Just another day today. Get up, get kids out the door or settled down, me out to work, get mail done, edit websites and spend time doing what needs doing around the house…but today something really got my attention while on the way to the babysitters house. There was a man, on a bike, on the side of the road with a broom stick fishing rod. (Don’t really know why, it just did). Neat in appearance, very unassuming with a bed roll on sitting next to his bike. Now, for some, seeing someone like this could be ‘normal’, maybe in an older urban area where homelessness in good times is still around, but out here where I live, this is unusual, and it is especially unusual ON MY ROAD out in the middle of nowhere. Where did this guy come from? I have seen him on several different occassions and honestly, thought nothing about him, just a guy riding his bike with a homemade fishing pole…hmm, maybe homeless, maybe not…I would look right at him and he would look away, but today, as I drove by him, he kinda straightened up from what he was doing and looked right back at me. Almost daring me to stop and say something. I kept on going. But this got me really thinking, its not the norm to see the homeless out in the country, out in the open, especially in a small town setting. (And I would consider anyone with a bed roll next to a bike homeless, why else would they have it?) The cops don’t dig it and people around here are bit suspicious of anyone they don’t know, still friendly, but wary if you catch my drift.  And come to think of it, I have seen, a few times, people walking up the sides of the road with children in tow behind them and no broken down car behind them. Not real often, but just enough for me to remember it.

I don’t know why I am even bothering to write about this, but something is very unsettling about where my brain is taking me with these seemingly unrelated and uneventful occurances. I used to live in a city where I saw things like this or similar to them all the time. It was what it was you know? What you expected to see in the city. But to see it out here leaves me with a feeling that I can’t quite explain except that it is unsettling and it makes me wonder how bad it is in the city closest to me. There are no real jobs out where I live, they are in the city and suburbs of the city…so why am I seeing this out here now? In some ways it confirms what I already know, that its coming…’it’ being a further decline in our country and economy (remember my SHTF senario of a slow roiling boil?) and it makes me very much aware that I need to be paying more attention to my surroundings when out and about, even on my property…’the stranger’ is coming to a place near me sooner rather than later. This isn’t paranoid thinking, this is the pattern of behavior in countries where the economy is shot to hell in a hand basket…they leave the city because the myth is that things are better ‘out in the country side’…Thinking about this today has shifted something within my mind and is nibbling away at my feelings of security (one reason why I moved out where I am, to get further away from what could get ugly). There have been a few other things that have happened in my small town over the past month or so that compound this ‘feeling’ I have that its getting worse and its probably much worse than I am aware of if the movement is beginning to start from the cities out into the countryside both in terms of the homeless and in terms of crime…this is just sitting there in front of my face today, in my awareness now, on a day that just started off as just another day.