Stepping out of my comfort zone
Last updated 10/18/2022 at Noon
The article “Recounting life in Sisters’ forest” which appeared in the October 12 issue of The Nugget, recounted the story of Buddy Blair and his family, living in the forest near Sisters. It inspired me to write and encourage everyone to attend the Town Hall discussion on October 20 on homelessness. I won’t be there because of a previous obligation; however, if I were to attend, I could share my experience of welcoming a houseless woman into my home.
A request came across my computer, seeking a single woman, perhaps a widow such as myself, who had a room to rent for a woman in her 70s, living in her truck. I gave it some thought and decided I might be able to help.
I responded, we emailed back and forth, she visited me at my home, and I checked her references. She could pay a small amount of rent and shared her story with me. We decided to give it a month’s trial, which turned into three months during the coldest part of last winter. She is now with a relative; however, we have remained in touch and become friends. I am so thankful I took the chance on trying something so unpredictable.
Were there any difficulties or problems? Of course there were, as would be the case if any two strangers decided to live together. Were they insurmountable? Absolutely not. Even the unpleasant smells that drifted up from my kitchen to the room she rented were made manageable by turning on fans and opening windows. Having the TV on for sports events much more than I was used to gave me the chance to ask questions and learn about players. Hearing about her work with the conservation of wolves gave me an entirely different viewpoint regarding those who live in the forest or their trucks.
What I learned about the houseless in our community, about my own biases and lack of knowledge and misunderstandings, was enormous. I will always be grateful for receiving the request, and that I took the chance of stepping out of my comfort zone.
Like many living in Sisters Country, I have a roof over my head, extra room in my home (with children leaving and experiencing the empty-nest time of our lives), and usually enough income to cover my bills. Not far away there are many who don’t. I encourage you to think about any reason that makes you hesitate to take a chance on this new kind of experience.
Please, attend the Town Hall event “Houseless in Sisters,” sponsored by Citizens4Community (C4C), on October 20 at 5:30 p.m. (discussion starting at 6 p.m.), at Sisters Fire Hall. Go with an open mind, ask questions, and if the opportunity arises, consider welcoming one of our forest neighbors into your home.