My father has been retired and living in a tiny house in his hometown, Hamilton, Texas, for the past few months. He's lived a rough life, including a stint in prison for drug-related crimes, and he's saved nothing toward retirement. He's living on a meager social security monthly payout and nothing more. But, he's a simple, solitary man, and he doesn't require much. He's been clean and sober since being released from prison a few years ago. He worked for the past few years cutting giant steel beams in a mill there in town, but his Diabetes-related ailments and failing eyesight have made it impossible for him to continue in that, so he's retired.
Retirement on social security alone was pretty financially challenging, even for a Spartan like him. His rent on that tiny house, food, and his medication were just a bit more than he could afford. So, he's decided to try something new.
His sister, my Aunt Bobbie, helped my Dad get a small trailer and, with her husband, my Uncle Buttons, helped him move it, along with his few belongings, to a small Army Corps of Engineers park in Waco, Texas. There he can live in his trailer, hooked up to all necessary utilities at no charge, in exchange for twenty hours each week of volunteer work in the park as a caretaker. Trimming trees, clearing trails, picking up litter, and such. The park is closed until mid-spring, so it's an easy, quiet job. I think this will suit him well. I imagine he'll fish, camp, hike, do all the things he's always loved. Hopefully the activity will keep him healthy.
In another stroke of fortune, he's discovered that his short stint in the military in 1969, even though it ended in a Dishonorable Discharge for going AWOL, qualifies him for VA medical benefits, enough to cover most of the cost of his medicine.
And so, he should be able to survive a little longer in spite of his life of bad choices and his lack of preparedness for the future. I'm glad for him. I hope he can find joy in his life.
Hello, friends. I trust you're well.