BUT I AM IN OMAHA
The bus ride was uneventful for the most part. Had not a problem with getting my bike loaded and then going from the station downtow to a nearby hotel. The cab driver was super helpful, even when he learned of my destination, which is the Travelodge here in Omaha, a few blocks away. He let his disappointment slip out, as he mentioned that he had been waiting an hour for the bus to arrive and I presume a better fare. Did not keep him from helping me load my bags and bike in his Pontiac Aztek cab. The fare totaled up $5.90 and I gave him a $20 to cover it. I remember too well how I felt waiting tables and getting a group that would amount to a nice tab only to get screwed when it came to the tip. Would have been too easy to give the cat a ten spot, but not only did he load my bags, he also helped get my stuff to my room. Not sure if everyone in Omaha is that nice, but it was an auspcious start!
Nebraska came by and showed me my building. Sketchy neighborhood or not, the building itself looks fine. She also clarified why she initally was dismayed that I accepted the offer. Apparently, there isn't much in the area, as the neighborhood resembles an urban 'food & services desert', with not too many conveniences in the way of small local shops or fast food restaurants. No 'real' grocery stores and she did point out one independent grocer that I could go to in a pinch. As far as the other recognizable chains and the challenge that frequenting them would bring, I thought about how I would ride out to Meijer's back home. That was a minimum 8 mile trip one way. With Omaha's smaller size, I won't mind getting back and forth to wherever the mainline grocers are located.
Speaking of Nebraska, she said that she could not help peeking in my blog and she said she enjoyed reading the comments left and the sentiments that everyone who left a comment sent. Trust me, I REALLY appreciated them as well. Good lookin' out, y'all!!
Saying good-bye to my Dad last night was a bit surreal... cause my Dad is a stoic and after we got most of my gear into the bus station and I came back to his truck for the last bag, I could feel something as I approached him... he wanted to give me a hug!! I did not goof around or pretend like I didn't understand what was up, and I gave him a big hug and promised to see him again next month in Chicago.
ASKING FOR A HELPING HAND, NOT A HANDOUT
I have added a 'Donate' button to my blog and I don't know how long it is going stay up there... because it isn't that I think that what I post here has any commercial value. Also, I don't want to seem like I am looking for someone to support me. But I do think that there is an intrinsic value to helping out a person who is in a distressed position. There won't be a COLA increase for those recieving SSA income, and that includes ME. As it is, I came out here with my income infringed by an onerous child support order that has not been reflected in my benefit amount and having to dip into my separate savings to finance my earlier trip to fill out my housing application. There was no accounting for the speed of the process and I am sitting here with barely enough money to take my apartment.
This is not to say that all donations need to be financial. Gift cards at Target and Kohl's would be very apprieciated as well!! A brother is going to need face cloths, pillow cases, sheets and towels, don't you know!! Nebraska offered to help me out with housewares and what not. If anyone would like to send a gift card (or just a card... I'll write you back!!), that is fine as well. As soon as I get my actual address, I will give it to interested parties who would care to make a contribution to my getting to my feet.
Getting used to the social enviroment is going to be a challenge. Even with the rally at one of the local parks as a showing of support for GLBT teens, this is still a conservative place and will be a test for even my centrist (at least that is what I think I am) views. Perhaps it is a sign of the slow change in the attitudes here, but I don't know. Have to get out and do my own informal polling before I can make an estimate on the social climate here. One thing I do think, is that there is an anti-intellectualism to the politics here.
About to do the meditations that LouCeel recommended and go to sleep! Thanks once again for all of the good vibes that were sent my way. Deuces!!