Tuesday, December 4, 2007

No Money, but Still Undaunted

I was brainstorming last night of things that were fun to do without money. Surprisingly, I thought of some. I need to get back into my old habits of hiking and camping. I was once a man obsessed about those pastimes. Pretty much every night would find me in my tent and sleeping bag, and many days I would hike for miles and miles.

Last night, I pitched my tent in the back yard and slept in it. It got down to 27 degrees, but my goose down sleeping bag kept me toasty warm. I slept better than I have for months. Maggie tickled me though. She kept going in and out of her dog door, confused. She couldn't decide if she wanted to be out with me or in my warm home. She finally curled up on my bed and went to sleep without me. I missed her and wished she would have slept in my tent.

This morning, I awoke and walked down to the shopping center in the early morning chill. I asked Jay, my old boss at the Piggly Wiggly, if I could have some coffee from the employees break room. He told me to help myself. I fixed a cup of milky coffee and sat out with Big S in front of the store.

"What did you do last night?" Big S asked me.

"I slept outside in my tent," I replied with a big grin.

"George always said you were crazy," he told me of my little camping adventure. "You must have froze your ass off."

I laughed and laughed.

"I stayed quite warm, thank you," I replied.

I left Big S and hiked for two hours around town as I listened to my radio. My legs are still balking now after just arriving home. I am so out of shape. It is going to take a week of hours of hiking to get my trail legs back. This is going to be fun, though, and I need to display some passion for something in my life. I have grown tired of sitting in front of this computer all day when so few people blog. I still have that dream of one day hiking the Appalachian Trail.


justLacey said...

What about asking Jay for some sort of part time work? All he can say is no right? Maybe stocking shelves or working in the back where you don't have to be around a lot of people and deal with your social anxiety. It's such a familiar place already that may not even be an issue.

Ladyfriend said...

I think it's normal to be depressed sometimes, for most people.

My ex-husband, who is bi-polar, had depression bouts that were so very deep, and his highs were extremely high. Mix that with drugs and/or alcohol, and my children and I were terrified of him. And we had very good reasons to be terrified. I have so many stories I could tell, but there's not enough time in a day. Plus it's too personal to let everyone read.

The only thing that ever helped him was meds. Unfortunately for him, he couldn't stay away from alcohol and illegal drugs & prescription painkillers. He was sober/straight for 10 years (and on his "mind meds"), and for whatever reason, started drinking and drugging again.

Very very heartbreaking...for everyone involved.

Josie Two Shoes said...

Good for you, Andrew! I'm so glad that your tent and sleeping bag kept you nice and warm! I got a chuckle out of poor Maggie trying to figure out what to do. :-) For me, walking is the best therapy, and I'm sure it will make you feel better as well. That was nice of Jay to give you coffee, I'm glad to know you have some friends around town.

mosiacmind said...

I am so happy to know that you had a good night. I am a person who gets cold easily I cannot imagine myself sleeping out when it is cold yet I know others who enjoy it. I used to have a friend who kept all of her gear in her car so at a moments notice she could go camping. I hope that you have a great day. I also want to make a request if you decide that you want to go camping for a couple of days can you let me know or post it on your blog so those of us who care for you will not worry.

Anonymous Boxer said...

My Dad hiked the Appalachian Trail when he was 60, so you have LOTS of time.

And, I love your plan to get in shape for hiking/camping.

simonsays said...

Great plan!

I think that hiking is good for the soul as well as the body.

I'm jealous, I want to go!

Soon--I will be hiking right along with you, soon!

Rhette said...

Andrew Hi!
Just a suggestion here -- but did you ever think of freelancing for your town newspaper in either photography or editorial because you do both very well.

Or you can call your Chamber of Commerce and ask them if you can do take some photo's for their newsletters or brochures.

There's good money in pet care or pet sitting. People always need someone to feed a pet or walk their dog. When my dog was diagnosed with Diabetes, he had to have 2 insulin shots a day and I could not bring myself to give them to him, I thought they would hurt him, so I found a girl who worked for our local vet to come to the house and she charged me $10.00 a shot, so she made $20 a day coming to our home. Well, as the story goes, I learned really fast how to give those shots and our dog was more comfortable with me giving him his shot anyway. But that might be another idea :)


AlabamaGal said...

I think hiking and being in touch with nature is a great passion to have! I imagine you will have some great pictures from your hikes. (I look forward to that)

Brrr! I was cold all day yesterday inside my house with the heaters turned up. Even my cats were sluggish yesterday from the cold. I'd have froze my booty off in a tent!

If you ever get a chance, I recommend for you to visit Cheaha Mountain State Park near Talladega. It is one of my favorite places. My blog banner is made from a picture from there. :)


Portia said...

I'm glad you are relighting your passion for the outdoors. We haven't been camping since we've had kids and I miss it terribly. Not in freezing temps though, that's all for you:)

Barb said...

Do what you have to do to keep above the line, you know the line, crossing it puts you in a place that is hard to emerge from. Let it be camping, photography, fixing a meal, visiting with a friend, playing with Maggie, cleaning your house...whatever it takes to stay above the line.


Leann said...

Andrew, I am so excited for you!! I know how much you love being out of doors. It would be nice to join you on that Appalacian trail. If I were to sleep outside my tent would float away in the winter time. The penalty for living in the valley.

Enjoy and keep those wonderful pics coming!!

Sharyna said...

I am so proud of you--walking and staying outside! I need to start walking. But I say that just about every blog. Have you told Maggie about hiking the Appalacian Trail? Doesn't sound like she would want to go. I wish you a good day and a pleasant walk.


Kelly Jene said...

Good for you, Andrew! Way to do what will make you feel good. Something in fresh air can be so cleansing.

Walking will help as well, being physically fit will affect all areas of your life.

Mike said...

Very resourceful! Hiking and camping can lift one's spirits and can be very peaceful. Reconnecting with the outdoors always makes me feel better. Sounds great!

CJM-R said...

Good for you, hiking is a great plan. I agree, it does lift the spirits. Getting away from the computer and connecting with nature will bring you please your soul!

Go for it!

CarmenSinCity said...

I love it that you slept in your tent last night and now you are hiking - awesome things to do without money and so fun!


sounds like a great night and morning!! Good for you!!

Cheryl said...

Brrr. So cold outside but glad to hear you stay warm in your sleeping bag. I remember how much you love camping and hiking. It's good to hear you're rekindling some of your passions.

Nikita said...

Sounds great! I love camping myself and do miss it!

Jenni said...

Oh, say! Here's a dream we share! You're much closer to the Appalachian Trail than I am, though.

I just typed that comment on your latest post and then glanced over to the sidebar and saw 100 posts on one of my favorite activities. I've enjoyed your description of camping out in your yard and the early morning diner.

Are you by any chance a Steinbeck fan? If you haven't read much of his work, I'd encourage you to check it out. Some of the things I find I'm enjoying about your posts and your outlook are things I find in his books. Yes, you are a very interesting person indeed and I am so glad to have discovered your blog.