Welcome to My Full-Time RV Living LifeStyle Blog!

I suppose I should mention that this is an RV blog. The picture of me standing beside a motorhome in the banner probably tipped you off to that fact already, but you know how it is with blogs, any body can put anything in the header.

Anyways, I was born, raised, and live in Maine, I have 12 cats, and some people would call me homeless. Nope, I have a home, I just don't have what people call a standard house. My house has wheels and her name is Rosebud. My backyard stretches on for thousands and thousands of miles all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Once upon a time I had a "regular home" but a flood came and took it away. Me and my cats spent the next 3 years living under a 8x6 tarp and survived through 3 blizzards and Maine's coldest winter on record when the temps hit -48F. After that me and the cats moved in a Volvo. As hard as it is to live in a tent with 12 cats, it's even harder to live in a Volvo with 12 cats, and a motorhome named No Hurry was the answer. No Hurry: my home, my office, my RV.

I plan to use this blog to share my thoughts, ideas, adventures, and advice on being self-employed, living and working a full-time RV LifeStyle with an army of cats, while boondocking in the wonderful (and sometimes sub-zero) state of Maine.

I hope to write a post a day featuring random thoughts as they pop into my head, and hopefully 2 or 3 posts per week will focus on something helpful to those seeking to live in an RV full time. If you've any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on what sort of posts you'd like to see me write, please comment and let me know.

I hope you all have as much fun reading this blog as I know I'll have writing it.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Eva (Essay #2 for SMCC ENGL-100 Spring Semester 2012)

Here is a copy of Essay #2:

Wendy C. Allen
English 100-15
Dan Clarke
Essay #2
April 25, 2012


One of my earliest memories, was of a road trip to Mt Washington in New Hampshire. I was 6, maybe 7 at the time. I was sitting in the backseat of a 1964 Dodge 330 4-door sedan, a former Old Orchard Beach police car, now painted metallic orange. On either side of me sat an old lady. The older one, at five foot one, was only inches taller then I was, had short curly hair, was known for her wild temper, spiteful ways, starting fist fights, putting curses on everyone in sight, spoke with a Scottish accent so thick you could barely discern she was speaking English, and in the 1960s had embraced the passion of wearing purple polyester. The other, twenty years younger than the first, with hair not quite as grey, stood five foot eight, had very dark tan skin, kept her hair tied in two long pigtail braids, and having just arrived back home from (yet another) trip to Hawaii, was dressed in a long ruffled muumuu with butterflies so huge, that only two fit across it. Neither had ever driven a car, both remembered the days long before cars existed.  

“Nobody ever takes me anywhere,” complained one.

“Oh, I know it, it’s it terrible, nobody ever takes me anywhere either,” answered the other.

They spent the next several miles discussing how they each did nothing all day but sit home alone, never got out of the house, and had overall dull, boring lives. The conversation was ironic, considering, neither had any idea where they was, seeing as some 100 miles or so back, we had taken a wrong turn and where now wandering aimlessly on the unmapped dirt roads which weave their way around the New Hampshire White Mountains.

Their conversation went on in endless babble, until the Scottish woman pulled out a ham sandwich and offered it to the Indian woman, a Seventh Day Adventist and Huna practitioner, and therefore a strict vegetarian and animal rights activist. An all out food fight ensued with pieces of ham sandwiches being thrown from one side of the car to the other. It was always eventful sitting between my two grandmothers on a long road trip, you never knew whether you should wear yellow to match the mustard or white to match the mayo. I was quite used to this by now, as we took a road trip every weekend and airborne slices of tomato, flying lettuce, and hamburger patties sliding down the windshield, was just the way it was. My parents had long ago given up on asking their parents to sit down and behave.

Until that moment you would have thought the two women best of friends. However, nothing could have been farther from the truth. The two women hated one another, had spent many years feuding, and had only been sitting peacefully together in the red shag backseat of a giant orange car, because one’s son had married the other’s daughter and any chance to spend time with their grandbaby was worth having to put up with one another’s company for a few hours. To the untrained eye, the ham sandwich, had been an innocent mistake, however any one who knew Helen Ricker-Allen knew all too well that she did not normally eat ham, and had gone out of her way to buy ham, specifically for this event, knowing full well that meat of all kinds, but most especially pig, was off Eva’s menu. The screaming and yelling, died down when we reached the top of Mt. Washington, but the slices of ham were firmly stuck to the windows and ceiling for the rest of the trip.

My memories of Grammy Helen are few, many of them involving hospital visits, though most are of her screaming a waving knives as she chased someone down the road. Seems like she was always screaming, always waving knives in the air, throwing ham sandwiches, and always running down the road, whenever she wasn’t reading bird books or tending to her massive flower garden. I was just 8 years old when she died of cancer. When Grammy Helen died, I inherited her land, her grandmother’s 200 year old rosebush, her Liberace records, her 1971 MTD 3-Wheel MudBug (yes, she was an 82 year old woman with an ATV), her comic books (which set a Guinness Book Record, for containing the largest and most complete run of Disney comic books), the family Bible/Grimoire (a giant and ancient Medieval volume weighing close to 40lbs and passed down through our family for centuries), and her title: Queen of the Gypsies, Hedgewitch, Witch Doctor, Fortune Teller, and caster of spells. Grammy Helen was a Scottish Traveller, part Christian, part Pagan (Welsh Faery Faith aka Traditional Witchcraft and Scottish Hoodoo aka European Voodoo) and all Witch. Not a fru-fru Wiccan witch wannabe, like what you see today, but the real deal black magic, curses, hexes and everything.

Her name was Eva Viola LittleJohn/Dyer. She was an Indian, who disliked and refused to use the term “Native American”. Some records say she was Kickapoo, others say Micmac. Orphaned at age 3, no one really knew much about her family, other then she was a “red skinned savage”, and the child of a unmarried flapper of the 1920s. Her mother’s favorite book was Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and she was named after the character “Little Eva”.   Her mother was a prostitute and a colored woman, who in 1921 did the unthinkable and attempted to be a single unwed mother, raising a child on her own. She had two other children as well. Records are unclear as to how exactly she died, just that she did, leaving 3 small children alone. The older girl had lighter skin, could be passed off as white, and was quickly adopted, but her beauty was her downfall and as a teenager she was raped and beaten, her head bashed in with a baseball bat. Miraculously she lived, but remained for the rest of her life with one side of her skull, pulverised and flattened, looking as though half of her head had been cut clean off, barely recognizable as having once been human, and in a mental institute for the rest of her 80 long years. We found out what happened to her, only weeks before she died, when Pineland Center shut down and sent its patients free to wander the streets. In what would be yet another long road trip we drove Grammy to see her sister. It was the first and only time the two sisters had seen each other since their mother had died.

Raised by the Shakers in the 1920s, she lived in abusive foster care, told she was worthless due to her race, seen as free labour to do the hardest dirtiest tasks of the Shaker Village at Sabbathday Lake, Maine. If you go to the village today, which is now a living history museum, look at the old photos on the wall, and notice the little girl, the scullery maid hard at work scrubbing clothes at the washboard - that’s her, that’s Little Eva, scrubbing till her fingers bleed, then locked in a closet each night without supper to punish her for being born “red as the devil”.

As a teenager, Eva ran away, hitch-hiked to Portland, Maine, joined the Seventh Day Adventist church, and married the getaway driver of Honeyfitz Kennedy’s rum-running gang, who also claimed to be “the one true” king of all kings of the Gypsies, Scottish Traveller David Henry Atwater of Nova Scotia. Their early years had been happy, but in his mid-20s David Henry caught Scarlet Fever, went blind, and became a bitter, angry, violent man, mad at life and every one who still had their sight. Eva’s young adult years were spent in terror of an abusive husband, who took to locking her in dark closets, to punish her for not having gone blind as well.

What people did not see, was that Grammy liked to put on a show, and the pumpkins, black cats, baby pram, and broomsticks were all the act of a carnival clown. Grammy’s early life, overshadowed with many years of neglect and abuse had taught her to see the world, through the eyes of compassion. A closer look inside that baby pram, revealed more than cats enjoying a ride, but also food to hand out to the homeless. The cats were more then just there for the ride, many of the homeless had lost pets when they lost their homes, and hugging cats is often desired more than food. The roller skates got her on her daily “walks” from Biddeford to Portland faster. The long flowing robes, hid the many coin purses, used to fill all the expired parking meters of downtown Portland. And the broom? Eva stopped at every door step along the way, to sweep it clean. The song? She had seen the world and it was beautiful, but here back home was so much suffering and sadness, people starving in the streets, with nothing to hope for.

While her ways were bizarre, there was a method to her madness: “I was the mother to many, the friend to all, I’ve seen the world, I want to share the joy, and make you smile.” Making people smile, bringing a little joy into their otherwise dreary day, was why she did the things she did.

Because of her actions and her spending so much time with the homeless, people often said of her “That’s that crazy homeless cat woman.” By the non-homeless, she was often criticized, had rocks thrown at her, more then once put in the hospital, and was several times beaten up by good upstanding citizens who “don’t want your kind around here - go get a job you filthy bum”. She was not, as they had falsely judged, either jobless or homeless. They didn’t know she went home each night to one of the biggest sea captain mansions in Biddeford, that she had not 1, but rather 3 jobs, working in the shoe mill, a nanny, and caring for elderly in nursing homes, or that when not putting on her clown act show to entertain the homeless of Portland, she looked just as normal as you or I. She often remarked at how surprised she was, by the difference in how people treated her, the exact same people, did not recognize her as the same person, when all that had changed was the addition of a baby pram full of cats and a pair of roller skates. “It’s pitiful, that they have such a lack of compassion and judge a person only by her clothes.” Compassion for others motivated everything she did.

It is from Grammy Eva, that I learned compassion for everyone, regardless age, race, gender, religion, health, lifestyle, income, social status, or species. Everyone deserves a second chance. Everything has the right to live. Through her combining Adventism with Huna, and Native American traditions, Grammy Eva taught me to love and respect life: humans, animals, plants, water, all of it. Compassion for everything and everyone; to live and to let live. Her religion and her traditions motivated her actions.

In the end, her faith, or rather her church and religion, let her down, and ultimately cost her, her life. A devout Seventh Day Adventist, she lived the strict lifestyle, denouncing foods from animal products, eating only church owned soy products made by SDA owned companies Morning Star, Worthington, and Kellogg's, eating what she was told, when she was told, denouncing meat, pants, short hair, jewelry, and make-up as being the cause of all sickness and disease, avoiding doctors because doctors were a sin, all because her pastor told her to. When she got sick, she was told to praise the Lord, avoid Satan’s evil doctors, and ignore the pain. After 6 years of ignoring the pain, she went in secret to a doctor, was told she had breast cancer, and needed surgery. Her pastor found out and condemned her as a sinner for having seen the doctor, than forbade her to have the surgery. Three more years of pain and suffering passed before she fell on the ice, broke her hip, returned to the doctor and while there, had the tumor removed, by this time however the cancer had spread to her liver and pancreas. Eva died on Thanksgiving morning only a few months after the surgery.


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This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Press and was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK's Star Log @ http://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat and http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com  If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat @ http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day! ~ EelKat


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