Sunday, January 30, 2011

What is it about rust?

Some of us like it.

Today's post is for a specific person, in the land of blog, who I happen to know likes rust. She has gone through some heaviness and through some challenges in the past year, and for now, continues in this phase of her journey.

But as I think on it, why can't this post be for many of us.

The definition of rust is rather boring and very scientific. I am just not into that part of rust...

When I see rust, I realize it touches on something deep

Maybe it is that it is something weathered. Something that has been effected by the elements.

 Maybe it is, the rust adds a certain character to something. Maybe the rust is an acknowledgement of a history. A story to be told.

 Maybe, I think,  it is because, under the rust is something solid, something strong.

Sometimes our journey carries us through some storms, and while we might not think we are weathering the storm, or holding up well against the elements pounding on us, on the inside there is strength and forever some marks that are additions to our character and most importantly, to our story.

Hope all have a great week!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Again, A Place For Hope

“I went dumpster diving,” he said, with the happiest of grins spreading across his face.

I had a chance to help out again at the place for hope day center. I was at my post helping keep an order to the washing and drying needed to be completed that morning. I had sat down and looked in the direction of this gentleman, piece by piece emptying his backpack. He said he had hit a good one. I watched the assortment go into keep and discard stacks.

I asked what he does with all he finds. He keeps what he can use and throws the rest back in the trash. About that time he pulled out what looked like a mustache trimmer. He plugged it in and it ran, with an awful sound, but it did work. Bingo, he found something he could use. He did not have a mustache, was very clean cut, but what skin showed had an array of tattoos. And that was what this electrical find would be used for – applying more tattoos. He went on to say, other than the tattoos he received in prison ( I did notice the tattoo tear drops next to his eye – I did learn something from that prison gang reality show that every now and then manages its way onto my TV), he had applied the rest himself, purchasing ink at the local Michaels.

During the morning I noticed, while he did not sit, nor chit chat with another visitor, he did jump up to help the fellow out when he was doing his laundry. Without asking, he shared with us that the other guy’s, partially missing arm, was due to a motorcycle accident several years ago. After several hours I did ask if they were friends, did they travel together. His reply, “naw, we run into each other, but we don’t stay at the same place at night.”

I decided to ask, since this is a day center for the homeless, where he did stay at night. Again that grin spread across his face as he said with pride that he had found a vacant building about four years ago and he has spent his nights there since.

It is a simple life. Why he remains in this spot without running water, electricity, I do not know. Is he really content? Is he content because, for whatever reasons, other avenues to, what we consider, comfortable livings have not opened up? We know some are perfectly content with such a lifestyle. A local paper recently ran an article about a couple of men living under an overpass bridge. I did not know until then, where this rumored abode was located. The gist of the article was, these two are happy living this way. With this situation, though, they are taking up residence in a spot that questions safety for them, safety for drivers and also questions code enforcement and a fairness of rules enforced. A friend who uses that exit often commented that the couples notoriety has resulted in a flood of donations to the gentlemen. There is “stuff” piled even higher than ever, and falling into the street, but the guys have said they prefer cash donations rather than the box lunches.

We all have our paths to walk and we all have our own choices to make. Each of us, it seems, has our own basic needs that might not be the same as another’s. There are those “on the street” that I do not feel pity for, because they are happy and content and their unique basic needs are met. They have a simpler life.

I happen to need a certain amount heat, and running water, electric lights. I still feel for those that this may not have been what they would have chosen. For whatever reasons, illness or spiraling missteps, some find themselves in a spot that is not as easy to get out of as one would think.

Are you still with me? {{Smile}}

You might continue to hear snippets from my experiences with the place for hope, but I will shorten them. Since we all know or can imagine the low part of this lifestyle, I think seeing or hearing about those glimpses of hope in another’s journey is a good thing to share. Even smiles over dumpster diving treasures that bring a smile to another’s face.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good Golly Miss Molly

It was a cold, blustery January night, when out of the dark arose a sound.

Hark, is that bells in distance?

Upon closer inspection the noise became more distinct. Bells…maybe?

Not bells, but …. Southern Belles?? Yes!

A group of Southern Belles had gathered and commenced to argue the merits of the southern hospitality that had been shown a certain new fella in their midst.

He had swooped in, and had been welcomed, despite the reservations of a few. He was offered a mug of hot chocolate, a pot or two of soup and grandma’s hand stitched quilts were pulled from storage. Folks set in to make his temporary stay pleasant.

But as time went on, well, easiest to quote one Georgia Peach, “I do declare, he has but over stayed his welcome.”

And from the heavens the cries were heard and lo and behold the weatherman brought the good news… the visitor was leaving.

Jack Frost got the boot and normal temps are soon to return to south Georgia.

Goodbye awkward, sad layers!

Hello warm toes!

Allllll Smiles!!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ice Gilted Limbs

Delicate, glassy-slick ice gilts tree limbs and branches.

Deceptively, rainwater marries thorougfares in a beautiful and frigid bond,

While the heavens toss icy crystals after the solemn ceremony

prose penned by: Barbara Jack

The day began as anticipated, covered with a thin layer of slick ice. A little frosty in spots to give the world a winterland look, but through the quiet there was sound: a crack, a swoosh and a thump. Limbs cracking and falling from the weight of the ice. As I walked around listening for cracking limbs above, another noise stopped me in my tracks. As I looked, a large black bird left a limb, wings in slow motion, but much power, as it flew further away from my steps. Remember the buzzards from a few weeks ago? Only a few remain in the area, and three, exactly, in our neighborhood this morning. The sound of the wings were heavy. They appeared sopping wet, but I wondered if they might perhaps be iced too.

Hope everyone is staying warm!!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Random Shot - "Wet"

I came across a link to another blog, inviting others to play along, with a weekly photo theme. I instantly knew I had a picture that fit, that I had not figured out how to fit it anywhere else. For some reason, while cleaning a paint brush, I liked the way the water was running across this random leaf. I had no idea what I would ever use the picture for, and alas, here it is!

To visit Carmi's site, click here


Friday, January 7, 2011

Place For Hope

Sometimes the news attacks stories as if there are no other stories out there to be told. Earlier this week I turned on the news in the morning to see what was new in the world. The Today Show announced its headline stories. I did not like them so I switched to the Good Morning Show, same headliners. So I went to third morning show. Sorry, I do not have any idea what it is called, and it really doesn’t matter, because it, too, thought the Navy fella’s video and Favre were the best of the best of stories.

I can sift through all the trash of the Navy report to the get the point of a demotion, but do I really have to be forced to see clips of his video? Isn’t that what trash TV is for? Not the news? And as far as Brett Favre, well I do not follow football, but I bet he is one player that regrets coming back on the field this last time. That said, is his story at this time really news worthy?

So Tuesday was a flop on anything I wished to start my day off – nothing truly news worthy, nothing hopeful, nothing awe inspiring.

Then Wednesday arrives bringing all of us Ted Williams. They are on him like white on rice. His story is amazing. His story is not over. A story of second chances.

I watched this morning as he and his mother were interviewed. My heart went out to both of them. So much baggage to be sorted through. So much that did not need to be aired on TV for us to see. Wounds not healed mixed with an excitement of new notoriety. Ted Williams said he would request the service of NBC’s staff psychiatrist – I pray he follows through. He needs to, his family seems to support him, but there seems to be, naturally, a slew of past disappointments to be dealt with and with momma, it is shining through loud and clear. Second chances for more than one.

One gift for me over the holidays was a chance to help out at a new facility in our community – A Place 4 Hope. Several local citizens rallied to open a day center for the homeless. A Church in a central location donated use of their building for the cause. A room was cleared and two washing machines and two dryers were added. UMCOR set up a trailer outside with four showers. Another Church’s parishioners volunteer their time on Fridays to meet with those trying to find jobs and find their way. There is a phone available and an address so those needing an address have one. Now, Monday thru Friday, there is a place for those on the street to bath, wash their clothes, and meet people that can help scout out jobs for those wishing for a change.

I was struck by the fact that only men came in that morning. They were waiting when we arrived and jumped right in to the task at hand, whether it was getting on the roster for the laundry or the resource group or just to take a quick shower. I asked another volunteer about this and she said the only thing she could guess is there is a difference in the system if you are a man. Woman usually have children, and that seems to open up more options for woman than single men.

I know each has his own story and maybe one day I will hear a few. Some I would bet had been military at one time. The way they meticulously folded each clean item that was removed from the dryer was fascinating to me. One gentleman came in only to take a quick shower. Having left his bag outside, he came back through from his shower, neatly dressed, through the door where I saw him a few minutes later splashing on Old Spice on his freshly shaven face. I have not seen a bottle of Old Spice in a long time.

One thing they all had in common, they were gentlemen. And each and every one showed gratitude. One had said on a previous day, “no one wants to sit by someone that hasn’t bathed in three months.”

Now I doubt that Favre and Mewbourne’s choices and actions will take them to the point of living on the streets, but I hope their decisions in the future have a more positive value on their life and those they come in contact with than their recent choices have.

I also hope that, like Ted Williams, all those whose choices or circumstances have taken them down the road to the point of mere survival get their second chance too. May they embrace it move forward…


Sunday, January 2, 2011

When The Bananas Are Frozen

He had decided weeks before that Banana Bread was going to be a gift to a few family members, so the overripe bananas were placed safely in the freezer for the yet to come baking marathon.

So someone forgot, as they often do at 14, to grab the bananas out of the freezer.

I told him it would be fine, by the time we worked on some other projects they should be ready.

He must not have believed me, because not too many minutes later I hear a noise from the kitchen. I peak around the corner and, bless his heart, impatience and innovation had kicked in . . .

Not sure why he was turning himself upside down...


Saturday, January 1, 2011

And to the first of the first . . .

A happy New Year! Grant that I

May bring no tear to any eye

When this New Year in time shall end

Let it be said I've played the friend,

Have lived and loved and labored here,

And made of it a happy year.

~Edgar Guest

Happy New Year to you all!