Tag Archives: TrailMagick89

Simple Gifts

6 May 2019, Monday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to the TrailMagick89 dispatch,

Recently, we were at the local bakery and we were getting another punch card filled, and as usual we were verbally thinking out loud on who might be the next person to get a card. We have been handing them out to people we run into. Some of the people have been, a young lady sitting under a tree trying to stay warm, another was a gas station clerk who had mentioned he was hungry for homemade food, and another was a young man at the local physical therapy clinic. Each one appreciated it.

What it has meant to us was that we were able to make sure that those we come in contact with have been able to get a free doughnut (or bagel) and a hot coffee. It also has meant that we have been promoting and supporting a local business. We have come to realize that this simple gift to perfect strangers, a way of paying forward, has been a blessing to us. The thing I wonder when looking at the trees in the forest is, What else can I do to reach out to others?

Semper Fidelis, TrailMagick89

Michigan Fun in the Sun

2 May 2019, Thursday
Hello Everyone and Welcome to your 44th TrailMagick89 missive,

We are getting more and more excited as the days are counting down to 10 June 2019 for us to get out on the road and travel and see the many wonders that await us all around Michigan. We will be in Port Huron when the water is really starting to turn the deep blue that I remember from our time living there. And we get to worship the Lord with people from all walks of life from the streets and the business world, from two nations, travelers from near and far, old and new friends.

Once we reach Bay City we will be hanging out with the guys from Ray’s Bike Shop of Bay City, Pastor Stitch and his family, the Bay City street people and cyclists and possibly even get out for the Tall Ship Celebration 18 – 21 July 2019. Our Goal is to travel through Michigan. We are heading to Port Huron first, then spending time with friends and we just do not have to rush to get anywhere specific, it is wonderful.

The uniqueness of our trip is that to get up to Petoskey from Bay City we have to pass Houghton Lake, the body of water, on the East side of the lake while heading North; we were thinking of actually stopping in to take a look at the apartments that our landlord owns in Houghton Lake, the city, before continuing on to Petoskey. You see it does not matter where we travel to, we have friends whether we have seen them recently or not that we will be worshiping God with, reaching out to those in need with, and just embracing as we just get to know each other again.

Sweets’ has always wanted to go to Petoskey and find her own Michigan state rock, as have I. We have both come to realize that we can travel parallel to the North Country and Michigan Shore to Shore trails and as long as we register and do not overstay our welcome we do have places along them that we can camp; there may be a small fee. Five to fifteen dollars per night is a lot cheaper than thirty or forty dollars.

There are over one hundred state parks and triple that in private camp grounds according to a couple of newspaper articles, as well as Bureau of Land Management lands. So all in all we have many many adventures to take and regardless of where we are at on 12 July 2019 we will be doing something special for our friends’ fiftieth wedding anniversary, not sure what yet, but something. Maybe plant a tree with the Arbor Day foundation, buy a brick for a Veteran’s Park, something unique as they are both unique people.

Tall Ship Celebration in Bay City or Beaver Island Music Festival followed by the Farwell Annual Lumberjack Festival, maybe onto Cheeseburgers in Caseville, so as you see the year that our doctors have planned for us on our trike visiting the homeless, going to festivals, visiting friends, and worship God. Now you may be wondering well it is all good and dandy that we can afford to do all of this. Well, actually to do this we are leaving our home, traveling on our trike like gypsies as travel bloggers and as our insurance agent put it “we will be in transition” until we arrive in Houghton Lake in October or November.

We are very grateful to you for your continued readership. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. You can always find us here as well as on Pinterest & Instagram.
Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Homeless Hygiene

30 April 2019, Tuesday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

A while back we talked about this very subject last year and I thought I would bring it up again, seeing that there are many aspects about staying clean on the streets and on the trail. The missive was kind of vague but from the comments I could tell that we need to look at it closer. I will make sure to chat about hygiene a little more often.

Further into the missive I will make sure to announce that if you continue passed that point you may read more than you bargained for. Women’s hygiene is sometimes more important than for men. So let’s get started.

How to Stay Clean on the Trail…

The best thing about being homeless or backpacking is the fact that while it is important to stay clean it is not the first priority. The first priority is staying warm in the seasons that it is cold and cold when it is hot and the second would be shelter. Cleanliness is a bit farther down the list of priorities.

Staying clean on the streets comes with a few compromises. The first is being clean; smelling like flowery laundry soap or hotel soap because that is what was free at the shelter or day room you were at the previous day has one major draw back – insects like that smell – i.e. mosquitoes, gnats, horse flies, whatever. Those flowery smells draw biting bugs to you. The second part of smelling flowery is the fact that many people have allergies or problems with air pollutants.

One thing we need to look at is when you think about donating supplies to your local program whether you are just wanting to help or you are one of us and come from the streets. Keep it in mind that though you may like the flowery smelling products many people do not like it. Unscented products are the way to go.

If you want to smell the flowery stuff go to the local senior center or coffee shop any given morning and the air in those places will be thick with flowers. So when you are purchasing bars of soap, laundry soap, deodorant, etc. make sure to purchase unscented or original scent as those kinds of products will not offend the people that use them or draw bugs to you. I know that it may seem harsh to tell people that the flowery products that you may like offends people the problem is once you are on the streets people take offense to those scents.

One of the best products that I have come across are baby wipes or wet wipes. They work well to clean your body in the nether regions, as well as your hands, and even your bum. Unscented baby wipes are good for not only cleaning your body but also for cleaning tools; such as utensils and cook pots, even knives. They may not be ideal but they get the job done in a pinch.

Being a woman and homeless can be difficult while trying to stay clean to the best of your abilities. There are a couple of options; stay in a shelter or stay in an encampment. Indoors versus outdoors is the biggest question when it comes to staying clean.

Some day rooms also have showers and laundry available. The one we visited had a laundry bingo as they called it. You would put your name on a piece of paper, then they would draw the names for certain days of the week. Sometimes everyone got to do laundry sometimes you didn’t. We were allowed two loads. So, at times we went from two weeks up to two months before you were able to do laundry.

You learn quickly where to go during the day. Most days we spent time at the library and day room. Yes, we even spent time looking for work only to watch the application be put in the trash because they recognized the day room or shelter address.

What helped us most was that we were able to have a fire to keep us warm and to cook our food. The smell of wood smoke masked the possible “dirty smell”.

If we were not able to shower due to them being broke, we were able to “can dog” and buy some baby wipes that we used. The best ones are the fragrance free, that way you don’t smell like flowers and end up having bees chase you.

Some churches are also able to help with those supplies, you just may have to, or be willing to  attend a few of their services in return.

ATTENTION: Stop reading if you don’t want more details about women being clean.

Yes, you can stay at a shelter (if there is room in the shelter). There you can have a shower once a day, maybe do laundry once a week. When it comes to your menses, that is quite different. If they have had donations they are able to share more than if they don’t. While I was staying in one, I was given two tampons and one sanitary pad to last my whole cycle. That would only last me a day. Luckily I was able to get more from a different organization to help. I overheard one of the volunteers tell a young lady that was asking for a few more items that she couldn’t. They just didn’t have enough.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

A Rebel’s Wish List

25 April 2019, Thursday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

As a class project a few years ago Sweets and I were to write a business plan about opening a restaurant, bar, and boarding house rooms; for part of the plan we had to design the lay out and more specifically the decoration, lay out and design of the front of the house. The best part we have always held on to those ideas and over the years we have realized that we could take those ideas, scale them down and put them in a tiny house.

For the exterior of the building we are going with the Americana style. Most of the exterior will be corrugated steel; we are in love with Old Glory so that the roof will be barn red, the eaves, corner trim, and wains-coating will be egg shell white, and the window and door trim as well as the upper walls will be Navy blue. All of the windows will be double hung with emergency exit window in the bedroom.

Some of the other ideas to go with that are: walk-in showers with a bench, using alternative energy (solar, thermal, wind), wind turbines for the outlets to charge rechargeable devices, a wind turbine for water pump, metal roof, using reclaimed materials, single story, covered porch, Vardo style bed with surrounded by book shelves with hand made mattresses, futon/double beds with hand made mattress,

Indoor storage for trikes and bikes, full sized double sink, reuseable water system, under the bed storage, lots of windows with working shutters, exterior slider doors, window boxes, rain water collection, stove with oven, emergency exit by the bedrooms, steampunk themed, use natural edged wood, Sawyer drinking water system, wood floors, using a fifteen feet double axle 10,500 pound trailer, using a combination wood/propane heater, arched roof, six leveling jacks, red, white, & blue Americana color scheme, On-Demand water heater, many secret storage places, and a dish rack over the sink.

After making such a list and realizing that this sort of thing would be possible even with a smaller trailer. In the state of Michigan living in a tiny home year round is illegal because they are consider RVs (Recreational Vehicles). Though if we went with a long trail of say sixty-two feet long at eight feet four inches wide or even a slightly smaller trailer of eight feet wide then the tiny house on wheels for the homeless would meet the manufactured housing requirements and then they would have year round housing that was legal in every state in America.

Gee, housing for the homeless what a novel thought. And that would be a rebellion against the system while following their stupid rules.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Trail Magic

23 April 2019, Tuesday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

I’m not quite sure why I didn’t think of doing a missive about what trail magic is and could be before today, alas I have finally gotten around to it today.

What is Trail Magic to you?

The definition of Trail Magic is…unexpected acts of kindness. The thing is it means different things to different people. A few different possibilities are:

  1. Sharing a hot meal,

  2. A couple bottles of water, flavor packets and power bars,

  3. A ride into town,

  4. A tent,

  5. A bed roll,

  6. A mess kit,

  7. 3 days worth of food,

  8. Fresh clothes, and

  9. Fire starter.

A little over a year ago we found out that the above list are all examples of trail magic, something that Sweets and I had been doing for nearly ten years. I first experienced it in August of two thousand and eight in Lansing when I was homeless for the first time, Sweets experienced it for the first time less than two years later. The best place at the time back then to see the definition of trail magic in the homeless sense was to go to Central United Methodist Church in downtown Lansing.

Miss Chris and Mister Dennis were modern day heroes to many, many thousands of homeless that went through the doors of the day room that they operated out of the basement at CUMC. It was by their examples that Sweets and I were open to receiving such a blessing. You see at that time we were deep into religion and going to church.

Cajun, Sweets and I were heading to church on morning and even after a week of can-dogging we were no richer on Saturday night than we were the previous Sunday. We had made a deal between the three of us to tithe ten percent of what we made. Well, I can tell you that ten percent of zero is zero.

So Sunday morning we were off to church with empty pockets when we three came upon three pennies and that is what we ended up tithing. And that following week we received trail magic, six thousand dollars worth of trail magic; we had bedding, clothing, tents, food, feminine products, cook pots, and utensils. We were given the charge of handing out at store house of supplies to those in need.

The local police departments came out to our sanctuary with community people that had been living it rough under bridges, on park benches, in doorways, at bus stops, and anywhere else they found them and dropped them off to us. We ended up gaining nearly a dozen new people just from the local shelters that had been kicked out for one reason or another, in the first two months. We did not care if you stayed in our camp or you moved on to another, we just wanted to help.

That is when I first realized that we each walk our own trails through life. A movie called “End of the Spear” and a documentary called “Beyond the Gates of Splendor” that came out a few years to me being homeless were about five murdered missionaries that went into the Ecuadorian rain forests and met their fates. The families of those men continued their work with the Waodoni tribe and the thought that was conveyed to them was “Will you follow His trail?”

At that time I wanted to but at the time the movies came out I was not ready but by two thousand eight He put me right where I needed to be to do just that. Religion had finally taken a back seat to my spirituality and yes it has reared its ugly head a few times since then; but by following His Trail I have been a better Jesus Freak. And I think that is real trail magic; being like Jesus without religion being in the way.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Be Prepared: P 38

 

Good Afternoon from our tramily here at TrailMagick89 to your family for a dispatch,

Have you ever been in the kitchen preparing a meal; you have gathered all the ingredients, all the bowls, pots, and utensils or so you thought and just as you are about to finish you are missing a key utensil?

That is what it is like for many thousands of homeless each year with their first experiences cooking outdoors. Some kind person has been generous enough to bring by cans of food, pots to cook it in, maybe even a bowl to eat out of; the problem with each of those items is that they are not complete in and of themselves. The bowl needs a spoon or spork, the pot needs a pot holder or a pair of off-set pliers, and the cans of food need a food old fashioned can opener.

The can opener style is very important for the lifestyle of living unsheltered; a US Army P 38 Can Opener is compact, durable, and fits on a dog tag chain or key ring and I can tell you a P 38 will far outlast the person using it. If cost is a concern for you, you can pick up a dozen of them on Amazon for roughly six dollars. I have seem them even cheaper at military supply stores.

Now be careful there are a few people when they here that you have a P 38 for them to open their soup can they will think you are talking about a Walther P-38. I know it sound far fetched and some of my stories do come across that way, however; Cali did just that. According to Captain Catherine he was only eighteen years old. However, as Cali told it he had already spent four years in the United States Marine Corps, most of that on secret missions in the special forces.

He was interested in how we opened cans of food without wasting all the food inside the can. Please be prepared.

Have a great week everyone and God bless,

Semper Fidelis Elroy and Sweets

Extra! Extra! A New Beginning!

Hello Everyone,

We know many are celebrating Easter or Resurrection Day and we are not getting into the debate on the historical debates that surround this special event. To us it is a day of special beginnings. For us this year it is for us to begin a countdown to Pentecost and our grand adventure across Michigan serving Jesus.

Also, recently we have realized that we need to apologize to many people as Scripture dictates in Matthew 5:23 & 24; Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; *Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. It is not a matter of whether we are at fault or others are at fault it is a matter of someone having an issue with us and we need to make it right.

We are taught that we should not burn bridges with the people that we come in contact with, rarely have we heard that we should try to rebuild those bridges that we have burned, so this our attempt to make right and apologize to those that we have wronged or offended over the years. Some of the ministries are places we have been to here is Clio, some in Durand, some in Port Huron, and some in the Lansing area. If you get a chance and the Holy Ghost is leading you stop in and say hello.

Seeing that the wrong that we have done to each of you is of a personal matter and we are not sure how to reach you otherwise we would like to apologize to you if we have offended you in some way.

~ Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

 

In the Lansing Michigan area:

Capitol City Baptist Church

Community Faith Church

New Hope Church

In the Durand Michigan area:

First Congregational Church

Faith Baptist Church

Light of Faith Fellowship

Bethany Bible Baptist Church

 

In the Port Huron Michigan area:

Griswold Street Baptist Church

Blue Water Christian Church

 

In the Clio Michigan area:

City Church Clio

Life-Line Church of God

Landmark Baptist Church

Messiah Lutheran Church

Vertical Life Church

Cornerstone Pentecostal Assembly of God Church

Freedom in the Truth Ministries

 

And finally in Dowling Michigan:

Country Chapel United Methodist Church

 

We could have found better, easier, gentler, kinder words to use when confronted with the situations that we encountered. We love each and every one of our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We ask for your forgiveness and we are sorry that you were offended by our actions or our words. 

 

We thank you for your time and have an enjoyable day.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets