how this chain continued...and still is.

If you have been praying for me, thank you. It worked. It still is.

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