I don’t believe I have ever put this journey into written format.
In April 1992 I received a written letter from my daughter. She encouraged me to please leave the life that was controlling me in Michigan. I had lived there going on 10 years. I was stuck, in another hole in my sidewalk so too speak.
But, that’s another story.
So, one evening in July I decided too leave. I carried my purse and nothing else. I walked about 3 miles to the truck stop on the outskirts of Benton Harbor-Saint Joseph. It was a holiday weekend, the 4 th of July was just in a few days. I secured a ride with a gentleman who I expected was going South as he said. We ended up delivering watermelons to some where North across the border.
I remember anticipating Fireworks but it wasn’t the good ole U.S.A. No fireworks for me. Trying to come back across he was stopped and the border patrol arrested him for a concealed weapon. They let me walk back into the States. On to the next truck stop. I decided to call my ex’s mother. She said I needed to notify the police that I had left of my own accord. Otherwise with the history between her son and myself he would be questioned concerning my sudden disappearance. I did notify them but did not inform them I was hitching to Key West.
It was hot. No change of clothes, little money. The money I did have was taken from the trucks toll caddy bin. Mostly change. I would stealthily enter the trucks while the operators were inside eating or using the baths.
I found another ride that was going to Miami. A nice older guy who talked of his family constantly. I had to stay alert and was so tired. The perils of hitch hiking never once invaded my thoughts.
Finally Miami. I went to a Salvation Army and received a clean change of clothes and over heard two men talking about there recent wedding in Vegas. They said they couldn’t wait too see Key West. My ears perked up and I casually walked over too them. Shortly after meeting them I was sound a sleep in the back seat of there convertible on the way to the Keys. I felt safe with them.
I have been here now going on 21 years.
Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
Take a chance.
Best decision of my life.
I was not only a mother again too my daughter I was a grandmother too.