Father

Reality Checked

Reality check; a method of deducing whether one is in a dream or in real life. It usually involves an observation of some sort of sensory observation, usually visual. Most induced lucid dreams involve a reality check of some sort. A dream sign is a form of reality check that is more or less unique to the specific dreamer.- wikia.com

I have a few reality checks I do daily in order to get in the habit of running through them in my dreams. If the reality check fails, then I’m dreaming. My first is looking for words when I’m reading or on a bill board somewhere; I find this one works best. I glance at the words and the order they’re in and look away. I repeat them to myself and then turn back and re-read them; if they are in the same order than I’m awake, anything different tells me I’m dreaming.

Another is pictures and/or nature. I pick out several small details, turn away, think about the details and look back. If there are any changes, I’m dreaming, but not all dreams give me the benefits of these checks so I have yet another. This involves recall; if there is nothing to look at and take in the details, I think back from that moment I’m in and track my time-line until the moment, I woke that morning; so far, this has yet to fail me, until now.

I also used pain to see if I was dreamimg, for example, pressing the points of my keys into my skin somewhere. However, I gave this up  some twenty years ago when my dreams and out-of-body experiences became advanced enough to endure high levels of discomfort. Now I believe that I have reached another advancement in my dream worlds that go beyond the reality checks giving me something between dreams and out-of-body experiences.

Tuesday, February 16, 2015
I’ve come up with a new reality check idea. Whatever I have on me throughout the day usually goes with me into my dream states. I had thought about looking at the screen or pictures on the phone, but that would take too much time; pulling out the phone, putting in the password, and bringing up the screen or pictures. Besides, I’m always lying the phone down somewhere and in the dream world don’t recall the last time I noticed it with me.

I needed something that would be kept on me at all times and could be checked faster and easier—hence, a pocket watch. Other than my wedding ring, I don’t wear jewelry and hate anything strapped to my wrist. A pocket watch would be on me all during my waking hours; it’s also a quick and excellent source for reality checks. So today I went out and bought one. My new habit will be to check the time throughout the day, glancing at the time and second hand location, look away count to five and look back. Time should be the same but for five seconds later, but only if I’m in this reality.

I have mentioned before that my recall of the dream’s dialog is usually 90-95% accurate. Here, in this dream, I would place the dialog accuracy at 99% or higher.

Monday, January 19, 2015; Because of the nature of this dream, and a strong belief in the Multiverse theory, I am placing this under my out-of-body experiences.
I woke up in a strange bed, looking around and taking in my surroundings; I was in my parents’ guest room. There was a commotion in the living room, and I got up and dressed. Still very groggy, I left the bedroom to see what was going on. My wife was playing with two of my sister’s grandchildren, who were running around and screaming.

“You look tired,” my wife said.

“I could have slept longer if it wasn’t for the ruckus in here,” I told her.

“You stayed up much longer than usual. Go lie back down, and I will take the girls outside.”

“That sounds really good,” I said.

I turned and went back in the guest room, and not bothering to undress, I flopped down onto the bed. Just as I was dozing off, my father entered the room.

“You going to sleep all day?” he asked, which was more of a statement than a question. “I thought we were going to check out that new boat of yours.”

This made me perk up a bit, and I cracked opened my eyes. “I bought a boat?”

“Of course, that’s why you came down to Florida, to pick it up.”

“Why would I buy a boat?”

“You said you couldn’t pass up the deal on it,” he stated.

I thought back and recalled I had bought one, the marina selling the boat wasn’t too far from where my parents lived. My father slapped my leg. “Come on, you didn’t come all the way down here to sleep.”

I eased up, sitting on the edge of the bed. Stretching my body as I stood. I pulled my car keys off the dresser and proceeded out of the bedroom, and to the backyard where my wife and mother were. I told them that my father and I were heading to the marina and asked if they wanted to go. Both ladies declined, so my father and I left. The trip was about half an hour; I drove while my father navigated.

Just as we got in sight of the marina, traffic began to slow. I saw that there was an event going on with booths and water shows; this was where everyone was heading. After a few minutes, we made it into the parking lot. Finding a spot was going to be impossible I thought, but while passing through the front row a car was leaving. The driver backed out, and I pulled in. Prime parking gave me a view of the event and the water front.

“Front row parking, it’s going to be a good day today,” I informed my father. We got out of the car and looked around. I am not sure what was being celebrated, but the crowd was thick. This was the type of thing I always avoided, but not today.

“I’ve been here a couple of times,” my father said, “your boat should be over at that dock.” He pointed to our left toward the water, directly through the thickest part of the crowd.

The parking area we were in was on a hillside about twenty feet or higher from the water. The area directly to our left was another part of the parking lot but had been barricaded off for tents, kiosks and small activities for families. In front of us, a sidewalk separated the lot from a grassy area where a couple of yards down it split into two. The one walkway running down was ten feet wide and led to the waterside of piers, docks and small raised observation platforms. Further, down the boats were docked under a canopy that ran perhaps one hundred feet.

My father and I proceeded down the crowded walkway. A metal handrail painted bright yellow was supposed to direct traffic in opposite directions but today people seemed to be ignoring it. My father and I stayed against the handrail. As we had started down the grade, a man walking on the other side stumbled. Just as he had regained his footing, he said aloud, “I almost fell.” At that time, he stumbled again and did fall but in a fashion, which did not injure him. He seemed to take it in stride and laughed at himself. I laughed along with him and then stumbled.

As I caught myself at the last moment, I too said loudly, “I almost fell,” then bumped into a woman who was standing still looking up at the sky. I tumbled to the ground but softly on my hands and knees. My father laughed as did some others around us.

“That’s what you get for laughing at the other man,” my father said as he helped me back up. I glanced at the woman, not sure of who owed who an apology. She was still looking up at the sky in the direction behind me. I then noticed others looking also and more coming to a stop and staring. I turn and looked.

Because we were still on the hill part of the marina, I could see quite a bit of the town stretching out from us, but the sky caught my attention. Within half a mile of us and floating some 50 or more feet off the ground, were three silvery boxes about fifteen feet or more in diameter. I knew right away they could not be balloons due to the sharp right angles of their corners, so I guessed they must have been kites. However, I saw no ropes or guide lines holding them in place. Upon further inspection, I could make out things that may have been antennas.

“What do you think they are?” my father asked.

“I’m not sure. Something to do with the celebration I would guess.”

No sooner had I finished the statement when a loud boom filled the air. Before anyone could react or look for the source, the box on the left exploded in an ear-piercing blast. Pieces of the box showered the town below, some even making it to the marina. The crowd went silent and froze by the sight. Just as quickly as the explosion was over another boom sounded, this time I could see a military tank rolling down the street. The tank’s gun was pointed up, and another box exploded. From the left, a military jet streaked from the sky and was firing into the remaining box, but some unknown force caused the jet to come apart like the boxes but without the noise.

“Oh my god!” a male voice shouted, “We’re at war!”

“It’s terrorists!” a woman screamed.

More blasts could be heard from somewhere, and people began to rush around. For the most part, the majority of the crowd was running to the parking lot. My father and I had not moved and hung onto the rail to keep from being knocked over. I was still staring at the sky and picked out an elongated object in the distance. It looked to be a cylinder with skids on the bottom and a large disk at the front top. It seemed to be just leaving the side of one of the boxes and headed slowly across the sky when it was intercepted by a fighter jet. I could see the jet firing on the object, but once it got close, the jet came silently apart, its pieces tumbling to the ground.

“Those aren’t terrorists,” I yelled to my father, “that’s some technology we don’t even have.”

“You think it’s Russian or some other country?” my father asked.

“No, it’s alien,” I answered. Then it got me thinking. “Wait a minute,” I said, “I’m in a dream; this is all a dream.” I shouted.

“Son, this is not a dream, and I don’t believe in aliens.” my father countered.

“It’s a dream. I do believe in aliens, but I don’t believe this is an invasion.”

I looked around me for something to do my reality check on, but there was already so much going on that each second brought change around me. I went to my other strategy of reality checking. This involves retracing my time backward to when I awoke this morning. In this, if I can find any memory lapse, then I know it’s a dream.
I retraced back and forth quickly and recalled everything; I was awake. My anxiety level shot through the roof until my legs began to buckle.

“Oh my God, this is real! It’s all real,” I shouted to my father. “Oh God, oh God…” I repeated over knowing I was in shock. Something caught my eyes from the right, over the parking lot came a ship in a slow dive ascending toward us, along its port side followed an F-22 Air force Raptor. The ship was the same design as the one I had seen in the distance.

The main body of the ship looked to be made up of three interlocked cylinders, one on top and two on bottom, more than one hundred feet in length; each cylinder’s diameter was about ten feet. On top of the forward main body was a disk, five feet thick and forty feet wide. The disk sat back where a quarter of it hung over the front. The three cylinders tapered down and outward about five feet until it formed a small square hole less than a foot wide. Along the bottom of the ship, four skids protruded, two in front, two in back.

My attention fell back to the Raptor which stayed next to the port side of the ship. Both were moving too slow to stay up, and I quickly recalled thinking the alien ship must have the Raptor under some type of tractor beam. The ship along with the Raptor made a hard turn toward us, still in a dive. My thought was it had malfunctioned and would be crashing on top of us. Within a couple of hundred yards, small black boxes flew out of the front of the square hole from the ship. I say flew because they were fast but not enough to blur their view, also the only noise coming from them was the air they moved through. The small boxes quickly dropped down at a steep angle, their path right in line where my father and I were standing.

The handrail had us blocked, and I yelled at my father to lean in as much as possible. The blocks fell within inches or closer because I felt two of them brush my back. I heard them impact on the ground and waited for an explosion, there wasn’t any. I turned and looked down. The blocks penetrated the ground at only a couple of inches. A row of the blocks ran for several yards, and I looked back up at the ship. With the Raptor in tow, both turned right and upwards. I looked back to the blocks. Each one was around four inches wide and had landed at the same depth maybe two inches, and all spaced about eight inches apart. They all had a deep black color, but the interesting thing was how they had impacted.

Their path had run across the grassy area and the concrete walkway as if they had been planted there. There were no impact craters around them in the grass and in the walkway no signs of cracks. If anyone stumbled upon them, they would have thought the concrete had been poured around them. Fear and anxiety overwhelmed me to the point that I could not move. My left arm was grabbed and shook hard; I looked to see my fathers face pale but calm.

“We have to get out of here!” he yelled at me. I released my grip on the handrail as he pulled on me in the direction of the parking lot. I looked to the parking lot at the multitude of people in their cars fighting to flee. My feet did not want to move, and I looked down at them, willing them in my mind to obey. I could see the blocks running alongside of us, and something held my feet in place; it was a thought.

“Wait!” I shouted back to my father. “Don’t step on the blocks.”

“Why?” he asked.

“They’re not exploding and seem to be in some kind of pattern. They must be for some other purpose— we need to avoid them,” I said calmly.

Although my anxiety was spiking, I began to come to terms as to what was going on around me. Even if I had not been prepping for an alien invasion, it was still a “SHTF” scenario. I had to take control of the situation my father and I were in.

“We can’t take the car,” I told him. I pointed to the congested parking lot. “Nothing’s moving and all the roads are going to be just like that.”

I looked over to my car, which held emergency supplies in the trunk. I would be taking my chances opening it with the crowd of people in a panic. I was sure they would begin grabbing what I had.

“We have to get to the boat. Once we find it, you can get it ready, and I’ll come back for some things in my car,” I said.

“We have to get to the house; this waterway doesn’t go near there, and we have to get back to our family.”

“We’ll just get to the other-side and have to walk from there, but the roads are going to be useless.”

“I believe you’re right,” my father said. “If they finished prepping your boat, it will be there under that canopy,” he said, pointing down to the waterfront where boats were docked under the shelter.

The walkway had become almost empty as most everyone was in the parking lot and trying to leave. My father and I began a brisk run down to the docks. Along the way, the walkway took us through a small gazebo-type building that held drink and snack machines. I caught sight of another trail of the blocks the alien ship had shot out. It ran from the right corner of the building across to the far left corner. Here the blocks also looked to be molded only a couple of inches down in the floor. As I stepped over them, I took a look up at the roof. Neat, clean square holes formed in the roof  where the blocks dropped through, and square beams of sunlight shone down onto the floor. I called out to my father and pointed to the blocks, warning him to step over them. We continued through the other side and back out,trotting down to the water’s edge where the boats were docked. Under the canopy, we saw rows of empty slips; every boat had been taking including mine.

“Now what?” I thought out loud.

“Your boat may be in the back of the marina,” my father said, “That’s where the ones still being detailed are kept.” He pointed down the waterway in the direction of the end of the canopy. “I believe the pier here follows the marina’s length and around to the rear.” He took up the lead, and I followed.

We followed the pier which ran parallel with the shore about thirty feet out. Around a bend to the left, we hit a snag. The deck of the pier had been demolished and what was left were the pilings and their 2×6 struts connecting them together; about another fifty feet ahead, I could see several boats lined along a short dock.

“We can’t waste a lot of time going back and around again; we’ll have to make our way across the struts.” I informed my father. It was no big deal; the pilings were five feet apart, and the wood seemed sturdy enough to support our weight. My father took one side while I took the other. After about twenty feet, I heard my father grunt, and I looked over just in time to see him plunge into the water.

“Dad!” I shouted; he fell into the water and out of sight. I was just about to go in after him when he quickly popped back up.

“I’m OK,” he yelled while wading. He swam near the piling I was clinging to and looked up at me. “I’ll swim over to the shore and meet you at the boats,” he said.

Although I had heard him, my mind was transfixed on his eyes, the irises had turned nearly black so that I could hardly make out the pupils.

“Bill,” my father said bewildered, “your eyes.”

“Thy’re black,” I answered.

“Yes, how did you know?” he asked.

“Because so are yours,” I answered him. “Get to the shore Dad and we’ll worry about it later.”

He turned in the water and swam to the shore. I continued stepping from one piling to the other; they ended about fifteen feet from the dock of the boats. My father was already there and taking inventory of them.
“They’ve all been stripped of their gas tanks and batteries,” he informed me, “there may be some up at the maintenance building, we can go look.” he suggested and pointed to the large boat storage and maintenance facilities building some three hundred feet away.

My only way to him was to jump in the water or back track. “I’ll go get the car while you search the maintenance building for gas and a battery. We can then load everything onto a boat,” I shouted to my father, just as I was about to jump in the water.

My father saw me about to take a dive and yelled, “Wait!” I stopped and looked to him. “If you want to get to the car,” he said, “go back the way we came. To get to the parking lot from here, you have to go a round-about way which will take longer on foot.”

“OK,” I answered, “I’ll meet you back here.” He nodded, turned and headed to the maintenance building. I returned to crossing, once again on the struts between piling. Once back on the pier I took off in a hard run, and  coming around the bend I slowed to a quick walk. Some yards away a Coast Guard ship arrived and docked next to the pier where a had been dropped. Men and women of the guard were setting up some large gun. As I headed toward them, a female officer on the other side of the gun’s frame saw me and drew her side arm and aimed it at me.

“Stop right there!” she ordered. “Do not come any closer!”

I raised my hands, “It’s OK; I just want to pass through. I need to get to my car.” I made a couple of steps, and she cocked the hammer back.

“One more step and I will shoot to kill.”

“I’m not an enemy,” I shouted to her, “I just need to get to my car! It’s right up there.” I pointed behind her up to the hill where I could just see the front of my car.” While we shouted back and forth, the crew continued their rushing on and off the ship bringing parts and setting up the gun as if neither the officer or I were there.

“Turn around and go back the way you came,” she demanded.

“Lady,” I pleaded, “it’ll take too long to go around. Why can’t I just come through and be on my way?”
“Because I said you cannot pass through here. I don’t have time for this, go back now, or I will kill you,” she said.

“What the hell is going on?” a heavy male voice called out. I turned to see a man—a civilian—come down the ramp from the ship. He stood a good six and a half feet tall, close to sixty years old and dressed in a plaid shirt and blue jeans that were well worn. He was glancing between me and the officer. At the bottom of the ramp, his full attention fell on me.

I did not move but informed him that I just needed to get through and to my car but the officer holding the gun was being unreasonable. He stared at me briefly. “She can’t allow you through—you’re contaminated. You will have to go back, or you will be shot,” he said calmly.

“Contaminated with what?” I asked.

“Look,” the man explained in a laid-back tone, “you must have crossed over some blocks that the alien crafts are embedding everywhere. They send out a field that when you pass through not only makes you go blind but in making contact with anyone, causes them to go blind as well. You can’t come any closer, and you’re interfering with our work. I’m sorry but turn around now, or I will order the officer to kill you.”

“Blind, for how long?” I asked stunned.

“Don’t know, maybe permanent,” the man said with no concern in his voice. “You need to go.” he added.

I looked around only moving my head. It had begun to get darker. I had thought it was just the sun going down but when I looked, the sun was high in the sky. My only hope was to jump in the water now and swim across. I thought about my father and the need to get back to him as soon as possible. During those thoughts, I awoke from the dream.

Entangled

“To see or become entangled in power-lines represents your struggle for power or empowerment. You are experiencing an obstacle toward your goal.” -dreammoods.com

Saturday, December 13, 2014; Unconscious dreaming

I was on a job site on a clear blue day with my youngest son Daniel, who had recently picked up a job as a crane operator. It had been several years since he had been in a crane and he asked me to come out to give him a refresher course. When I arrived on the job, I saw that the crane was a 50 ton all-terrain Grove.
He informed me that the crane had just been delivered and was sitting in the spot where he would be operating it. Immediately I saw that the crane was under multiple high-power-lines.

“You can’t operate any crane that close to power-lines, not without a cage around the boom or the lines de-energized,” I told him.

“They have been de-energized, there’s no juice going through them at all,” he responded.

The superintendent approached and told Daniel he needed to come to his office and fill out some paperwork. While Daniel left to fill out his paperwork, I walked over and set up the crane. I wanted to get a feel for how it ran in case there were any glitches that I wanted Daniel to be aware of.

With the crane up on outriggers, I scoped out the boom a few feet and then boomed up. I swung the crane around but within a couple of degrees it seemed sluggish and came to a stop. I looked up and became terrified; I had allowed the boom to become entangled in the overhead power-lines. I quickly began manipulating the boom up and down, back and forth and anything else to release me from the lines.

The more I tried, the more entangled the tip of the boom became; eventually the lines became taut and began snapping from the pole. I shook my head and could not believe what I had done. I was a professional and had done something that most amateurs would never have gotten themselves into. I knew the damage would have to be repaired and decided to move the crane from the spot and at least clean the lines off the tip of the boom. I put in the outriggers and began moving the crane across the job away from the pole. Part way across I realized I had made yet another mistake: I had not scoped in the boom nor lowered it.

The crane was now top heavy and began to sway back and forth; before I could bring it to a stop, I had crossed into a deep rut in the ground to my right, and quickly the crane toppled to that side. In those same moments, thoughts of causing hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to the crane, power-lines and the site crossed my mind, not to mention destroying my career and my son’s chance to get a job. The collapse of the crane was what woke me.

Make that two tickets to Mars

If you have been a follower of my blog for a length of time, you may have noticed I have mother issues. It may sound disrespectful but the day she walked out on our family she did us all a favor. Some years later my father remarried a wonderful woman who adopted his children and loves us all unconditionally. As for my birth mother, I tried for years to be part of her life; nevertheless, it had to be on her terms. I could not lower myself to those terms so I broke the connection just over 16 years ago. I did feel guilty for a few years; however, while I was fighting thyroid disease, she sent me a message hoping I would meet my demise. I no longer feel guilty.

Saturday, June 7, 2014; (Unconscious dreaming)

In this dream my father and I were living in the same home. I was awakened in my bed by the opening of my bedroom door. It was morning, and I looked over to see who was coming into my room. My birth mother whom I had not seen in years came in. With her were two of my granddaughters, five and seven. In reality, my birth mother has never known these two.

“What are you doing here? And what are you doing with my granddaughters?” I asked.

“I picked them up to spend sometime with them and thought I would drop by,” she answered.

She approached my bed and told the girls to get over in the bed on my right side. My birth mother then, staying dressed, got in the bed to my left.

“What are you doing?” I raised my voice in protest.

“We have been on the road all night and need a nap,” she said.

“Not in my bed, especially when I’m still in it.”

“Well it’s the only one available other than in your father’s room, and I’m not sleeping with him.”

I threw off the blankets and climbed out from the foot of the bed. I was in my underwear and quickly pulled on my clothes.

“If you and the girls need a nap fine but not with me. You shouldn’t even be here. This is my father’s home and when he finds out you’re here; he’s going to explode,” I informed her.

“Well you and your father are going to have to get used to it because I’m moving in,” she told me.

I laughed. “He’s going to toss you out as soon as he finds you’re here.”

“No he’s not. I’m here to help take care of him. You can’t do it alone.”

“Take care of him? There’s nothing wrong with my father. No one needs to take care of him,” I said.

“Your father is demented. You can’t expect to take care of him yourself.”

I grew angry at her accusations and stormed out of my room. I went in search of my father. He and my birth mother, his ex, did not get along. My father, a calm and laid-back gentleman would pop a gasket once he found out my birth mother was not only here but planning on moving in. I heard him in his room and, getting to the door, I could tell he was arguing with someone.

I stepped inside to find him dressed and an open suit case on his bed. He had the phone tucked between his neck and shoulder while he was packing.

“You people are idiots!” he yelled at whoever was on the other end. He took the phone and began dialing. I was taken back because my father does not talk to people like that. His demeanor here was short-tempered and sarcastic.

“Dad, what’s going on?” I asked.

“I’m trying to go on a trip but everyone I talk to from airlines to bus stations refuses to sell me a ticket.” He continued packing with one hand while dialing another number.

“Where are you trying to go?” I asked.

“Mars. I’m taking a trip to Mars,” he informed me. The thought of most people would be he had meant the planet; however, I knew my father.

“Oh, you’re going to Mars, Pennsylvania?”

He briefly stopped his packing and gave me a look that was both irritated at the question and fed up with whatever answer he was about to give.

“No! Don’t be so stupid. I’m going to Mars, the planet.”

I let out a small chuckle only to get an icy cold stare from him.

About that time someone on the other end of the phone must have answered.

“Yes, I’m in need of a round trip ticket to Mars.”

The person on the other end obviously asked what everyone else thought. My fathers face turned red.

No!” he screamed into the phone, “Do these places hire nothing but idiots?” and threw the phone onto the bed. He reached over to his nightstand and pulled off a phone book. As he began flipping through the pages, I took the time to slip out the room.

I went back down the hall to my room. When I stepped in, my granddaughters were asleep. My mother was standing and in the process of undressing.

“Look,” I said, “this is crazy. You’re not staying here and don’t undress in my room.”

“This is our room now,” she spoke, “you’re going to have to share it with me.”

My father and I aren’t sharing anything with you. Get dressed and get out of the house,” I demanded.

I stepped back into the hallway, slamming the door closed which awoke me.

Check out my Webpage; expandurmind.com

 

Homeless

I stay pretty much a positive person, doing my best to look on the bright side of things. No matter how bad life can get, I’m sure there is someone near by who would gratefully trade places with me—whatever the situation is, it could always be worse. There are dreams that deeply depress me after I am awake, usually they are of other realities in which my life could have been totally different. I can usually deal with them, unless they involve my children or grandchildren.

These dreams I just would like to forget about because I know in all the realities out there, this may be another scenario I am living through. One thing to make clear, my father in this dream is not the father in my life here. I am blessed with a very loving father.

 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014, (an unconscious dream)

I had a very depressing dream to the point of wanting to forget it rather than write it down. I had my three children; Jonathan, Daniel and Marie who were 5, 4 and 3. We were homeless and living on the street. I had looked for work but there was none. In the dream, I arrived at my father’s apartment with my children. He answered the door and when he saw us, an irritated look appeared on his face. I explained my dilemma saying I had hoped we could stay with him until I had gotten work and a place to live. Since it was so late he allowed us to spend the night in his apartment. He made it clear that we had to be out by the time he got up in the morning and if anyone awoke him, we had to leave right then.

He did share his food that evening and went to bed after informing me we were not to awaken him. He closed the door to his room, which seemed to be made of thick steel. Because the apartment was only a one bedroom, I made beds on the living room floor, while Jonathan my oldest, helped his brother and sister get comfortable. The following morning I had to wake up the kids and leave. They were hungry, but I had been afraid my father would have awakened so we had to leave hungry.

We walked for some time, with my children upset because they were still tired and in need of a meal. As we passed a motel, an idea came to me. I took the kids behind the motel and came in through the rear door of the lobby. The motel had a free continental breakfast for its guests. Coming through the rear lobby door made it look as though we had stayed the night. We did not have any baths in sometime. What hurt me most was seeing my daughter filthy. Her long hair not brushed in sometime and her clothes were hand-me-downs from her brothers.

We all ate until full, and I had the kids stuff their pockets with what they could. This would provide some food for later. On the way out of the motel Daniel, my middle child, asked me if he could have a bath. It was heart breaking, but I had to explain we had nowhere to bathe. He asked if we could go back to his grandfather’s and use his shower. I knew what my father’s answer was going to be, but I had to ask for my children.We walked back to my father’s apartment, hoping he would at least allow us the use of his bathroom. I knocked lightly on the front door, but he never came. I tried the doorknob and found the door to be unlocked. I stepped inside and looked around. I had the kids come just inside the door and told them to be quiet. I tiptoed down the hall to his bedroom. The thick steel door was closed and locked, meaning he was in there but asleep. I would not even dare to awaken him knowing the results if I did. Our best bet was to come back in the morning when he was up.

I had to tell my children we would have to wait. Outside was dark, and I had to find a place for us to sleep. Marie held up her arms for me to carry her. I picked her up, and we left the apartment. Jonathan took Daniel’s hand, and they walked alongside me. Marie quickly fell asleep in my arms. I recalled a large stroller nearby someone had thrown out. If it was still there perhaps I could use it to put Marie in as a bed, but because it was late and dark by then the children were too tired to walk anymore.

Across the street from my father’s, apartment was a park. I led the boys into the thick grass and lay down. I kept Marie on my chest and had Jonathan and Daniel lie on each side of me. This way, they could use my shoulders as pillows. I wrapped my arms around them, and we all went to sleep in the grass. When I awoke, I was back here in my bed.