The old adage that 'if it's too good to be true, it probably is' applies in spades when you are chasing down the rumor of a neat free place to live. Good old Patrick's idea of a 'clean, easy, safe and reliable storage container at NO CHARGE' turned out to be a filthy, hard to access, boarded up and easily impregnated back end of an old semi that he's parked on an abandoned lot and surrounded with fences and razor wire.
Upon opening this trailer, I saw that it was half full of car batteries, all hooked up to store energy from a couple of solar panels on the roof. Patrick proudly switched on the solar-power-activator, and pulling a small light bulp out of his pocket, he inserted it into a socket on the outside of the trailer and Viola! Instant Light!
"Of course," he demured, "This won't power up a microwave oven or a hair dryer but you could have light!" I refrained from pointing out that it would be on the OUTSIDE of the trailer and therefore of absolutely no use whatsoever.
On the other side of the lot, tucked up under the trees, was an amazing old Airstream camper. I could see that Patrick had made his mark on it, as well. In the little living room area he had installed a big honkin' wood burning stove, effectively rendering the seating area null and void.
Patrick doesn't like to mess with the government so he rigged up the solar panels and 50 car batteries to avoid getting the necessary permits to just run electricity onto this property. And water? Who needs water? I asked him how he planned on managing the plumbing issues and he just figured he'd haul in a chemical toilet. Patrick's take on things is that he's 65 now and doesn't want to take on any more projects. I agree with his philosophy and by the same token I'm 50 now and don't want to live without a bath. Or even water so I could scrub the place up!
Shame on me for not taking my camera along because you'd have to see it to believe it. Patrick said his plan had been to run an extension cord across the lot so he could plug in a light in the Airstream using his fantastic Solar Energy Plant!
One of the other places I got wind of involved a small, 8x25 trailer that a woman was just GIVING away because she didn't want to mess with it. Of course after talking to her I realized there was more to it than that. She was behind several months in her lot rent and the management company wanted first and last deposits, etc; It was a cute trailer but I looked it over and saw that someone had taken a wrench to the faucet handles and removed them doing some serious thread stripping in the process. I'm handy but not so handy I can re-plumb an old trailer, so I had to pass on that opportunity.
But all this searching for a poverty dwelling has led me to think about what I want, and what I need. Electricity, running hot and cold water, someplace safe and non-leaking to rest my weary head, and somewhere Mackie will be happy and safe as well.