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Road Trip

Shonda Ponder

Date: June 9-12, 2021

I left town on Wednesday to drive toward Austin, Texas.

On the way, I worked the Uber App so I could have the gas money and food I needed on the way. My first stop was in Mount Pleasant at Lake Ron Sandlin National Park. I stopped at the Monticello Baptist Church Historical Marker...then proceed to the lake. 

 

When I got there, the gate attendant to the park was out for lunch so I drove on in. I looked around and took pictures until I saw the sign that said I would be fined if I didn't have a car tag given me by the gate attendant.  So, I left. I needed to be on my way, anyway. 

On the sidebar to the left, you will see pictures of my travels. 

After that, I ended up Uber-ing in Dallas. I was trying to work my way out of the city, but the app kept bringing me back. I made about $75 and then decided it was getting late and I needed to keep travelling, so I turned it off and headed toward Austin. 

I got to Austin about 11 PM and slept at the truck stop. The next morning, I went to work in Austin until around noon, then I met up with my son and his girlfriend. He introduced me to a lot of his "homies". 

My son is a professional "travelor". He is homeless by choice. He lives the modern day "hippie" lifestyle, in the homeless camps. So, a lot of his friends are the homeless you see wondering around the city. 

It is not the lifestyle I would have chosen for him, but he is happy with it. And, as long as he respects my boundaries (I refuse to give hand-outs) we get along great. He has NEVER asked me for any kind of money or support. I only offer it as a gift from a mother at times. And, this trip was about bringing him home with me to visit family. 

Besides, having been homeless before, I understand the lifestyle because I have HAD to live it before to survive. God has blessed me with other options, and now I own my own home, in which I house 3 homeless people who live on disability and pay the rent in other ways. 

Anyway, as he introduced me to a whole colony of his friends, each one respectfully shook my hand and told a story about who my son was to  them. I heard about how he saved one of their sons from a house fire. I heard how he talked one from the brink of suicide. I heard how he showed one how to find food when he was hungry, and how to set up camp to another. I heard how he pulled one from the path of a moving vehicle and he took care of another when he was sick. I felt tears of pride for my son coming to my eyes as I shook each of their hands. 

When I went in to buy ice at the convenient store as I was waiting to meet up with him, I told the attendant that I was waiting for my son who was traveling back to Texarkana with me. That he was homeless there and this was our meeting spot. He asked me who he was, and I told him. He smiled the biggest smile and his eyes got wide and he asked, "Is he the guy with the black dog that travels with him?" My son was well known in the city. 

I took him and his girlfriend to eat at the local buffet. I couldn't think of a better meal to feed them. They ate well!

 

I asked her how she met him. She said she had been new in town just before the winter storm that covered all of Texas. She said he had a two person tent someone had given him. He offered to share it with her, expecting nothing in return. She immediately felt comfortable with him. She said, "When you share a tent that small with someone for as many days as we had to to stay warm, you will either emerge hating each other, or you will fall in love. Guess what?"

There Are scooters everywhere in Austin. I kept wondering why there were scooters on every corner. My son told me it was because you can rent a scooter for a day and just scoot around the city. You see a lot of people on scooters that's why! I was wondering why there were so many on 6th Street my first night there! LOL

I left them back where I had picked them up at so they could go and prepare for the trip home. Then, I went to work for Uber and Door Dash for the rest of the day. 

Later, I took a trip to Marble Falls to spend the night with some family members who had offered their extra bedroom and a nice visit. The hour long trip to get their from where I was was so worth it! The scenery was AWESOME. I fell in love with Texas over and over again. 

On the way back from Marble Falls the next morning, after enjoying my visit and getting some great rest, I stopped at the Marble Falls Lakeside Park to enjoy the morning and take pics. 

Then, I headed back to Austin to pick up my son for the ride home. 

On the way to pick him up, I saw hundreds of tents under the overpasses. My son said it was the new homeless people who don't know the ropes yet. The city clearly has a homeless crisis on their hands and needs prayers!

Then, we started the long trip to Nocona, Texas to visit my other son. When we got there, it was dark. I searched the small town where my son lived because he was not answering his door. Then I went back to wait for him to come home. 

My youngest son suffers from mental "problems" that cannot be controlled, but he has a very blessed support system in Nocona, because his family on his dad's side all live there and everyone in the "blink your eye or you'll miss it" small town knows and loves him. I know he is safe there. Much better off there than he would be in Texarkana, or anywhere else in the world. 

I finally went to leave a note on the door and he opened the door and let me know he was at home the whole time. But, he did not want to see me. I was not a welcomed presence for him at that point in time. I had no choice but to say, "Okay. I love you. Goodbye."

Then I determined to drive home, with my other son and his girlfriend in my car. 

As we travelled through the next very small town on the way, Muenster, I was upset over what I had just seen from my baby boy, but determined that I understood that it was not "me", I tried not to be as heartbroken as I was. 

I got pulled over at the 70 MPH sign. Cop said I was going 61 in a 35. I told him flat out he was wrong. I argued with him. I told him there was no way because I was watching the limit and he JUST NOW PULLED ME OVER and I was at the 70 sign. I told him I already have two tickets and can't get another one because I am a professional driver so there was NO WAY I was speeding.

He was shining his light in my vehicle checking out my bum looking kids (Bryant and his girlfriend) with all the stuff I have in the back...I snapped, "THAT is my son. We came to Nocona from Austin to visit my OTHER son who has mental problems and doesn't want to see me. I am upset and irritated now and I want to go home to New Boston!" 

I was sitting there waiting for him to run my license. While he was in the car behind me, I looked at Bryant (my son who was with me) and said, "You don't have anything on you, do you?" He said, "No ma'am." I said "Good." LOL

He was smiling at me when he came back. I said, "Please, really! I do NOT need a ticket! I wasn't speeding!" He said, "My radar said otherwise." I said "When?" He said "When you first went through town." I said, "Then why didn't you pull me over then?" I could tell he wanted to bust out laughing. He said, "I had to turn around!" Then he said, "I'm giving you a warning." I said, "I appreciate that. Thank you."

I drove the rest of the way and arrived home at 5:30 AM this morning, on the Sabbath. 

I am not driving anywhere today!

 

Oversleeping

Shonda Ponder

Date: June 9, 2021

I wanted to wake up early this morning to go get food for the housemates. I overslept. 

I've had to chastise the newest one, Liz, for turning on all the lights, then leaving for hours to go to work. I told her I am not made of money. I may make a good living, but I also have a lot of bills. I don't want to add to it by running up the electric bill. She understood. 

She asked me to buy her some McDonald's. She said she would pay me and tip me for bringing it home. I told her I would buy it for her. I owe her for all she does. 

 

Wandering Around

Shonda Ponder

Date: June 7, 2021
Good morning, World. 

Today was the slowest day ever. Spark gave me NO runs. Uber gave me ONE run and I made $35 on Doordash and $5 on Waitr. 

It was so bad that I went to Mount Pleasant to check out the market there. I got two Door dash runs while I was there. I was the only Uber driver and no one requested an Uber ride. It was DEAD. Not worth the trip. 

Where do you run away to when your daddy owns the whole world? 

Tomorrow, I will be going to get food boxes for the guys and Liz, then I'm taking a trip to Dallas. Not sure if I will stay there or come home late, but I plan on spending the day working. 

I am ready for a good day AWAY from Texarkana. 

Seriously? They took Donald Trump's North Carolina Speech off of YouTube, saying it violated community guidelines. WHAT GUIDELINES? Parrot the party line or else?

Starting to look more and more like Hitler's Germany