Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I asked Ricco to call me today if Rose finds no transportation for her bags from tent to storage. Rose hoped Billy's friend who has a van might help her, but apparently it didn't happen, so Ricco called to say Rose is packed and ready to go.

i found Rose in much better mood than yesterday, probably helped by outpour of support for her:  both Ricco and Richard were trying to help her, and she also had a friendly visitor - Ursula, who helped us to get the bags to my car.  in a brief conversation before we left Ursula told me how she met Rose on the ave corner (university avenue in seattle is commonly referred to as 'ave'), befriended her and takes her for a coffee sometimes, and apparently visits her at nickelsville, too.

We were only able to fit 5 huge garbage bags of Rose's belongings in my car, and Isaac agreed to come along to help us deliver them to the storage unit once we get there.  the storage place Rose chose to trust with her stuff turned out to be in Edmonds, a trip several miles north of seattle.  i asked her why so far, but she didn't have an answer that i could comprehend.  she said something about having this arranged earlier, and we left it at that.

on the way to Edmonds Isaac commented on how beautiful washington scenery is, full of evergreens.  utah is beautiful, too, he said, but much colder and that gets irksome very fast.  he was excited about going north and said it's the farthest north he has ever been.  i quipped that if we just drive 2 hours longer we end up in canada; he answered that he heard is really pretty there, and that he already found out that for about $100 one can take a boat  from downtown seattle to vancouver, b.c.; he hopes to do it some day.

Rose, who yesterday was in quite a state while facing being booted out of nicklelsville, now showed her very pleasant, sunny  side - she is quite a conversationalist, and speaks in very polite, respectful and cheerful manner.  she told Isaac about places in university district which provide free hot meals, gave him directions and hours of operations.

in the chit-chat while driving to edmonds Rose mentioned she moved to seattle as a teenager from california, and has been living here for the last 40 years - she certainly knows her way around and was guiding me to the storage unit.   she said she used to be a home care worker and lived on capitol hill until her apartment building changed owners, got upgraded and she no longer was able to afford it.  she has been on the streets for the last several years.

i asked if she is not eligible for subsidized housing; she said she actually is, but the wait is several years long, and one has to keep in touch with authorities to stay on that list, and she was not able to do that, and each time the contact broke off she had to start the process from the beginning.  she finally gave up.

when we reached edmonds storage unit Rose told Isaac and me to wait - she has to talk to the people in the office first.  after 15 minutes or so i walked to the office to find out Rose only had reservations, not actual storage place, and was now only in the process of renting it:  filling application, inspecting unit, paying for it and so forth.  she was apologetic about the process taking more time that she lead me to believe it would.  she offered to stay behind and finish the deal all by herself.

well, people get their needs met in creative ways, Rose is no exception:).  of course i wouldn't leave her there alone, but making another trip to edmonds with the rest of her belongings was beginning to look doubtful, as we would approach the rush hour soon.

while Rose was dealing with paperwork Isaac asked about renton, where nickelsville is moving to on march 5th - 'is it nice?' he wanted to know. last night he was thinking what he could do there to earn some money.  i suggested 'maybe some landscaping or garden cleaning help?' - it's suburbs, people have yards there  and no time to tend to them.  we talked about pricing, making fliers and spring coming soon to seattle.

i asked if he was able to call his parents to let them know he is safe in seattle.  no, nickelsville phone doesn't allow long distance calls.  not sure why, since their is a cell phone - don't all of them allow unlimited calls across united states?  he didn't know about that.

i offered him to use my cell to phone them.  it was short and sweet call:  'mom, i love you, i'm in seattle and ok here.  found a place to live.  it's tents and it's called nickelsville...  you sound stressed out, probably all those children...  give my love to dad... it's not my phone, so i'll keep it brief... will call again when i can.  love you, mom'.

now Rose was finally done with her applications.  she walked up to open the gate, and then we drove around the storage maze to find her unit.  deposited her bags, closed the unit shut.  drove back.  she expressed her gratitude to both Isaac and me for helping her.  but what about the rest of her bags?  she was getting anxious and worried again. i offered i'd talk to Bruce - now a security master, about finding someone with a bigger car to take there the rest of her belongings.  Rose said she would appreciate that.

with her mood back to sunny-mode Rose told me about a woman she used to know for a long time, Bonnie.  they used to live a few blocks apart on capitol hill back in 2000, in different apartment buildings, and were sort of friends. they lost track of each other last several years, but when Rose got to nickelsville she found Bonnie again!  already living there. Bonnie has too many bags, too.  Rose is going to help her to sort them out as soon as she deals with her own bags.

i asked Rose when and where she sleeps, with her tent full of bagged stuff. 'tonight i'll be ok - i'll push some of the stuff to the back of the tent and i think i'll be able to catch a wink'.

Bruce claimed not to be in charge of Rose's fate: 'i'm only a security master, can't help you, sorry; let's find an arbitrator'...  so we did. Annette was understanding, but told Rose her bags are really becoming a problem:  'you are supposed to keep only a change of clothes, and a sleeping bag; the tent is for you to sleep in, not for hoarding the stuff'.  she said presently there is no-one in the camp with a car to help Rose transport the things, but she will bring up the issue on the tonight's meeting.  maybe somebody knows someone with a bigger car.  ask Peggy, perhaps?  Annette said she  will do that.

Rose is a very kind  and mild mannered person - she bothers nobody and tries to take care of her business the best she can. and she needs a place to stay.  besides nickelsville she has nothing going for her.  i hope it can get resolved and she is NOT booted out of the tent city for having too many bags. i hope to find her there on monday.

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