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Letters To Mom
January 3, 2018

Dear Mom,

As I sit here, typing away on my computer, writing line after line of raw code to build this page and all the other pages I've been working on within my website, I can't help but to think about how good I have it compared to others in similar situations as me. I'm not saying I'm rolling in cash or that my life is perfect, because I'm definitely not rolling in cash and really, whose life is perfect?

It's more of an idea where I find myself thinking about everything I have been blessed with. Even though I may not have the newest, or most expensive items on the market, I do have some cool stuff that I've been able to save for or in many cases received as gifts from by those who are or have been in my life over the years.

My computer is an older system, but it does what I need it to do for now, if I were to buy a new computer in the same price range that I paid for this one, it would likely be a huge upgrade from what I have. Would I enjoy a system upgrade? Most definitely, but do I really need to upgrade right now when what I have is doing what I need it to do? In my opinion... not really.

With help from friends I've managed to gather together nearly everything I need to go either bike camping or backpacking though I'm still working out a few glitches in my backpacking equipment, but I hope to have them ironed out in time to try hiking in the spring once the snow melts and things aren't quite so cold or mucky. Yes, I will likely end up in your yard again as I work on strengthening myself and improving my skills. I'm hoping to do 4 campouts this summer, 2 on foot and 2 on my bike with. I'm hoping to make one of my campouts happen in the state park somewhere around your birthday depending on what the weather is doing. My plan will be to take the bus to get out to the state park, then camp for 3 or 4 days and come back either on foot or by bike (Leaning towards bike since it would be more efficient for that distance, and increase my odds of getting back home the same day that I leave my campsite.)

With camping gear some of the big stuff like pannier bags, my backpack, and even some smaller things were gifted to me, and I know the pack and panniers aren't cheap, so I really do feel blessed to have people who would help me out with those things.

At this point I have help from you and others with transportation if the weather isn't safe for walking or biking. I have enough food to eat, a warm, dry safe, affordable home to live in. And I think it's safe to say that for the most part I'm able to meet my basic needs on a regular basis. Though I admit I need to work on the clothing issue a bit harder since I seem to be hard on clothing especially my t-shirts, but even then, I am able to get a few items of clothing here and there to help keep me from having to run around naked.

My basic needs are met and I have enough that if I have a little extra I'm able to help those who are strugggling more than I am.

You taught me well when it comes to helping others, I have openly credited you for teaching me to share what I have, and even things like making due with what I have if it works and does what I need it to, there's no reason to buy a replacement. I'm starting to work on mending clothes, but t-shirts are proving to be impossible to mend so I've been turning them into scrap material. Orca's bed is an example of something that I could have imagined you doing if you needed something cost effective to make a dog bed from I just have found that sometimes the coolest stuff to make things from happens to be the very things that others view as worthless. Much like how I view my own life.. there were some over the years who thought I wouldn't amount to much, and who figured I would end up in prison, but little by little I'm taking the hidden skills that others weren't seeing and finding uses for them. my ability to scavenge combined with my desire to help others and my ability to research all cultivated into a diaper ministry. I love what I do overall even if there are times when I have to bite my tongue, even though I really want to scream, "What were you thinking??" I do my best to treat everyone who comes into the parlor on distribution day the same, much like what I saw when you were dealing with customers while running the grooming shop.

I've been blessed with having my needs met and some skills that are serving me well when it comes to helping me make it through each day as I help myself and help others along the way using what I learned from you either simply by observing or by you actually working with me on things. Doesn't mean I'm perfect, just means I've got some neat skills to work with if I can figure out how to impliment them in the way that is best not only for me, but those around me.

Thank you for the skills and compassion you instilled in me and many thanks to those who have helped me along the way especially with my somewhat wild and crazy ideas like bike camping or backpacking or my journey of founding a diaper ministry so I could give something back to the community. Mom, you taught me well, and without the things you taught me, odds are I wouldn't have founded a diaper ministry.

-Jenn

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