The Simple Things AND Trash Surfing!!

When your life is really simple like mine is, it’s the little things that matter most. In summer, a cool spot where I can park my van and rest is priceless. (That’s where I am now, in a cool little spot under a tree, near a park. There’s a bathroom nearby at the park, if I have to go, or if I want to brush my teeth or something. Also special, I got a fruit bowl at SOS. It probably came from the local grocery store and went for around 7 dollars when fresh. Now I need to try it and see if the fruit is still fresh enough to eat. Sometime the freebies we get have gone bad, unfortunately.  Here  goes…………………………..mmmmmm yes!  Strawberries, pineapple, watermelon and mango and all juicy and sweet!  Riches!

I should have posted the following sooner but I have been busy. I decided to park in a parking lot the other night to sleep instead of a residential neighborhood like I usually do. I’ve done it a couple of times before because there is a bathroom available if I need it. Well the other night, I got a tap at my van window at around 230 am. It was the POLICE!!! Just one cop and I was so groggy I didn’t know what to do. He was pretty patient while I fumbled with the sliding door of the van. I was glad i’d just had a shower and my hair wasn’t all crazy, LOL! Anyway, I finally got the sliding door opened a bit and I just blurted out, “can I just move on?” and he said, “yes” and I said, “okay” and drove away. I wish I hadn’t been so nervous because I would have got his name. Whoever you are dude, THANKS! You won’t find me in that parking lot again! The reason I say thanks is, he could have given me a ticket for “camping” or whatever they are calling homeless vehicle sleeping these days (I call it free-sleeping) but he pretty much just warned me.  Those tickets are 200-300 dollars!!!

I like SOS because if they give me some decent food, I don’t have to go to the soup kitchen. The food is good at the soup kitchen but I don’t like some of the people in the crowd. And the ones I actually liked probably don’t like me.

Pretty much, the way it seems to me, if you want to be liked on the street, you have to have something you are willing to give or barter with people….sex, drugs, cigarettes, etc. I’m actually quite fascinated with the informal barter system street people have but I don’t have anything they want. Oh well, I wish them all the best and I don’t think I’m better than them either. i just think I’m on a different path.

Honestly from what I hear, many people I meet that have gotten addicted to drugs have not had a great upbringing. Their family many have had money but maybe their mom or dad or both had to work a lot and so they didn’t have much influence over their children’s lives. Or maybe their parents had substance abuse problems. I am very blessed. My parents stayed together until my father passed away a couple of years ago. We weren’t rich or even middle class really but we always had what we needed and although my parents were hard workers, they worked 5 minutes from home, rarely worked overtime at their jobs and so they were around a lot. My parents only drank a glass or two of wine or beer on special occasions. My dad and mom both had tempers but the rarely hit us and never very hard. So I can’t judge people who have had it harder than me. I still don’t like the way people act sometimes but I know sometimes they don’t know better.  I wish we could all be friends and help each other more but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.

Since I like dogs a lot, a friend of mine has suggested I attend dog shows and maybe even volunteer to work at them so that I can meet new people.  I might try that if I ever have enough money for gas.  I have been pretty broke lately.  I’ve had a couple of clients move out of the state as I mentioned before and I lost other business too, due to no fault of my own.  I hope i get some new business soon!

Sorry if the format looks funny on this post.  I wrote it first in Word (I think) Notepad which is on my computer.  (This morning) It leaves out a space after  the period at the end of each sentence.  I tried to fix it but not sure I got them all.


I’m really tired tonight.  I worked hard today.  I’ve decided for a while, at least until my ankle heals (I got a minor sprain last week) that I won’t dumpster or trash dive for bottles and cans; I will just trash surf.  It’s what it sounds like.  You just look for and collect bottles or cans that are visible when you look into the trash can or dumpster, without fishing around.  So you heard it hear first, the latest trend in scrappy, frugal living; trash surfing for recyclables.  It’s a LOT cleaner and it doesn’t freak the locals as much as when you sort through the trash.  Because of the kind of work I do, I am in a lot of different areas where I can casually glance into the trash and take out a can or two without getting too much attention.  Sure, it takes longer to get a decent amount of cans together but this will have to do until my ankle is better or until I get the water selling business underway.

What do you think?  



About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Simple Things AND Trash Surfing!!

  1. Ryu says:

    Trash surfing! Good one.

    I’ve gotten the impression parks are bad places to free-sleep. Too many pigs. The cops don’t bother people in residential areas. I think side streets and also apartment complexes would be excellent parking spots. Alot of complexes don’t have gated entrances. Most people mind their own business if they work.

    Food is rather expensive today. I think you might be better off using the soup kitchen.

    How are you doing otherwise? Are you accustomed to the lifestyle? Your water selling business might be easier if you had an inside source at the grocer.

    • Maureen says:

      Parks are probably good places to rest if you aren’t obviously homeless. Otherwise you will probably attract cops. I never sleep in parks. I don’t want to take a chance of a cop bothering me, especially now as I suspect I may be somewhat Id’d in this town as “homeless”.

      Side streets are okay as long as you are quiet. You don’t want to stay too long though if you have an old ugly vehicle like mine. People don’t pay top dollar to live in a clean, safe neighborhood, too have to look at ugly stuff. I move around a lot. Apartment complexes in good neighborhoods are ok.

      I have been going to SOS lately instead of the Soup Kitchen. I will post about SOS soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *