Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Reprint of College Graduate: No Job or Job prospects

I was searching for the Drukpa kunley and Purple Delta 7 writings in the article following this and found this article on the same page. I thought this looked kind of useful for the right person to find a way to survive difficult times in their lives. 

In 1990 I found myself and my family when I was around 40 and trying to return to UCSC in a difficult position as well. We found ourselves (along with a 17 month old daughter homeless in a window van for a few months. We had all our furniture and goods in storage and I had planned to attend UCSC to finish a degree there but when I got to UCSC they only had my tuition and books money and not the student loans and grants money that I had been promised. So, they had told me to come get my grants and loans but when I moved out of my house in Mt. Shasta and drove to Santa Cruz and asked for my student loans and grants that I had been promised in the mail it turned out that I was going to have to wait 6 months to 9 months for that money to actually turn up. At that time we were not in a financial position to easily survive this but would have been about 2 years before. So, I realized I had to give up college for then and had to think about my 15 year old son, my 17 year old step daughter and my 17 month old daughter and my wife. So, we decided to camp out in Mt. Shasta near our stuff that was in storage. I wound up taking a few classes at College of the Siskiyous  instead while we waited for a house to rent. After two months of breaking the ice out of our dishwater pan while camping in the woods with a 17 month old living in a window van without a night time heater we finally found a great old house on an acre of land with bearing fruit and nut trees. There were apple trees, pear trees, Old English huge black walnut trees, huge black cherry trees etc. all bearing fruits and nuts. The only problem was the house that was built in 1925 and had no insulation. Around Thanksgiving the temperature went below zero and we all almost froze to death in the house and the hot water to the washing machine froze and broke and then water spurted everywhere making ice sculptures under the house. So, I went to the hardware store and bought the fittings and since it was still close to zero I dressed as warm as I could and tied a rope to my leg because of the low temperatures and told my friend to pull me out if I lost consciousness at that temperature under the house. Then I took a hammer and wrenches and broke away all the ice with a hammer and fixed the plumbing myself and shut the hot water heater off and drained it until the weather warmed up a little because hot water pipes freeze first for some reason. Then I bought greenhouse 4 to 6 to 8 ml plastic and wrapped the whole house in it so the wind couldn't blow through the slats anymore into the house. Then I got permission from the owners to insulate the house attic in lieu of rent that month. So, I bought fiberglass insulation and goggles and breathing masks and got our oldest clothes out and took all the sawdust that they used in 1925 to insulate the attic with and got it out of there because it was a fire hazard. (It looked like there had already been a fire in the roof rafters of the house as my 15 year old son and I insulated the attic). After that, we finally were toasty and warm in our house and that spring we planted a large organic garden and canned corn and carrots and black cherries in various forms and had back up fruits and pies and dinners for several years from what we grew and harvested from the land that was fruit and vegetables.  This was my experience in 1990. We stayed in this house until 1992 when we returned to the California Coast and bought another business.

Here's the article I'm reprinting here:


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

College graduate: no job or job prospects

The following story took place in 1980 for a few years. This person I later found out lived about a mile from my home and property but at the time did not understand this was going on.

In 1980 I was about 32 years old with a wife and three children ages 5 to 9 years old. Since like now there were no jobs we bought property, sold one of our vehicles and built a home on a remote inexpensive piece of beautiful land at 4000 feet on the side of Mt. Shasta. There were no electrical connections within 10 miles of where are property was located. There was a spring on the land for water for washing and bathing. We trucked in drinking water.

The gentleman I'm writing about just graduated college and couldn't get a job just like many of today's graduates and like many of today's graduates he had student loans. He owned a VW Bug that had an engine he had just rebuilt that was 10 or more years old, his skis, his clothes, some snowshoes, a lot of college books and little else because, after all he had just graduated college. Realizing that he didn't want to be homeless in his bug, he contacted a friend who had land within a mile of my property and stayed there for a while. But this man liked his privacy. So, the college graduate got permission to always park his car on his friend's property and proceeded to build a shack within 1/2 mile out into the deep, dense forest with no trails to survive the winter snows that could be up to 7 feet on any given day between the months of January and March in those years.

Then he went to a friend who had an aceteylene torch and tanks and bought enough acetylene and oxygen to cut his bug behind where the front seats end and to turn it into a little pick-up truck by putting metal behind the front seats and sealing it from the outside air and then putting a 1 inch thick piece of plywood between the metal and higher than the engine in the rear.

The next thing he did was to look in the newspapers for houses that were being torn down in order to get enough building materials to build his shack for wintering with up to 7 feet of snow. So, during the summer he built his shack and it wasn't discovered or torn down for about 3 years. During that time by working the kind of cash jobs that are available out in the country he was able to survive until the economy got a little better. So he did all this when he was about 22. By 25 he was able to get student loans and return to college and  eventually become a successful doctor. The beauty of this is that he got to live where he loved rather than to have to live homeless living out of his car and potentially endangering his life.

So though I'm not encouraging anyone to do this it is a way to survive for some during these terrible times we live in. Rather than expose yourself to the dangers of a homeless lifestyle there are other potential options.

Also during these times I knew of a young couple who lived in a Cave on Mt. Shasta for several years until they could save up and buy remote land near Wagon Camp up on Shasta and there they built a geodesic dome. I stayed in this amazing little Geodesic dome for a few days at one point in the snow and found it really an amazing piece of functional art. Though they eventually sold the dome and moved to Hawaii to buy another piece of property and live there, they  also  found a way to live where they wanted to and to survive the very difficult early 1980s as young people who were also college graduates.

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