Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One Man's Survival

*Billy is a man who lives alone. His small house is falling apart. The roof is slanted and looks like it will topple off any day now. There are big cracks and holes on the outside walls. If there were any paint on the outside, it has long since peeled away. The weeds and grass grow tall enough in the Spring and Summer that the house is barely discernible. There is no electricity or running water hooked to the house. In the wintertime a kerosene heater is used for heat.

Billy is an older guy, in his early seventies, and he is very skinny and sort of tall. He walks to the store and back (2 miles away) several times a day wearing the same old work pants, a button up shirt, and a round-rimmed floppy hat (like Charles Engles's hat). You will see him walking along side the road, no matter what the weather: hot, cold, rain, snow, or sleet.  He will band a shopping bag over his hat to help protect himself during inclement weather.
Any time that he is in the store along side me, I'll ask how he is doing. A couple of years ago I found out he is a Veteran of the war. He told me that he had just gotten back from the V.A. hospital. The V.A. hospital is in another state and he walked all the way there and back. I asked about his family and he told me that his wife and child were killed in a car accident a very long time ago. He also told me that he claimed the workers at the grocery store and the gas-n-go as his family now.

This man, who fought in the war and then lost his family in a tragic accident, has survived many years without the comforts that most of us have. He doesn't seem to need electricity, running water, a nice house to live in, or a vehicle to drive. He has stated that all he needed to survive were his feet and his faith.

If this man can live life without all of the comforts that most of us have, then why do we complain about the small things?

*the name has been changed.


  1. We are definitely spoiled these days! It's amazing what we can get by on.

  2. I agree we are spoiled rotten...

  3. Your blog is great and this is one amazing post to come in on!

    We are definitely spoiled and take several things for granted. Sometimes we forget that it's the small things that matter the most. We all once lived without what we now consider important posessions, shouldn't we try and remember that we were still happy then!

  4. Thank you Jen! I wonder how our children would react without all of the commodities that they have now.

    I may only be 35, but I can remember not having cable T.V. as a child. We had an antennae that we received 3 very snowy channels on. We actually played outside and made up games to keep busy. I can remember playing Army, tag, and hide-and-seek. We'd roll down grassy hills at night and catch fireflies for fun. Receiving 2 Christmas presents back then was something very special.

    I guess I forgot to mention that I'm a coal-miner's daughter. My siblings and I used to race to my dad as he pulled in all black and dirty from work, just to get the leftover snacks from his lunch pail.

    I guess those stories will be another blog . :)