250 Miles And More To Go
Organized by: Jude Kessler
Finally back to work but hours are limited because of my means of transportation... a bicycle. I took a position 42 miles away, and being in the rural region of New England, it's more old dirt roads than paved. The rocks have already taken an axle and some bearings on the old bike, I've taken a "flight" over the handle-bars, landed on my side on a rock, and traveled over 30 hours in the rain. I have a job, and I have the dedication and determination to do all I can for it, and to keep it.
I've made it this far, but admittedly, it's getting more difficult with the wear and tear on the bike... and my body. Getting up and out of the house at 4:00am, biking 3 and a half hours over rural dirt roads even before the sun rises, and, after some 9 hours, there's the travel back over the same roads. In the morning it tends to be chilly and damp, and in the evenings, it's under the open, hot sun.
There have been mornings of pouring rain. There have been evenings of brutally hot sun. And I'm not whining, and I'm not complaining. I'm pedalling for my life.
As of now, the paid hours are short and what I make is going to pay current expenses (one light lunch per day, when I can afford it, is included). I'm saving all that I can, but honestly, my body is breaking-down quicker that I can save the payment on a much-needed car. There are SO many more hours available to me, but being in the "rurals", they too are miles away and there's a reluctance in offering them to me because, well, I travel by bike. If I'm needed in under an hour's time, it's impossible to get to where I'm needed.
Every day I'm aware that I could be doing so much better... if only for a better means of transport. And every day I keep my little "savings" to the side, won't touch it, not even for something to eat when I'm hungry at the end of a work-day. Again, I don't whine, nor bemoan, not even when being splashed by mud in the rain or covered with road-dust in the heat. I honestly love my job, appreciate having a truly wonderful "boss", and consider myself very fortunate to be in such a position and place.
But, my savings grows too slowly as I pay other responsibilities. (As I say: given the choice between eating and saving for a car... the food loses the decision battle.) I don't need a brand new car, just something that will reliably get me to and from work, over dirt roads and paved roads, in the rain and in the sunshine. There are cars listed in the local papers and on-liine, by private owners who either cannot or will not accept "payments". So I need the lump-sum to buy a car... and getting that together is SLOW. I have a "considerable" amount saved already, but at the rate I'm going now, the Winter snow and ice will be here and I'll still be trying to make the commutes on a bicycle... at 4:00am. (I actually walked the first day I got the extra assignment... it took me just over 6 hours to get there... but I did it because that's my work ethic.)
Over the course of working these distances, I've fallen on ice on the road, in the middle of no-where, picked me up and continued. Recently, in the rain, the front brake on the bike grabbed and I went SOARING over the handle-bars, down to the groumd and slammed onto a rock. (Two cars were passing when this happened... both slowed... nobody stopped.) Because of the broken axle on the bike (which I HAD to have repaired), the chain kept coming off and I had to stop repeatedly to make repairs... on the road-side. (Many cars passed... none stopped to offer help.) But I have responsibility and I keep going... but I don't know for how much longer... I'm 59 years old... and still ticking.
I don't want or need a "handout", but I'd SO appreciate a "hand up" out of this point in my life. I've never been one to admit this, but this time I have no choice: I can't do it alone... I need help.
I'm honest and candid about this situation and equally honest and candid when it comes to any questions, so I encourage all to ask what-ever is on your mind. I also ask that, when you see this page or a link, that you "share" it on social media... if you can't help, maybe somebody else will be able to. And, if you'd like regualr up-dates, I'll have a "blog" where I'll post and will be more than happy to send messages to your e-mail if you prefer. Nothing here to hide... I'm asking for "help", much needed "help".
Thank you for reading this. Thank you for caring even this much.